Thursday Thirteen: Turn that Noise Down!


If you have been here this past week, you know I’m actually out of town until around noon on Thursday. But… why let something like that stop a girl? That’s what auto-scheduling’s all about.

Regardless of where I am, I am very excited about the interview we’re halfway through. I posted the first half on Monday, and will post the second half soon. But it made me think about me and my own love of music. Reading Do The Devil’s Work For Him was like stepping back in time. All of it came rushing back to me. What’s it, you ask?


1. IT was first awakened… shoot. I don’t know. In the 1980s, when hair bands reigned supreme. I think it began when I sat at lunch and listened to a friend gush about her love of Bon Jovi.

2. Maybe it was before that, because I think I already had my part-time job at a record store (anyone remember those?) by then. So maybe it was working at the record store that gave IT to me.

3. Hair bands aside, the late 1980s was a great time to get into music. It was so vibrant, so alive. Innocent, even. And at the same time, so cool.

4. I loved that rock star look. The glamour. I wanted to help make it come true.

5. Through my work at the record store, I met representatives for the various record labels, who came in to build displays featuring the bands they repped. They told me that I, too, could do what they did. I began to dream.

6. When I went to college, it was fully with the idea of a future working in the music biz. So I landed myself a job at the Union’s record store. I met more label reps, who turned me on to some very cool music. (Dan Reed Network? Midnight Oil?)

7. Even before that, I got involved with my campus radio stations and became a licensed radio operator (My FCC license was approved on December 24. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I loved the timing. What a present, indeed.)

8. When I left that college for Pitt, I took over WPTS-FM like a storm. Soon, I was running the show. Later, I ran the department I created. I was the first in town to give airplay to bands like Alice in Chains. Yep, I knew the late, great, Layne Staley. I took him out for O fries one night. That’s the sort of radio chick I was.

9. Part of my responsibilities involved talking to the reps from various record labels and letting them know where their bands fell on my playlists. I made many friends, all of whom knew my career ambitions. A few even took me under their wings. I’m still friendly with four of them, today.

10. Job offers rolled in. I spent spring break of my senior year in New York, shadowing one of those four friends. What would my life be like if I took this job? I could do it, but…. when would I write? I’m built to write. Always have been.

11. In the 11th hour, I walked away from a job in the music business. At times like this, when the planets are in the right alignment and the present day reminds me of what I left behind, I ache for it. I miss being part of it. But I don’t regret walking away.

12. My parents still, to this day, ask when I’m going to outgrow my love of the music biz and metal. After all this time, I can’t see it happening.

13. So what is IT? My love, my passion, my need, my desire. As I need to write the way I need to breathe, I need to have music around me. Good music, stuff that makes me come alive and react much the way my fictional Mitchell does. It’s what I need to fuel my fiction, even when I’m writing characters like Lyric, who have very little to do with music.

More about all this to come…



  1. Harriet

    July 30, 2009 10:48 am

    Loved your list/info!
    I remember those days of hanging out at the record store.

  2. Sandy

    July 30, 2009 12:22 pm

    Hope you’re having a good time on your trip. Popping in to ask some friends for a favor, could you pop round please to see what I’m talking about.


  3. Celticlibrarian

    July 30, 2009 2:33 pm

    Music is what its all about, my friend. Hope your trip went well. Someone’s cell phone went off in the library earlier this week, and I had to listen to the song they had as their ring tone as soon as I got home.

    “It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!”

  4. vange

    July 30, 2009 10:30 pm

    If I could go back in time, I’d be a back up singer for Ray Charles. What a great time to be in the music biz!

  5. Julia Smith

    July 30, 2009 11:06 pm

    Just LOVED this T13, Susan! So great to hear more about you – the Susan I’ve come to know and love.

  6. Alice Audrey

    August 1, 2009 6:50 pm

    I hear you loud and clear.

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