ARE YOU REDADY TO ROCK?
The truth is that the first 13 years of my lif ebefore I met you-have been SUPER BORING. My life didn't really start until two Weeks ago. That Was the day I decided to become a full-on, fire-breathing MEGALORD OF RRRRROCK.
I mean, just because I have absolutely no musical ability is no reason to give up on my destiny. You see, I found this book that's going to turn me into a ROCK GOD-no talent required! Now all I have to do is survive long enough to read it.
Yours in Rock,
Barnabas Miller has written many books for children and young adults. His most recent young adult novel, 7 Souls, was published in July 2010. He also composes and produces music for film and network television. He lives in New York City with his wife, Heidi; their cat, Ted; and their dog, Zooey.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Hi, it's me, Nigel. I mean, not Nigel, but I'll explain that in a second.
Sammy, I'm writing to find out if you are okay. Are you okay? And also, where are you? You took off so fast, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to you, so I have to write you this letter because I'm not supposed to talk to you, and you don't have an email address, and there are some way important things I need to tell you.
First of all, I wanted to let you know that because of you, I have officially decided to become an all-powerful god of rock. Not just a rock musician but a full-on, fire-breathing MEGALORD OF RRRRROCK. I know this won't be easy (yes, Mom will still try to make me wear the wrinkle-proof Dockers and the loafers with the actual pennies in them), but I've got to try, Sammy. I've got to try. Second of all, you told me that if I wanted to become a full-on, fire breathing MEGALORD OF RRRRROCK, I would have to speak the Truth with a capital T, and I think I finally know what you mean.
So, I'm writing to tell you the Truth, Sammy. The whole Truth about me. A lot of it will sound pretty freaky, especially when I get to the part about the ancient tribe of grandpas in tight leather pants and bandannas who are trying to kill me. That is the part you probably won't believe, but I swear it's true, even if you think I'm psycho. There are a bunch of evil rock and roll grandpas who want me dead. Or maybe they want me dead or alive, I'm not really sure. To be honest, I can't really tell the good guys from the bad guys yet, but I know I can trust you, Sammy, so here it is. The Truth about me with a capital T.
First of all, remember at the beginning of the letter when I said that I wasn't Nigel? Well, that is the first thing I need to tell you. My real name is not Nigel "Hot Wings" Thunderdome. You probably knew that since it doesn't sound like a real name. My real name is B.J. Levine, which sounds way less rockin' than Nigel "Hot Wings" Thunderdome, but my mom won't let me change it. Also, I think I should tell you that I am not really from Hillshire Farms, England. You probably knew that too since Hillshire Farms is a smoked breakfast sausage. Plus, you've toured all over the world, so you probably know that there's no Hillshire Farms, England. I really wish I had come up with something better, but it was the most English-sounding name I could come up with at the time, and also I was thinking a lot about smoked sausage after Terry the Wunder-Dwarf cooked up all that bacon at the show.
Look, Sammy, the truth is...I'm from Cleveland. Yes, Cleveland, Ohio. I know. Boring. But I just moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, and that's a lot less boring, right? At least it's closer to England.
Really, I think the truest thing I can say about my life is that the first thirteen years have been super boring. More boring than I even realized. It turns out my life didn't really start until about two weeks ago. That was the day we moved to New York, and that was the day this total freak named Merv showed up at our new house.
Now, Sammy, this is really important. You need to be on the lookout for Merv. He looks kind of like a hundred-year-old old biker dude,but more like one of those hobo wizards from that '80s band ZZ Top. Do you know ZZ Top? I think they have a song on Guitar Hero III. Wait, what am I saying? Of course you know ZZ Top. You know like every band in the world ever. Well, Merv looks kind of like one of them, so you've gotta keep your eyes open. He wears a dusty old leather jacket, a red bandanna, and these really tight leather pants. He has a long, scraggly red beard and these bulging, bloodshot eyes. His eyes are what scared me to death when he showed up at my house, especially when he asked to talk to my dad. The weird thing was that my dad actually talked to Merv-like really talked to him-which was so strange because my dad doesn't really talk to anyone that much. He just kind of mumbles and strums his guitar, and-
Wait. This letter isn't making any sense, right? Now I'm going way too fast. I told you I was a lousy writer.
Okay, all you really need to know about my dad is this: Dad only cares about two things. He cares about his guitars, and he cares about his quilt. Yes, you read that right. My dad is in love with a big orange quilt. He had it nailed to the wall of our basement in Cleveland, but the second we walked into our new house, he just dropped all his bags, dug into his suitcase, and pulled out that quilt. He had it all carefully folded inside a million pounds of plastic wrap. He unwrapped it really slowly and tacked it up on our new kitchen wall like it was the only piece of furniture we needed. See, the whole thing about my dad's quilt is that it's got his favorite song lyric sewn on it in big black letters. It's the same song lyric we talked about, Sammy, and I'm telling you right now, I still think it is the dumbest lyric I have ever heard.
But that's really where I should start my story. I should start with the crazy quote on Dad's quilt. Because I was reading it the morning Merv showed up at my house and changed my life.