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Rock and Roll All Night Dreams

Like most Gen-X’ers, our cable box rarely strayed far from MTV. For my brother and I, that was especially true whenever Metal Mania or Headbangers Ball was on. Ever since we unofficially joined the KISS Army when they released Alive II we have always been fans of hard rock. So much so that we consolidated our obscure knowledge about the genre and wrote our impending (any day now, I’m sure) Pulitzer Prize winning first book, THE BIGGEST BIG HAIR BOOK of METAL TRIVIA: 1001 HEAD BANGING QUESTIONS. Despite having corporate jobs and collectively having nine kids, we still try to Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day. Realistically, it’s more like Homer Simpson’s observation, “I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day... now I'm lucky to find half an hour a week in which to get funky.”

When asked how long it took to write the book, our typical answer is, “years.” That’s not an exaggeration. Originally we were going to write a trivia book featuring all music from the ‘80s but then decided to focus on the genre we knew best. As the adage goes, “write what you know.” So we did. We started focusing our trivia question on hard rock and heavy metal bands that were popular in the glory days of the 1980’s. This was at least 15 years ago. Over time our spreadsheet of questions morphed into a book with focused chapters, short chapter intros and a thorough introduction. Due to its niche market, we explored both traditional publishing and self-publishing. Then we met Melissa Carrigee.

Melissa is the Head Honcho, Big Cheese, CEO and all around main guru behind the publishing companies Brother Mockingbird and Small Town Girl Publishing. One day, Melissa responded to a Facebook post by Martha Quinn, yes, that Martha Quinn, about podcasts. In her reply she mentioned that she was starting a new ‘80s-focused imprint. I saw the post, contacted Melissa and submitted our manuscript. One year and countless revisions later, we had a published book.

The dream of having a published book finally came to fruition. And dreams, of course, is not only an excellent tune by Van Halen, but it’s what keeps life interesting. Big dreams or small dreams, it doesn’t matter, but you’ve got to always be shooting for something better than waiting to cash in your 401K. Of course, once your dream comes true you don’t stop dreaming. You expand your dream or dream of other things. My brother and I now dream of publishing additional books, including a follow-up to our current book as well as other non-fiction and also some fiction books. We also have dreams of maybe doing a podcast or a video blog, or both!

That’s the great things with dreams, you never have to limit yourself – and you shouldn’t! Sure my dream of dating Phoebe Cates back in high school never came true but my dream to meet some of my favorite musicians certainly has. I’ve met members of Night Ranger, Tesla, Y&T, Dokken, Dio, Great White, Ratt and many others. We even snapped a picture of TNT’s singer, Tony Harnell, posing with our book!

Sometimes dreams even lead to unexpected surprises like having Poison’s Bret Michaels call your house to do an interview or being asked to appear on one of the longest running podcasts to talk about your new book. It was definitely a unique experience being interviewed for the Stuck in the ‘80s podcast, which itself has featured other interviews by Loverboy’s Mike Reno, Brian Johnson from AC/DC, Heart’s Nancy Wilson and the original MTV VJ’s among others. That’s some pretty good company!

The most important thing with dreams though is to never give up on them. If at first they don’t come true, just keep trying. We submitted our manuscript numerous times before finally finding Melissa. And each time, we went back, tweaked our book and made it even better until it finally got published. As the aforementioned wise sage Bret Michaels told us, “If you can write stuff, publishers are out there… every successful artist has 12 million failures until they get to their success.” Speaking of Bret Michaels, did you know that’s not his real name? It’s true. If you’d like to know what it is, you can find it on page 227 of our book. Keep dreaming!

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'If you die before you die, when you die, you will never die' -Jesus ● ● Cya soon, bro...

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