Longtime professional music journalist Jas Obrecht regularly tells his Washtenaw Community College creative writing students a story from early in his career.
Obrecht was sent by Guitar Player magazine to a music festival to interview Canadian rock guitarist Pat Travers, who, flanked by two young women while snorting cocaine off a mirror in his dressing room, sent Obrecht away. Obrecht stumbled upon a basketball hoop and ball, and after a few minutes of taking shots, a wiry young guy approached and asked to play.
That guy was Eddie Van Halen, who’d recently released Van Halen’s debut, self-titled album; and Obrecht found a new subject for his article.
“The story tells students that if you’re passionate about a subject, no matter what it is, there’s a good chance that others share that passion, and if you know the fundamentals of good writing, you can get paid to write about your own experiences, or about a subject you love,” said Obrecht, who’s also written for Rolling Stone, among other publications. “I did it with music, but you can do it with other things, too, like travel or history.”
More tales are in Obrecht’s newest book, Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth Century American Music, which he’ll discuss at Nicola’s Books on Saturday at 3 p.m. READ THE REST HERE