Kickstartery Music Book

I’ve been extremely unwell for a few days, so haven’t been able to update here as much as I’d like. Hopefully the next few days will have more new content.

That said, I’ve been thinking about my idea for Kickstartering my music books. I’m not going to do the Nilsson one — at least not yet — as my friend Marc Harry has told me he’s planning a book on the same lines, and he’s far better-qualified to do so.

So what I’ve been thinking about is this:

*IF* people are interested in this, I’ll stick it up as a Kickstarter project, and then write it if it gets funded. If it does, I may consider future music books.

The book would be about the LA music scene of the 1960s, done in a similar way to my Fifty Stories… Doctor Who book. It would look at individual tracks, devoting about a thousand words to each, starting with the proto-surf track Moon Dawg in 1960 and ending up with Willin’ by Little Feat in 1970, and would try to trace the various influences and crossovers between different bands and artists.

It would involve me writing about some songs I’ve already written about, but rather than putting, say, Don’t Worry Baby in the context of the Beach Boys’ artistic evolution, it would be looking at it as a link between Be My Baby and Mr Tambourine Man.

It would be a BIG project, probably requiring fifty to a hundred essays, and would require more planning than anything I’ve done before, so I’m only going to do this if people really want it.

My initial rough list of songs to write about is:
Moon Dawg
California Dreaming
Electricity
Good Vibrations
Moon Dawg
This Could Be The Night
You Set The Scene
Mr Tambourine Man
Don’t Worry Baby
Surf City
Surfin’ Safari
Memories Of El Monte
Laurel And Hardy
Happy Together
Daddy’s Song
Tijuana Surf
Hey Little Cobra
Frownland
Everybody’s Talkin’
Vine St
Some Velvet Morning
Heroes And Villains
Hungry Freaks Daddy
Last Train To Clarksville
Someday Man
Be My Baby
King Kong
Sharleena
My World Fell Down
Sit Down I Think I Love You
Eight Miles High
Guess I’m Dumb
Macarthur Park
Along Comes Mary
On The Road Again
Willin’
The Old Laughing Lady
Broken Arrow
For What It’s Worth
Suite Judy Blue Eyes
Ladies Of The Canyon
River Deep Mountain High
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
Another Time
Little Honda
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
It Ain’t Me Babe
Hot Burrito 1
Take A Giant Step (Rising Sons)
Light My Fire
Creeque Alley

But I’d need to include more songs from the Sunset Strip bands, more songs by women, more from 1963-65, and so on…

Thoughts?

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8 Responses to Kickstartery Music Book

  1. Neil Anderson says:

    Don’t think that’s really up my alley…have you thought about writing one of those “Thirty Three and a Third” books? They really should do one on the Monkees’ “Headquarters,” and you’re well-qualified to write it.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I submitted a proposal to the 33 1/3 series for a book on Smile a few years back, and they turned it down because Smile had been too well-covered elsewhere, though they said they’d be interested in more proposals from me.

      Frankly, though, I don’t see the point in going through a publisher like that, given that self-publishing is now viable. They only offer a 15% royalty with no advance, while I can get 80% royalty on an ebook (about 10% on print books) by self-publishing, and not have to bother with editorial interference…

      • Don Alsafi says:

        I suppose the point would be to take advantage of the preexisting audience that a well-received line like 33 1/3 has built in to it – people who know and love the products, and keep an eye out for when each new one is released. And that’s not even counting the more casual consumers who may only have a limited musical palate, but consider the brand to be a respected sign of quality when searching out books talking about their favorite bands. (As opposed to books written by people they’ve never heard of, and which they might be less inclined to gamble on…)

        On the one hand, even with a large built-in audience, there probably wouldn’t be an increase in the number of readers seismic enough to make up for the 80% / 15% disparity. On the other hand, I feel like one of the tips Dean Wesley Smith recently passed on (and thanks for suggesting his blog posts several months back!) was that the occasional traditionally-published book can actually be really advantageous not necessarily in its own right, but as a way of reaching new readers … who then know to search you out, and thus purchase your much more lucrative self-published works.

        Anyway, just musing here…

  2. This looks really interesting. I’d definitely contribute.

  3. Lindy says:

    Sounds fantastic! If there ends up being an essay relating to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, I’d back it for that alone

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I can definitely see them being included, if I can find a way to tie them into the main narrative. I’d guess about a 75% chance of them being in there.

  4. dhanyc says:

    I would *definitely* be interested. Out of curiosity, have you seen Music: What Happened? by the lamentably recently demised Scott Miller? Your book description triggered a memory of that.

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