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View Full Version : Excerpt from "Travellin' Band: A Roadie Memoir" (378)



kellypeace
April 10th, 2015, 05:04 AM
An excerpt from the eighth chapter (set in 1976) of my upcoming novella, a fictional autobiography of a roadie in the seventies. More excerpts are here: roadiememoir.blogspot.com


"[W]e drove to Michigan for a couple shows we had, and managed to get tickets for an Aerosmith concert in Pontiac. The first time I'd listened to Aerosmith was at Joey's record shop, when he got a hold of the band's self-titled album seven months after its release. [...]

When we had finished one of our first shows in Pontiac (which had stirred a positive reaction from the audience) a middle-aged guy made his way backstage to say hello and congratulate us on our great show. While he and I were having a discussion about music, he brought up how I reminded him of Aerosmith's frontman, Steven Tyler, with my fancy stage clothes and the scarves around myself and the microphone when I sang backing vocals. [...] [W]e started to discuss the band's music. Their album Rocks had been released only a few days ago, but the guy had already gotten hold of it and let me know that it was worth the money, so I duly bought it when I could.

The guy also told me that he had three extra tickets to take his kids to see Aerosmith the next day, but that his wife didn’t want them to go see “crazy garbage rock concerts.” I offered to buy them off of him but he declined, instead giving them to me for free so with those tickets, Luke, Dave, and I were set to see Aerosmith.

We had the next day off (thank god) so Kyle, Dylan, and Elliot tagged along to try to get tickets off of scalpers. [...] Elliot hadn’t even heard of Aerosmith but was cajoled into going by Fin: “watch how Joe Perry plays. Play like that.”

The show had been lively and wild throughout the night, and left me with a buzzing feeling after we left the venue. Watching Steven Tyler dance and move around often during his performance encouraged me to not be as nervous when I did the same thing onstage with Cleo, and Joe Perry also inspired Elliot to write more of his own music when he had the chance. Luke and I spent the night in a shared motel room, talking about how much we enjoyed the show and that we’d both love to see Aerosmith again sometime. [...]"

Kevin
April 10th, 2015, 01:26 PM
The writing's not bad. Only 378 words so there's not a lot to critique but...

"[W]e drove to Michigan for a couple shows we had, and managed to get tickets for an Aerosmith concert in Pontiac. The first time I'd listened to Aerosmith was at Joey's record shop, when he got a hold of the band's self-titled album seven months after its release. [...]

--- there is a lack of detail here, which, though it all makes sense, and is clear, gives this more of a 'diary' type of feel as opposed to memoir. While it gives it an authentic feel I'm not if sure if that's what you're trying for. I think with a memoir a diary would become a source, not a finished product. Specifically you might want to set up in a linear, sequential fashion, why they did this and when. You could also say which this, and which that (like which album) and when in relation to the events unfolding.

When we had finished one of our first shows in Pontiac (which had stirred a positive reaction from the audience) --- So here again, I was struck by what I took as very much a diary entry... something which as a writer you could re-word/polish. It's not bad though, the whole paragraph. And the story is pretty cool, the guy gives them the tickets, his wife's reaction, both of those seem real.


So...specifically I might question some wordage:

stirred- I think I'd go for something stronger, more definite
around myself -- not specific enough
had been released only a few days ago,-- inconsistent with the time line/tense of the story; a few days earlier (?)
garbage rock -- garbage-rock (?)
The show had been lively and wild throughout the night,--- I think I'd reword this.... 'throughout the night' seems redundant but if you're trying to express consistent, then rewrite it....
to try to get tickets off of scalpers. --- again, diary versus memoir. This is diary; "lively and wild" is memoir...
...room, talking... --- no comma ( :) )

Anyway, hope any of this helps. I call it a positive revue, but... this is writer's site... so we always try to do it better. Thank you for posting, K.

kellypeace
April 10th, 2015, 06:17 PM
"There is a lack of detail here, which, though it all makes sense, and is clear, gives this more of a 'diary' type of feel as opposed to memoir. While it gives it an authentic feel I'm not if sure if that's what you're trying for." - Although I see your point, the way this book is set up it's more like... you're sitting down with her and she's telling you about her life. So though it sounds like a diary it is, in a way, meant to.

I appreciate the feedback and will take it into consideration while editing!

LOLeah
April 10th, 2015, 06:56 PM
I agree with Kevin. I am interested in the story for sure, but I would like to see some more imagery.