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Biofile: Larry “Ratso” Sloman Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Author of Howard Stern’s “Private Parts” and “Miss America”, New York Rangers classic “Thin Ice”, “Steal This Dream” (oral biography of Abbie Hoffman), “Undisputed Truth” with Mike Tyson, “Secret Life Of Houdini.” Read more about Ratso here

Born In: 1950

Inspirations: Walking on a beach smelling the turbulent air of an approaching storm; hearing the lonesome wail of a locomotive; getting a royalty check for something you’ve written years ago.

First Writing Memory: Writing a tell-all account of sordid incident involving a classmate’s accident in his pants in my kindergarten class at P.S. 99 in Queens. It remains unpublished to this day.

Last Book Read: The Lampshade, a real life account of a Nazi lampshade unearthed in New Orleans, by Mark Jacobson.

Favorite Movies: Children of Paradise, Pasolino’s Salo, Once Upon a Time in the West and America, and anything by Fassbinder, Herzog, or Russ Meyer.

Musical Tastes: Catholic. The Singing Nun, Nick Cave, Tiny Tim, Bollywood soundtracks, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, parakeet training records, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yma Sumac, Kinky Friedman, Roxy Music, John Cale, Korla Pandit, The Mendoza Line, Procul Harum and anything by Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers.

Favorite TV Shows: 24, Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fringe, Penn and Teller’s Bullshit, and Cheaters. Especially Cheaters.

First Job: Paid by my friend in kindergarten who soiled his pants not to publish my article.

Current Car: A Prius. Not that I give a shit about the environment, I just like sticking it to BP and the oil emirates.

Favorite Meal: The smoked meat at Miles End Deli in downtown Brooklyn.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Blue Bell Moo-llennium Crunch.

Greatest Career Moment: Getting out of Howard Stern’s limo and walking to Barnes and Noble because we couldn’t go any further because Fifth Avenue had been closed by the police because thousands and thousands of fans showed up for Howard’s first book signing for “Private Parts.” I felt like Murray the K – “The Fifth Beatle.”

Most Painful Career Moment: Getting fired as editor of the revamped Avant Garde magazine by Ralph Ginsburg after six weeks on the job. My pain was somewhat mollified when I learned that he had no intention of actually printing the magazine again. Ralph had me coming up with ideas for forthcoming issues and used the subscription inquiries to build up a list that he could sell to direct marketers.

Funny Career Memory: Appearing on Oprah pretending to be a New Yorker who hated New York and loved L.A.

Embarrassing Career Memory: Throwing up between cars of the E train after a celebratory lunch with my Bantam editors on the delivery of the manuscript of my first book, “On the Road with Bob Dylan.” It wasn’t the lunch or the editors, I had begun celebrating the night before with my friend Stoli Chnaya.

Favorite Writers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Abraham Heschel, Erving Goffman, Harold Bloom, Peter Levenda.

Hobbies/Leisure Activities: Playing ice hockey, watching ice hockey, collecting signed 8×10 glossies from non-entities that hung on obscure restaurant walls.

Last Vacation: Looking for an island to buy in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Childhood Dream: To be profiled in Biofile.

People Qualities Most Admired: Love.

(Note: I still have not met Ratso physically, only through his books Thin Ice and Undisputed Truth, which are are so entertaining and impactful that you can read throughout your life. They will never leave my bookshelf. Honored to make one of Ratso’s childhood dreams come true – I think he read my New York Rangers Biofiles which ran for two decades in Blueshirt Bulletin newspaper. – SM)

About Mark Malinowski

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