He Speaks

Dave Stack, or simply "Stack" as we referred to him in Hanover, was older, cooler, wiser, and meaner. The Pied Piper of the WDCR DJs, Stack was ubiquitous at food court, banged on pans and played air guitar in various bands, had a moose head in his dorm room, made mix tapes, wrote poetry longhand, and spent most of his time as a cross between an archetype and a memory. I think the last time I ran into him was probably a decade ago at a Built to Spill show but I recently had the chance to find out what Dartmouth's poster-child for not growing up did when he finally kicked it in the sun.

1. What's the worst compliment you've ever gotten on your books?

My Slint-inspired picture book Good Morning Captain got quite a lot of attention online from places like Pitchfork and Flavorpill. New York Magazine called it "the world's most terrifying children's book." I suppose that could be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. If that's true, I'm actually pretty proud of that. I want that on my tombstone. On the Steve Albini's Electrical Audio message boards, a "reviewer" said: "Your book was a blood-retching bit of onanistic diarrhea." But I don't think he meant that as a compliment. 

I should mention that my cute, colorful robot books get the best response from kids. Especially Robot Garden. It has a free song download and kids like to dance along. They love those books. I guess it's best not to care what grown-ups think. 

2. What is one thing you do that makes you certain you haven't jumped the shark into adulthood?

I'm not sure I haven't jumped the shark already. Two kids, a dog, a mortgage, a car payment.... I do still hold onto some fantasies of youth. I want to sell a novel. This year it worked out that I could take some time off to work on a young adult novel. It's about zombies and rock n' roll. I suppose it's a risk in this economy. And I could fall on my face and have nothing to show for it. But it also means I get to be a stay-at-home dad with my 8-month old daughter Lucy -- which is some adulthood I wouldn't trade for anything right now. 

3. Where does the name Posterband come from?

I'm not sure if this a local thing from the music scene in my hometown of Louisville, KY. There wasn't much to do there. Basically every teen wanted to be in a band - even if they didn't know how to play an instrument. So there was a little make-believe scene. Kids would come up with cool band names. But they didn't stop there. They'd also make show-flyers and post them all up and down the telephone poles of Bardstown Road where all the real rockers and skaters hung out. And they'd make album coversand t-shirts. I guess they were just posers. But we called them Posterbands. They had everything a real band had but music. It was all very earnest and ridiculous. But I have always been attracted to that idea of a kind of ceaseless, useless creativity. I find it very hopeful. 

4. What happened to Pedicabo?

Pedicabo was always more of a practical joke than a band. It was a Posterband that somehow came to life and walked the earth for a brief period of time in the mid-90s. But it was never meant to live. It was a depraved and despised monster. It was hunted for sport in the terrible aftermath of adulthood. Supposedly there have been some sightings in the wilds of Brooklyn. But those people are liars desperate for attention. Pedicabo is no more real than Bigfoot or the Chupacabra.

David Martin Stack is the publisher of Posterband - a playlist of cool things for cool kids. David has written several books for children, including four titles forthcoming from Scholastic Education. He has worked in publishing for over fifteen years and has been an editor and reviewer for the National Poetry Series. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. David grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He studied poetry and film in New Hampshire at the alma mater of Dr. Seuss and Captain Kangaroo. Now he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, his son and daughter, and a crazy dog. David is currently hard at work putting the final touches on a young adult novel about zombies and rock ‘n roll. 


  1. Really enjoyed reading about Stack and what he's been up to - lots of cool stuff! Especially for a Dartmouth alum, haha!

  2. I seem to recall walking down a darkened stairwell of the Starrett-Lehigh Building, pre-complete-fancification (c. 2000), and seeing PEDICABO IS YOUR MOTHER scrawled on the wall. Dave Stack is everywhere, I thought.

  3. What is this?! Where you hacked?


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