"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of "The Collector" series, The Killing Kind, and Red Right Hand.

"A refreshingly new voice in noir." --Ed Kurtz, author of Nothing You Can Do and The Rib From Which I Remake the World.

"A glorious boilermaker of noir and East Coast gothic. The action is taut as a sprung snare and Bagley tightens the screws with every page." -- Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase and Blood Standard.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


You don’t think you’re getting old until something comes along to smack you upside the head with a fistful of reality. Say you’re in the grocery store, bobbing your head to the muzak while comparing prices on low-fat granola. Some small part of you is into the music, though you can’t say why, but the rest of your brain goes about its business.

Later on, maybe as you’re picking up the kids from soccer practice, you realize the tune was “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

Played with violins and flutes.

Maybe a bit of hammered dulcimer in there to really bring it on home.

And you sit there gripping the steering wheel, thinking, Jesus H. Christ, how did that happen?
You know you’re about to begin that downhill slide when songs your parents and teachers considered dangerous become acceptable as shopping music…or for a middle school chorus.


My oldest daughter started fifth grade this year. In our town, that means it’s her first year of junior high. We wanted her to take part in a school activity. She surprised us by signing up for chorus, Rowan being normally too shy to sing anywhere but her bedroom with the door locked and the stereo turned up loud. But she attended her first practice the other day and came home excited. The chorus is going to sing three songs for a Halloween concert.

What are the songs?

“Iron Man” by Black Sabbath.

“Godzilla” by Blue Ӧyster Cult.

“Dream On” by Aerosmith.

Okay, I don’t get the Aerosmith song’s inclusion, either. It’s not exactly spooky material. But if you had told me twenty years ago that my kid would someday belt out I! Am! Iron Man! in a school production, I’d have you needed to stop chugging those two-liter wine coolers. So much for heavy metal’s rebelliousness. What’s next? David Lee Roth turning into a Las Vegas lounge singer? Slash in a car commercial? Oh, wait. Never mind.

Maybe my grandchildren will sing something by W.A.S.P. or Anthrax in grade-school music class.

If it’s too loud, you’re too old.


Dawn on MDI said...

Waht?! No "War Pigs"?! Heathens.

Dream on has got some creepy-ish sounding chords toward the end, but otherwise, I'm with you. Too weird.

Next thing you know Led Zepplin will be selling Cadillacs.

Dawn on MDI said...

Oh, just for giggles... who's the chorus director?

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I dunno. Some guy. He's the school's music teacher, but I've forgotten his name already.

Could be worse, I suppose. They could be singer Winger or Poison songs. Now THAT would be some scary shit.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

SingING Winger, I mean.