Sunday, June 17, 2012

King Vulture's Sound Attack

Folly of Youth by Pere Ubu from Ray Gun Suitcase
A personal story about this band; back in '06 or '07 I emailed the singer, David Thomas, and asked if it would be all right if I wrote a book about the band. I had this high concept idea for the narrative that would go outside the structure of a normal rock bio. Apocalypse Now inspired the basic skeleton of the book and I planned to collect several interviews with various past members and people who were obviously inspired by Ubu's music. Mr Thomas said go ahead, though he didn't think there would be a market for such a book. So I made an extensive list of people I would interview and reached out to Greil Marcus (Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces) for advice and he told me not to bother, because no one wanted to read a book about my favorite punk band no one had ever heard of. Undaunted I went forward, spending weeks emailing rock stars, almost none of which got back to me. John Flansburgh, from They Might Be Giants, agreed to an interview, even gave me his cell phone number and set up a time. But all I got was a voicemail and he never returned my call. The ONLY person who agreed to and went through an interview was Brother Wayne Kramer from the mighty MC5. His wife set up the call and we chatted for about ten minutes. Kramer only played one show with Ubu, since the tour he was hired for was ultimately canceled. He told me a funny story about a rehearsal when he and the keyboardist were tuning and suddenly Mr Thomas shouted, "Stop that! Stop that right now! You weren't hired to play music, you were hired to make noise!" Kramer thought, 'what an asshole', but turned out it was just Thomas' sense of humor. I had to abandon the project, because I started focusing more on my novel Conspiracy Of Birds, which suddenly started to take shape and it's begging for my full attention became undeniable. It bummed me out for months the book wasn't happening, but that's how it goes with ideas and dreams they drift in, some hang around others drift away. 

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