1980s, Burn Baby Burn Baby, Curiosity Quills, Curiosity Quills Press, Fiction, Half Dead and Fully Broken, Kevin Craig, Music, Novel Excerpt, Teen Fiction, Tones on Tail, YA Fiction, YALit, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
I like to namedrop. I do, I do. Coming from a punkrock background, I often slip little mentions of gems from my youth into the pages of my young adult fiction. Burn Baby Burn Baby is no exception.
In Chapter 17, I drop a doozy. The two main characters, Trig and Francis, are at odds. Francis drops by Trig’s place to test the waters. Trig pretty much ignores him while loud music throbs from behind the safety of his headphoned-cone-of-silence. When Francis hears the music blaring out of them, he gauges that Trig’s anger must be pretty intense.
‘He’s got those massive headphones of his on and I can hear the music blaring from them. Trig’s aggressive anger management therapy in action. He’s listening to Tool. Not the best sign, but it could be worse.’
After a few minutes of waiting for Trig to show signs of softening, Francis resigns himself to the fact that he may have to be patient.
‘Nothing. Page. Page. Page. His feet are kicking wildly now. The song pounding the crap out of his ears now is a Megadeth ditty. I know the scary clowns are about to enter. This is a sign. He’s actually good at wordless communication.’
But as the music softens, Francis hears TONES ON TAIL rise up out of Trig’s headphones. He knows Trig is coming ’round!
‘I grab a pencil from the top drawer of his desk and start doodling on his desk blotter. After a smoking cat, a gnarled caterpillar on a mushroom, and a pretty pin-up girl who vaguely resembles Rachel, I assess the situation. Tones on Tail are a little less violent. Kind of dance, even, so I think he’s opening up.
“I can’t believe this crap was made before we were even born,” he says. “Can you dig that? Like decades before we were born.”
He’s not looking at me yet, but at least he’s speaking. The fact he’s shouting is kind of funny, but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. What an idiot.
No point talking back. He wouldn’t be able to hear me with those things on.
“I mean, just listen to this, Francis,” he yells before he takes the headphones off, turns to face me and tosses them in my direction. It’s almost like I can see the thin trail of music floating out behind them, it’s so loud. “Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t sound like it could be on the radio today.”
I plug in and I can immediately feel the music in my belly. Big bass. Totally Bauhaus stuff. I don’t care who they call themselves, the roots are right there in Technicolor. That’s Bauhaus telling me to GO. He’s right, though. It’s awesome. Still.
“Shit, man,” I say. “That’s still great stuff. The one good thing your dad passed down.” I pop the earphones off and toss them back.’
Why do I do this? Because even though I place all my fiction in a present day contemporary setting, I am firmly ensconced in the 80s. The formative years of my musical listening experiences were the 70s and 80s. I like to drop breadcrumbs of the past into the present. Perhaps a reader will search out the crumb and become an appreciator of musical geniuses past. (-:
In this instance, however, I’m just gonna go ahead and share GO by TONES ON TAIL here. For your musical listening pleasure…
Burn Baby Burn Baby is getting some wonderful reviews. You can see a few of them at GOODREADS.
You can click on the book cover below to go to AMAZON, where Burn Baby Burn Baby is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. You can also pick it up as a Nook or Kobo, if you’re so inclined.
My 5th novel, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN hits the street January 19th, 2015. But you can pre-order at AMAZON today! Click on the book cover below to go to Amazon…