How I Would Have Rewritten “Rock and Roll Children” Differently


Way back in the days of yesteryear, when I first started writing this blog, my main motivation behind it was to promote my then new book, “Rock and Roll Children.” Some of you might have bought and read it. However, since it was my first book, I would agree with anyone who says that I made a lot of rookie mistakes on the book. One review of the book from a guy called Metal Mark, who wrote a blog called “Heavy Metal Time Machine,” pointed out some of those mistakes. Although there was comment that I thought was rather unfair, most of what he said about the book was accurate. Having had nearly ten years to reflect upon things, if I was to write the book again, there would be some major changes, which I’m going to put here.

Repetition: At just about every concert the characters went to at the Philadelphia Spectrum, the reader was told about the car crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge, pre- concert parties and getting searched upon entry into the Spectrum. I only needed to do this once or twice. Though, I would have definitely kept the rumour of the police getting a warrant to search the parking lot before the Motley Crue concert.

One Main Character: What the final 120 pages of the book, where the Jeff character goes to England, taught me was that I was better focusing on one character. Reflecting back, I should have made Jeff the main character, especially since all four main characters were some from of dispensation of me. This would have meant changing many things like sending him off to college in Delaware. I would have kept him local so he could still interact with the other characters. Additionally, because I wanted the Mitch character’s back story about serving in Lebanon told, I would have made Mitch Jeff’s brother and Tammy would have become Bob’s sister. That meant that Bob would have made the crack about his sister not needing to phone Dr Ruth saying she doesn’t orgasm.


Dr Ruth

More Interesting Characters: While making Jeff the sole main character would have made it much easier to make him more interesting, my biggest mistake was thinking that simply making the main characters typical metalheads would be enough. It wasn’t. Even the Bob character being a champion swimmer wasn’t enough, although my motivation there was to highlight how schools the world over ignore the so-called minor sports.

Putting More in the Concerts: The comment I thought was unfair when Metal Mark made in his review was that he called the concert accounts, ‘bare bones’ stuff. The reason I felt this was unfair was because I was relying on memories from over 25 years before! I didn’t tell him this but I wonder how much of concerts people can remember from that far back. Still, I could have been more creative about the concert accounts. At the time, I was paranoid of getting sued by the artist whose concert I was writing about. I did sail pretty close to the storm about some of the things I actually did see like Marc Storace accepting a joint from the audience and then taking a sly hit on it before handing it back. Then there was the recently mentioned Motorhead concert where I left thinking Lemmy was a bit of an asshole. Those things actually happened but I should have used a little more creative license.

One Thing I Would Not Change!

It was pointed out that throughout the story, I overpounded my point of how metalheads were discriminated against in the 1980s. The sad truth was that they were! My personal experiences weren’t as bad as some of the ones I wrote about but I do know of instances such as getting blamed for fights they didn’t start or other things, like the instance of being wrongly accused of swearing. If I went on about it too much, then maybe it was a case of too much repetition although all of the single experiences of maltreatment of metalheads were unique. It needed to be said and I felt a lot better for saying it.

Now that I have written all of this, no one will probably ever buy or download the book again. Yes, I made some mistakes but one thing I hope I successfully did was to dispel any myth that the 1980s was all Frankie Goes to Hollywood and that metal wasn’t the big force it actually was. All I can say is buy or download it and read it for yourself!

Next post: My Top 10 Showmen

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