On Writing Eros: A Musical Interlude

Figure, after nearly three full months it was time to add a fifth part to the On Writing Eros series.

Trombone by EvonneLast summer, Mrs. Stranded had me doing a branding exercise. Went through many of the aspects I felt I wanted to or have presented. Took a glance at many of the themes and inspirations that helped inspire what I write and how I write it.

Feeling as though I were finished, she shook her head at me and said that there was one I missed…a big one.

The music.

Something I have said before is that on the musical side I am the only non-performing member of my family. My family is full of professionals in music and theatre, plus as of September both of my teen daughters will be attending a special high school geared to the arts.

Me…I’m a fan.

My teeth of taste for music was cut in the late 70s and 80s, with parents that listened to everything from Dolly Parton to Nana Mouskouri to ABBA to The Bee Gees and even to Johnny Mathis. With heavy church influence there are a lot of Catholic hymns that my atheist brain can still recite as well.

“The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.” – George Carlin

In the fourth set of this series, Who I Read, I point out that Stephen King was one of my earliest pop-author influences. I have pulled the old Kindle out to confirm, but the very first thing he references in the notes of his famous horror novel, Christine, is that he used lyrics as lead ins to chapters and attributed them to the artists best known for performing…as opposed to those that wrote it. Suffice, my music fetish came from both upbringing as well as my first influencer.

On a couple of recent series, even one current one, I have mentioned the music I was listening to while writing them.

Welcome to My Bubble, for example, was written heavily under the influence of Duncan Sheik’s Whisper House.

For the current ongoing series Whore’s Voyage, I am using the music of Hans Zimmer, specific to a certain well known pirate. 

Why is the rum gone?” – Captain Jack Sparrow

The music of Zimmer speaks to me much as the way that of John Williams did back when, as a young boy, the Star Wars universe first overtook me with music of space opera. Not all orchestrations work as well, but some just drive ideas through this brain beyond what I could do on my own.

I did another series called The Songbirds, part of Savannah lore, that was based on a Brit that comes to the Americas and becomes a shock jock. Each story was based upon a song that meant something to me as that series continued (and still continues…but that is a story for another day). That series included references to many of the musicians I grew up listening to from Chris de Burgh to Chicago (the band) to Robert Palmer. In fact, of my main teen musical influences, about the only one this series did not include was Howard Jones…who, as you see, I did get in other writing.

…and though she will fuck up your life, you want her just the same…” – Genesis (Phil Collins years), Invisible Touch

For the record, I still think Ray Wilson was a much better singer than either Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel…showman, perhaps not, but singer no question.

Sorry, I digress.

For Sting’s 2013 release of The Last Ship I even gave myself a challenge. The first time I listened to it with fingers hitting keys and The Pirate’s Lass was the result. A story based upon my first impressions of the music I heard…whether successful or not would be for you to judge, but thinking I will be doing that again if another artist of my taste releases something this year.

The remake of Fifi has a musical inspiration based upon the biggest fan of the series, and one of my longest online friends. She is a huge fan of one particular band that will play the soundtrack as I reboot and rewrite the entire series. In fact, the already rewritten first part is using this particular song for inspiration:

I made it up as I went along…” – Mike + the Mechanics, All I Need is a Miracle

Then there are two big ole’ heavy weights that with some things I have written and my Twitter persona, I suspect the strongest musical influences are obvious. There is a series I have started working on that will be using these two as the soundtrack. These two bands once appeared on stage here in Toronto together in a YouTube video that I once shared on Twitter. Unfortunately, said video is horrid and really not going to work on here, so instead I will give you one from each band that will be featured in a new erotic series, Death Defying, that will first post sometime late spring.

This first one is, likely, less obvious but still not exactly a secret…

I go side to side like the wildest tides in your hurricane.” – The Foo Fighters, What If I Do?

The one that is more obvious…please, child…you already know…three Toronto boys that I understand much better now, in my forties, than I ever did in my teens.

Experience slips away…” – Rush, Time Stands Still

Yes, music is a fetish for me. The right music, at least. It drives moods and ideas that can overcome almost anything else for me. There are those that use the old cliche of music being life…but with what these tunes do to me, not even sure they quite get how powerful the right music is to me.

So…a challenge…and a new series. We’ll see who is reading this, as this requires your participation.

I’m in need of something new to write and you can help with a new series.

Send me a Youtube link of a song that I have not mentioned here nor used before (you will not be mocked if I used it, I’m not expecting anyone to go back and research all the songs I’ve posted with stories already). Assuming it is a palatable song (anyone sending me death metal, religious hymns, rap or country tunes will be summarily blocked), I will write a new series based upon the stories I receive.

If you choose to accept this mission, send suggestions to stranded@strandedintoronto.com, and let’s see what happens.

As always, thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing any responses to this.

But if you leave me, can I come too? Can I jump aboard and ride with you? Together we’d be starting new, without me in the way…” – Nik Kershaw, Runaway

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