As you’ve hopefully seen, this week’s cover story focuses on longtime Seattle sports-talk personality Mike “The Gasman” Gastineau and his latest endeavor, a book about the launch of the Sounders FC. Gastineau’s book is titled Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece, and it’s described on its cover as “The Inside Story of the Best Franchise Launch in Sports History.” While I’m not getting a cut of any proceeds, for anyone interested details on how to get a copy of the book can be found on Gastineau’s website.
As is usually the case when writing cover stories, there were a number of details and quotes I collected during the weeks of reporting that I simply couldn’t fit into print. Thankfully, however, we have a blog, which allows me unlimited space.
Here are some odds and ends on The Gasman and his book:
* As I mention in the story, Gastineau is no stranger to the written word. He wrote a column for The Grand Salami, and contributed to The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists along with established Seattle sports scribes Steve Rudman and Art Thiel. However, perhaps the most interesting tidbit from Gastineau’s literary past goes all the way back to North Central High School in his home of Indiana. It was there that Gastineau wrote a musical titled “Cream-Filled Dream” for the annual school tradition known as the “Junior Spectacular.” According to Gastineau, the music was “about a girl who loves Twinkies and has a nightmare that the Twinkie factory is shutting down.” During our interview Gastineau described the musical as an example of “art imitating life.”
*One of the folks I talked to during research of the cover story was Jason Finn, drummer for The Presidents of the United States of America. Along with being a beast on the skins, Finn is a longtime friend of Gastineau’s and was a sort of confidant to him as he was making the decision to leave KJR last year. When asked about Gastineau’s decision to pen a book about the Sounders, Finn - who’s a season ticket holder - says he thinks it was a solid financial decision, offering: “It’s a rabid fan base and honestly they don’t even have enough stuff to buy yet. ... I hope [Gastineau] gets a pool at his place.”
*Gastineau’s book was edited by longtime News Tribune scribe Don Borst, a regular guest on The Gasman’s radio show over the years and an avid soccer fan. Despite his friendship with Gastineau and his love of The Beautiful Game, Borst admitted that he was initially skeptical of the book idea. It was the access Gastineau was able to get and the narrative approach he brought to the task that won Borst over. “Let’s face it, describing soccer games in a book would be pretty boring … so I was kind of going, ‘I don’t know how much great reading that’s going to be, man,’” says Borst. “Then I realized, ‘Holy mackerel, this is different!’”
*Another one of Gastineau’s close friends is Randy Adamack, the vice president of communications for the Mariners. Not surprisingly, Adamack says he’s been impressed by what the Sounders have been able to do in the club’s four years of existence. “It was pretty obvious from day one that they were able to do the fundamentals of any sports franchise, which is put people in the seats,” Adamack says of the Sounders’ success. “I think they did a great job of learning their audience very quickly. I think they had some great advantages of kind of having a built in marketplace. ... They had a good following and they took advantage of it. And they’ve put a good product on the field.”
One more time, you can read the full cover story on Gastineau and his book on the Sounders FC here.