ERIC BLACKWOOD & ANTHONY J. FOTI ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
REV. DR. BILL GRAM ..... (Killing For Christ)
PHIL JONES ..... (Phil Jones Band)
THEO CEDAR JONES ..... (Swaybone)
SCOTT KELLY ..... (Neurosis)
SETH MAJKA Interview 1
SETH MAJKA Interview 2
UNCLE BOB NYC ..... (3tles)

J.D. BRADSHAW ..... (Debbie Caldwell Band)
PAUL CROOK ..... (Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach)
NICK DOUKAS ..... (Full Circle, Half Angel, student of John Petrucci & Al Pitrelli)
DAX PAGE ..... (Kirra)
MARTY PARIS ..... (Paris Keeling, Permanent Reverse, Barbarian Way)
RUINED MACHINES & MICHAL BRODKA ..... (Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 1
RUINED MACHINES (aka KENYON IV) ..... (World Of Rock Records, Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 2
CHRIS SANDERS ..... (Knight Fury, Lizzy Borden, Nadir D'Priest, Ratt)
TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY & DAMOND JINIYA ..... (Rebel Pride Band, Under The Gun Project)
"METAL" DAN SORBER ..... (Thy Kingdom Done, Ferox Canorus)
ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 1
ERIC STROTHERS & ZACH LORTON ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
CHRIS MICHAEL TAYLOR ..... (Carmine & Vinny Appice's Drum Wars, Sunset Strip, Hair Nation)

A.L.X. ..... (Love Crushed Velvet)
GRAHAM BONNET ..... (Rainbow, Alcatrazz)
JOE DENIZON ..... (Stratospheerius, Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp, Sweet Plantain)
DORO ..... (Warlock)
TOMMY FARESE ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, A Place Called Rage)
ANTHONY J. FOTI & ERIC BLACKWOOD ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
ANGIE GOODNIGHT ..... (Fill The Void)
CORNELIUS GOODWIN ..... (12/24 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
DAMOND JINIYA & TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY ..... (Savatage, Retribution, Under The Gun Project)
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 1
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 2
GUY LEMONNIER ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, Wizards Of Winter)
ZACH LORTON & ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
PARK SIPES ..... (Sunset Strip, Barbarian Way, Tune In To Mind Radio Kelly Keeling Tribute album)
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 1
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 2

SCOTT KELLY ..... (Wizards Of Winter)
ERIK NORLANDER ..... (Asia Featuring John Payne, Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane)
MICHAEL T. ROSS ..... (Lita Ford, Missing Persons, Raiding The Rock Vault Las Vegas Revue)

DAVE CRIGGER ..... (Foghat, World XXI, Michael Fath)
CHRIS NUNES ..... (Ornament Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
JOHN WETTON ..... (Asia, King Crimson, Roxy Music)

RAFA MARTINEZ ..... (Black Cobra)


RODNEY MILES & ALISON TAYLOR ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)
SEVEN (aka ALAN SCOTT PLOTKIN) ..... (Exile In Rosedale author, Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes)
ALISON TAYLOR & RODNEY MILES ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)

MATT CHABE ..... (Bangtown Timebomb, Chapter Two Marketing)
JAMES MOORE ..... (Independent Music Promotion, Your Band Is A Virus Book)

MIKE "THE BIG CHEESE" CATRICOLA ..... (Heavy Metal Mayhem Podcast, Stillborn)

February 2, 2015

"Quotes From Ted Nugent, I Got Scared" An Interview With ALISON TAYLOR & RODNEY MILES

Jan 2015 (e-mail)

In time for Christmas 2014 the book 365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes hit the shelves co-authored by Rodney Miles & Alison Taylor. They began working together after meeting via the freelancing site elance. Their mutual love of music soon came to the fore & a year later they had a new book of quotes covering over 200 musicians, young & old, famous & more obscure. The book stands out as unique for being written by fans not rock journalists ... Alison even confesses to being such a connoisseur of music that she still makes mixtapes & has been to 200 to 300 concerts. Their collaborative efforts have also led to their own publishing house, Bimini Books focusing on lifestyle titles. For the record, it started when Rodney was looking for a quote from Gene Simmons. He's known for his outrageous quotes ... now he can be known for inspiring a book. Rodney is the author of over 50 works of fiction & non-fiction as a ghostwriter, & alongside Bimini Books is the founder of Maven Publishing, a Florida-based ghostwriting & self-publishing assistance firm.

I was contacted by Rodney to do a review of his new book. He didn't know me, but had seen some of my writings. I said I'd be happy to, but would he do an interview with me? What I got back was an interview with his co-author Alison with some input by Rodney. This is the first time I've interviewed a music author. Non-musicians never get enough of the spotlight. In communicating with them the mutual appreciation for each other's respective work became evident & a shared loved of music, as I'm also a writer & music fan. Though, I should also confess that a few years ago I had an idea for a book of music quotes, but life changes meant I never pursued it. In a vicarious way it's interesting to see what a project like that would have looked like had I pursued it. Though, for those who know me I would have put less quotes in by Kiss & more by Al Pitrelli, considering my music collection consists of 1 Kiss album & over 100 Pitrelli albums ... but, you can't have everything.

* * * * *

AJ: How did the book get started?

ALISON: It was actually Rodney’s idea. We were still getting to know each other a little bit, & he asked me something generic like, “Do you like music?” I remember saying, “Yes! It’s one of 2 things I’m really passionate about.” His next comment was about wanting to write a book comprised of quotes from musicians & I was instantly sold. I think I started looking for quotes that night.

AJ: What was your approach to searching for quotes? Did you just grab books or magazines randomly off the shelf or scour the internet? Was there a systematic approach to searching?

ALISON: Fortunately, I’ve read a lot of music biographies, & I used to collect music magazines, so I already had some vague sense of some of the cool tidbits that might be out there. It also helped that Rodney had some specific people (lookin’ at you, Gene Simmons) that he wanted to include, so that helped me narrow down the search, especially at the beginning. I took to the internet first, & my strategy was to find everything I could from there & branch out if I had to. Turns out, I didn’t have to. The internet is such an incredible resource. I am the one who was initially looking for quotes. It wasn't until I'd amassed probably upwards of 100 that I even showed them to Rodney. At that point, we realized we really had something, & began sending quotes back & forth to each other. Once we hit about 250 between the 2 of us, the book took on a life of its own.

AJ: How did you choose what musicians would be featured? Or, was it random based on what you came across? Did you start with your favorite musicians & move out from there?

ALISON: I basically started with my & Rodney’s personal favorites, & then thought about people who A) I knew the general public would want to hear from, & B) I knew had said some cool things. Frank Zappa is a great example of this. I like Zappa a lot, but he doesn’t always come to mind when I list my favorite artists. That said, I knew he’d said a bunch of thought-provoking things in his life & I wanted to make sure to include as much as I could. At the same time, there were some surprises. I love Les Claypool & his infinite weirdness. I figured I’d find a ton of quirky quotes that offered some insight into his world perspective. I couldn’t find anything from him (sorry Les!). If we do a follow-up, he’s near the top of the list of 'people I need to research a little deeper.'

AJ: The book is titled as rock stars, but you have far more than rockers, defining the term 'rock star' quite loosely. You include such non-rock folks as Beyonce, Dylan, Baez, Bob Marley, Clapton, Justin Timberlake, numerous R&B & jazz musicians. Why include folks beyond strictly rock musicians & was this the plan? Or, was the breadth always the plan & the title chosen as a matter of convenience?

ALISON: We started out with just rock musicians, but as time went on, we saw the value in interpreting the term 'rock star' as anyone who has made a huge splash in the music world. Of course, someone like Beyoncé or Michael Jackson is not a rock musician, but once we got going with the project, it felt a little silly to leave someone like that out.

AJ: Did you have any requirements when looking for quotes? Like they had to have a certain feeling or insight? For example, some of your quotes are very band specific, but others are very open. Such as Don Henley: “The EAGLES ended on a rather abrupt note, although in retrospect I realize now that it had been ending for quite some time.” versus the more universal “Selling 8 million copies of your first album will mess you up.”

ALISON: We were looking for information that was interesting & potentially unexpected. If it also happened to be repeatable, that was a bonus. So in your example with Don Henley, I was interested in a little bit of insight to the breakup of the EAGLES, because it was such a dramatic thing when it happened. It’s what made the Hell Freezes Over Tour such a big deal. Everyone has their own opinion of why bands break up, based on what the media chooses to report, but hearing from the horse’s mouth that it was a slow fallout rather than one specific thing — I thought that was an interesting bit. Even his more general comment about selling 8 million records offered a window into the kinds of ego & personality struggles that can plague a popular band. We wanted to offer up something new that people may have never heard before. That John Bonham got nervous before every show? Ivan Moody [of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH], too? & that Roger Daltrey hates his voice? That John Fogerty claims to have written many more terrible songs than good ones? I thought these little pieces might shed some light on the people behind the music.

AJ: Did you ever find yourself overwhelmed with quotes from different artists & forced to shrink the list to the best of? For example, you open with Ace Frehley whose done hundreds of interviews but you only have 2 lines from him. Is there a list of unused Ace thoughts?

ALISON: The short answer is yes. There were some artists where we just found an unbelievable wealth of great quotes & had to pick & choose a little bit. There absolutely is a list of unused thoughts that will be there for us when we put out volume 2.

AJ: Most of the included musicians get 1 to 3 quotes, but Zappa runs away with the prize of 7 & coming behind him Keith Richards, then Paul Stanley, Marilyn Manson & John Lennon. Do these folks have something special about them that you couldn't let go with just a quote or 2 as like everyone else?

ALISON: This was more by accident than by design — it was more about what they said than the people themselves. It just so happened that we found more quotes from these particular people that fit the tone we were looking for. It probably also means that volume 2 will be much less Zappa-heavy.

AJ: In your research did you run into any surprises or quotes you wouldn't expect from someone?

ALISON: I think Marilyn Manson’s levelheadedness is surprising to anyone who only knows his music & has never heard him speak. For me personally, though, the ones that surprised me the most were the ones who spoke of the actual work involved in making music. I sometimes forget that rock stars are more than just famous people with big, flashy personalities. They’re musicians, & making music is difficult. Michael Schenker, Slash, Terry Kath [of CHICAGO], Eddie Van Halen, Gavin Rossdale [of BUSH] — all of them spoke in some way about practicing & practicing some more. Maybe they were born with some natural talent or a proclivity for music, but they also worked very hard to get where they are. I use those quotes as inspiration when I hit low points in my own journey of learning to play the guitar.

AJ: Was there any quotes or musicians you didn't want to include as they were too controversial?

ALISON: When I saw that Rodney had sent me some quotes from Ted Nugent, I got scared. To my surprise, they were very tame, & actually right in line with what we were doing. We did actively avoid harsh curse words. We wanted the book to be relatively family-friendly. But, we didn’t exclude any people because of the potential of controversy.

AJ: Did you run into any legal problems with citations or was this not a concern?

ALISON: Not yet! But our understanding is that short quotations from public figures are public domain, although we are NOT IP attorneys, of course, we’re writers. We are fine if any of those listed would like their quotes removed, but this is hard to imagine.

AJ: As for the bigger picture, what's your writing background/resume, Rodney?

RODNEY: My hopes of being a writer were squashed by a college professor so many years ago. Poor me, right? So I went about life & always found myself writing: a regular column for a local newspaper as a real estate broker, & so on & so on. My dad pushed me a few years ago, when I was in-between jobs to check out elance & wham! A year later I had a handful of active clients & a full-fledged writing department humming along with about 15 writers, editors & a cover designer. I learned all the skills of small publishing along the way. It’s been friggin’ awesome & I am the most grateful guy in the world. Alison & I really enjoy co-authoring fun books like this, & we hope to create transformative works that add value & insight even with a book like this one. We met as independent freelance ghostwriters & we’ve been involved in literally hundreds of them, primarily for just a handful of clients with lots of books to produce. We have recently launched our own lifestyle-oriented publishing house, Bimini Books, as well as our own endeavors in ghostwriting, fiction, & non-fiction as well. We’re pretty busy!

AJ: What is your writing background/resume, Alison?

ALISON: I’ve been writing obsessively ever since I knew how & originally wanted to be a journalist. I was heavily inspired by my journalism teacher in high school & envisioned myself becoming the next [rock journalist] Ben Fong-Torres or someone like that. Instead, I tried to do something more practical with my life, but I never let go of the dream of writing for a living. The universe was apparently on my side, because in 2012, I got really sick & had to leave my job. With all this sudden free time & basically being couch-bound, I finally decided to give freelancing a shot. It took about a month for me to gain my footing with it, but once I got some traction, it was a rapid snowball. I haven’t stopped since. Most of the writing I’ve done thus far has been ghostwriting, but I’ve also done some lifestyle-oriented non-fiction & how-to books. This quote book was such a passion project for me & I can’t wait to do more books like this one. I have a lot to say about music — I had a music blog for a little while, where I posted reviews of albums & shows — & I can’t wait to write more books on the subject.

AJ: You 2 have have done some other collaborative books & are starting a publishing house, can you tell me more in detail on this relationship?

ALISON: We have our hands in several ventures right now & it’s all really exciting. Bimini Books, which published 365 Rock Star Quotes, is a lifestyle publishing imprint that incorporates fun, lighthearted topics (look for an upcoming release about craft beer!), as well as some short fiction. We have a team of authors we work with there & we love helping people learn to develop their ideas into great books that people enjoy reading. Maven Publishing is where our professional sides truly shine. We help business owners & professionals get books published so that they can position themselves as experts in their fields & share with the world what makes their businesses unique. Finally, we are working with a fiction publisher who specializes in novel-length fiction, & through this partnership, we have several authors who will be publishing their work with us this year.

AJ: How did you two meet up, because you write in the introduction you've never met in person but Skype/email from your respective homes of Florida for Rodney & San Francisco for Alison.

ALISON: Wow, that’s true! I forget. It seems like we have. We met on elance, the freelancing site. It's where Rodney & I cut our teeth, learned to research/write very quickly, & developed the art of interacting with clients. We've both had our ups & downs there, but wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Rodney was hiring a ghostwriting team to help him out with the unbelievable amount of work he’d been receiving & the rest is history. I did some ghostwriting projects for him, but the more we talked, the more we realized that we had the same long-term career vision. Becoming partners was really the only logical thing to do! We could have never written or published this book without each other’s help. We feel quite fortunate to have stumbled into this!

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