I came across this book on Twitter last week and I loved the cover art. I also love music, especially when it’s ingrained inside of a story. I read a book by David Agranoff a couple of years back called ‘Boot Boy’s of the Wolf Reich’. It is a coming of age Werewolf horror story, and yes, it is as good as it sounds. David has another book called ‘Amazing Punk Stories’ which is a collection of…yep, punk stories, but, these stories have a bit of all sorts going on with them. Stories of horror, science fiction and the bizarre run rife in a collection that is slowly working it’s way up my TBR pile.
‘Punk Rock Ghost Story’ is released on Friday 23rd September through Deadite Press and is sure to be another excellent entry into the Agranoff catalog. I recently approached David and asked if he’d be interested in doing a guest post about his latest book. He said “yes” and so here it is. Enjoy.
The Music of Punk Rock Ghost Story
By David Agranoff
I was asked to write a piece about the musical influence on my newest novel Punk Rock Ghost Story. It is clear from the title that the punk rock scene is very much a part of this novel. This is final book in a unofficial thematic trilogy of punk books that began with my coming of age novel Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich, continued with my second short story collection Amazing Punk Stories.
All three books have as much of a foundation and influence in the punk and hardcore of my youth as they do the horror novels and movies I consumed. Growing up in Bloomington, Indiana I discovered horror movies watching a late night horror host named Sammy Terry that showed horror movies late night on friday. I had lost my mother when I was 12 and it put me at a dark spot, I learned to embrace the dark tale to avoid despair.
As a kid I always liked being different, whatever my sister was into I liked the opposite. Whatever all the kids at school were into I liked the opposite. So punk and horror were naturals for me. The first Punk rock song I heard was Nazi Punks Fuck Off by the Dead Kennedys. I laughed because they cursed, and the song was so fast I couldn’t believe it. Knowing I was a horror movie fan my friend’s older sister suggested I listen to the Misfits and it was over. I was hooked.
Indiana had a bigger and more active punk scene than people outside of the state would ever give it credit for. Bloomington was a college with a music scene that produced hundreds of punk and alternative bands from the Gizmos in the late 70’s to today. I played in a few bands myself, put on hardcore shows for a few years but mostly I was another slamdancer in the basement.
The punk and hardcore scene was my world growing up. It was everything to me. I loved movies that depicted this world but most didn’t ring true to me. Most felt like they were made by people who researched punk, and had not lived it.
So for years I have been wanting to tell stories that represent that world while exploring well known tropes of genre. Amazing Punk Stories for example has a space opera, western spy story, cannibals in the woods and haunted houses stories.
Punk Rock Ghost Story is a little different. Inspired by the lost Indiana punk band the Fuckers.
Unlike bands like the Gizmos who are fondly remembered or the Zero Boys who are still playing they were a Indiana band that disappeared. Lost to history in part because the singer Frank Huff who went by the stage name Frank Fucker never came home. They made one tour of the states in a van held together by duct tape, with handmade records, violence, riots and mayhem followed them. Little was known besides a mystery what happened to Frank?
Punk Rock Ghost Story is a novel not a history, but a story that seeks to answer questions. We will never know what happened for sure, that is why I had to blend a fictional and real punk scene. The novel aims to be a traditional ghost story but it has a underlying theme I didn’t discover until I had finished the first draft.
The punk rock scene of 1982 and 2016 are very different. Punk has been declared dead more times than I can count, and Dead Kennedy’s correctly pointed that it needed a good death. The novel explores those changes and how the ghost of the lost scene that hangs over the young kids who want desperately to be a part of the trailblazing part they missed.
I hope you’ll check out the novel, it was labor of love that worked on for almost nine years.
San Diego September 2016
Go here to pick up a copy from Amazon.
Favorite punk albums I listened to while writing this record:
Circle Jerks – Group Sex and Wild in the Streets
Dead Kennedys – Plastic Surgery Disasters
Bad Brains – Rock For Light
The Accused – More Fun Than a Open Casket Funeral
The Exploited – Horror Epics
Zero Boys – Vicious Circle
Cock Sparrer – Shock troops
Blitz – Voice of a Generation
Minor Threat discography
7 Seconds Walk Together, Rock Together
David Agranoff is the author of four published novels, and two short story collections. His novels include The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting The Moon Tribe, and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. His first short story collection, Screams from a Dying World, was nominated for the Wonderland Book award. His short stories have appeared in Dark Discoveries, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, and his story Punkupine Moshers of the Apocalypse appeared in the Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade anthology.
David has more than five-hundred book reviews, focused mostly on sci-fi and horror fiction, on his blog, Davidagranoff.blogspot.com. He cut his teeth doing a straight-edge hardcore zine called Voicebox.