Rock & Roll Horror, ‘70's Style
Bruce Von Stiers
I'm one of those older rock fans. Some of my favorite songs in my early to late teens were Deep Purple's Smoke On the Water, Queen's We Will Rock You and Carry On Wayward Son by my hometown rockers, Kansas.
Another one of my favorite songs from that rock era is Do You Feel Like We Do from the Peter Frampton album, Frampton Comes Alive! I probably played that song a thousand times.
I bring up my song preferences to begin to let you know about a book I just finished reading. It is a book of short horror stories. Each of these stories have rock music as their foundation. The title of the book is Rock & Roll Nightmares: Do You Fear Like We Do: ‘70's Edition.
The book was edited by Staci Layne Wilson. She also provided several stories for it. There are eleven stories in the book, and it has two hundred-seventy pages. It is soft covered and published by Excessive Nuance.
Not only does each story have a rock music foundation, but the titles are also a riff on a song title. The first story is a prime example. It is Saturday Fright Fever. It is the first story written by Staci. Deshawn Roundtree and several other disco musical artists find themselves kidnapped and held in some kind of dungeon. Their captor has specific quests for them to conquer. If they succeed, they live. If not, then, you know. Disco is dead is the theme of the maniac's quest horrors. Not only is this an excellent horror story, but there is also a mysterious twist that you may or may not see coming.
Love Dies Bleeding is the second story. A young rocker has caught the attention of Alice Cooper. He wants her to be on tour with him. Her manager wants that, but first Amber Wake will need a band to back her up and have to write some songs for them to play. Amber's manager sends her to a remote cabin to work on her music. But things don't end up the way you might think they would. The author for this story is Dr Oolong Seemingly, who also writes stories about robot. This story kind of made me think of Stephen King.
Hotel Kill-em-for-ya is another story from Staci. It's a three-page advertisement for a service to get rid of somebody. Pretty cool. Speaking of pretty cool, Staci is the author of several books relating to rock artists and is a horror filmmaker. She is also the force behind the sci fi comedy film The Second Age of Aquarius.
Long Ghoul Woman In A Black Dress is from author, actor, producer Curt Lambert. A Doctor Johnny Fever type of late-night radio disc jockey has a very unexpected visitor. It's a ghost tale with a tad bit extra.
While My Guitar Gently Reaps is a great tale that has a possessed guitar and a upstart rock star. It is a very interesting story written by Staci.
(She's a) Killer, Dean is definitely a twisted little tale. Dean is the lead singer for Lunar Lander. He spies this chick and wants to get with her. But other guys in the band may have the same idea. Lust, anger and potential stardom all featured, any of which could prove fatal. The story is from Graydon Schlichter, who had previously worked with Staci on another book of stories, City of Devils.
Not too long ago, I reviewed a great horror novella, The New Girls Patient, from Ruthann Jagge. She has a deliciously strange tale for this collection titled Tiny Danger (Demon Seamstress for the Band). Bette designs and sews clothes. She connects with a rock band and that has some very interesting consequences.
We Will Stalk You features beautiful water creatures and a rock star trying to kick a drug habit. Staci wrote this one, which has an ending that was pretty drastic.
I kept trying to figure out the angle in Comfortably Dumb. This is a tale of a merch girl at a rock concert and what happens during an encore. It is a cool, yet disturbing tale from LeeAnne Rowe, who had actually been a merch girl at some point in her past.
The last story from Staci in this collection is Do Ya Think I'm Stabby? Darla answers a personal ad in Creem magazine. A middle-aged drummer is looking for someone to be with. Can Darla be that someone? Darla has a thing for musicians that is very unhealthy and deadly. Things turn out as planned, but in a different way. The story ends with a twist you might not see coming.
The final story in this collection is Sharing The Fright Together. It takes a page from the legend of bluesman Robert Johnson. Becoming a famous rock star may have too high of a price tag in the end. This is a great story and a great way to end the collection. It was written by Joel David Amos, who, aside from writing all different types of material, has played keyboards in several bands and has been a DJ for a number of years.
I really enjoyed this book. And not just because rock music formed the foundation for the stories. The stories themselves were well written and had just the right number of twists to make them stand out as great horror tales.
Rock & Roll Nightmares: Do You Fear Like We Do: ‘70's Edition is available at amazon and other book retailers. You can also order it directly from Staci's website. That web site can be found at https://www.stacilaynewilson.com/
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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers