Tuesday, October 19, 2010

97 The Fifth Beatle Guest Post by Author Scott Nicholson + Kindle Giveaway

The Fifth Beatle
By Scott Nicholson

On the way to my international-bestselling writing career, I did a warm-up act as the most famous international rock star the world has never known.

Yep, I did the guitar thing.

I was a late bloomer, not picking up an instrument until my freshman year of college, when I hung around with a few people who played and suddenly realized that rock stars got chicks. Well, it wasn’t just rock stars, it was dudes with guitars. Any guitar would do. I signed up for a classical guitar class but dropped out after one session when the instructor gave me 20 pages of sheet music to memorize in a week, not realizing I couldn’t read music.

So I cashed in my financial-aid check and got an electric guitar, finding it much easier to get stoned, crank up the volume knob to “11,” and let distortion ripple throughout the universe. Plus you could put words to rock music.

My first band was “Bad Acid,” a dorm-room improv act that luckily never had a gig. I then dropped out of college and joined a “real” band, Direct Osmosis, playing bass and doing some vocals. Over the course of a few years, I learned rudimentary drums and keyboards, since I always had the band practices and gear at my house.

The Friars was the band that had the most success. I wrote a lot of songs, ranging from quirky, sardonic pop to quirky, sardonic rock. It’s the type of music I guess they call “college rock” now, and the thing that was the most fun about it--eclecticism--was also the thing standing in the way of building an audience. We played regional gigs for a few years but didn’t know how to take those next steps into getting recording contracts, groupies, eight nights of shows a week, and comparisons to the Beatles and REM.

I was never interested in learning cover songs, which probably didn’t help build a stable of bar gigs. Just making up songs is a lot more fun, though it’s often a tougher sale unless you dedicate every waking moment to pursuit of success.
In retrospect, it’s just as well, because I wouldn’t have liked that lifestyle as a long-term creative endeavor. I did like recording and probably wrote 500 songs, though I never made polished master recordings of everything. This was before the digital age was prominent and I usually just made sketches on four-track tape, though I have preserved a few mp3s of the songs, like my anti-Satanic song Circle of Flames. Electronic doodles.

I still pick around on guitar and write the odd acoustic tune here and there, but find my time and energy are best spent on writing. But I also still take a break from the keyboard once in a while and go downstairs and jam out something like “Heart Like Vaseline” or “River of Naked Need.”

As they say, don’t quit your day job.

The Red Church on sale for 99 cents, or get your signed paperback directly from the author for $8.95 at Haunted Computer. For every book of mine that hits the Top 100 during the tour, I will throw in an extra Kindle 3 giveaway. Tell your friends. Amaze your neighbors. Shock your therapist.

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow ,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm


  1. Ha!!!!! You do NOT know how much this warms the cockles of my wretched black heart! Hee hee hee!! That was spectacularly bad (I'm still listening to it as I write this--actually it's my second listen through. How do you download from that device any way?)!! Usually it is up to me to bring attention to your follies and flaws --- so this (your blatanly sharing this ON PURPOSE) has me positively giddy! Hee hee hee HEEEE!

    WOW! The very idea that you got others to play the song...and actually RECORDED it and SAVED it for posterity (or the posterior of humanity?) is mind numbingly AMAZING! I MUST have a copy. OMG! I love it---it is sooooo AWFUL! I don't think you fully understand!

    Lyric: "My life was a book
    I read the end, the message was backwards"

    That's sort of like ALL of your books, though. Isn't it??? I'm just kidding. Oh my GOD! I just can't stop laughing. And you totally sound like you were going for a late 60s groovy psychedelic sound... for which you would have only been about 20 years too late for. Were you sprinkling 'shrooms on your Fruitty Pebbles again?

    Scott: "As they say, don’t quit your day job."

    Hell, don't quit your night job or any side jobs you might have either! Hooo ho ho ho! Bravo, Daddy-O! That was a classuck! I really, really enjoyed it!!! REALLY! :) THANK YOU!

  2. Oh my stars! You almost sound as if you are in PAIN!!! Ha! I can't stop listening to it. Hee hee hee! If that didn't impress the lady goats, nothing will! (Hopefully one lucky goat got ahold of the sheet music...and ATE it!) It's so craptastically awful---and knowing you WROTE it and PERFORMED---makes it so incredibly special. I just love it!!!

    Wow---that is just so BAD!

    THANK YOU!!!! I soooo love it!

  3. Okay---it's a few HOURS later. I can't sleep...and can't get that car wreck of a song (is that the word for what it is? A "song?") out of my head---yet I can NOT get the player to play it for me again. ARGH!!! HOW do I download the puppy? Ha! Thanks again!

  4. Ha, except for Monster A Go-Go, you guys are probably still asleep. Here in Europe, I'm 6 hours ahead of you East Coasters and 9 hours ahead of the Pacific Coasters. So I get to write the early comments on the blog posts, but of course the darn Monster had to beat me to it!
    I'm having a great time listening to Scott's songs. They throw me right back to the sixties and seventies. I think they're pretty cool but since I'm into books and reading and writing, I'm glad you changed your career!
    By the way, thanks to the owner of the blog for putting your post up so early and not at the end of the day, as some of them have done.

  5. Ahhh yes, college rock. I too have done some time in the obscure world of the high school/college band. I tried to learn to play guitar, but not hard enough to actually learn. I did the vocals in my ill-fated band. Good times, great memories, terrible music. I really enjoyed this post! And if you feel like sending me that Kindle for my birthday (which is today) just go right ahead. It's top of my birthday wish list. :)

  6. I've got my lighter out and I'm slowly waving it back and forth.


  7. Thanks for the chance to win!

    kt1969 at comcast dot net

  8. I think everyone eventually finds their true calling, but you have to try quite a few things before you actually find it.

    A Kindle is definitely on my Christmas List!

  9. Amazing how many horror writers play guitar. But I love a man who plays! :)

    Rock on!

    inannajourney at gmail.com

  10. It's fun to try on a a career, but even better when you find a true calling, which it seems you have.

  11. Scott - you have the best sense of humor - I've enjoyed reading a lot of your posts and this is the first I have gotten to before the cut off. Yay for me!

    Please stick with writing because your books are great :)

  12. Entered!


  13. This is awesome! LOL.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    Don't forget to check out my giveaway.


    Ashley's Bookshelf

    P.S. I sell complete blog layouts made by me thru blogger template. If you would be interested in one please email for the prices and I would be extremely thrilled to assist you!

  14. You have hidden depths, Scott, and the fact you can keep surprising us after a month, is pretty incredible.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  15. Scott, way to go! And count me in for the Kindle.

  16. Count me in too!


  17. Scott - ". . .unless you dedicate every waking moment to pursuit of success."

    Ahhh. . . what's the difference between playing guitar and being a writer? :-)

    I find the more artistic the career the harder you have to work to become succesful.


  18. This is great! Enjoying listening to the songs!
    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  19. I'm sorry - I couldn't listen to more that the first few bars!! I was never into acid rock. I found, and married, the classical guitarist.

    dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

  20. Yeah, I guess some cover songs might have helped!

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  21. new and inventive ways to scare us Scott. awesome reg

  22. Thanks for the chance to win.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  23. Like flies to a dung pile, I just can't stay away from that o' so awful song! I JUST LOVE IT in ways that are so wrong! Ha!

  24. I tried taking up guitar back in college. Bought my guitar from a friend of a friend for the cost of a case of beer--he got the better end of the deal, turns out.


  25. I've never read any of your books and only just heard of you via some Kindle discussion. I'm a new Kindle owner. I wonder which of your books I should try first? I don't mind scary and paranormal, but I'm not a big fan of blood and violence. Any suggestions?

  26. writing, music, acting...that makes you a Renaissance man .

  27. That's very cool that you used to play music Scott. You wrote around 500 songs? Wow. You should look at getting some of those songs recorded if for nothing else then just some fun. :)

    calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

  28. Following along on the tour.

    Please enter me.

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  29. As a writer- did you come up with those band names???? Won't hold it against you!


  30. Sharon S. said...
    writing, music, acting...that makes you a Renaissance man.

    Precisely what I was thinking to write. Sharon saved me from having to look up how to spell "Renaissance." Thank you Sharon.

    Happy Birthday Lizz! Today is my daughter's birthday, too.

    Scott, you are saving the tips of your fingers, think of it that way. I had some really nasty fingers because I liked Seals and Crofts and got a mandolin when in college. Hurts too bad now to try to play the country/folk that I now include in my musical likes.

    Though I personally don't get the music and lyrics in your song, I know people that would try to get it on their playlist somewhere. John Legend and Griffin House went to the high school that my school fed into and long before that Lionel Hampton came from my little burgh. My daughter has very good friends who are not only into photography and art (and very good!), but they also make music and produce it for the internet. They have quite a following in Germany but only play occasionally locally. (Can you put two adverbs in succession like that?)

    As Inanna said, "Rock on!" and I would add the locally accepted tag... Wit yo bad self!

    Jeff White whitejw@ameritech.net

  31. Please enter me.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  32. I gave my guitar away a long time ago but on quite nights I think about it. I still have a calus on my thumb but the calluses on my finger tips have disappeared over time.


  33. I enjoy your sense of humor!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  34. My contact info:


  35. Bev, I'd recommend starting with The Red Church. Scott's not really a "blood and gore" horror writer. His style is more psychological and suspense. Plus, The Red Church is only $0.99. :)


  36. I tried the whole "I'm cool, I'm in a band thing" and I wasn't any good and I never got better, so I pawned the guitar and took a vacation :) When that was all over I became a teacher...hmm... maybe I should buy a new one and give it a go again!


  37. I've tried to learn the guitar a few times but haven't had the time or patience. I think you need to be really smart to successfully play. Therefore, you must be super smart. Of course, that also makes Slash and Flea super smart.


  38. Fantastic giveaway! Thanks Scott!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  39. music --- will you write a song for one of your books?
    bmcbroom @ gmail.com

  40. Love IT!


  41. This is so funny thanks Scott

  42. I love to play my guitar and I am trying to learn the dulcimer.

    Emily ebdye1(at)gmail(dot)com

  43. I was actually a music ed major in college, so I can't really relate myself, but my sons have a band that practiced at our house all summer - a screamo band.

    I know there's a disconnect between generations when it comes to music, but this stuff is truly awful. However, they're actually successful, with their second paying gig coming up Oct 29th. I don't know why, maybe kids these days are deaf (which actually will be true if they keep listening to this stuff! The band has to wear earplugs when they practice). Here's the link if you're interested:

    That said, I think the thriving indie music scene is great, anyone can write, record, and distribute their music without a producer. It's much better to create your own music than to just passively listen to others. The kids bought some recording software for $100, set up an improvised studio in the basement (with mattresses for walls), recorded their tracks, mixed it, burned CDs, and created their MySpace page.


  44. I gave up trying to learn how to play guitar when the strings started to hurt my fingers (about one hour) but my air guitar is flawless.

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

  45. when i was in college, the first song everyone learned was the house of the rising sun. it pursuaded me NOT to learn to play and burned me so far out of that song that i still can't stand it today.

  46. Another fun blog! Thinking you should charge Monster for each time he plays your song. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

  47. Neal, thanks so much for the recommendation! Just purchased The Red Church from Amazon.

  48. Question on the Kindle DX contest... Do I have to put contact information actually IN the post, or is the link connected to my name sufficient?

    Just in case, contact info is Write2Bev@gmail.com

  49. Enjoying the tour!

  50. Still having fun. Can't wait to win.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  51. I was going to listen to Circle of Flames but Monster A Go-Go scared me out of it. LOL.

  52. Have you used any of your stories as inspiration for your songs? Or any of your songs as inspiration for your stories?


  53. Enjoyed this post as I have with the others.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  54. Ah...the rock star phase. Another interesting step in the blog tour.

    jamesemr (at) gmail (dot) com

  55. this is pretty interesting,

    sry I don't really know what else to comment on, since almost everything is already talked about by others,

    good job anyway,



  56. I am constantly amazed by all that you've done. It's always interesting.


  57. Remembering the college band days. I went to a small (1300 student) southern college and we probably had seven or eight bands of different size and styles around campus. There was a small pizza place just off campus that always had a band playing on Friday and Saturday night. Great times.

  58. I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

    P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

  59. Thanks for the tour Scott, lovin these post!! Yay Beatles!

    Dottie :)

  60. Great tour! Still would love to have a Kindle. :)


  61. I would love to win a Kindle:) Please enter me. Thanks!


  62. I must be in a minority as guitars have never done anything for me. Cellos, on the other hand, get my motor runnin' every time!
    teawench at gmail dot com

  63. Great post. You really have tried an awful lot of things. And I have a sneaking suspicion that its probably better than you went into writing for a career.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  64. Bad Acid, Osmosis, Friars, quite a progression.


  65. Gotta love those old pictures. You gave it your best. I always wanted to play the drums but ended up playing the saxophone for a bit.


  66. Very exciting event. Thanks.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  67. There's a guitar case in my basement. Don't know if there's a guitar in it. Been a long time since I looked inside.


  68. I would love to be entered!

  69. @Cathy M, glad you are entertained!

    @Betty actually a couple of my novel titles started as songs--"Forever Never Ends" is one. I also copped the forthcoming "Transparent Lovers" from Robyn Hitchcock and "Disintegration" from the Cure.

    @ylime Dulcimer is fun and easy!

    @bluefrog I think I need to have a novel starring a broken-down musician

    @dale I still find playing quite satisfying and most of my best songs have been written in the last few years (something to do as a broken-down drunk)


  70. i love it! hey, some of the most successful people didn't make it in college ;0) hoping to count myself among them someday! wait, make that, i'm going to go BACK some day....
    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  71. awesome... everyone should have a little musical creative session in their lives in my opinion.


  72. I'm afraid to listen to it now...

    Twitter: MachineTrooper

  73. I think you're amazing Scott and it sounds like you've done so much with your life already!

    purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

  74. Great post! I'd love to be entered to win the Kindle ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

  75. Great tour! Thanks for the chance.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  76. Circle of Flames sounds like an old Rock album being played backwards, like in the old days when older people said that all Rock music was bad for the youth and said that if the records were played backwards you would hear Satanic verses.
    Seriously though, my dog started howling when I started listening to the song. It truly was that bad and you should not give up your day job for sure..

  77. I can't read music either even though I took choir in high school. I can't read a map either. I really need to learn these skills.

  78. I wonder if you've ever put any of those songs you wrote into one of your books...

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  79. This is yet another very interesting side of you, Scott. So now you get your groupies on the blog tour!

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

  80. What have you not Tried?Can't say you have not lived a full life thats for shur.

  81. I'd really love to win my first e-reader :-)

  82. I almost missed this post.... glad I caught it~

  83. Catching up on your posts today...had a good laugh this morning:-)

    skeltons3 at hotmail dot com

  84. I have a musical background, too. I first learned piano as a kid, then joined band in junior high to play trumpet and baritone. In grade nine I joined the jazz band and played bass, likewise thumping on the strings now and then with my dad, he and I playing in the band at church.

    A few years ago I was part of the worship team at our church--bass--until we switched churches.

    Nowadays, it’s Guitar Hero, because every male needs to be a rock star now and then.

    Tell you what, Scott: if ever you and I do a joint signing, we’ll work a music act into it somehow. (That would really sell the horror in our books, wouldn’t it? Haha.)


    Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com


    POSSESSION OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT available for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copies here!

  85. Wow, you are a man of many talents,Scott!


  86. I'm glad you took writing as your career. One more author for me to enjoy in the world of books, a medium that's most accessible to me.


  87. Oops! Can't believe I forgot to add in my email address!

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

  88. I'd love to win!

  89. is there nothing you don't do scott? gotta go and listen to the song now, feeling scared actually from some of the above comments, fun.

    Julie pjtansey@hotmail.com

  90. As I sat and listened to the three songs, I tried to figure out how to describe them that really expressed my feelings.

    The only thing that came to mind was "Drug-induced coma."

    Scott, too!

  91. Too funny! Loving the college-rock thing. I'm glad you pursued writing! LOL


  92. Too funny! Loving the college-rock thing. I'm glad you pursued writing! LOL


  93. So how does your musical talent influence your writing? Have any of your children picked up an instrument or seem to be inclined musically?
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  94. I had a very brief flirtation with wanting to be a rock star. I bought a guitar because it was cheap (refurbished) and the second prettiest guitar in the shop (the prettiest was several hundred dollars too expensive).

    Turns out it was a bass guitar. So I joined a band as a bass guitarist.

    I spent five minutes trying to learn how to play it and two months faking it until I lost interest and forgot about it. I wound up giving it to someone who cared enough to learn how to read music and went back to reading books.

    Thanks for the chance to win,
    Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

  95. Thanks for commenting, everyone, entries capped at 95 here. Thanks for hosting, Marcie, and I hope we all come back later to visit!

    @Kimberly are you sure it wasn't Satan that made the dog howl?

    @scooter I hope to transfer the video where I was wearing make-up. And I deny any accusations of ...uh, whatever it was they said we were smoking...

    AP, that's funny but once we toyed with the idea of, instead of signing books, just charge people $5 to "Meet the Horror Writer," sort of like a freak show

    @sablelexi sometimes I get a little lyrical in my writing, I hope

    @hendy my daughter taught herself piano and plays violin now

    @greg bass is cool but not much fun alone

    See you guys down the road!


  96. hufflepuffgrl13@yahoo.com



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