Amazing--that cache of Babs' autobiographies at Norton you reference came from me. I was living in what was originally a walk-in closet in the Ansonia building on the UWS of Manhattan and working at a restaurant downtown @1995. On my way in one afternoon, there was a guy selling old paperback books on a table set up outside the subway at 72nd & Broadway; I would have walked right past if the retina-searing cover of "i, paid my dues" hadn't jolted me to attention. I knew Babs put out some records on Blue Note, and thumbing through the pages there, I was hooked. I bought the few copies that were there on the table, and the next morning I found myself outside this guy's apartment up in Morningside Heights where I acquired the last 2 boxes (200 books) at $1 each he had left that Babs had evidently given him as collateral at some point for borrowed $$ that was never repaid.
It's the most brain-sprainingly entertaining book I have ever read. He puts random words in caps that don't seem to convey emphasis, and he will completely throw big-time musicians right under the bus, but then change the name of some random woman he picked up while waiting for a table at a restaurant ("we shall call her Lu so as to protect her identity") of someone nobody would know anyhow. I have re-read it many times: if 1/5th of the tales he tells are true, then Babs lived an amazing life.
Anyway, I brought one box over to Billy & Miriam's Norton HQ in Brooklyn where I swapped it for a stack of King label & Bo Diddley LPs. From the box I kept, I've given them out to friends over the years, and it has just come to my attention that even used copies are commanding pretty big money at this point on the popular auction site (though I'm not sure if anyone is actually paying the asking prices). I still have @20 copies left.
His records aren't quite up to par with his tome, but I do have Weird Lullaby--with Tadd Dameron tickling the ivories--in my 78 juke. That one really speaks to me.