Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New Beginning 559

First band I ever saw live, I was seventeen, the band was Aerosmith. Tyler a Demented Juicy Monkey Sex God,in striped spandex bell-bottoms. Joe Perry all blistering heat in intimate rock-n-roll incest next to him. Didn't know if Perry wanted to fuck him, or kill him, while visions of hash oil danced in my head. I loved him. Did he know it? Didn't matter, I'd wait. Those were the days.


When the shit hit the fan, I was writing a column, "All About Eve", for Whipt! Detroit's alternative entertainment magazine. Whipt! was a lot more than some boring entertainment mag,though. It was a jittery explosion of art, parties, bands and politics chaotically crammed between a folded full-color cover. It was published in Detroit, in a grimy hundred-year-old building with marble floors and gilt-trimmed ceilings.


When all hell broke loose I was 38 and still writing for Whipt! They sent me to Joe Louis Arena to interview Steven Tyler.
All things come to those who wait. I dropped a couple tabs of acid to take the edge off and put on my Vampirella dress. They told me I could have fifteen minutes before he went on. I went in. He was sixty years old and looked more like ninety. I had to wait to start the interview till he put his teeth in. He asked me if I had any Viagra. Christ. I walked out. Screw that. Anyway, the Stones are in town next month.

Opening: Debhoag.....Continuation: Evil Editor


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuation:

So I decided, hey, I'm not hanging around for the roof to cave in. So over the weekend, my buddies Crash and Burnout and I crowbar'ed up all the marble tiles and sold them to a sleaze-ball contractor I know. I'm headin' for Montreal. Très Bien!

--Bill H.

Evil Editor said...

I'd dump "Those were the days."

Also, I don't like saying the shit hit the fan and then launching into a history of Whipt! I'd open the paragraph "My first writing gig was a column... and have the shit hit the fan at the end of the paragraph, or whenever you're prepared to explain what shit hit what fan.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't so much mind "shit hit the fan" if that was your first paragraph instead of your second and you then told us about the "shit" as EE suggests.

I'm not much for the first paragraph. It seems to me like you're taking a short cut to letting the reader know the MC may not be stable. Feels like a sledgehammer.

Now with the complaining done I can move on to what I like. Your voice is specific and distinct and I have the feeling an interesting story will follow. And though, I feel you are telling me things I would like to see myself through good description I see other parts where your description gives me hope that is indeed possible.

That was a very messy answer, but I hope it gives some assistance, because I don't have time to clean it up, sorry.

Anonymous said...

My only complaint was: how did EE get the secret third paragraph, and why did he pretend it was a continuation?

Evil Editor said...

You can also remove "in Detroit," as you've already called Whipt! Detroit's magazine.

EB said...

I'm a bit conflicted about this opening. I like the first paragraph with its somewhat frenetic use of language. Then it promises fan flung feces...but then steps further back to discuss the Detroit magazine. I think one jump/disconnect in the first 200 words is fine, but with two, you're asking the reader to keep two balls in the air if they're reading on.

I would read on, by the way, mostly to see what kind of shit you're throwing in the air.

Are the visions of hash oil or are they hash oil-fueled visions?

"Rock-n-roll incest" gave me a bit of pause. I assume you mean within the bad/family, and in that context it's a neat turn of phrase. But for a split second I thought, "Wait, the rumors were about Steven Tyler and his daughter. I mean, did you SEE the video for 'Crazy?' Or is there some relationship between Tyler and Perry I don't know about..."

I'm with EE on getting rid of "Those were the days" in the opening paragraph. (Arhie and Edith thank you.)

When you describe Whipt! as Detroit's alt entertainment mag, I don't think "boring entertainment mag," so that sentence didn't do much for me.

Marble floors and gilt-trimmed ceilings seem at odds with grimy 100 yr old...unless the floors are scarred and chipped and the gold has flaked.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I'm reminded of a time in my distant youth when the shit hit the flan. Fortunately, it was a chocolate flan and nobody noticed.

Anonymous said...

Deb, in case you were thinking of middle-school version:

The first band I ever saw live, I was seventeen, the band was Aerosmith. Tyler was a visual curiosity. Joe Perry often performed next to Mr. Tyler enthusiastically, while visions of sugar plums danced in my head. I loved him, in a music-lover's sort of detached way. Did he know it? Of course not. It would be foolish to approach him. Those were the days for studying, not wasting girlish thoughts over an aging hippy band.

--Bill H.

writtenwyrdd said...

I liked your description in this opening, but it didn't work for me, because it doesn't have a point. That and the one paragraph scenes didn't draw me into the fictional world.

As a nitpick: "Didn't know if Perry wanted to fuck him, or kill him, while visions of hash oil danced in my head" implies that there's some causal relationship between the hash oil dreams and the choice.

(I'd written a longer post, but my connection failed and it was lost.)

writtenwyrdd said...

Oh, and one other thought: The pov character came across as a gay man, for what it's worth. Might be a good idea to clarify that point fairly quickly so the readers don't form an assumption and become jolted as they discover they got it wrong...

Anonymous said...

Is this really the opening of a novel-length story? Is the whole thing written in the manner disconnect so displayed? Is this the sequel to "Almost Famous"? Not sure if I'd read on, even though I am a sucker for tales of Motown. Agree with the suggestions/comments of Evil, benwah & ww.

talpianna said...

Benwah wrote: but with two, you're asking the reader to keep two balls in the air if they're reading on.

I'm DEFINITELY leaving this one for Robin!