Cockroach - Vintage Edition

new vintage cover

This fabulous cover by Tom Sciacca has to be seen to be believed. The colours are spectacular! Colourful men and women dance and wave flags through a town with sandstone coloured buildings. On the left is a go-go bar, on the right is a pool hall. Actually, although this picture looks quite cheery, if you look closely, some of the figures are on fire, waving fire, and falling from the buildings. One man is hanging out of a window while another figure hangs on to his hand. Quite frightening.

The back cover copy reads:

Before his mysterious disappearance and probable death in 1971 [sic], Oscar Zeta Acosta was famous as a Robin Hood Chicano lawyer and notorious as the real-life model for Hunter S. Thompson's "Dr. Gonzo," a fat, pugnacious attorney with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs, and a life on the edge.

In this exhilarating sequel to The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Acosta takes up behind the front lines of the militant Chicano movement of the late sixties and early seventies, a movement he served both in the courtroom and on the barricades. Here are the brazen games of "chicken" Acosta played against teh Anglo legal establishment; battles fought with boms as well as writs; and a reluctant hero who faces danger not only from the police but from the vatos locos he champions. What emerges is at once an important political document of a genuine popular uprising and a revelaing, hilarious, and moving personal saga.

Oscar's dedication is dated 1973, and the book was originally published in 1973, so I am not sure about the above date of 1971 as his disappearance, which I always thought was 1974. The dedication reads:

This book is for Leila Thigpen, Laural Gonsalves and Joan Baez.

I am indebted to Alan Rinzler, my publisher, editor and friend, for his patience and understanding of my own personal struggle as well as that of my people.

I also wish to expresss my appreciation to all the staff at Straight Arrow, particularly Jon Goodchild, and my social secretary, Miss Judy-Blue.

Oscar Z. Acosta
Chicano lawyer

Hotel Royan
The Mission's Finest
Frisco Bay
July 1973