Blinking Toward Déjà Vu Again

Like, déjà vu all over again, man . . .Q: What do Stephen King and Dave Barry have in common?

A: They sometimes let Roger McGuinn play in their band.  

As we know, one of the great things about the Web is the ease with which you can jump from this to that, without even breaking a sweat. We call this linking. If the links happen to be within a blog, it could be called blog-linking, or blinking for short. That's what I call it anyway, because, like, who's going to stop me? Anyway, a post on Dave Barry's blog the other day initiated one of those blinking journeys, and in this case, déjà vu all over again.

Dave's blog tends to be more a compendium of links to offbeat stuff than actual Dave-writing, but in this particular post I spotted a name I recognized, and it wasn't Paris Hilton.  


September 02, 2006
Here's a nice account by Camilla McGuinn, writing on Roger's blog.
Posted by Dave on September 2, 2006 at 08:58 AM | Permalink

Actually, I hadn't been wondering about it, but only because of ignorance on my part. Then, having been properly alerted, I began to wonder in earnest. I had run across Roger McGuinn—I mean in a virtual sense, on the Internet—during the early years, circa 1998. We both happened to be interested in a new wireless implementation at that time, which led us to a Usenet group that had to do with that implementation. I remember thinking how cool it was that the Byrds' founder would be a member of this discussion group. For some reason, he wasn't the first person I would have expected to encounter on the Net, least of all in a non-music forum. In reality, he had already been active in other forums long before that—e.g. in 1995—and although I wouldn't sign an affidavit to the effect, there are indications of CompuServe involvement that predate even the Usenet sightings.

Not that this has anything to do with the Rock Bottom Remainders or helping kids get in touch with their inner writing-selves; it's just that the warm déjà vu of seeing Roger McGuinn's name pop up on a forerunner of today's blogs, in the late nineties, has now been rekindled via Dave Barry's blog in late 2006. It's interesting how things come around, and more interesting still, where they make contact.

The sun was shining and the cars were speeding as we traveled south on interstate 5 to join the Rock Bottom Remainders in Los Angeles for a fund raiser concert to benefit 826LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students explore their creative writing skills.

The "Rock Bottom Remainders" probably are some of the most affluent band members in the world; of course that's not too hard to do since the majority of musicians live hand to mouth. Their prosperity isn't because of the group's guitar techniques, platinum discs, or wonderful voices; it's their talent for making the public hunger for words that transport their readers to a different dimension, intrigue them with a mystery, give insights into a cultural life style or make a person laugh out loud. These folks are writers.
Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Amy Tan, Greg Iles, Scott Turow and Kathy Goldmark make up the core of the band with Stephen King joining in whenever his schedule allows. Every city stage where the band performs is graced with guest authors who, like all the others, had always wanted to be a rock 'n' roll star.

Mystery solved. Whether this is a musical band of writers or a writerly band of musicians, it's a novel concept (pun noted, and kicked to the curb) to me. But hey, if they're able to further the cause of creative writing—especially among our youth—it doesn't really matter how they go about it. In this case the end justifies the means, even if it does require handing Stephen King an axe.  


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