Saturday, January 23, 2016

Writing & Rock & Roll

One thing I love about writing is that once you record your ideas somewhere they sit there until you can come back to them. I actually wrote most of this post about six months ago… and I just ran across my notes today and decided to finish it up. It involves the music groups Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe—who I saw courtesy of a friend with an extra ticket (thanks, Chuck!) last summer. Supposedly for Crüe this was one of their last performances ever. But I know for a fact they’ve been back to Minnesota playing again within the last couple months.

The concert itself was a blast—and the reason I’m bothering to bring it up now is that for me it was something outside my norm. I think that’s important for everyone to do something outside his or her usual routine every once in a while, but especially for us writers. Not that I haven’t gone to a rock concert from time-to-time, but it’s not my usual thing. Experiencing something new or different often inspires my writer’s mind and helps me make new connections. I’m not saying I got a new character or story idea out of this particular concert—yet—but who knows? Part of the writing process includes the thinking process—and letting thoughts/ideas “compost” over time.

There’s also this quote about writing that I’ve always liked by Anaïs Nin, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”  So, in the spirit of that quote, belatedly, here is…

A Concert Guide: How to tell Alice Cooper apart from Mötley Crüe

Best in-concert upside-down drum solo/roller coaster ride:  Mötley Crüe
LargestFrankenstein Puppet: Alice Cooper (12’+)
Most worked up audience members: the row of 8th graders behind us
Most skimpily clad back-up dancers: Mötley Crüe
Tallest scaffolding: Mötley Crüe
Alice Cooper song best heard live: Billion Dollar Babies
Loudest Explosion(s): Mötley Crüe
Most predictable beheading: Alice Cooper
Light show most likely to trigger epileptic seizures: Mötley Crüe
Sharpest sword: Alice Cooper
Costliest beer: Xcel Energy Center ($9 each)
Worst/most-absent camera “close-up” operator: Alice Cooper
Three ballads that work less well as a middle-aged audience member than when I was in middle school:
I’m Eighteen (Alice Cooper)
Song with the most fire/pyrotechnic accompaniment: Shout at the Devil (Mötley Crüe)
Most miraculous recovery from a guillotine wound: Alice Cooper
Most satanic symbols: Mötley Crüe (but it’s a close call)
Closest Affiliation with the Devil: Tie- Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe
“Ear worm” that I suffered from for a few weeks after this concert: TooYoung To Fall in Love

So there you have it. For my fellow writers out there, may your New Year bring you lots of writing, rock and roll and a new experience or two for inspiration.


PS> And if you get a chance to see Alice Cooper or Mötley Crüe as they come through on their next retirement tour, I’d highly recommend it