Anybody who tells you that they have no regrets is a liar or a fool. We’ve all got those moments or those decisions in our past that we’d just love to go back and do-over. Too bad it’s impossible. There is no such thing as a time machine. Can’t be done.
That said, going back and changing what I most regret about my life is precisely what I’m doing in my new novel, “The ReWrite.”
Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t a science fiction piece or a religious miracle.
It’s just my imagination. Yeah. Running away with me.
And nothing, I assure you, has more power in this universe than the imagination.
You see, when I was 17 years old, I was the best singer the little town of Port Lavaca, TX had ever encountered. The mellifluous baritone voice that flowed from my mouth, like warm honey butter, was, yes, coming out of this skinny little kid with the second-worst case of acne in school.
Startling. Scary, even.
My Mother used to dream of the day that I’d have my own church choir and sing to Billy Graham revivals that filled stadiums. It would make my Dad, the preacher, so, so, so, whoa… whoa.
Stop right there.
You see, I hated church music. The whole religion thing, as presented to me and my childish, rebellious mind, was an anathema. I couldn’t wait to get shy of the forced subordination to this patently absurd set up, full of smiling lies and deceit.
So, to avoid what I feared would be lifelong bondage to church music, I turned DOWN the full-ride scholarship to Baylor University. (Baptists! Ugh.)
I literally ran from music of all kinds as hard as I could.
This is where my story diverges into what you might call a parallel universe.
Its the universe where I actually take the scholarship, get the music education, learn how to perform and play like a virtuoso, and go on to become the massive superstar that practically invents the term “crossover.” In this universe. I find the perfect girl, and we go an adventure from Canada to Mexico and then around the world, to avoid being drafted to Viet Nam.
Essentially, I take myself apart and reconstruct the best parts in a parallel universe, as a more courageous, more talented version: the person I should have been, where I simultaneously top country, pop, rock, and R&B charts, win 19 Grammy’s and became a household word even more recognizable than Elvis Presley, John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
The novel will include a companion vinyl album with cover art designed by Peter Max, (of course) and a 12-song selection of the best hits of my illustrious career, (production of the album will require funding.) The movie (in pre-production) will include duets with luminaries from the universe of Rock and Roll, such as Leon Russell, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and others.