Saturday, July 3, 2010

A rock musician's view on success

Guest post by Thomas Hauck, author of Pistonhead.

Published: February 7th, 2009 by, Inc. (first published February 1st, 2009)
Paperback, 176 pages
ISBN: 1601457448 (ISBN13: 9781601457448)

In writing “Pistonhead,” I had several goals that I wanted to accomplish. I hope that I have succeeded. Here is a brief review of what I hope readers will take away from the book.

Having spent fifteen years in the music industry as a rock musician, I wanted to give readers a glimpse into the everyday life of a struggling artist. Charlie Sinclair is not a superstar who travels to stadium gigs in a private jet; he holds down a day job and can barely pay his bills. Pistonhead (the band) have released several CDs but are still playing the club circuit around Boston, Massachusetts. The book opens on a Thursday night and Pistonhead are playing a gig at the Big Ditch Club in Boston. Unfortunately, it is almost show time and the band’s drug-addicted lead singer, Rip, is nowhere to be found. In the nick of time he shows up and the band tries to win over an unruly audience. After the show, at three in the morning, Charlie returns to his mouse-infested apartment. But there is little time to rest; four hours later he has to get up to go to work at Evergreen Software, where he is a supervisor on an assembly line.

This is the life that I wanted to show - a grueling life shared by many creative people (writers, actors, musicians, artists) all over America. I wanted to illustrate that the creative life of songwriting and playing gigs is not that much different from working on an assembly line. Songs must be written and rehearsed and recorded; quality must be maintained; inferior products must be abandoned. The marketplace rules.

The deeper theme of the book is this: how do you define success? Charlie and his bandmates assume that success is measured by how many CDs you sell or how many people attend your concerts or how many groupies you attract. But when tragedy strikes and the fate of Pistonhead hangs in the balance, Charlie has to decide what really matters to him. Is it creativity, or is it material success? With the help of his new love interest (a young woman who is decidedly not a groupie), Charlie is able to take a big step forward in his life.

Many people ask me if “Pistonhead” is autobiographical. I will only say that about two-thirds of the scenes and events in the book are absolutely real. I won’t say which two-thirds. But I will testify that the very talented lead singers in the bands I worked with were not like Rip – they were totally professional and were never late for a show. I will also say that the Mass Rehab characters and scenes in the Evergreen Software factory are one hundred percent authentic – even the guy who thought that he was possessed by Satan. That particular scene happened exactly as written.

My newest novel is “Lucas Manson,” a horror thriller. When FBI Special Agent Mark Dylan investigates a brutal double homicide, he enters the mysterious world of the Kingdom Seven Family Temple, a growing cult headed by the charismatic millionaire Minister Lucas Manson. As Dylan and his partner Jill Kelly probe deeper into the hidden world of the temple and its sinister practices, they are forced to question their own identities, and soon they learn that friends cannot be distinguished from enemies – and that their lives will change forever. It’s available both in paperback and as an e-book.

~End of Thomas' post~

I was delighted to receive a copy of Pistonhead to read and review. There aren't many books about music on my bookshelves so this one was a great addition. :)

About the book:

Charlie Sinclair plays guitar in a rock band. He works on an assembly line. His best friend is a drug addict. Pistonhead is the story of one week in Charlie Sinclair's life - a week that changed him forever.

About the author:

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas A. Hauck earned his B.A. in History of Art at Tufts University. After college, Tom embarked on a 15-year career as a rock musician and songwriter, playing guitar and writing songs with Boston-based bands including the Atlantics and Ball and Pivot.

Tom left the music business in the early 1990s and embarked on a successful career in non-profit administration and development. In 2004 he earned his M.B.A. at Endicott College. After serving with leading Boston-area cultural non-profits, Tom founded Thomas Hauck Communications Services in 2006. Tom is a professional freelance writer and the editor of Renaissance Magazine. Tom lives with his wife and two children in an 1851 Greek Revival house overlooking historic Gloucester Harbor.

***For more info on Pistonhead and Lucas Manson, visit Thomas Hauck's website at
***Read my review of Pistonhead by Thomas Hauck.

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