Larry "Ratso" Sloman
Larry "Ratso" Sloman
Larry “Ratso” Sloman is best known as Howard Stern’s collaborator on what were then the two fastest selling books in publishing history, Private Parts and Miss America.
He received wide acclaim for Undisputed Truth, his collaboration with Mike Tyson. The Associated Press called it “a hefty autobiography that might be the most soul baring book of its genre ever written.” The Los Angeles Times wrote that it was a “masterpiece…Sloman allows Tyson’s id free reign. Together they create a book that is grimly tragic on one page, laugh-out-loud funny on the next, and unrelentingly vulgar and foul-mouthed. Reading Tyson’s memoir is like watching a Charles Dickens street urchin grow up to join Hunter S. Thompson on a narcotic-filled road trip.” It received similar rave reviews from both the U.S. and international press. The book has gone on to become an international runaway best-seller.
A second collaboration with Tyson, called Iron Discipline: My Life with Cus D’Amato, a memoir of his trainer and adopted father received a “starred” rave review in Publisher’s Weekly.
This year will augur in Ratso’s first album. Over the years he had collaborated on over thirty songs with rock stars Rick Derringer and John Cale. But in the last few years he has made contact with fans of his Dylan book that are prominent in the Brooklyn indie scene. Sloman began writing new songs and the result is his first album, Stubborn Heart, produced by Vincent Cacchione of Caged Animals. The first single, “Our Lady of Light” a duet with Ratso’s good friend Nick Cave got tremendous international coverage. The album also features contributions from such diverse artists as Yasmine Hamdan, one of the world’s great Arabic singers and Imani Coppola, who had a runaway hit years back with her infectious hit single, “Legend of a Cowgirl.”
Ratso will also be featured in this year’s Netflix release of a documentary of the Rolling Thunder Revue, the legendary 1975 tour that reunited Bob Dylan with Joan Baez, Rambling Jack Elliot and Roger McGuinn. Produced by Martin Scorsese, it should quickly attain the status of one of the best music documentaries ever made.
Prior to working with Tyson, Sloman collaborated with Kiss original member Peter Criss on his memoir Makeup to Breakup. The book was hailed as the best book of all the Kiss member’s memoirs and it made the New York Times bestseller list.
Sloman’s most recent biography, The Secret Life of Houdini, written with magic theorist William Kalush, was a New York Times best-seller and made international news when Houdini’s relative called for an exhumation of the dead magician’s body to test for poisoning, based on evidence of a plot against Houdini uncovered by Sloman. It is slated to be a major motion picture produced by Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment.
Sloman’s previous two books, Mysterious Stranger, a collaboration with the magician David Blaine, and Scar Tissue, the autobiography of Red Hot Chili Pepper lead singer Anthony Kiedis, both made the Times best-seller list.
Sloman, along with his partner Emmy-award winning director/producer Jeff Lieberman, recently founded Shallow Entertainment Inc., a production company that will develop television, movie and direct-marketing videos. Their first production DV Divas – Las Vegas appeared on various pay-per-view platforms.
Sloman wrote an early draft of the Private Parts movie for Rysher Productions. Along with a writing partner, George Barkin, he wrote Sexual Studies, a comedy for USA Films, produced by Ellen Barkin.
Sloman amassed a massive social history of the Sixties in the form of an oral biography of Abbie Hoffman for Doubleday called Steal This Dream that was published in September of 1998.
Larry is the author of three books prior to the Hoffman book: the aforementioned award-winning On the Road with Bob Dylan, an account of Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue; Reefer Madness, a social history of marijuana in America; and the best-selling Thin Ice, an account of one season in the life of the New York Rangers ice hockey team.
He had been the Executive Editor of the National Lampoon magazine for six years until he took a leave to do the Hoffman book. In that capacity, he wrote numerous articles and wrote and edited a number of special one-shot magazines.
Prior to that, Sloman spent five years as Editor-in-Chief of High Times magazine.
Working with famed art director George Lois, Larry produced an award-winning music video Jokerman for Bob Dylan.
In 1986, Larry and Ed Subitzky produced a series of humorous radio spots for WNBC’s Statute of Liberty celebration.
For many years Sloman wrote and performed the humorous Ranger Playoff Reports for WFAN’s Don Imus radio show.
Along with director Jesse Dylan, Larry co-wrote the short film Coney which starred Vincent Gardenia and won a HBO competition.
Larry is the co-author along with Andy Simmons of National Lampoon’s Festival which was developed by Warner Brothers. He contributed additional dialogue for National Lampoon’s European Vacation and he was one of the writers for National Lampoon’s Class of ’86.
Along with Ed Subitzky, he wrote the screenplay Washington B.C. for Robert Schnitzer Productions.
In 1992, Sloman made his big screen debut playing a “cynical, alcoholic journalist” in Primary Motive, a Fox film starring Judd Nelson, Justine Bateman and John Savage. After filming was completed, Sloman and director Dan Adams co-wrote Adams next film, a black comedy called A New York Minute, which was finally produced in 2018. Sloman also played the mayor of a town terrorized by Satan in Jeff Lieberman’s horror film Satan’s Little Helper. He starred in the Safdie Brothers short film The Black Balloon, which won Sundance in 2012 and received a special award at SXSW that same year.
When he’s not writing, Larry can be found on the ice, scoring goals at local area skating rinks.
Larry attended Queens College in New York where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Sociology. After a year in Vista, he accepted a National Institute for Mental Health fellowship at University of Wisconsin at Madison where he earned a Masters Degree in Deviance and Criminology, a discipline that has informed his work since.