Alternate Reality, My Stories, Treating Fans Like Shit

Movies

My wife really wanted to watch “Baby Driver” when it came out in the cinemas but after I saw the preview, I was a bit sceptical. There was nothing in the preview to entice me to go and watch it. So I did what any male would do, make excuses of being busy because going to the movies costs me a lot. Even though my kids would have no interest in the movie, they would scream and complain to come. As my eldest would say, it’s for the experience. So from buying two tickets, I would need to buy 5 tickets at $17.99 each. Then the kids want popcorn, drinks and my wife wants popcorn and ice cream and suddenly I am out of pocket by $100 plus. However, if I had the option to pay $9.99 and watch the flick at home instead of the cinema, I would have done it straight away.

Anyway, we finally watched “Baby Driver” a few days ago (at home) and it was totally crap. With the rating it has on IMBD and all the critics raving on about it, I expected a lot more even though the previews failed to deliver anything of interest. I know there is a huge car enthusiast market which will dig these kinds of movies, plus there is the anti-superhero market which will give everything else a try that isn’t a DC or Marvel property. “Baby Driver” capitalises on these two markets. But seriously, if “Baby Driver” is seen as a good movie by fans and critics that vote on IMBD, either the;

  • the movie industry is really in trouble or
  • the people who rate movies also have no idea or
  • I have no idea what’s a decent movie anymore

I know, I like a storyline that can be followed, with little backstories here and there that unfold as the main story moves forward. It’s the reason why TV is getting traction. Imagine the Godfather as a HBO show for 7 seasons, producing 10 hours of content each season comparted to the 9 hours of content over 3 movies. Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino are two directors and writers who make great movies with good scripts, great casting, great direction and a story a person can follow and be invested in.

So where are we at with the movie industry?

I hate going to the cinema, to have to deal with crowds, overpriced tickets and food and then have to sit through people talking, whispering or making a racket as they consume their food. While the “magic of film” worked once upon a time, the business model from the 1930’s is still the same. Here it is a nutshell;

  • Studio (via their own monies or investor monies) finances a movie.
  • Studio releases movie to cinemas
  • Studio expects people to line up, purchase a ticket and watch movie in cinema.

It still generates a lot of money for the blockbusters, but imagine how much it will work if people are allowed to watch the movie on the same day it’s released in cinemas at home via a streaming service or a special pay per view. I can hear the chorus of disapproval of how cinemas will shut down and how instead of selling 5 tickets to a movie, a family would pay only once to watch it from home (and there is a high chance they could invite friends and cousins as well).

People watch old movies and listen to old music, but getting these people to consume the new stuff is incredibly difficult, because the providers no longer understand the star system. For a while, the superhero was the franchise however the last few Northern Summer’s proves otherwise.

Everybody’s got a theatre at home and the only reason to go out and watch a flick in cinemas is to just go out, have maybe dinner before it and a few drinks after it. Instant access, in our own home is the new king in town. Netflix knows it and soon they will have the movie that seizes that market.

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A to Z of Making It, Alternate Reality, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The New Music Labels

There are a lot of discussions happening around the film industry.

For example, would the new Star Wars movie be better served as a HBO/AMC/NETFLIX/etc TV Series?

Instead of a two-hour movie for Episode 7, would it serve the Star Wars story line better if it followed the Game Of Thrones formula and produced ten 1 hour episodes.

Two hours vs Ten Hours.

What would the customers want?

In relation to music, Napster pretty much showed the recording industry what customers want. More single songs than a slab of songs.

It’s pretty obvious that CD’s are not making a comeback. Yes, they are still selling, however so is vinyl. Both niche markets for the time being. The majority of the listeners have moved to streaming services, digital downloads, YouTube or P2P downloading. Whatever the method used to consume music, access is the key word.

Do we want to watch a movie in our home theatres or do we want to put up with dirty Cinema’s, people talking and deciding that the movie experience was the perfect time for them to have a Subway Roll, Satay Chicken from the Thai restaurant next door or some other kind of lunch/dinner.

What people want is instant access. But the content providers would rather sell 5 movie tickets ONCE to my family than get a percentage cut from a monthly license fee from a streaming service over and over and over and over again.

The content providers would rather sell my family ONE Blu-Ray/DVD than get a percentage cut from a monthly license fee from a streaming service over and over and over and over again.

I was talking to me kids about a movie called “Who’s Harry Crumb?” a few days ago. It got them excited to watch it. So i pulled up Netflix, searched for it and it is not there.

Bummer.

Did I got out and buy a copy of it?

Of course not. We just moved on to another movie, which in this case was “The Replacements”.

Same deal with music.

The best emails I get are the ones from Spotify when they tell me a certain album from the bands I follow is available for streaming;

In the last week, those emails have covered the following releases;

  • Survival by TesseracT
  • The Book Of Souls by Iron Maiden
  • Got Your Six by Five Finger Death Punch
  • Life, Love, Loss by Degreed
  • Here To Mars by Coheed and Cambria
  • Love, Fear and the Time Machine by Riverside

I remember the old days when we all rushed to the record store or to the cinema so we could purchase the latest music or watch the latest movie just to be part of the conversation. Why would I want those days back again.

Change is happening quicker than ever before.

We went from Napster to iTunes to YouTube to Spotify. We went from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter and back to Facebook. The major labels have withered down to three. The movie studios are doing the same.

Watch out for television to do the same. Funny thing to note, is that the channels leading the way, are channels that originally started off licensing movies from the Hollywood studios. HBO, AMC, Showtime and Netflix found out that original programming is where it’s at. Create a show that connects and watch it become part of the cultural conversation. Amazon is now involved and Apple is due to enter this market.

So what does this have to do with music and artists?

Expect Spotify to lead the way and start signing up artists because even though artists can cut a record without a major label or corporation behind them, they cannot be heard without the help of the label machine. There is a lot of money in music if you control the copyrights of artists you break through. Spotify can break an artist, they just need to start signing them and developing them.

It’s just a shame that the power players in music would rather spend their resources and monies to shut down illegal music websites through the Courts while websites controlled by terrorist like ISIS are allowed to operate. It’s a shame that the power players in music have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new digital world post Napster.

Especially when illegal music websites have allowed fans of certain styles of music to access bands they never could before. Metallica and Iron Maiden are two examples of illegal music websites growing their fan bases in countries where they sold no physical product.

So what did these bands do with that high rate of P2P piracy?

They toured those countries.

Being an artist is a business and making money in a business is hard.

The good thing for musicians today, is that all of the craziness that happened since Napster is all over. Musicians now know what the recording industry looks like and how it all hangs together within the music industry. In my view, the current ecosystem would remain stable for the next 50 years or so.

The big change that would happen is when technology companies like Spotify, Apple, Pandora, Google and Samsung get into signing and developing new artists. When these techies become like labels they will be powerful. Because of the data which they will have and control. Will the record labels then start to litigate against these techies.

Once these companies become like labels, expect them to enter the live arena as promoters. Apple and Spotify are both involved in the festivals scene.

Times they are a changing.

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Alternate Reality, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Unsung Heroes

Chapter 4

I finally got around to watching the “Through The Never” movie last night and there was a question nagging at me throughout the whole experience;

“How can James Hetfield think that this is good?”

Lars just wants to be front and centre on everything so any outlet that can put him there, he will agree with. Kirk and Rob will just follow what Lars and James do? But James Hetfield to me is the quality behind the band. He can have a different drummer, guitarist and bassist backing him up and it will still be Metallica.

And if he thinks that the movie was good and that Lulu was good and that the new live song “Lords Of Summer” is good, then I am hoping that all bad things come in threes. Because if they don’t then it is not looking good.

Anyway, I am still having fun with my so-called story based around Metallica songs and themes so here is Chapter 4.

–1978–The Armerous

Blackened Hetfield makes his way to the meeting place. Along the forest track, bodies are suspended along the trees. As he gets closer to his destination, winding his way up a steep mountain pass, the trail is littered by a series of pikes with severed heads on top. These are the people who just got in the way of the grand design.

There is a generic road sign on one of the pikes that states “No Trespassing”. A thick fog is beginning to descend. Everything is feeling and looking creepy like something imminent is about to happen.

Hetfield enters a partially destroyed Buddhist temple. The outside decay of the building masks a perfect and sterile environment inside.

In the wide room there is a table with a chair. The person sitting on the chair is not facing the door way. Instead the person is looking into something else. Flanked on each table are two Red Guards, clothed like Samurai but Samurai they are not. Next to the Red Guards are two more guards; however these ones wear black colours instead of red.

The colours are a rite of passage. All of the black colour guards/warriors have a first name of Blackened. The ones in red have a first name of Crimson.

Hetfield sits down on the leather chair that he normally sits on.“Lord Slither we have a new enemy”.

“So it is true”, responds a man that we assume is Lord Slither. It is a strange relationship as Hetfield has never seen Lord Slithers face, however he swears a loyalty to him that is broken only in death.

“Yes, the books of knowledge have a new keeper”, continues Hetfield. “It seems that The Phantom Lord managed the transfer before we got to him”.

“How did we not foresee this failure Blackened Hetfield?”

“I am unable to answer that my Lord. My failure is mine to own. The consequences are mine to suffer.”

“Not this time Blackened Hetfield. Your suffering will not be from me”. This was ominous and sinister from Lord Slither. Hetfield has been failing his master a lot recently.

“Are the new agents ready?” questions Lord Slither.

“No Lord Slither, the indoctrination process is taken longer than expected.” This is another failure from Hetfield.

“How is the child of “The Judas Kiss” tracking along?

Hetfield doesn’t let his hesitation show as the child of “The Judas Kiss” is also his child. “He is far exceeding our expectations in all disciplines.”

“And what about the one known as “Cyanide”. It has been seventeen years since he came into our possession.”

“He is almost ready. By far one of our best”.

“Unleash him. Send out to the “Creeping Death”.

“As you wish, Lord Slither”.

“It’s time to begin the whipping dance of the dead and colour their world blackened.”

–1976–The City Of Devils Dance

Two years post E.B’s tour of duty, the Vietnam War was lost.

Meanwhile back at home E.B had used the financial resources of his father, Cyprian Breadfan to establish the Unknown Five and the Metal Militia. One as a secret society and the other one as a public face.

It was then that E.B encountered the one known as “Prince Charming”.

His real name is Terence Blinks. The definition of the word corrupt in the dictionary doesn’t define Prince Charming in any way. He is in a class of corruption all on his own. He is equally known for his catch phrase of “the shortest straw has been pulled for you.”

Devils Dance is defined by the power struggle between the two wealthiest families. On one side you have the Breadfan’s who stand for fairness and justice and on the other you have the Blinks who stand for power and wealth.

“Fairness and Justice is a fool’s errand”, said Prince Charming in one of the many hostile arguments he had with E.B’s father.

The city citizens are either on the payroll of the Blinks or on the run from the Blinks. But then the Metal Militia was born and they became an equalizer to the situation.

The constant shop fronts shaken down by corrupt officials and forced to pay private levies suddenly had new protectors in the Metal Militia.

And Prince Charming didn’t like it.

–Current Day–The City of Devils Dance

The Metal Militia has a roll of honour on one of their walls, sort of like a Hall Of Fame. The list is broken into Immortals and Lifers.
Listed as IMMORTALS are E.B and St Anger. Listed as LIFERS are Frantic Frank, Stone D.F Clover, Nole A.F Clover, Dyers Eve and Lowman Lyric. The NOMAD list shows The Outlaw Torn and Wim Roam.

Then there is another list for the current membership status of the organisation.

Currently, Motorbreath is the President. His lady, ItsElektra is the Secretary. The Vice President is Overkill and the Sargent in Arms is Damage Inc. The Treasurer is Whiplash. Together they form the executive arm of the Metal Militia.

Orion is a sworn in member of the Metal Militia along with Two-by-four, Loverman and Astronomy.

Right now Orion is waiting outside the chapel, the meeting room of the Militia. Stone D.F has been inside for a long time with the Militia Executive. IMMORTALS and LIFERS are held in high regard. They have done so much and sacrificed so much that they don’t need to hold a rank anymore. Instead they are elevated to a status normally reserved for Gods. So if any living IMMORTAL or LIFER requests a meeting with the Executive, the Executive must adhere and be present.

And Stone D.F is the only one of the hall of fame list that is still alive.

Eventually after what seemed like days which was in essence about four hours, Stone D.F emerges from the chapel.

“What was all that about?” asks Orion

“Nothing that important”, answers Stone D.F.

“Not important. It was the longest meeting I have witnessed.”

“When you have a club that does what we do, meetings do seem to go on a touch too long. I suppose that is democracy at work,” counters Stone D.F.

“So it had nothing to do with the phone call I got”, continues Orion.

“That was mentioned as was our journey to the City of Beholder.”

“So what was said about it?” questions Orion.

“It was just a heads up to them that we will be out-of-town. So are you ready to depart” responds Stone D.F. There is no way that Stone D.F is going to let Orion take this trip alone, especially due to the mysterious circumstances of the phone call.

–Current Day–The City of the Beholder–

The City Of Beholder is a Bible belt mining town and it is only fitting that the reason why the town is known is also the reason why it is slowly tearing itself apart. An underground fire has been burning from one of the mine shafts for over a decade and it is slowly swallowing parts of the town.

A lot of people have abandoned the town. In its heyday it had over 200,000 people. Now it is lucky to have 40,000. Houses are levelled and areas are fenced off.

The High School is partially submerged into the ground. Orion glances at it and so does Stone D.F. Weeds, grass, trees and other forms of fauna are growing over it, around it and in between it. Looking at it reminds Orion of a dystopian future that he has seen in comic books and movies.

Orion notices a sign on the water tower.

“What is that sign?” asks Orion.

“It’s the symbol for corruption and capitalism,” answers Stone D.F. “It’s another business from Prince Charming”.

“Does Charming own all of this?”

“As soon as he can get rid of the Metal Militia” answers Stone DF.

“What do we have to do with it?”

“The Militia is the complete opposite of what Prince Charming is. Before the Militia, the people that Charming and his cronies intimidated had no one to fight back for them.”

A partially destroyed Buddhist temple in the distance grabs Orion’s attention. But with the speed they are travelling it vanishes as quickly as it came into view.

–3rd January 1966–

“Do you feel the disturbance?” asks an elder looking person that looks like a Buddhist monk.

“Yes” replies another, that could be a monk in training.

“Something’s changed.”

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Alternate Reality, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Chapter 3

I am still having fun with that Metallica story I started a few weeks ago. So here is Chapter 3.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem–

“You are being discharged”, said the Doctor to Fixxxer, however the words could have been said to anyone, as Fixxxer was fixated on Walter Cyanide. From when they made eye contact, Fixxxer just got a “Han Solo” bad feeling about the situation.

“Do you want to exit from the front or the back as there are a lot of reporters out there waiting for the sole survivor,” adds the Doctor. Fixxxer pays no attention to the treating Doctor. He only has eyes on Dr Cyanide. Fixxxer notices Dr Cyanide take a call.

——

Cyanide answers it with a simple hello.

“So let it be written, so let it be done, you’ve been sent to kill the chosen one, you are the creeping death” said the voice on the other line.

——-

Fixxxer notices the eyes of Cyanide fade to black and it unsettles him. Just like the bus driver’s eyes.

Fixxxer takes a brief glance to the left of him and he notices that the Doctor that just treated him is outside treating another patient oblivious to what is happening in Treatment Room 1366.

That brief moment of not paying attention is unsettled as Fixxxer feels a cool breeze on the back of his neck. Suddenly Cyanide is in his face however for some reason Fixxxer sensed the move and without any thought he moved out-of-the-way of the coming attack.

Cyanide comes at Fixxxer again with various combinations of martial arts and boxing. He is so quick that Fixxxer is on the defensive and struggling to keep the blows from hitting him. And that was when Fixxxer felt a blade enter into his left abdomen and make its way up to his heart. Fixxxer grabs a hold of Cyanide’s hands and tries with all his might to stop the blade from going up any further.

The door to the treatment room opens again.

“What the hell?” gasps the Doctor that only a minute ago was treating Fixxxer? In his shock he drops his pen. Cyanide exits the room with a speed the Doctor has never seen.

Then the dropped pen hits the floor.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem Sanatorium–

Sweet Amber Sowhat screams in pain again.

Mysteriously, a gashing wound from her left abdomen up to her ribcage has just presented itself.

The nurses rush to her assistance, scanning the room for an assailant or a weapon that could have caused the injury.

–The Judas Kiss Backstory–Someplace in the 1930’s–

Her name was Judith King once upon a time. She was born into an average middle class family. Her father worked at the local steelworks, earning $80 a fortnight and her mother was a housewife raising six kids.

Then her father got retrenched. He didn’t say why.

Afterwards and for reasons only known to him he couldn’t get another job. The bills kept on piling up and the bank kept on sending letters warning foreclosure. To Judith it felt like the world had turned its back on them. The fire of hope that burnt bright in her father’s eyes was dead and gone.

Her father became fearful when he got retrenched and the first thing he purchased was a gun. When asked why, he replied with the following words;

“I cannot tell you why”.

The inevitable day came and the Sheriffs came knocking. Her father was passed out on the lounge due to another bout of drunkenness the night before. Eventually he woke up and answered the door.

“Are you Reginald King?”

“I”.

“I have a court order asking you to vacate the premises right now. Can you and your family please step outside?”

Just like that the King’s lost everything, their home, their possessions and their memories. By the end of the week, Judith King lost her father to the same gun he purchased to protect himself.

It was a selfish goodbye.

On the day of Reginald King’s funeral a storm had blackened the sky like never before. Judith King was thirteen years old. The funeral took place on Friday the 13. That would be the last day she saw her family.

–The Judas Kiss Backstory–Ten Years after the Disappearance of Judith King–

“Rise today as “The Judas Kiss”. Recite this vow as I have become your new god now”. Her new god was cloaked. The only part visible was his lips.

“So bow down, sell your soul to me, I will set you free and pacify your demons. Bow down, surrender unto me, submit infectiously and sanctify your demons.”

“Now repeat back to me the final mantra”.

“Into the abyss
I cease to exist
No one can resist
The Judas Kiss”

–1978–The City Of Devils Dance–

E.B has just left the house of his brother Tomas, when from the corner of his eye he noticed two people walking out of a lane fifteen metres away.

“No” said E.B as he began to run.

E.B ran from the footpath to the middle of the road before he was set upon. E.B was not scared of a confrontation; however the moment was not the best.

There was a flurry of blows that each assailant tried to plant onto E.B’s body; however the assailants failed to make any impact. Actually one of the assailants ended up getting his neck snapped in the process when E.B deflected that persons own hands back at him.

That just left E.B and the other assailant who was now unmasked.

“The Judas Kiss” exclaims E.B. In a way he feels proud. The Armerous only send “The Judas Kiss” when it is of vital importance to their cause.

“I feel honoured that I would be the one to take your life tonight”, adds E.B.

The Judas Kiss says nothing.

Her history of cold-blooded killings precedes her and she is confident as she starts her attack. However E.B is special and more than able to handle her attacks. After an intense 20 second barrage, The Judas Kiss steps back and for the first time in her life she is worried. She musters up enough energy for another frantic onslaught however E.B just seems to move away and deflect her most powerful punches without any effort.

The Judas Kiss has never really had to battle for this long.

With her fists and fighting styles having no impact, she is starting to resort to weapons. Star Blades begin to whirl through the air towards E.B.

Just like his favourite comic book character Magneto E.B sticks out his hand and in the same way that Magneto can manipulate all types of metal; the same can be said about E.B.

And that is how the reign of “The Judas Kiss” ended by having all of the star blades that she threw at E.B travelling back to her at a speed that she was not fast enough to avoid. Each star blade found a vital organ to embed themselves in.

A third man watches the fight from the alley. He is hooded and his lips are visible. Once “The Judas Kiss” took her last breaths he frowns and proceeds to walk away.

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A to Z of Making It, Alternate Reality, Music, My Stories

2015

STREAMING
Streaming wins. So if you are an artist and your business model is based on recording an album and selling it, then you are challenged. However if you are an artist that creates new music to engage with your fan base then the world is your oyster.

DATA
The greatest value of any online company lays in the consumer data it collects. Why do you think Google, Amazon and Facebook are valued so high? So if you are an artist with an online presence what do you know about your fans? How do you turn fans into customers? How do you reward them?

DIVERSIFY
Diversity is the key to survival in any business. Amazon back in 1993 started off as an online bookstore. Now look at what it sells and what other services it provides. If you are an artist you start off with creating music. Then what is the plan.

NEWS/MEDIA
Who can we trust to be impartial today? The main news outlets are owned by massive corporations who are conspiring to control the narrative. They exist today to serve a select few. The ones that control the narrative are the ones that control life because in the end people love a story. That’s why novels, TV and movies are popular. That’s why reality TV shows employ scriptwriters.

TOURING
All the money for the artists is in touring. If you are a new band, then you need to establish a fan base before you even contemplate playing a show or touring. It’s totally different to when I was starting out. If you are a small independent band and self funded or a large independent band and self funded your mission is to constantly release new music, connect with fans and play live. It’s a lot of hard work and if all band members are not on the same page animosity ensures.

ALBUMS
If you are going to spend the better part of a year writing and recording it, then it needs to be great from start to finish. Good is not good enough anymore. Even though Five Finger Death Punch released two albums worth of music they really had enough great songs for one nine track album. Machine Head went three tracks too many on their new slab. Megadeth on Super Collider really had three good songs with a cool cover of Thin Lizzy. It should have been an EP instead of an album. Isn’t it better to tour on four great songs then a whole albums worth of music where only one song is included in the live set.

TECH
Our digital lives are all tangled up with the big technology companies, like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. These big techies are also becoming the powerful cultural gatekeepers that the much despised record labels held so dear for so long. Will the same hate befall the new cultural gatekeepers like it did the record labels.

TRUST
Our relationship with the large tech companies is based on trust: we trust them however we don’t really understand what they are gathering on us. And that trust will start to erode.

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Alternate Reality, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Chapter 2

I have been having fun with the story based on Metallica songs and their themes, so here is Chapter 2.

Chapter 2…

–1974–

The town of “Devils Dance” never really lived up to his infamous name. It was always a quiet little town that housed a lot of the dock workers before the war. Trouble didn’t exist and the residents normally slept with doors unlocked and windows open.

However after the war the town saw a large cultural shift. The young started to demonstrate. The woman of the world started to liberate. The establishments that existed started to feel very threatened.

That is when The Metal Militia came to town.

When ‘E.B’ came back from the war he was changed. The innocence was gone. The dreams and hopes that his father had for him died in the war with the burning bodies of napalm and hydrogen.

Broken, beat and scarred, E.B tried his best to adjust to the normal way of life; however the streets that he knew had changed so much.  Glorious shopfronts had bordered up signs and the ones that didn’t had dirty windows.

Along with four other vets in Frantic Frank, Dyers Eve and the twins, Stone D.F and Nole A.F. Clover they became secretly known as the “Unknown Five” and in social circles people knew them as “The Metal Militia”.

E.B wrote a lot of short stories while he was in Vietnam and he kept on mailing them to his home address.  One of the stories had a poem in it that would become the mission statement for the new entity.

To Live Is To Die

We are the battery that will seek and destroy with no remorse

We are one identity as we are all the same fighting for one cause

On through the mist and the madness

We are trying to get the message to you

We are the Metal Militia

The title of the poem where the last five words that ‘E.B’ heard from his best friend “One” as his legless and armless body spasmed all over the jungle floor from an enemy landmine.

You see, when E.B was in Vietnam he found something spiritual and supernatural. Subsequently the task of protecting what he found was bestowed on him by the aging Buddhist monks who guarded the secrets. You see, the thing that should not be, is not something that someone will come across accidently. The guardians of it are natural selected. It’s evolution at play, where the strongest are selected to continue with progress.

E.B’s tour involved a lot of secret visits to The Temple of Wolf And Man. Under the tutelage of the Phantom Lord, E.B learned the ways of the Guardians, their fighting styles and eventually he found a way to tap into the spirit world. In one of his many meditation sessions he communicated with powerful old spirits. The words of that meditative walk through the spirit world still remain with him.

“What we have bestowed upon you must be kept safe at all costs for if it does fall into the wrong hands, it would be dangerous to humanity to possess. The spirit world entrusts this secret knowledge to you Edward Breadfan.”

Little did E.B know that while the Spirit World saw him as benevolent and good, another world was unleashing Five Evil Worshippers to sow confusion and reclaim the books of secret knowledge that are now in the possession of E.B.

–Current Day–The City Of Devils Dance

Change can be bad or good. It all depends on people’s point of view. Stone D.F has seen change happen around him. The upbringing of Orion has been entrusted to Stone and he is struggling with it. He doesn’t know much about Orion or his heritage.

Orion for the lack of a better word lives day-to-day. When he runs out of money to buy liquor, he gets small jobs as a stand over man until he has enough money to supply his addiction for a while. In between drunken stupors, Orion is haunted by a vision of a brunette lady and a legacy of what-ifs.  He is at his favourite bar, “Whiskey In The Jar-O” when his phone rings.

Orion looks at the screen and it is from an unknown number. He never answers calls from unknown numbers. He waits until it rings out as the stripper spread eagles herself around the pole.

The phone rings again. Orion peers at the screen again and it shows up as No Number. Blank. No number whatsoever is present. Orion wonders how can that be and in the end curiosity got the better of him.

“Hello”.

There is a silence on the other end.

Then a deep voice is heard. “Is this Orion Ktulu?”

“Who is this?” replies Orion.

For some reason the voice on the other side is satisfied that Orion is on the other line.

“You must return to the City of the Beholder. Your father has died.”

Orion is stunned. He didn’t envision the day turning into a mystery.

Who is the person asking him to return to his birth place?

A birth place that Orion cannot even remember and for the first time in his life it is the first clue he has received that deals with his past. He has no idea who his father is. His mentor Stone has told him that his father loved him and that in order to keep his only son safe, his father needed to send Orion away.

What Orion knows is that he was born in January 1976, during a freak lightning storm. One of the worst ever storms ever recorded.

His mother died in childbirth and throughout the years, Orion has felt the presence of a person who seemed to be there at the right time to save him from an unfavourable outcome.

Orion is about to respond.

The line is dead.

Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem

June Sowhat is a ten-year old girl who is watching television. She is flicking through the channels and her attention is caught by a picture of an overturned bus.

June gazes at the television screen. The aerial views show buses, trucks and cars all tangled up and in bits. There is a section that is all burnt out.

June gets up off the coach and reaches over to the notepad on the coffee table. On the notepad there is some writing.

“City Bus 1366 – 8.32am”

June puts her gaze back to the television. The news scroll at the bottom grabs her attention.

“The 8.32am City Bus overturned causing a large accident. The number of fatalities is high. Although unconfirmed, initial numbers estimate the death toll to reach the 300 mark. Emergency number is 1-300-555-777…”

June doesn’t take her eyes off the screen. She makes a small whimpering sound that no one hears.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem Sanitarium

An elderly woman screams.

At 8.34am she broke her arms and legs.

Mysteriously.

A minute later her skin started to blister like she was caught in a fire.

Sweet Amber Sowhat is the mother of Fixxxer. She can see a TV screen mounted on the wall opposite her.  The number of the bus unsettles her.

1366.

–Current Day–The City Of Carpe Diem Hospital

Fixxxer’s eyes slowly open. The fluoro lighting while normally dull is super bright. Fixxxer blinks his vision back and he realizes that he is in a hospital bed. A doctor enters the room.

“How are you feeling?” asks the Doctor.

“Okay, I guess,” replies David as the Doctor flashes a light in Fixxxer’s eyes.

“Do you know where you are?”

“In an emergency room”, answers Fixxxer.

“You were in a serious accident. Do you remember it?”

“I remember the trip and picking up speed and then nothing. Why are you looking at me?

“When your bus overturned it caused a massive pile up and then an explosion. The bus was the epicentre of the accident and the explosion. They only found one person alive so far and that is you and you don’t have a scratch on you nor a broken bone nor any burns.”

Fixxxer notices another Doctor looking at him from a distance, Asian in appearance.  His gaze unsettles him and the name tag even more so.

WALTER CYANIDE.

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A to Z of Making It, Alternate Reality, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Gene Simmons

Fans of rock and metal have had a shitload of releases in the last 3 years. There is more music being created right now than ever before.

Five Finger Death Punch are selling out a lot of their shows. Coheed and Cambria just finished a “house full” tour in support of the anniversary tour of “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth”. Has anyone that isn’t a Coheed and Cambria fan actually paid attention to the amount of work that goes into Claude Sanchez’s storytelling. “The Afterman” releases told the origin tale of Sirius Amory who discovered an energy source called the Keyworth, which is sort of the common gravity that keeps all these planets aligned. The whole Coheed and Cambria saga is based around the “Amory Wars”.

With all of the good that is happening in rock and metal music, we still have people who just don’t get it like the out of touch Gene Simmons who said, “Rock is dead” a while back. I already covered that part a while ago so let’s look at some of Gene Simmon’s achievements over the last 40 years.

He is known as the “God Of Thunder” however the actual song that he is famous for is written by Paul Stanley.

“Cold Gin” and “Parasite” are Ace Frehley songs, however in the early days Ace wasn’t comfortable singing so Simmons took lead vocal. “Parasite” became a favourite of all the early thrash heroes like Scott Ian, Dimebag Darrell and James Hetfield, however it is no creation of Gene Simmons.

The “Rock And Roll All Nite” chorus was written by Paul Stanley.

“I Love It Loud” and “Unholy” needed Vinnie Vincent’s metal touch to make it happen. .

“War Machine” was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

“Domino” actually appeared on a Black N Blue album. On the Black N Blue album the song was called “Nasty Nasty” and the songwriters are listed as Gene Simmons, Jaime St. James and Tommy Thayer however “Domino” is listed as being solely written by Gene Simmons.

So in a nutshell, his achievements on his own are pretty much close to zero. Basically, Gene Simmons achievements are no different from a record label CEO, making money from the hard work and creativity of other people like Paul Stanley.

His cartoon Demon superhero persona is more popular than the actual music he has written and in today’s world you either lead with your music or you get left behind.

From the solo albums that came out, Ace Frehley’s outsold all the other three. From the hits, “Beth” was it and it was written by Peter Criss and molded by Bob Ezrin. However, Gene is trying his best to rewrite history and make himself to be more important than what he really is.

The main difference between today and yesteryear is the connection/interaction between fans and artists. Gene Simmons has none. As far as he is concerned, the connection means he creates and we must buy.

The biggest test of the relevance of the artist is in moments of crisis. Gene Simmons answer to the copyright infringement crisis was to call for file-sharers to be sued. He then responded by threatening lawsuits and withholding new music. He also said that the FBI should arrest the people who upload/download and take away their houses.

I like Kiss. I even took my kids to watch them when they toured Oz with Motley Crue.

But dude, seriously, you need to create something that we can sink our teeth into again.

It’s obvious that Gene Simmons cant do it on his own, so he needs to start writing with other artists again to come up with something magical.

It’s no use just sitting back and blaming everyone else for why no one cares about your new music. And for why no one is buying, guess what, those buyers are slowly declining and have been for the last 15 years. I have said it a million times and I will still say it. Napster showed the recording industry that we want access to free music and that paradigm shift event happened 15 years ago.

The majority of music fans have moved on to the access model, which means that people could be at a Kiss show that have never purchased a Kiss album. That is the reality we live in, Mr Gene Simmons.

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