"Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows In Greenwich,"

George Tabb (Soft Skull Press, **** )

One of the funniest music-biz articles I ever read was penned several years back by George Tabb. In the piece, George described how Johnny Ramone recruited him as a roadie, and how he was assigned to change the strings on Johnny's guitar prior to a 1989 show. What GT didn't know is that Mosrite guitars are held together by string tension. The minute he got the last string off, the guitar's bridge fell through an air-conditioning vent! It took George awhile to retrieve it, using a string and some gum, but the show went on as planned.

This book concerns George's youth as one of the few Jewish kids in Greenwich, a suburb in Connecticut mostly populated by rich Anglo families; and it is definitely not a laugh riot, though there are funny moments.

If you think your family is dysfunctional, read this and count your blessings. It is remarkable that George survived his youth, with his domineering, abusive father and shrewish, self-centered stepmother. Pleasant visits with his hippie mom and stepfather eased his burden somewhat, but they were infrequent and sometimes troublesome.

Add to this the beatings the Tabb brothers received from other Greenwich youngsters, and you have a recipe for tragedy.

However, GT turned it all into triumph in later years. He aptly proved that people can "rise above their raising." It is a quick, easy read, and can be ordered from local bookstores or online sellers such as www.amazon.com or www.softskull.com .

Reach Ricky Flake at lobotomy3857@wmconnect.com .