Thirty-third installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
Everyone who deals with any kind of art is subjected to some kind of influence of those who came before them. I’m not a specialist in painting so I can’t pinpoint exactly influences among great painters. But I’m a Rock journalist so I can safely tell you that Judas Priest is hugely influenced by Black Sabbath, Aerosmith is hugely influenced by the Stones and so on. And I know by reading in interviews that Woody Allen has influences of Fellini and H.P. Lovecraft of Edgar Allan Poe.
Those influences are not only influences they are also idols of the people they influenced. If you check my hall of idols list you’ll see that until now Anne Rice, Conan Doyle, James Thurber and Mark Twain as some of my literary idols. However, their writings never influenced me. What I write have nothing to do with what they write (or wrote).
This is not the case with Chuck Klosterman, whose writings had a huge impact on me and somehow permeated my stories, especially on Straight and Lethal, my first book.
Charles John Klosterman was born in Breckenridge (MN) June 5, 1972. He is the youngest of seven children and graduated in Journalism from the University of North Dakota in 1994.
He is the author of eight books and I’m gonna be honest and say that I only read two of those (shame on me!). But boy, what an impact they had on me.
The first one I read was Fargo Rock City. I’m pretty sure it was one of the very first editions because it didn’t have that brilliant cover with the cow painted as a Kiss member they added later. I remember being in a bookstore in New Orleans (that nowadays is closed by the way) and picking up the book because the title was interesting. First, it reminded me of a Kiss classic and then those two words didn’t seem to go well together: Fargo and Rock. Anyway, I picked up the book, started reading and just couldn’t put down anymore. I bought it and finish reading it in two days. It was cool, it was fun and resonated deeply with me as I’m sure it will with anyone who knows what is like to fall in love with Rock and Metal, especially 80’s Metal.
It took some years to buy another one, Killing Yourself to Live. And this time it was because not only was a Chuck Klosterman book, it had the title of an underrated Sabbath classic. And this time the impact was even greater. The way he intertwines his music and sports references with episodes of his personal life and relationships was instrumental in influencing how I built the stories on my book, Straight and Lethal.
Actually, I can safely say that Chuck Klosterman is my greatest influence, at least on this first book. If you ever read him and then me, you’ll notice.
As a final note, I must say that I should wake up and smell the coffee and read all other Chuck books I haven’t yet.
Thus, Mr. Klosterman, as you can see, you didn’t need to kill yourself to live in the Hall of Idols.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.
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