Having cynically already spent time predicting what will be the state of the art of rock and roll at this time next year, I think it's only fair to spend a little time discussing things I know will happen in 2013. Being that I am quite aware of my own life and schedule and some of the projects that I'm sure will be of interest to many of the readers of the art pages here, I will be a little self-indulgent here. I hope I'm allowed to do such things on occasion.
Let me begin with the latest or at least first book on the horizon. As some of you may know, I'm working with the legendary "godfather of Krautrock", producer Dieter Dierks on his memoirs. He is, of course, noted for having been the main individual responsible for launching the career of the German rock band Scorpions. He read the book I did with Herman Rarebell of the band and asked if I could do one just like it with him. And so hitting the stores sometime in late 2013 will be "When Passions Ruled the Game". It will tell not only of his work with the Scorpions but also with many legends of rock like Rory Gallagher, Accept, Black and Blue, Atlantis, Twisted Sister and all of the bands dubbed as Krautrock members like Tangerine Dream and Nektar. Many don't realize the importance of a producer but I think in this case it will be quite clear. Look at the difference in their popularity and success before and after Dieter was behind the mixing console.
Now, as you can imagine, that will be on the front burner for the next couple of months along with another book that I'm just beginning with a legend from a different era of rock. The California sound of the mid-1960's, at least the Southern California sound, can be best exemplified by a handful of groups. The Byrds, Mamas and Papas and a band that many don't know by name but know their songs quite well. Well, the latter is going to be the basis of the book. Jim Yester read a recent article of mine and liked what I wrote about the band and decided he wanted to work with me on a book about the band that produced the classic hits, "Along Comes Mary", "Goodbye Columbus", "Cherish", "Never My Love" and arguably their biggest hit, "Windy". The band was, is and will forever be The Association. So Jim Yester's story of the band that opened the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and is still going strong today.
Now that would be enough for most people. But I'm never one to sit around. If there's a free hour, I will fill it. Off the success and incredible response we've received, Armen The Deli Man will be once again gracing the music world with a selection of creative interpretations of seasonal classics. Already in the mix is a rendition of the "Night Before Christmas" that will leave you all in stitches to say the least!
So there you have the self-indulgent preview. There are a couple other projects that have had some fliers sent by individuals who appreciate my work. No greater honor is there for a writer than to be singled out for his efforts by those within the arts. No, I don't mean like the award shows and that sort of thing. That's political as most of you know. But when someone reads something I've written and has a foothold in the arts with a creative streak, it does mean a great deal because art is art. So I have a lot to be thankful for. The opportunity to work with such wonderful people is a gift that I can never say thank you enough for having. My only hope is to bring to the fans that which they will enjoy. With Herman Rarebell's book, "And Speaking of Scorpions..." the vast majority of those who have read it (I'd say 95%) love the book because of its uniqueness in a world of the mundane and trite. That, too, means a lot to both of us as it was our goal and we're glad we've accomplished it.
For you, my readers, I am thankful that you still take an interest in my work as well and I promise to continue writing as I always have. Though it may often be tongue in cheek, it is meant to brighten your day and make you laugh and, at times, hopefully think.
Have a Happy New Year and remember, taxes are due tomorrow!