>Like a Tiger, in a Cage, We Begin to Shake with Rage

>I heard this piece on NPR this morning about author photos in books, particularly works of fiction.

You’ve heard the quote: Don’t judge a book by its cover. But what does the author’s photograph say about the book? There is a distinct relationship between the author and the author’s image.

The idea is that a better looking author will be better received, will get a review when others won’t, etc. You know I think that is bullshit; half the reason I gave up the bigtime rock n’ roll dream is I knew my ugly mug would never get a second look! I’m with this commentor:

“My, what a shallow, boring and asinine culture we have become! Reclusive writers like Harper Lee and Emily Dickinson have made invaluable contributions to the world of literature. We will be robbing ourselves by requiring this patina of celebrity in order to promote an author’s work.”

People suck. It’s bad enough that so much bad writing becomes so successful, but now we need to be Beautiful People too? Fuck ’em. When I decide to start writing hairless, boy-man vampire fiction, I’m totally going to use an image like this for my author photo:

That will make me a huge star in that goofy Llewellyn crowd, for sure!

The Story of “I’ll Never Talk Shit About That Band Again”

I’m sure everyone who visits this blog is a huge Metallica fan, so this next bit will be of exceeding interest to you. This guy Umlaut has one of the best blogs in the world, trust me. Anyway, he is friends with Metallica going way back to the early days, ever since they moved from LA to the Bay Area, in fact, and has some great stories. Anyway, with Metallica being inducted in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame last weekend, Umlaut has been telling some great stories. Today’s conclusion is a must read, particularly if you are one of those people who think big rock stars are incapable of being anything but jerks.

On February 27th I received a voicemail from Metallica’s management that left me speechless. As part of their Hall Of Fame induction the band wanted people who were with them in the beginning to be there with them, and that included me… all expenses paid. Over the next week I helped management get in touch with Old Metalheads from a list the band had given them. The list included some people who the band only remembered by nicknames (“Bulldozer Bob”..) and, in some cases, only by their first names… Incredible, right? Now, no matter what you think or want to think about Metallica (Napster lost, dude..) you cannot deny how insanely cool it was for them to basically seek out the people who they thanked in the liner notes of Kill ‘Em All. In the end management was able to contact everyone on the band’s list except one guy (Where is “Dave Lights”?). Unfortunately a couple of people are no longer alive, but it was cool the band remembered them (R.I.P. Bulldozer Bob…) and in the end around 150 people were invited to Cleveland on the band’s dime.

Say what you want about Metallica, but it gets no cooler than this. I’m sure KISS would do something similar, but you’d probably have to pay $5-$10 grand to be in on it.

5 thoughts on “>Like a Tiger, in a Cage, We Begin to Shake with Rage”

  1. >[obligatory Big Lebowski reference]I wonder if Metallica invited the Dude. He was, after all, a roadie on the “Speed of Sound” tour.[/obligatory reference]

  2. >Not reading the Metallica part, sorry.One of my teachers in grad school said that publishing companies are more likely to sign authors who are attractive and personable. I was really upset.

  3. >Chris – That was a great post. I am sorry to hear about the publishers being preferential to attractive authors.I think writing (I am writing short stories) is important, and I don’t think great authors should be allowed to be attractive too.(just kidding) I am not a fan of Metallica or any other rock star, but I always read isorski’s blog. Now I’ll read yours too. I did read Eric Clapton’s book – it was very enlightening!

  4. >i think music and book publisher better put on the shot of lower body of the singer and writer on their book and cd cover, that is better than the face shot, it closer to the content and spirit of the work. more authentic and truthful, and nothing wrong. John

Leave a Reply