Inspiration comes from the strangest places and via the strangest circumstances. In my case, a small pile of shingles hit my head and I came up with the idea to write this book. Here is the tale:
On March 1st, 2004, I awoke to the sound of roofers hammering, tearing and throwing shingles off of my building's roof. Since it was the first of the month, I had to venture out of my apartment in order to drop off my rent check in the leasing office. I slowly walked down the steps and saw piles of shingles and exposed nails all over the sidewalk. I kept looking up and down to make sure I wouldn't either step on a nail or get hit by a pile of shingles. Right as I think I'm the clear as I'm walking away from my building . . .
A small pile of shingles with some dirt smacks the right side of my forehead and hits one of my hands. I wasn't scratched up too badly, but I was stung. I drop my keys and look up to see if anybody sees me. I see a handful of roofers just staring at me - not saying anything - just staring. I was a little miffed but I had to turn my check in and leave for my afternoon gig. I wasn't bleeding very much but my head and hand were stinging. Ever the non-complainer, I turned in my check and got into my car.
Now I don't about you, but whenever I'm sick or not feeling well, I try to focus on the time when I'll be better and the "sickness" is a distant memory. As I'm driving down the Dallas North Tollway, I kept thinking about this book called Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo. I hadn't read it yet, but I had heard some very unfavorable reviews of it in various places (like the Blackball Records' message board and the user reviews on Amazon.com). Since this book was covering a style of music that meant a lot to me, I was discouraged by what I was hearing and what I had seen when I skimmed through the book at a bookstore. That book's depiction is more about how a younger generation is affected by the name brand, mainstream version of emo, and I couldn't relate to what I was reading. Before, I was sure that some professional journalist would write a better and more serious look at the innerworkings of what became emo for the masses. Dealing with a minor headwound and thinking of when things were going to be "better," an epiphany hit me as I went through the Wycliff toll plaza: I should write a book on this and write it in the vein of the book that inspired me so much, Our Band Could Be Your Life.
From that moment on, I realized that Do It Yourself wasn't just limited to releasing records. Hearing stories about how people just got out and did stuff, regardless of track record or credibilty, it struck me as to how powerful and open-to-interpretation DIY was.
Probably because of the state I was in, I realized I was 30 minutes ahead of the time I usually got to my afternoon gig. Using the extra time I had, I e-mailed my friend Nick and told him I had this crazy book idea. He wrote back and said that it wasn't a crazy idea and that he'd help me out with releasing it.
Ever since that day, I've been writing and researching almost non-stop. And all of this from some scraps of shingles.