I’ve always been a fan of sneaking around in the dark, exploring tunnels, and generally causing mischief in places I shouldn’t go to. Long before the documentary Dark Days came out I was spending days exploring and occasionally painting the Freedom Tunnels in NY. Now that I’m on the west coast I don’t spend as much time as I’d like in train tunnels with a flashlight. It may be that I’m a bit older and just a tad more lazy these days but LA just doesn’t have as many dark and damp train tunnels like most of the major harbor cities on the east coast.
One day while spending too much time on Facebook, longtime friend and artists Logan Hicks made a post about Beneath The Neon. After reading three sentences in I knew that I needed a copy stat. After all I had feverishly read The Mole People cover to cover 10 years prior so I knew that Beneath The Neon would be right up my alley. After a few google searches I tracked down author Matthew O’Brien who was kind enough to shoot over a copy for a review.
Beneath The Neon takes you on a voyage into the cold dark corners of the Las Vegas storm drains. Deep inside these drains lives an entirely different population of Las Vegas. Some are homeless, some are drug addicts, and a few are dangerous criminals looking for a place to stay low. Armed with only a flashlight, tape recorder, and expandable baton for protection Matthew takes you on a dizzying trip through the various drains to meet the people that live, party, and sometimes die in the tunnels. This is a must read for anyone who has ever broken into abandoned building, explored dirty sewers, hopped freights across the country, or enjoys a late night stroll into the unknown. More than just documentation of ones experience in the storm drains, Beneath The Neon is equal parts Las Vegas history book, drunken biography, and a psychological thriller where your worst enemy just may be your imagination.