Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good Night to the Rock 'n' Roll Era

You can now buy the digital download of Ghost Notes the Audio Book at CDBaby.

Let's talk about my work-in-progress, shall we?

It's a bit of a taboo subject for me. Nothing makes writing less urgent than talking about the writing you're going to do. But what the heck.

The novel is called Good Night to the Rock 'n' Roll Era. That's a line from the Pavement song "Fillmore Jive," which is the last song on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. (I hope they don't sue me for using it, or for talking about using it, which is all I've done so far, so don't lawyer up yet.)

I remember the first time I heard the song, in 1994, and the line, "Good Night to the Rock 'n' Roll Era." The sentiment blew me away.

I grew up immersed in rock music culture. Some of my earliest memories are of acting silly while listening to the radio. (Jim Croce, the Eagles and Steve Miller come to mind.)

Then, as an adolescent, rock 'n' roll completely consumed me. I bought albums, went to concerts, watched MTV. I often joke that the Record Industry of America had a giant picture of me in their meeting room. Every Monday they'd walk in, look up at it and say, "What're we going to sell Art this week?"

Then, in my 20s, I played in bands, made records, went on tour, sold some tequila.

The first time I heard "Fillmore Jive" was the first time it hit me that rock 'n' roll could go away, that it could go from being a major component of our culture to something on the fringe of it. In a word, rock 'n' roll could become non-essential.

What would that look like? (No Jonas Brothers jokes, please.)

My novel is set in 2000, what might be called the tail-end of the rock music culture I'd always known, and it deals with the intersection of two characters: Badge, a 38-year-old guitar player and reformed alcoholic; and Betty, a 21-year-old diva-in-training (Yes, Betty from Ghost Notes). These two characters, beyond their more obvious yearnings, come to represent two distinct eras of rock culture: pre- and post-9/11, file sharing and Internet eras. Lots of sparks fly on the cusp of the changing of the guard, and you can bet Badge doesn't go down without a fight.

That's all I'll say right now. This novel will be done next year, and then I have to shop it, so don't hold your breath.

But know it's coming.

Yours in laying down the law,


Buy Ghost Notes, the novel or brand new audio book.

Buy Songs from Memory, the album

Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the novel

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