Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains

Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains

A Rough Trade Book of the Year (2017)

"Must-read for any fan of both Bad Brains and their enigmatic vocalist" --No Echo

"From their modest beginnings, the band's rise to prominence within the underground scene is meticulously documented. . . . By collecting stories and experiences from pretty much anyone who has ever been in close contact or shared a stage with H.R. the reader really gets the impression that no stone was left unturned as the main events in his life and career all unfold chronologically." --Classic Rock Revisited

"At his peak, H.R. was the greatest living front man in the history of rock 'n' roll. No one came even close--NO ONE--& I mean that 100%. It was simply awe-inspiring; you had to see it IN PERSON to believe and understand it. But H.R. is a complex person--there are many, many stories about him, some of which I have been told by people close to him over the years, and some from strangers. There is a mythology built up around Bad Brains and this man in particular; a word-of-mouth portrait of a shaman, trickster, humanitarian, shyster, and just flat-out crazy person (crazy as in mentally ill, not the good kind). This just-released book, by Howie Abrams and James Lathos, is an unflinching oral history of H.R., his involvement with Bad Brains, and his struggles... I highly recommend it." --D. Randall Blythe, Lamb of God, via Instagram

The first fully authorized biography of one of rock's most enigmatic singers is a thoroughly uncensored rollercoaster ride through a riotous, tumultuous and utterly singular life and career. This gripping oral history features H.R. himself and the people who know him best, including Ian MacKaye, Questlove and members of Sublime and the Deftones.

The spiritual leader of Bad Brains was one of the most iconic and legendary front men in punk rock and hardcore. Paul "H.R." Hudson launched his unique, ferocious vocal assault and dynamic physical showmanship with love and Rasta in his heart, along with a hopefulness seldom found in punk.

His journey has been riddled with unprecedented volatility: drugs, violence, disappearances and a debilitating mental illness. The disorder was so powerful--and the suffering so severe--that it's difficult to fathom how he even survived. How could one so tremendously troubled produce such an incredible body of work and have made such an impact?

Finding Joseph I features interviews with H.R.'s family, bandmates past and present, friends, and those he has influenced and inspired. Interviewees include members of Bad Brains, Guns N' Roses, Black Flag, Living Colour, 311, Fishbone, the Wailers, Cro-Mags, Dead Prez, Murphy's Law, P.O.D., Michael Franti & Spearhead and many more. Packed with many rare and never-before-seen images, Finding Joseph I is the definitive account of the punk rock icon.

Howie Abrams is the author of Hip-Hop Alphabet and the co-author of The Merciless Book of Metal Lists and Misfit Summer Camp: 20 Years on the Road with the Vans Warped Tour.

James Lathos is a director. His documentary debut is Finding Joseph I: The Story of Paul "H.R." Hudson.

Publication Date: 
June 12, 2018