HH Com 504

I have a raucous, outrageous non-fiction account of the birthplace of Americana music. It was the last gasp of the 60’s, as two hippie anarchists sold a radio station in St. Louis in 1975 and bought an unknown station in Gilroy, CA, just south of San Francisco. They hired a brilliant but crazy man to bring in his experimental format, “Progressive Country.” The music was amazing, but everyone left after a few months when the checks kept bouncing, so the owners had to hire a new staff who would work for cheap, and they got some drug dealers, a prostitute, and assorted inexperienced but passionate misfits, rejects and ne’er-do-wells to staff the new format, making rabid, dedicated listeners around the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Soledad Prison, and the Hells Angels, who stopped in regularly. Also listening and stopping in are the: FBI, FCC, Ku Klux Klan, CIA and a wild assortment of artists and listeners. Discipline was ill-defined, and there was much drinking, drugging and sexual promiscuity. The DJs are all colorful, but most are ultimately tragic, and compelling in their triumphs, tragedies, joy, and despair. Station memorabilia still sells online, and Fatheads still seek out Fat music, which is now called Americana, but it started at what became known as “the Legendary KFAT.” And my God, the stories…

I did the talk show for KFAT. I know the stories and the players, I’ve done the interviews, and obtained the releases. The truth was far too wild to be fiction.

You're going to need some specifics and a narative arc--a story that contains all the anecdotes. It will help if you have a twist to the story too.

An absolutely brilliant book that I'd give a flask of gin to have sold is The Record Men by Rich Cohen. Get it, read it, emulate it.


Anonymous said...

Yeahbut, can you write?

Inkwolf said...

Sounds potentially like a really interesting book.

My advice, though--way too many melodramatic and hyperbolic adjectives in your hook. Raucous, outrageous, brilliant, crazy, amazing, passionate, rabid, wild, colorful, tragic, etc. Makes me a little nervous. If you have to tell me how amazingly exciting it is, is it really?

(Also, maybe not QUITE 'the birth of American music' because what were people listening to before the 60's?)

Anonymous said...

Silly author! Country can't be progressive.

author said...

For anonymous(1): Not to worry.

For inkwolf: Americana, not American, music. A KFAT listener went to"the Gavin Report" magazine to complain that "Fat" music was being ignored by the music industry, so the editor told him to create and maintain the chart, and he invented the term "Americana," which was where it first appeared. Ergo, the term and the chart are a KFAT legacy.

I understand your being nervous with the hyperbole, but with repeated FBI and FCC investigations, KKK and CIA interference, and regular Hells Angels visits, plus constant drinking, drugging, sex and crazy people, I didn't know how to tone it down, or if I should.

Your point about the hyperbole is well taken, and it would make me nervous, too. Thanks to all for your comments, incl/esp M.S.