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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Friday, October 28, 2011 10:10 am
Secrets from My Shelves: The Bob Tower Power Hour
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

(Has anyone ever gone over to your bookshelf, picked up a book, and said, “What is this doing here?” This series of blog posts explains some of the more curious findings on one Booklister’s home shelves.)

This is the rarest book I own. How rare? Only one copy was ever made. Its monetary worth is almost inconceivable. Inconceivably low, that is. The Bob Tower Power Hour is, in fact, a movie prop from a movie that no one has ever heard of. The director of this forgotten flick? You’re looking at him.

A decade ago, I made a feature film called Ball of Wax. It’s about a sociopathic professional baseball player who gets bored of winning and starts pitting his teammates against one another in sadistic contests: which pitcher can hit the most batters and so forth. Though flawed, it’s not a bad little film, though today it’s claim to fame is mostly the excellent soundtrack album from Merge Records, composed by Eric Bachmann of Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers fame. (There’s even a song called “The Mysterious Death of Robert Tower.”)

So, yes, there was a character named Bob Tower, a motivational speaker brought in to rally the team back from its doldrums. His patented program was called “The Bob Tower Power Hour” and there’s a shot in the film where he holds up this book as well as a VHS tape with a similar logo.

I’ve got that VHS tape, plus tons of other memorabilia from the film, packed away. Heck, I’ve got enough Carolina Devils uniforms in my basement to start my own AA team. But this is the only item from the film I keep in public view, though it hides pretty well on my bookshelves. What’s the actual book inside? I’m glad you asked. It’s a gay travel guide to the U.S.

Here is the trailer to this masterpiece, which you can still purchase, if you must.

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