Top 5 Musician Novelists
Despite what our paychecks and sometimes even our diplomas say, the perception persists that music journalists are not "real" journalists. Similarly, no matter how literate their lyrics, some folks think musicians could not possibly put pen to paper and compose prize-worthy fiction.
Ted Barron/New West Records Steve Earle: What's up, Doc?
Happily, things might be changing on both counts. When Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad took the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction back in April, the L.A. Times' Ann Powers remarked on NPR.com how much of Egan's writing came straight from good old rock criticism. And when Rocks Off went searching for musicians who have also published novels - because one of them, Steve Earle, plays House of Blues this evening - we didn't have to look very far. Three of them have published or will publish this year, and the other two have been doing it for years.
Obviously, as much as we'd like to, we can't count musicians who have written stranger-than-fiction memoirs, whether stream-of consciousness Beatnik prose (Bob Dylan's Chronicles Volume 1) or shower-after-reading pulp (Motley Crue's The Dirt). Neither does Stephen King, although the megaselling sometime member of the Rock Bottom Remainders and the biggest fan AC/DC and the Ramones ever had does make a cameo somewhere below.
How's that for suspense?
Novel: The Armageddon Chord (2011; scheduled for publication by kRP Publishing next month)
Synopsis: After the discover of an ancient Egyptian chord that will reportedly bring about Armageddon if ever sounded, a guitarist named after Steve Vai and Metallica's Kirk Hammett sets about making sure that never happens.
Excerpt: "Kirk saw himself naked and nailed to the body of the guitar. Spikes were driven through his wrists, forearms, ankles and calves. He wore a crown of instrument cables, which were woven in and out of his cranium. Kirk tried to scream, but his mouth was wired and sewn shut with heavy-gauge guitar strings."
Accolades: "A quick, enjoyable read full of action, violence, hell-spawned (and human) monsters" - Decibel magazine
Would Rocks Off Read This? Hells yeah! We've already started on the advance copy we got in the mail Tuesday. It's the story of our lives, after all.