Plug Me in Coach, I’m Ready to Play (or, I’m Writing a Book about My Days as a Musician)

on stage at first avenue/7th st. entry

I am writing a book. I’ve written a few books in my day, but this one is different.

It started as a short story about being on the road in a punk band, Sonny Vincent and The Extreme, back in 1980 and 81. One day I looked at it and thought, “I wonder what it would be like if I expanded this thing to cover my entire music career?” (such as it was), and now here I am, 120,000 words later, trying to beat the thing into submission.

Since it’s about me and my wonderful life, it’s a memoir and probably more personal than all the other things I’ve written. Even though much of what came before was also largely autobiographical. But I suppose this one contains a little bit more insight into what makes me tick. At least more of it concentrated in one place.

When I say my music “career,” I mean a mostly unsuccessful career. And I think that’s the main thing the book has going for it. Think about it, biographies or memoirs of successful musicians are a dime a dozen. But the vast, overwhelming majority of people who pick up an instrument and start a band will never taste one bit of that big-time rock and roll success. So my story is all of our stories. More or less.

onny Vincent and The Extreme
flyer SVE and Replacements

But part of the problem with working on any long piece of writing is that after a while, you can’t help but start to wonder, “Is anyone in the world going to care about any of this?” I know that question has been in the back of my mind for most of the time I’ve been working on this monster. And after you read a given section 10 or 20 times, it all starts to sound like the same stupid pile of wet diapers.

So after I spent a good amount of time working on the book every day, I set it aside. For a couple of years. Now when I open it up, it seems a bit more fresh, since I barely remember writing any of it (or living most of it). I’m at the halfway point of what I think is the last rewrite before I hand it over to a few people to read. I’m punching it up, as the kids say. You know, more jokes, more wholly fabricated stories. That kind of thing. 😉

Once it’s finished, or finished enough, I’ll send it off to Simon & Schuster and wait for the big check, right? Isn’t that how it works? That’s how rock and roll works, so I don’t see why this should be any different. 🙄

day 44


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