Saturday, July 11, 2015

Theme music.

I've always wanted to write a book accompanied by theme music.  An album or an artist that I would listen to exclusively while writing.

When I was a kid, my older brother Michael got the lead role in a summer production of The Fantasticks. 

It happened to be the same summer than I was reading Lord of the Rings. Mike played the album incessantly to learn the lyrics.   So I heard those songs over and over and over again, all summer.

To this day, I can't hear "Try to remember the kind of September" without waves of Hobbit nostalgia washing over me.

Now LOTR's had a huge impact on me.  Obviously.  I realize I'm not the only one, but at the time it seemed like it.  It was mid-sixties, and while LOTR's wasn't unknown, it wasn't yet the force it would be.  At least, at the time, it seemed like I was the only one to have read it.  (Not counting my sisters, Betsy and Susie who fought over control of the paperbacks all summer.)

Anyway, I've always wondered if I couldn't use a similar musical theme as motivation while writing a book.

Recently, I started listening to Born to Run every morning, all the way through.  The album really doesn't fit what I'm writing, but somehow the music charges me up.  Makes me want to write.  (And really, how many albums could be listened to everyday, really?)

When Born to Run came out, (1975?) I'd probably not purchased an album in five or six years.  In fact, I probably hadn't listened to music much during that time.  I was in the deepest throes of my depression, and wasn't really paying much attention to anything.

So buying Born to Run to me is one of those signs that I was coming out of my depression, if only a little.  The medication was working.  (I hated it, but at least it got me out of the blackest moments.)

Born to Run was like an elixir to me.  It charged me up. There was something so hopeful and energizing about it.  I found The Clash and Elvis Costello not long after that and I reengaged with music know, life.

So Born to Run is still a huge pleasure for me. I don't think about it, I just let it wash over me.  And when the album is done, I get up and start writing Gargoyle Dreams.

It isn't quite what I had in mind, but it's wonderful anyway.

Maybe I need a brand new album to use -- some classic just coming out -- and then apply that to the next book.

But this is the next best thing.


Anonymous said...

Born to Run — when rock and roll could save your life.

It saved Bruce Springsteen and it saved you and it saved how many more who knew that no matter how their town tried to rip the bones from their back that someday they'd get to that place where they really want to go and walk in the sun...

Jim Cornelius

Duncan McGeary said...

...but until then, baby we were born to run. :)

Just wanted to say, I'm really enjoying Frontier Partisans.

Anonymous said...

Tramps like us gotta stick together.

Thanks for the kind word on FP. Did you see the piece on Tarzan 2016? Could be coooollll.