The Next Seattle can be purchased at Amazon.com in either paperback or Kindle versions, or downloaded for your iPad or iPhone from either iBooks.com or Smashwords.com.
In the days just before the rise of the internet, a music scene begins in the small Midwestern city of Terre Haute, Indiana. A local club owner has a fierce vision of the town becoming the next Seattle. But there is a long way to go to get from a haven for scruffy upstarts to international fame. Some of the obstacles: a big-time music journalist with motivational difficulties, the antics of the musicians and their fans, a politician looking to make a name and the club owner's own personal drive. Throughout it all, the music flows, but will that be enough?
June 17, 1997
I'm not French. I've never been to France or even to any French-speaking country. For that reason I really couldn't tell you whether it's true that the name Terre Haute is French for "high ground." That's just what some musician told me. At the time I was ordered to fly to Terre Haute to report on their supposed burgeoning music scene I was in such a God-awful pathetic state that I never got over to the Research Department to find out even the most basic details about the place to which I had been sentenced.
But if there's one thing I can tell you it's this: if Terre Haute does mean "high ground" then somebody screwed up. Durango, Colorado. That's high ground. Not this place. Not only that, but I haven't seen a single Frenchman the entire time I've been here.
I suppose that I could do my journalistic duty and actually do some research. But truth be told, I'm not really much of a journalist. Although I've managed to make a living writing for rock music publications since I was 25, it has really all been just one incredibly successful scam. I always liked music, I seem to be able to keep tons of music trivia in my head (do you know the date of The Doors' first gig? I do.) And I read enough music magazines when I was a kid to be able to mimic what a big-time rock journalist is supposed to sound like.
I could mimic the writing style, but to tell the truth I've never really understood the reason for that style, this pompous style in which music journalists are expected to write. Basically the goal is to come off sounding like an intellectual who happens to curse like a sailor. Scribble brainy sounding, but basically meaningless phrases such as "socio-cultural milieu," toss in a few instances of the F-word and you're set.
Well, screw that. I've been faking it that way for more than 20 years and I'm done.
I'm not sure that I even like music any more. I'm pushing 50. And the one glimmer of hope for something worthwhile in music put a shotgun to his head 3 years ago.
At any rate, supposedly there was a burgeoning music scene in Terre Haute, Indiana and supposedly that was why I came here. It should be noted that I did not volunteer for this assignment nor did I want it. It was punishment for a stupid thing that happened with a stupid, spoiled brat at the White House.
Though in my own defense, on the long plane ride out I had convinced myself to try to approach this assignment, as pointless as it was, the way that I had approached assignments when I actually used to give a shit. I was really going to try. But you need to know that through no fault of Terre Haute's I was disliking the place even before I knew where it was on a map.
God, I need a cigarette.