This is where random notes* will go. Extraneous sections, intermittent thoughts, etc. Turns out there’s a lot of non-plot-based stuff in this book that seemed pointful at the time.
And why not?
* (c) 1974, Rolling Stone magazine.
FOREWORD: NOW, HERE’S THE THING
Okay, so: Nothing in this book actually happened.
Some of it kind of happened and a lot of it mostly happened. A big chunk of it probably happened and lots of it definitely happened, but there are huge stretches throughout that never really happened.
Some of it happened to the author. Some of it happened to other people. Most of it happened to people you don’t know and never will know. Mostly, that’s for the best.
Many of the people in this book are based on real people. Mostly, that’s for the best. Some of them are based on people the author wishes he knew, though. And some are sort of composites of a few different people; mainly, this is for the sake of convenience. And a few are based on people he wishes he were. If you think you recognize yourself, you’re probably right—but the “you” in the book is also probably mixed in with a different person who is totally the one with all the bad qualities the author gave the person in the book you think is you. So don’t get pissed at the author. It’s totally not you; it’s him.
Most of the bands in this book are made up. Some of them are for real. The author encourages you to look up any bands that sound interesting, based on what you read here. If they’re real, you may well enjoy their music. If they’re made up, there’s probably a band out there that sounds like what you’re looking for and the author wishes you the best of luck in finding it. As for the band names that appear in this book: The author made most of them up on the fly; let’s be honest, it ain’t rocket scientry. If the author inadvertently used your actual band’s real name, he apologizes. The author is quite sure that you sound nothing like what he assumed a band with that name would sound like.
No, no! Nothing at all!
Moving right along: All of the perspectives in this book are real. Most are earnest. Some are sarcastic. Few are ironic. None are jaded, fourth-wall-breakingly “meta.” You will find no instances of the comment-on-the-comment style of humor currently in vogue. The slow demise of sincerity is an unvarnished tragedy from which our society may yet recover, but whose effects will be a long time shaking off—if the will is even there, which seems doubtful. As with most things in life, “you have to want it,” but it’s hard to want what you don’t miss because you never knew it. In fact, any teenagers reading this book by the time it eventually makes it to publication (LOL) may well wonder what this paragraph is describing and why it’s here at all. Best to move on again.
Some of the conversations in this book are based on ones that took place. Most are hindsight-based reconstitutions of what a conversation with a particular group of people might have been like if it had happened; or if the one that actually happened were more clearly rememberable. The author has applied a significant amount of “creative license” in the reconstruction of conversations and interactions that took place while he (and, in all likelihood, the rest of the participants involved) were under the influence of alcohol. In general, the dialogue in this book is intended to reflect the back-and-forth sallies that take place when smart (-ass) people who know each other well hang out and shoot the breeze, trying to be witty and one-up each other both in terms of jokes and philosophical/aesthetic/sociopolitical points made. In keeping with the basic premises that truth is stranger than fiction and that hindsight is twenty-twenty, the ratio of conversations in this book to conversations that took place in vans, bars, kitchens or on porches, curbs or tours, in terms of which were/are funnier, is about fifty-fifty.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, guess what? The author’s kind of a dick. But he’s banking on your being a big enough person to look past that—to seek out glimpses of the genuinely good guy he is, deep inside; the good guy his mother always knew he would grow up to be.
Okay. A lot of the places in this book are made up. Some are definitely real. The author has been to many of them. The basements are just like you’d think they are. The houses are crazy, though. And the state of Indiana is certainly a fictional construct. You can get there by clicking your ruby slippers together three times as you walk through the looking glass in the wardrobe and repeat, “Home is right where I left it.” When you open your eyes and find yourself looking at the most beautiful blue sky you’ve ever seen in your life and reliving the fondest memory you ever had of being a kid, you’re there. I’ll meet you at Henery’s, that place with the amazing Coney Island hot dogs and the beautiful waitress. I know it looks like they tore Henery’s down and put up a tire store, but if you drive around the corner and come back around the block one more time, the old Henery’s will still be there. It has to be.
Henery’s, like heaven, is a place on Earth. You dream-maker, you heartbreaker—wherever you’re going, I’m going your way. We’re after the same rainbow’s end; it’s waiting ‘round the bend.
That’s the signpost up ahead. Your next stop: nowhere fast.