Album Covers That Influenced My Prose

People often say “Steve, where do you get your ideas?” I actually get them from everywhere but I never put pen to paper (so to speak) until I meditate to these album/cd covers.

#1: Black Flag “My War”

black-flag-my-war

You’ll often here business described as “war” by the suits. It’s not – the stakes are much different, but writing is definitely a struggle. Your struggle vs. yourself, vs. the blank page, vs the suits – whatever. So “My War” it is. Not my favorite Black Flag album, but definitely my favorite cover. As an aside their live cover of “Louie Louie” is my favorite version of that song and it’s been covered about a million times. It’s even better than Motorhead’s and you won’t hear me say that about too many things.

#2: AC/DC “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

ac-dc-dirty-deeds-cover

Because everyone has something to hide (except the dog, apparently), and writing is exposing it.

#3: Alice in Chains “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”

alice-in-chains-the-devil-put-dinosaurs-here-album-art

I believe the album title, when taken as a statement, to be true. I often meditate upon this image, and often, the skull dictates to me. I do not understand what it says, and it does not answer – or even acknowledge – my own queries, but I’ve gotten some damn good stuff out of these conversations. You did not ask, but my favorite Alice in Chains song is “It Ain’t Like That” which is not on this record.

#4: Matt Mays and El Torpedo “Terminal Romance”

matt-mays-terminal-romance

The only thing missing from this steel-cut heart is the duct tape needed to hold it together for one more beat. Write about love I say, write honestly and unsparingly and save irony for annoying your friends at parties. On this album, love starts with “Rock Ranger Record” and ends with the title track and man, look at that cover.

#5: Harlequin “Love Crimes”

harlequin_-_love_crimes

The sepia-toned painting and the right-hand drive vehicle interior belong to another age and tell a story. here’s another story for you – Harlequin apparently recorded this under the working title “Crimes of Passion” in the same studio at around the same time that Pat Benatar was recording her 1980 release “Crimes of Passion.” Benatar released hers first and allegedly stole their title causing them to rename this record. I have no idea if that is true or not but I heard that on the radio.

#6: Led Zeppelin I

led-zep-1-cover

We can all only hope to do something as iconic as this. The wreck of the Hindenburg is only just barely mythic enough to frame the might, the majesty and yes – the mystery – of Led Zeppelin.

#7: Scissorfight “Balls Deep”

scissorfight

A mountain man in some sort of MacGyver-ed splint carving raw flesh out of a dead buffalo while a wolf pack circles in the distance? Hell yeah – count me in. I think I can say that every story I wrote, and for sure every poem, (along with most of my blog posts – the ones that don’t end sadly with the protagonist crying alone on public transit anyway) – and what the hell – even some of my Facebook status updates – were aiming squarely at Scissorfight’s “Roman Boxing Glove” in terms of what I wanted for literary quality.

That song is not on this album – but go check Scissorfight’s whole catalog out. It’s all good. All of it. Bonus: I think they are back together and touring.

#8: The Dwarves “Blood, Guts, and Pussy”

56041_dwarves-blood-guts-pussy

This is sometimes referred to as “the banned cover” and you can see why. This reminds me to hold nothing back.

#9: Black Sabbath “Heaven and Hell”

Black Sabbath H&H cover.jpg

Three angels playing cards on their smoke break. What’s not to like?

#10: Killer Dwarfs (Self Titled)

killer-dwarfs

This is a reminder to have a sense of humor. (I should say “humour” because the Killer Dwarfs are Canadian.) Everyone looks up to AC/DC of course but the Killer Dwarfs really did look up to AC/DC and that’s saying something.

So there you have it amigos/amigas – Like Thulsa Doom said to Conan once “You may contemplate these album covers upon the tree of woe.” So see where that gets ya.

Over and Out,

Steve

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