Rock N Roll Tales of Strangeness and Horror
Bruce Von Stiers
Staci Layne Wilson is an actor, producer, director and screenwriter among other talents. She has done extensive work in the horror genre in film. Staci has also written a few books, some of which dealt with the deaths of rock stars.
In the vein of rock star deaths, Staci has collaborated with Darren Gordon Smith for a volume of short stories that deal with rock & roll and death. The title of this book is Sex Death Rock N Roll. The book was published by Excessive Nuance. It contains five stories and has one hundred fifty-two pages.
A little bit about Darren, gleaned from his bio at the end of the book. He is a filmmaker, an artist, a writer, duh, and a composer. He supposedly plays a mean keytar. Think Gary Wright's Dreamweaver. Oh, and apparently his is also an attorney. But don't hold that against him.
The first story in the book was co-written by Staci and Darren. It is titled Fandom/ Phantom. I was familiar with the story. Staci recently released the feature film, The Second Age of Aquarius. I reviewed the film. Apparently, the film was based on this story.
Alberta is a computer programmer who is working on building avatars. She is also a huge fan of late 60's, early ‘70's, rock icon Russell Aquarius. It seems he died in a freak accident, becoming a member of the infamous 27 Club. Through a fantastical glitch, the avatar that Alberta made of Russell Aquarius comes to life. The rest of the story is a comical mash of narcissistic rock star attitude and modern womanhood. Even though I knew the story, it was really cool to see it written out. And there were some subtle changes from the printed page to the film version, so it was even better.
The second story was written by Staci. It has to do with the devil and a guitarist become a major star. The story is titled Little Rosie Vs. The Devil. It seems there is a guitar named Rosie. She is the star of the story. She was a Fender Telecaster, one of the best guitars ever made. Rosie has conversations with other guitars, such as one from Willie Nelson, a Clapton throw-together and even a Nighthawk used by Nancy Wilson. You kind of wonder where this is all going, when Rosie and the devil have a face to face. It all goes to hell from there. It was a very interesting story, with a lot of history of what kind of guitar that several top guitarists played.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of an intervention? Specifically, an alcohol addiction intervention? Darren wrote a bizarre and entertaining story centering around an intervention, appropriately titled Intervention.
The next story comes from Staci. It is called Depraved Indifference. Hawkeye is a young woman who works at a museum. But not an ordinary museum. This one has stolen artifacts, gleaned from thefts over several centuries. While this forms the foundation for the story, it is only a part of it. Hawkeye has a knack for getting people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. And she has a fascination with suicides. Putting those two plot elements together make for a story that is as disturbing as it is entertaining.
I think part of the allure of becoming a male rock star is all the groupies. Even aging rock stars like Mick Jagger have women fawning all over them. The final story in the book sort of addresses that subject. Written by Darren, it is called Fishing With Grandpa. Sierra is having her college roommate, Emily, with her on spring break. They are going Sierra's grandfather's estate. It seems that grandpa is a legendary rock star. He is also a horn dog. He has had several wives, and too many groupie conquests to even count. Sierra tells Emily a story about how her best friend growing up became one of her grandfather's conquests. Emily get introduced to Rhys Weedham, the rock star and Sierra's grandfather. The end of this tale is fairly predictable. But to me the ending has equal cool and ick factors.
If you like short stories that have a horror element and their foundation in rock n roll, then Sex Death Rock N Roll is a book well worth checking out.
Sex Death Rock N Roll is available at multiple online and traditional book retailers.
To find out more about this book, and other offerings by Staci Layne Wilson, visit her official web site at https://www.stacilaynewilson.com/
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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers