Stephen King And The Simpsons' Matt Groening Were In A Rock Band
We asked readers what story might be improved by Stephen King taking over writing duties. Gary S. and Katie B. said Harry Potter (King said Rowling's imagination "should be insured by Lloyd’s of London or perhaps the Incubus Insurance Company for the 2 or 3 billion dollars it will ultimately be worth over the span of her creative lifetime"). Melinda S. said Bridgerton. Bob D. said Atlas Shrugged—it wouldn't be the first time King wrote about a post-apocalyptic community rebuilding technology out of the Colorado Rockies.
"A Song of Ice and Fire," said Jared B. "At least he would finish the damn thing." Though, we wrote a bit earlier in the week about what happens when an author finishes his fantasy series like King did. Bill Ess said, "Encanto. It is still a musical." Pete W. suggested The Monster at the End of this Book, starring Sesame Street's Grover, a book with a truly terrifying twist ending worthy of King.
Sicky W. said The Joy Luck Club, with no elaboration. We have to assume that this is a reference to the real-life relationship between King and Joy Luck author Amy Tan. The two were in a rock band together for around 20 years. Other members of the band included Dave Barry and Matt Groening, while guest performers included Bruce Springsteen, Douglas Adams, and Richard Belzer.
Okay, this wasn’t exactly a serious rock band. But The Rock Bottom Remainders (named after remainders, which are discounted unsold books) performed for years and raised millions of dollars for charity, including libraries and education groups since most of the members were authors. The band recorded one album, called Stranger Than Fiction, mostly joke songs and covers. Maya Angelou did a cover of "Right, Said Fred," an old song about moving furniture (the duo behind "I'm Too Sexy" named themselves after this song). Stephen King and Warren Zevon sang "Stand By Me"—the movie Stand By Me was based on a story by King.
Generally, the band did not rise to the level of "good." Dave Barry said, "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels." Springsteen said they could "just be another lousy garage band" ... if they got better.
They also didn't exactly look like rock stars. Amy Tan put on a dominatrix costume for her songs like "Leader of the Pack" and "These Boots Are Made for Walking," which ended with her taking out her whip and telling the guys to bend over. One time, their hotel mistook her for a sex worker off the street and tried to throw her out of the building.
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