Personalized "Rock Bottom at the Renaissance" Paperback
Before Mike Henneberger was an Emmy-winning producer with credits from Comedy Central, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin, and Vice under his belt, he was just another lost soul in New York City, stumbling down a path paved by mental illness, and littered with pieces of a broken heart and a broken mind. Rock Bottom at the Renaissance: An Emo Kid’s Journey Through Falling In and Out of Love In and With New York City is Mike’s mixtape memoir that follows those pieces through a mental breakdown that spanned his first years as a small-town Texas transplant in NYC, brainwashed by the New York romance that films, TV, books, and music, sold him.
New York City is an easy place to romanticize. Artists, writers, musicians, and their books, TV shows, films, and songs have been doing it for more than a century. I am not one of those writers, and this is not one of those books.
New York City is also an easy place for a hopeless romantic to just become…hopeless––especially when you’re a music-obsessed nerd who grew up on pop-punk, emo, and John Cusack movies. Add some major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, A.D.D., and all the prescriptions and other poisons pumping through your veins, and hopeless pretty much becomes your default setting.
This book is about winning and losing––written, literally, as a big winner who never felt more like a loser. It’s about how mental illness is funny that way, but also not funny at all. But more than anything, it’s about fighting through mental struggles every day to create something that gets you to the next one. And it’s about the music that kept me alive, the artists who were often my only friends, and words––mine and theirs––that gave me hope.
"I think that’s what’s so great about the book, the vulnerability and the rawness, I always think that’s what creates good art, that’s what I look for in myself. When I write songs I say, are you being honest with yourself, are you being honest to the point where it hurts you or the people around you? You need to do that. You need to put yourself in a place of great vulnerability and honesty where it’s like, this is what’s going on, this is how I feel. I think, especially when I started reading about the book, and when I started reading about your drug use and everything, I was like, alright, he’s not fucking around. He’s really telling his honest story and he’s trying to really create a piece of art that’s impactful." AJ Perdomo, The Dangerous Summer
“I think it’s a very emotional journey where you’re therapeutically realizing it’s all about you, everything at the end of the day, in this book is like, you’re looking at these outside people, you’re trying to draw on stuff from them, but really all of the emotions are inside you, and you’re kinda creating your own fireworks show insider yourself, meanwhile, using everyone else as props for your little beautiful fireworks show that you’re creating.” AJ Perdomo, The Dangerous Summer