I’m Gonna Become A Rocker (So I Can Finally Publish A Book)

Meet me at Barnes & Noble next Thursday for an autograph opportunity. Photo Courtesy: Henti Smith
Meet me at Barnes & Noble next Thursday for an autograph opportunity. Photo Courtesy: Henti Smith

By Peter Gerstenzang

In the past year, I’ve had a book proposal turned down by everyone from Random House to the publishers of Jack and Jill Magazine. As you might imagine, this has made me want to exact a really ugly form of revenge. Like holding these people hostage and forcing them to read all of Proust. Or making them eat snack cakes made by Little Debbie. I just can’t decide which would be punishing them worse. However, I’ve recently come up with an entirely new approach. Since everybody in the history of rock and roll has now put out a book, I’m going to follow their strategy. I think I can get a book deal if I do exactly what these rockers did. Okay, the Gary Glitter stuff is off the table. But everything else.

I realize I’ll have to do some things over again. To start with, I’ll need to have an unhappy childhood. I know this might be hard to do at my age. But If I show up at my nasty neighbor’s door wearing short pants, holding an All-Day Sucker and ask to be adopted, it might work. I could have that bad childhood. Not to mention the arrest and jail time that also make these books so popular.

Then there’s the music. I will hire three talented but deeply-troubled people to back me up. Each of whom I’ll write about pithily someday. The talented bass player with heart trouble, who alternates between taking Beta-Blockers and doing coke. The sex-addicted drummer whose final words before they take him away will be, “She told me she was 18!” And a second guitarist, who, by feeding years of data through his computer, has found the coolest possible way to lean onstage. Even though he can only play a C chord. And his niece has to sub for him behind a curtain.

As for me? I’ve never quite understood the difference between a DWI and a DUI. So I’ll get one of each. Do several stints in rehab. Get kicked out for trying to smuggle in a phone. Not a cell phone, but a landline. I’ll find Jesus. Then misplace him. Direct an indie movie, but be fired for intentionally trying to film outtakes. I’ll even record some albums which will be downloaded like crazy. But see my career completely fall apart when I do a whole record of songs written by Murry Wilson.

I’ll be blackballed by the entire industry. And take time off. Which I will describe as a “hiatus.” But everyone will know I’m lying, because it’ll be clear I think it’s some kind of hernia. Finally, forgotten for years, I’ll then have the sort of story that most musicians are writing and selling. Hear that, Bob Mould, Juliana Hatfield, Dean Wareham? Make room on the shelves. I’m every bit as screwed up and obscure as you are. I plan to use this. And get exactly what I think I deserve.