Chuck Palahniuk has a reputation.
As the author of the acclaimed, darkly satirical novel Fight Club, among a dozen others, he knows how to push people’s buttons.
So when we invited him to play Guest DJ and saw his picks included such hoary 70s epics as Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, & the hoariest of all, Don McLean’s deathless “American Pie“, I suspected these were going to be more than just some old favorite tunes.
And like the savvy, subversive storyteller that he is, Palahniuk did not disappoint, with the selections serving as auditory memories of agonizing junior high school dances and assorted dead end jobs.
What also became clear was the primacy he gives to songs’ lyrics, even committing the complete “Pie” to memory – which he was perfectly willing to prove!
I always enjoy learning about professional writers’ musical picks, as there is inevitably a close relationship between the rhythmic poetry of fiction and the literary qualities of pop music for them.
Plus, you often get a little secret insight into some of the characters from their books (can you guess what artist served as musical inspiration for Tyler from Fight Club?)
So venture into the musical world of Chuck Palahniuk – if you dare!
ERIC J. LAWRENCE