Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Writers Deserve The Stage Owned By Hall Of Fame Rock Stars

Imagine performing in front of thousands of people.  Imagine having someone famous speak of you as if you are a giant in your field.  Imagine an industry honoring your career and bestowing its highest honor upon you.  The book industry doesn’t quite have an event or organization to celebrate its own in such a high-profile manner, but the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame does.  I was lucky enough to score a ticket to this year’s induction ceremony and witness over five hours of non-stop performances of legendary bands and singers that have helped shape music, in some cases, over the past 40-50 years.  It was amazing.

Honored this year as the newest members of an elite music class were KISS, Cat Stevens, Nirvana, E Street Band, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, and Hall & Oates.  My all-time favorites were not there – U2, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, or REM – but plenty of guest performers showed up, including Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin, and Lorde.

I can’t recall seeing so many luminary performances and presenters on one stage, except for those concerts on TV that raise money for natural disaster relief.  It was a wonderful celebration not just of these artists but of the music industry and of all creative arts.  It was a wonderful reminder that life is about music, books, plays and ideas and the expression of what feels and seems true to us.

I had forgotten just how successful some of these bands and performers have been.  Though I’m not a fan of KISS, they hold the record for most gold albums by an American band.  Impressive, though it’s not just by sales that one can praise someone. You have to step back when you hear someone like Linda Ronstadt has sold over 100 million albums.  And when you think that many of those Hall of Famers have performed for decades at such a high level, you begin to realize how exceptional such longevity is.  There are physical and mental demands to performing regularly at an elite level that most of us couldn’t really understand.

I came to appreciate each of the inductees when I would learn of how they have been crafting their art for so long.  It’s not easy to break through with a hit song or book.  Then imagine doing it over and over and over.  Many of them have impacted multiple generations of fans and their art has influenced some of the artists who perform today.  There’s something beautiful about such continuity.

Writers could only wish at having a big stage to perform on.  Imagine an author doing a reading for 15,000 people or to be featured on a televised awards show watched by millions.  It’s long overdue.  Writers deserve a big public stage.  They should be unleashed upon the masses, the way musicians have.  I bet the world would be a better place for it.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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