Several months ago, my friend Harry Evans (drummer for The Throes and lead singer of Poole) challenged me to “write a story called ‘Sole Operator.’ 1, 2, 3… Go!”
So I did.
And much to my delight, the good people at Out of the Gutter Online’s Flash Fiction Offensive decided to publish the result, my first story to appear there. (The email I received saying they accepted the story said, “You are a twisted muther.” I hope “Sole Operator” lives up to that high praise…)
SPOILER-TYPE DETAILS BELOW. Read the story here before continuing.
Since “Sole Operator” is about a rock band and is set in 1996, I thought it would be fun to include a few references to bands and artists who were popular around that time. So tucked into the story are nods (some larger than others) to Sade, Robert Palmer, the Cranberries, and Vanilla Ice. (I’m inordinately proud of the Vanilla Ice reference.)
The story’s title, “Sole Operator,” comes from a song on Poole’s album Among Whom We Shine. I borrowed a few lyrics from that song as well.
The “influential indie rock mag” Notebored is also appropriated from real-life: I worked at a magazine called Notebored in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Editor Brent Hershey, publisher George Metzler, art director Ned Bustard and I (thinking back, I’m not sure I ever had a real title) had a lot of great times putting that mag together in our office on the top floor of a barn in Atglen, Pennsylvania.
Here’s a video from Poole, “Supermerica,” from the album Alaska Days: http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/7946342 (That’s Harry on lead vocals.)