Commentary 16: Christine Sixteen

We fast forward almost a year to see some of what played out between the Dad, the music, and the mother of Nelson. The butterfly effect has had its way with a few things, and the secrets of LBDG are finally revealed…or are they?

Other tidbits:

  • This chapter originally began with the death of Jim Morrison, but when I decided to give prominence to more members of the 27 club it switched to Hendrix since he died first. The deleted version with the Jim Morrison opening (including a connection to another famous Jim Morrison…) is hidden in a somewhat complicated and geeky easter egg on the narrator’s blog.
  • It’s true that Don McLean was the inspiration for the song “Killing Me Softly.” The song started out as a poem by Lori Lieberman entitled “Killing Me Softly With His Blues” about Don playing “Empty Chairs” live at the Troubadour in LA.
  • “Renaming” the songs for the Local Boy album was harder than I anticipated for some reason, probably because it’s tough to mess with perfection.
  • More LBDG song origins: The Anthrax tune was a turning point. Originally it was an in-joke aimed at my friend Joel, but one day it clicked in my head that “Only” would make for an absolutely beautiful acoustic ballad. To the best of my knowledge nobody has covered it (and I’ve searched high and low), but if someone ever does they’ll have a real winner on their hands.
  • When Jim Morrison’s death led off this chapter, the Local Boy concert was an outdoor festival show. Moving it to Hendrix changed the month from July to September, necessitating the creation of the Barnstormer club.
  • Although my cousin Adam says he “really likes the dirty part,” I think it proves that there isn’t a career writing erotica in my future.
  • The line about the pianist saving himself for marriage will pay off later in the future Local Boy recap.
  • In an early draft Nelson’s Mom and the father did have a past romantic history, but it felt too coincidental as well as unnecessary backstory. Instead the possibility is just hinted at here, but whether or not it is in fact “true” can go either way.
  • I had an extremely late thought to actually have Local Boy join the 27 club. But this would require having the narrator go back and save his Dad to ensure his own future, and without drastically adjusting character ages and plotlines the paradoxical implications were just too far fetched and complicated.
  • The closing ponderings as to whether this had happened before are close but ultimately incorrect. The real explanation is a subtle form of dual-memory syndrome, causing the characters to have an underlying awareness of everything without actually ever “living” it.
  • There are 39 known musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Sixteen Online

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