August 2011 | Nate Pedersen

Thunder Road Chapbook

"You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright."

So says the Boss in the lyrics to Thunder Road, one of the most famous rock songs of all time.

Well, Mark Cashion, a book collector and newly turned chapbook publisher, sure churned out a beauty in his first publication, which combines the classic Springsteen lyrics to Thunder Road with an essay in praise of the song by Nick Hornby.


While enrolled in a class in letterpress printing and bookbinding at the Center for Book Arts, Cashion decided on a whim to try to publish a chapbook uniting Springsteen's lyrics with Hornby's essay from his 2003 collection Songbook.  To the surprise of everyone, including himself, he managed to wrangle permission from both artists to publish the chapbook as long as the sale proceeds were donated to charity.  Several years, and two letterpress printers later, the Thunder Road chapbook was born.


Thunder Road is a limited-edition letterpress publication in a dos-a-dos binding with Hornby's essay on the left spine and a broadside of Springsteen's lyrics on the right spine.  The cover is printed on black somerset velvet with a hand-rolled yellow deckle edge meant to resemble, appropriately enough, road paint.  The book is hand-stitched with matching yellow thread.  The cover and fly-sheet are illustrated with a linocut of storm clouds.  The letterpress printing was conducted by both synaestheia press and Lead Graffiti.

Cashion published the book in a limited run of 200 copies, all of which are signed by Nick Hornby.  Each chapbook costs $60.00 and all the proceeds are being donated to TreeHouse, a London school for autistic children.  


You can order the book and read more about the story behind its publication from Cashion's blog here.