This weekend I got to do several things I really enjoyed, one of which was to see my favorite band, Old 97s, in concert at Terminal West in Atlanta. What’s so amazing about that — aside from the fact that any time a mom with two small kids gets to go to a grownup show and dance her ass off is a minor miracle — is that it was my first time seeing them in concert since I put their lyrics in The Marriage Pact. (“Valentine,” page 143, in case you missed it.)
For those of you who don’t know this, song lyrics are – rightly – highly protected pieces of intellectual property. You can’t just decide you want to quote your favorite song in a book and put a note in back crediting the songwriter. It’s complicated. There are copyright owners (who might be the authors, the management company, the record label, etc.) and there’s a whole process for getting permissions that can be time
consuming and expensive and generally lead nowhere, especially for a first-time author, self-published, with no credibility and no audience.
But those lyrics were important to me, and important to Marci, and they helped both of us get over heartaches on the road from Austin to Atlanta. I think — I hope — they add something to the book, a little flavor, a little poetry. So I reached out to the band, gushing, and took a shot in the dark they might just work with me. They did. The lovely Murry Hammond got back to me quickly and after a couple of quick emails it was done. They were so gracious, it made me love them all the more.
Now that The Marriage Pact series has found a home with St. Martin’s Press and is wrapped in its pretty hardback cover, I’ve been anxious for the stars to align so I could see Old 97s in person and say thank you with some signed copies. I got to do that this past Saturday, and had a blast. AND, the band not only put on an amazing show, but they were all kind enough to sign the lyrics page of my copy of The Marriage Pact. Like a freaking high school yearbook. It was the best.
And if you’ve never heard Old 97s, do yourself a favor and check them out. They’re the band you never knew you always loved. If you can listen to Rollerskate Skinny three times without moving, I’ll give you a dollar.
Check them out. The albums are all good. They will shorten any drive, improve any workout, heal any heartbreak (along with time, revenge and ice cream).
But I have to tell you honestly… they’re better in person. 🙂
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