Since this “snippet” series began with the genre category of Comedy, it is fitting that it ends with the category of Tragedy. Both are the hallmarks of theater that began in ancient Greece and are historically headlined by the immortal William Shakespeare.
When it comes to plays, NOBODY rivals Shakespeare! Tragedies IMHO are his magnum opus (especially MacBeth and Hamlet) but my favorite comedy character, theatrical or otherwise, is the ‘buffoon’ known as Falstaff, who appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays about various kings named Richard. Then there is Romeo and Juliet, which has inspired any number of spinoffs, one of my favorites being Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, where an Israeli special ops agent takes on his main rival, The Phantom, a Palestinian “terrorist” leader with Hezbollah ties. But Zohan gets tired of that job and wants to be a hair-dresser. So he secretly moves to the US (after failing to take down Phantom) and becomes a hair-dresser. At a salon owned by Palestinian Dahlia, who turns out to be sister to the Phantom! They fall in love and marry–the Israeli-Palestinian “Romeo and Juliet”!
The greatest tragedy? When Hamlet ponders his existence using the immortal line, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” And then the rest of the soliloquy.
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I have read few Romance novels, and I have seen few Romance movies that I have any affection for (but Romance Adventure movies like High Road to China, Jewel of the Nile, and Romancing the Stone are outstanding, IMHO). But one thing I know about the Romance genre–all Romance-themed novels or movies have this in common: sexual tension. It is not tension during the act of sex, but tension between the sexes involved with the romance relationship.
For instance: in High Road to China–one of my fave movies ever–the Bess Armstrong character and the Tom Selleck character (named O’Malley), in between hugging and kissing and bedding with each other, are constantly arguing, yelling at each other, her screaming, “O’Malley!” every few seconds or so, and O’Malley all pissed off because she demanded to fly her own plane and later crashed his plane named Dorothy in Nepal, as they headed to China to find her father, who was being screwed out of millions by his crooked business partner. In the end, of course, they decide to build a good relationship upon leaving western China where her dad is leading a rebellion against some overlord in the 1920s. All novels, Romance genre or not, that build some sexual tension, always have that tension relieved at the end, when love abounds.
And there is plenty of sexual tension in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. I have already discussed this marriage tension between the bassist Keith and his wife Jarris, in the Drama snippet.. In fact there is sexual tension between each band member and his woman throughout the three-books-in-one trilogy that get resolved at some point.
But the key “romance-sexual tension” partnership within the band and their women is between keyboard-synthist Bryan and his wife, Mo, who marry early and then things begin to go awry as they bring forth children. Prior to having kids, the relationship is as good as it could be; having children become the linchpin for what develops into a rocky relationship, as I will describe below in three snippets.
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I grew up immersed in the Horror genre, movies mostly, but also some comic books. When I was a pre-teen and teenager, some local TV station had aSaturday night movie series called “ChillerTheater.” Today that has morphed into the DirecTV and DishTV channel “The Chiller Channel” or whatever it’s called now. It was on this show series I saw “Godzilla,” “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” “The Crawling Eye,” and various Japanese and other monster movies, various zombie/ghoul/vampire/Frankenstein-type monsters and serial murder movies many of which starred my fave actor at the time, Vincent Price. Basically, if Vincent Price was in the movie, I watched it.
In my twenties, I started reading horror genre fiction but I thought horror movies were more exciting. There was one book–I have no idea what the title was but it’s one of the few I actually finished reading–about some vampire-like rock band that recruits roadies or fans or whatever and then turns them into vampires, but one small group of fans turns against the band. Eventually, the vampire band gets “burned” if you know what I mean. But I did not buy the book because it had vampires, but because it had vampires who were rock stars!
And around this time, Ozzie Osbourne was making it huge…And. Oh yeah, AC-DC, “Highway to Hell” and all that…
One of the reasons I began writing the books that make up the trilogy was the notion, which has some merit but which can also be debunked, that rock stars are all “devil worshipers” and rock music is “the devil’s music” which quite a few Christians still believe is true. Many supposedly Christian YouTube channels try to verify this over and over and over while mentioning a few, such as the guitarist for MegaDeath–I forgot his name–are avowed believers in Christ (as is rapper DMX). My point is not to prove rockers are not devil worshipers; some clearly are (such as Marilyn Manson). My point is wanting folks to get over the notion that listening to rock music is going to turn one against Christ or for Satan. As if listening to country music and someone like Miley Cyrus is going to turn one to Christ!
To contrast the band called Sound Unltd’s beginning and rise to fame and fortune with their inability to handle it wisely later, and then the coming trials and tribulations they face, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the most debauched period of their ‘supremacy’ in rock music. This is where the horror comes in. There are no monsters or vampires or zombies or mass murders, but it still has horror themes including ‘rituals of the craft’ if you know what I mean.
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Throughout the three novels that make up The Prodigal Band Trilogy, drama is everywhere, between the six band members, between their women, and especially between a band member and his woman–with double the drama when the two are a married couple. The snippets in this post concern bass player Keith and his wife, Jarris, whom had married prior to Keith rejoining the band Sound Unltd on the cusp of their huge success.
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