My second book,
is now finally available. Here's a wee taste,
a sneak peek at some advance excerpts:
I remember hanging out with Cathy in my parents’ living room on Thanksgiving night in 1975, listening to BJ-105 FM, a popular Orlando radio station. Mixed in among current hits from such pop artists as The Captain and Tennille, Barry Manilow and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, I heard for the first time a distinctive-sounding, hard rock, live concert recording. I couldn’t help but notice the abrasive guitars and gang-style back-up vocals chanting, “I – wanna rock and roll all ni-ee-ite, and party ever-ee day.” It was loud, heavy and I didn’t like it. In my estimation, Cathy knew everything about music. Consequently, I asked her, “What’s this crap?” She immediately replied, “This is Kiss. And they’re cool!”
I’d recently seen the band members’ outrageously painted faces on their album covers at the local record store in the mall. I also recalled having seen a commercial for their television appearance that summer on The Midnight Special. Their trademark make-up, leather outfits, platform boots, and fire-breathing, blood-spitting antics frightened me. And although The Midnight Special was my favorite TV show, I definitely did not tune in that week.
But Cathy confidently endorsed these weirdoes, and who was I to argue? From Elton John to Steely Dan, she’d always been on-point with every other musical recommendation. Could she also be right about Kiss? Hmm, I had my doubts this time.
My younger brother Greg was the first in my immediate circle to (bravely) purchase a Kiss record. Although I openly chastised him for his lack of sound musical judgment, I’d often secretly crank up his 8-track tape of Kiss’s Destroyer album when nobody else was at home. I was quickly hooked on their high-octane, heavy rock anthems like “Detroit Rock City,” “God of Thunder,” “Shout it Out Loud,” and “Flaming Youth.” Before long I personally owned several Kiss albums. I also began buying every magazine I could find that featured pictures or stories of the band and my parents were becoming very concerned. I remember dressing up as Kiss drummer Peter Criss for Halloween in 1976. I didn’t possess the means to recreate his outrageous stage costume, so being a rather resourceful kid I just wore my green leisure suit, claiming I was paying tribute to Peter’s Dressed to Kill album cover look. I was clearly becoming a bona fide “Kiss Freak.” ***
CHAPTER FIVE – We’re Not Joking (Excerpt)
Ultimately I became more comfortable (and graceful) onstage. I learned to combine my knack for storytelling with my growing ability to connect with an audience which somehow allowed me to get past my lack of singing talent. As they say, “If you can’t dazzle ‘em with brilliance, baffle ‘em with…” well, you know. This theory would prove to be the basis of everything Dead Serios would ever do.
As for the misspelling of “Serios,” we weren’t intentionally trying to come up with some cool ‘80s style, Def Leppard-like spelling. “Serios” is misspelled simply because the guy who designed our logo smoked a lot of pot. When he first laid out the original design, he ran out of space on the paper and reasoned that the letter “U” wasn’t terribly significant.
And I don’t know where it came from, but I’ve always finished each show with the now infamous tagline, “We’re not joking… We’re DEAD SERIOS!
… It was in late 1988 when I first noticed that things were starting to happen for Dead Serios. We had just won our first Battle of the Bands competition at a local club one night. While I admired the four-foot-tall trophy perched on the front passenger seat of my pickup truck, I decided to turn on the radio for a little music on the ride home. Wouldn’t you know that at that very moment, a track from our current record, Blow Chunks, was playing on WFIT. It was pretty surreal.
By the summer of 1989, we were packing every local venue that we played. In fact, Dead Serios was drawing bigger crowds on Monday and Tuesday nights than most other area acts were drawing on the weekends. Even national level rock stars were coming to our shows. It wasn’t odd to be playing in Orlando and look up to see Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore in the audience or UFO’s Paul Chapman. One night in particular I recall peeking out the window of a little club we were playing in Indialantic, Florida. It was just before show time and standing at the front of the line out on the sidewalk was Slayer guitarist, Kerry King. I nearly wet myself right there. I rushed to the back of the club to alert our bassist, Joe Del Corvo, but by the time we could get back to the front door, King was gone. I asked the doorman where the angry-looking guy with tattoos had gone. “He didn’t have an I.D. so I sent him away,” the doorman replied.
We played a multi-band outdoor festival at Wickham Park in Melbourne during the summer of ‘89. Hundreds of people packed in near the front of the stage, sweltering in the July heat. The crowd became so unruly that our show had to be stopped a couple of times while security guys pulled people out the crowd, placing some into squad cars and some into ambulances… ***
CHAPTER TEN – Damascus Road (Excerpt)
I finally had gotten my big break in 2010, although not in the way I had imagined in my younger days. My first book was set to arrive in stores that spring and I found myself surrounded by friends, family and writing colleagues, all slapping me on the back, congratulating me on my accomplishment. However, I still felt oddly unfulfilled and empty inside. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. And given the warning I’d received recently from Poison’s henchman that my life soon was to be “destroyed,” I also felt like a complete failure. Oh sure, my dream seemingly had come true, but when it did – IT SUCKED! My once action-packed “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll” world was now becoming a very dark place (demons and all). But like they say, it’s always darkest just before the dawn.
…One night I found myself alone, sitting in my kitchen, talking to myself. My house was clean, my affairs were in order and I had a knife lying on the table. My head was swimming as the overwhelming voices egged me on to, “Do it! Do it!” I wanted to kill myself so badly at that moment that I practically could taste the steel blade slicing through my veins. But just as I was at the height of THE darkest moment of my life, the phone rang. An angel was on the line...
…I began my personal study in the New Testament because even I knew what the red ink indicated and I wanted to read for myself the exact words from Jesus. I soon discovered that the Word of God is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. In fact, everything I was reading in the New Testament could be applied to what I was currently dealing with. Ever since I was a young church boy, I’ve believed that all have come short of the glory of God, yet all can be forgiven – made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. But as I was approaching fifty, the Word of God seemed fresh. It was speaking directly to me and I was now (finally) listening... ***
Author Christopher Long's latest book,
C'MON! - My Story of Rock, Ruin and Revelation
C'MON! - My Story of Rock, Ruin and Revelation
*Available NOW on Amazon!