Music Behind The Story with Lawrence Parlier and NEWS!
Welcome to the Rock 'n' Romance Blog. I'll be your hostess with the mostest today as we check out one of my good pals' new books AND I share some BIG BOOK NEWS! August is gonna rock, y'all.
I'm thrilled to be bringing you a fantastic author and all-around cool guy today for Music Behind The Story. I've been WAITING for this book ever since I read Lawrence's Sierra Court Blues. Rock 'n' rollers, Lawrence's writing style will pull you in and keep you captivated. I cannot WAIT to read his latest book The Frontman. In a second, I'll turn you over to him, but a bit of housekeeping...
I recently joined this awesome group of authors and we'll be having a virtual reading TOMORROW NIGHT on Facebook. I'll be kicking the event off at 4PM PST/7PM EST and I'll be reading from my latest story "I Want, More" which was featured in Love Is All Volume 3. I'd love to have you join us! And now...
Music Behind The Story with Lawrence "Ace" Parlier!
When I set out to write The Frontman music was first and foremost on my mind. My main character, Kerry Vance, is a legendary singer at the height of his fame. As I fleshed him out I spent a lot of time thinking about all of the great frontmen along the storied history of rock-n-roll. What set them apart? What attributes did they have in common?
Being a great frontman is about a lot more than having a great voice. The best of the best are singular creatures. They command attention. They are the focal point of whatever room they find themselves. They control the stage.
A great frontman can transform a crowd of rowdy individuals into a unified force. They have the unique ability to create a feedback loop of energy between audience and band capable of driving their band to powerful, captivating, performances while compelling the crowd into a state of total abandon, pulling them along to join him inside the soul of a song and forget any thought of the outside world.
A truly great frontman is an instigator of catharsis.
The first frontman that drove this point home for me is Jim Morrison. Morrison was a brilliant madman, the electric shaman, the lizard king. I wanted a touch of that spark, that eccentric brilliance for Kerry. Listening to The Doors set the tone for the early parts of the novel. Their music evokes the hypnotic, otherworldly strains of a world not quite right anymore. “End of the Night” is the perfect example of this.
My next go to, and one of my all-time favorite bands, is The Rolling Stones. To me they are the epitome of rock-n-roll, the original bad boys, decadent and rebellious. Their 50 plus year career is a statement of their talent and creativity. Mick Jagger is still a powerhouse. He doesn’t have a flawless singing voice but he has the perfect voice for his band. He sings with a confidence and attitude that few others match. He has stayed true to himself and can work a crowd like nobody’s business. He is the consummate professional.
I put on the Stones for pure rock-n-roll energy. When I want to pace a wild scene they are my go-to for capturing that raucous edge. There are a lot of heavier bands now. There are tons of bands that are faster or more technically proficient. But there is still no band out there capable of capturing true raw grit. “Gimme Shelter” still delivers 50 years on.
Next is my favorite singer on the list, Ronnie James Dio. I listened to Dio a lot while working on the book. I listen to Dio a lot in general. His storied career, from The Pharaohs, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath to his solo career is a testament to his creativity, his drive, and his vision. A fair piece of my image of Kerry was derived from Dio. His prolific songwriting and incredible voice were anchors for me as Kerry became flesh and bone in my mind.
It’s easy to crank up Dio and let his decades-spanning career help the hours fly by.
My favorite Dio song comes from his time with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow. It’s not a well-known track but it demonstrates his quintessence nicely, “Lady of the Lake.”
Another favorite of mine for extreme metal goodness is Mark Osegueda from Death Angel.
He is a dynamo on stage. His energy is infectious and he is another excellent frontman capable of holding a crowd in the palm of his hand. I’ve been a big fan since high school and have seen them several times. They were essential listening for me as I started my own fledgling music career. Death Angel is in heavy rotation on my playlist.
My favorite track is “Stagnant” from their album, Act IV. It came out the year I graduated high school and the night of that concert is a beautiful memory that can never be erased from my mind.
And last but certainly not least is the incomparable Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy is a living legend and metal’s elder statesman. There is no one better at getting a crowd on its feet and rapt with a show. His verve and wicked sense of humor was a great influence on my concept of Kerry. He has created a legacy that will last for generations.
His two albums with Randy Roads, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman are seminal albums. Their structure and guitar work are the holy-grail for guitarists of my generation. They have been deconstructed and studied as writ. They have both stood the test of time and you’d be hard-pressed to go into any bar anywhere in America and not hear a local band doing a cover of “Crazy Train”.
But one of my favorite tracks on Diary of a Madman is “Tonight.” It has an undeniable atmosphere and some of the very best guitar work ever committed to a sound recording.
With the loss of so many legendary musicians these past few years I wanted The Frontman to be, in part, an homage to all of the musicians that are so much a part of our lives. Music is the common denominator in all our lives whatever the style or source. It is a way to celebrate our similarities. We could sure use a whole hell of a lot more of that right now.
I hope you’ll give it a look. Thank you!
Lawrence Parlier is an author/poet/musician from Cincinnati, Ohio. His poetry and prose have appeared in Murmurations Magazine, The Writer’s Bone, Heartbeat; A Literary Journal, and The Best of Ohio Short Stories Volume II.
His debut novel, Sierra Court Blues, was released in 2013. His latest novel, The Frontman, was released in July 2020.
When not working on his writing he can be found on stage playing lead guitar for the heavy metal band, Chaos Ritual, or in the studio recording songs for his new solo project, Dark Star Cult.
You can find Lawrence on Facebook or on his website. If you want to check out his band, you can find them here.
YES! When Lawrence and I met years ago, we immediately bonded over music and our shared love of telling music-infused tales. Someday I'll get to hear Chaos Ritual in the flesh, but until then, I'll dive into The Frontman.
Speaking of frontmen, I have lots of book news!
Hurricane Reese and Typhoon Toby will be re-released on August 1 with new covers! They are SO CUTE YOU GUYS! I worked with KaNaXa again, she did the original ones, but we took a totally different direction. THEN on August 10th, I'll be revealing the new cover for Summer of Hush and re-releasing it into the wild. THEN on August 17th...Brains and Brawn will get its cover debut! I worked with Cate Ashwood on this series and I am so in love with the results!
Book Two of Summer of Hush follows drummer Brains after the terrible accident that left him out-of-commission, and out of sorts. If you've read Summer of Hush, you may remember the super hot, Captain-America-looking Navy corpsman who came to Brains's aId...Brains and Brawn is their story and it will be LIVE on August 24th! Be sure to follow me. on BookBub or subscribe to the newsletter-y thingie so you get the details as soon as they're available! I'll have plenty more news soon, so until then STAY TUNED FOR MORE ROCK 'N' ROMANCE...