Join us for a reading from Freebase Ain't Free by Holle Thee Maxwell and David A. Kozin! The authors will be joined by music historian Jake Austen, author of TV-A-GO-GO and producer of CHIC-A-GO-GO TV, and journalist James Porter, host of Hoodoo Party Radio on WLUW, for a lively conversation in celebration of the book's release!
Chicago-born vocalist Holly Maxwell, now professionally known as Holle Thee Maxwell, found her early fortune in the vibrant California music scene of the 1970s, eventually bringing her to the audience of rock n’ roll icon Ike Turner. What started off as a professional relationship became a strange adventure through the music studios, hotel rooms and drug houses of Los Angeles, with Maxwell acting as Turner's personal assistant, bodyguard, confidante and surrogate sister.
Holle Thee Maxwell recounts the many years she spent in the company of Ike Turner during his period of self-facilitated seclusion (also known as his “fifteen-year party”), his brief prison stay where he kicked his drug habit, and his eventual return to prominence as the successful and influential musician he was born to be. Freebase Ain’t Free tracks the intersecting and intertwining of these two kindred spirits, their mutual ups and downs and the arc of their inexplicably dynamic relationship.
Holle Thee Maxwell has been performing professionally since the age of five. She graduated from Roosevelt University and then the Julliard School of Music. She has been awarded ‘Legendary Status’ by the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame and, in 2016, she received a Resolution of Honors by the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, celebrating her life and work. She was raised on Chicago’s South Side, relocated to New York City and then Los Angeles, then later Paris, France. For much of her time in Los Angeles, she was the primary lead vocalist for legendary jazz organist Jimmy Smith. She went on to reside in Paris for over a decade, eventually establishing The Maxwell Cafe. She currently resides in Chicago. Holle has shared the stage with The Dells, The Temptations, The Spinners, King Curtis, Captain And Tennille, legendary comedian/actors Slappy White and Redd Foxx, Oscar Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., and too many more to mention. Holle was the first and only singer to perform a live show in flight aboard a 747 TWA Jet going from Chicago to Costa Del Sol, Spain in 1972 to sing for President Franco. Holle intends to write a more comprehensive autobiography titled All Kinds of Rape: From the Opera to the Blues. At this time, she is 73 years old.
David A. Kozin is a writer and musician from Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Northeastern Illinois University. As an intern through Northeastern, he wrote for the AV Club, where he first wrote about Holle Thee Maxwell. His first article for NEIU’s newspaper The Independent was part of an issue that won ‘Best in Show’ at the American Collegiate Press awards in 2007. At this time, he is 41 years old