About the Book
From the Afterword:
Blake and I are both born and bred Memphians and that statement has a much deeper meaning than the fact that we consume music like water. Memphis is its own place with its own mores and society and history. Memphis is the last puzzle piece in a huge jigsaw. You know the piece; it’s the one you can’t find. Perhaps it will turn up when you take the kitchen cabinets out to replace them in 20 years. Perhaps it was the one that your younger brother stuck in his pocket so he could take the honor of putting in the last piece, only he lost it when the punks at school beat him to a pulp. Memphis is a place of it’s own, an alternate dimension in so many ways. I can’t count how many times I have heard someone say, “The first time I came through Memphis, of course I never dreamed I would move here, but…” The point being that Memphis is a flytrap and the smallest city anywhere. There is speculation that everyone can be linked by six degrees of separation, Memphis is more like two and a half. We are all somehow drawn here and then stranded just like more Mississippi river detritus clumped together on a snag. The entire world recognizes that Memphis is different and categorizes that difference by sticking under the label ‘music’ but the singularities here run so much deeper. Many think of New Orleans when the memory conjures up images of southern death and dark magic, but Memphis has had its share of both.
Mr. Billings is a professional photographer with 34 years experience. He has been published in Mad Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the Dallas Sundowner, The Memphis Flyer, and several other prominent magazines around the world. His art has been shown in numerous galleries and is in several private collections. His photographs have also appeared in numerous books and cd's.