Friday, June 01, 2012

Eels - "That Look You Give That Guy"

A little more than two years after I conducted my first interview for it, my book on the Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations: The Story of Eels, arrives today in stores in the U.S. (You can order it here from Amazon.) I can't believe it. After all the interviews and research and writing, I still can't quite come to terms with the fact that a book I've wanted to write for about 10 years is out there in the world.

When my interview subjects would ask me about my interest in writing a book on Eels, I always told them the same story. When my wife and I were first dating, she asked me, "If you could write a book about any artist, who would it be?" She assumed I would want to write one on Bob Dylan because he's my favorite musician of all time, but I responded that everyone has written a Dylan book -- what else is there to say about him? "No, I'd really like to write a book about E. He's really underrated, and someone needs to explain why he's such a fantastic songwriter." Years later, I was approached by Omnibus Press to write an Eels book -- it was a dream come true.

My hope is that Eels fans will love my book and feel that I've expressed their own thoughts about E's genius. During the process of writing this book -- the first full-length Eels biography -- the two most discouraging responses I would get from people were: (1) "You're writing a book about the Eagles?" -- clearly, I need to enunciate better -- and (2) "Didn't the Eels have, like, one hit? Is there interest in an Eels book?" I want my book to help explain why E has been one of the most consistent musical forces of the last 20 years, even if not enough people were paying attention.

I'm still too close to the experience of writing The Story of Eels to fully absorb what it meant to my life. I got to meet some pretty amazing people, who generously shared their stories. And while E didn't sit down for an interview, he was kind enough to let some of those close to him talk to me, which I very much appreciate. I don't expect this book to have a wide audience, but like the Eels' music, it's not supposed to. It's meant for those who care. And I hope they do.

Since today is also Friday, that means it's time for your weekly video. Of course, it's by Eels. Beautiful song, hilarious clip.