I wrapped up reading Daisy Jones & The Six the other night.
It was one of those stories where it was more or less exactly what you were expecting. A Behind The Music on the page. A series of talking-head interviews spelling out the storied past of a Fleetwood Mac -type band, except Stevie Nicks is more like Courtney Love.
The band had a meteoric rise, a spectacular crash, and they all just went their separate ways.
We tend to forget - these are just people and rock and roll is always a fantasy, a fiction. Every band sells a story - your salvation is hidden somewhere in their album, at their shows, in their tour t-shirt.
It’s not, it never is, but for three or four minutes at a time (two if your punk, six if your not) you think maybe you’re gonna be ok.
Like many writers, I saw Almost Famous at the exact wrong moment.
Who wouldn’t want the job of going on tour and profiling a band and writing the next month’s feature? Afterward, you would always be friends and friends always get backstage. Rolling Stone couldn’t pay all of us.
Hell, I doubt they paid any of us.
Also, backstage isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. There’s a lot of stuff to trip over, and you can’t hear anything, and once they are done performing the last person most musicians want to talk to is you. Usually, they need to pee.
But the story, the fiction, is nice for a moment.
No one writes much of anything in a bathtub. Features that span pages and captures a reader’s attention aren’t written on accident, and there are years of fuckups and failed assignments to learn from. The fables tell otherwise, but it is damn near impossible to write anything worth reading when you’re wrapped up in a hangover most of the time.