GETTING MORE TALE #833: Introduction to the 1986 Saga
Upon reflection, I don’t think any year was more pivotal in my life, personally and musically, than 1986. When I finally posted the “lost chapter” about 1986 a couple years ago (over 5000 words!), I thought I had said everything I had to say about that year. I was wrong.
A few weeks ago I started writing more chapters from that period, reliving the music, sometimes trauma. There was a lot still to unpack. The Catholic school years were not pleasant. After writing a particularly raw chapter (to be called “Flag Boy”), I received some really good advice. “Have you ever tried writing a letter to your younger self?”
The idea is to show kindness to your inner child. While I was familiar with the concept, doing it myself had never occurred me to. That’s not the kind of writing that I do. But what if I could frame it in such a way so that it is the kind of writing that I do?
In a caffeine-fuelled two-hour spurt I wrote a story, including the letter, which flowed out of me like a stream. I played the very same albums while writing that I played back then. Emotions were happening so I had to stop a couple times. By the end of it I was completely spent. It was not only a therapeutic experience, but I also pushed my abilities past their normal boundaries. The end result is a story I am so proud of that I’ve chosen to publish it, even though that wasn’t the original intent. I chose “me, 1986” as the younger self to write to and so it only makes sense to include this work as part of the series.
The 1986 Saga currently stands at five chapters, with the letter as the centerpiece. Music exists as an important component to every part of this journey. Rock music. Hard rock music.
I hope it’s not too much of a downer. Some chapters are funny, and I made sure the Saga has an upbeat and optimistic ending. And so it should. I’m still breathing, right? I’m still rocking and rolling, keeping on keeping on, and doing my part to spread the rock to every corner of the globe.
Including the previously published lost chapter “1986”, this series will make it a total over 11,000 words on the subject. If this were a proper book like an autobiography I would have weaved them together into a single chapter, but the nature of online publishing means you get the instant gratification of posting piece by piece any time you want. The end result feels more like a “work in progress”, but I get to put everything out now and feel that satisfaction from it.
Because everything has to connect back to music, we’ll be revisiting early love of W.A.S.P., Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Spinal Tap, and of course, Kiss. Music helped me survive that year, and hopefully by the end of the 1986 Saga you will understand how.
THE 1986 SAGA