“When you love the music and the person behind the music, you want to know more about him. That’s what this book is all about.”
—from the foreword by Dion DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
and author of Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth
“Magic and mystery meld with humility and history. Portrait of a Phantom is a tale told by a true acolyte and seeker of the source of the blues.”
—Patti Smith, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
and author of the National Book Award winner Just Kids
After Zeke Schein purchased the lost photograph of Robert Johnson online, he knew he held something important in his hands. But would anyone else see what he saw? One of only three or four known photos of the legendary blues guitarist, the photograph was certainly an exceptional artifact of music history. Despite official recognition of its authenticity by the estate of Robert Johnson, music historians have continued to dispute the photograph’s legitimacy.
The story of Johnson’s lost photograph is also the story of Schein’s crusade to prove he’s holding a bona fide piece of music history. Much like a modern-day Don Quixote in a felt fedora, Schein is on a mission to convince others to see the truth as only he can.
About the Authors
Native New Yorker Steven “Zeke” Schein is a celebrated musician and guitar salesman at the famed Matt Umanov Guitars in NYC. A Delta blues and rock enthusiast, Schein studied classical guitar at both New York University and Brooklyn College.
Billy Martin, known professionally as Poppy Z. Brite, has been awarded several honors for his published works. Captivated by New Orleans culture, Brite points to Truman Capote and William Faulkner as his primary influences.