Lionized, Mysterious, Mythic: Fortune Records Gets First Telling in New Kicks Book | Shore Fire Media

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19 August, 2020Print

Lionized, Mysterious, Mythic: Fortune Records Gets First Telling in New Kicks Book

After a decade in the works, Kicks Books is releasing Mind Over Matter: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records. Much more than just the first complete story/discography of a collectors' favorite label, Mind Over Matter is a wild story about some incredible music that’s barely available now and was rarely heard in its 50s and 60s heyday. A virtual alternate history of early rock and roll and soul, Fortune Records influenced a generation of mid-Western luminaries including Smokey Robinson and the MC5's Wayne Kramer, and other music heads like Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman and Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group.

Written by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt, Mind Over Matter is 576 pages, hard cover and full color and will be available in mid September. This book is an obsessive collectors story, a love story, a fascinating “great unheard music” story.

Mind Over Matter was the brainchild and obsession of producer/musician/collector Billy Miller, the co-founder of Norton Records, who wanted nothing more than to share with the world his love for the independent Midwest label whose origins, development, roster, and output absolutely enthralled him. Each new title into the collection was toasted with loving analysis at Norton Records, and when opportunities arose to work with Fortune artists, they were brought into the fold at Norton. 

Kicks Books, founded by Miriam Linna and celebrating its 10th anniversary as an independent book publisher, is finally here with the ultimate story about a defunct Detroit label that continues to inspire and excite the imagination.

Here is a starter Fortune Records playlist put together by Kick’s Books founder Miriam Linna.


If you don’t know Billy or Miriam, here are two stories to get you into their world:

Here is Billy Miller:

Here is Miriam Linna:


Finally, here are a few angles that will make for a great story:

TIMELINESS BEGONE - It is the 10th anniversary of Kicks Books, and the Fortune book is the biggest title for the company. Kicks Books began as a "hip pocket paperback" company. MIND OVER MATTER is its first hardcover.

AGAINST ALL ODDS - Publishing this book against all odds, with many obstacles along the way. Fortune died with the social unrest and 1967-68 riots in Detroit, and now its story is being unleashed during a new societal backlash.

KICKS LOYALTY TO MICHIGAN - Kicks could have printed in China for far less, but instead printed in Michigan, just outside Detroit, despite higher printing costs, to give the work to the state that spawned the Fortune label.

REVEALED AT LAST - Kicks Books involved the entire vocal group record collector world in compiling discographical data.

BIGSHOTS! - Input from Fortune-nuts Jonathan Richman, Smokey Robinson, Lou Reed, & more.

LENNY THE K - Foreword by Lenny Kaye, Fortune enthusiast cum laude.

CRASHING THE PARTY - We are editing a dedicated recorded podcast with co-author Michael Hurtt about Fortune and the book.

FINALLY - Kicks Books founder Miriam Linna - She has stories out the door spanning 45 years of being in and around the coolest “loud sounds” around.


More information on Mind Over Matter, the Fortune Records story, and to preorder, is here:

For more info, contact Mark Satlof ( or Taylor Perry ( at Shore Fire Media