William A. Hainline: Reality Engineer

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The go-to site for fans of science fiction writer William A. Hainline. Also the go-to site for non-fans, or anybody else who wants to follow what this curmudgeonly weirdo of a writer is currently up to in the depths of his mad science dungeon.

In Celebration Of"Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical"

Heya guys! In celebration of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, I’m gonna share with you my favorite music video for my favorite Meat Loaf song by Steinman! It’s the video for “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through,” starring a young Angelina Jolie. Check it out! it’s my favorite video because it manages to combine some of my favorite things: Angelina Jolie when she was young and extremely hot . . . Meat Loaf and Steinman music . . . Elves . . . Jukeboxes and motorcycles . . . themes of rescue and redemption . . . . themes of music and imagination saving people . . . the ideas that the magic of soulful music can save you when nothing else can. And oh yeah, — the hot Angelina Jolie thing. But that’s mostly nostalgia for the days of my youth talking. :-)

You can count me in the club whom the song "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" has "saved." I don't mind sharing the fact that I was, at one point in my life, a suicidal wreck — before I got my act together and got therapy and got on decent medication for my illness (I'm diagnosed as "schizoaffective, bipolar type") — and one day, I had just about had it — I felt like life was a lemon and I wanted my money back, you might say — and was just about to throw in the towel and say "screw it" and just do myself in and not even leave a note or anything . . . maybe, y'know, just go ahead and swallow too many pills on "accident" . . . and then iTunes just "decides," while I'm sitting there crying, to play the Meat Loaf version of "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" ONE MORE TIME. Now I normally don't believe in fate, or luck, or providence, or any of that crap — BUT — for whatever reason . . . the damn thing chose THAT moment to play THAT song. And . . . I listened. Truly LISTENED. And it touched something inside of me, the way it hadn't in a very long time. The song made me smile. Again. Just one more time. The way it had the first time I'd heard it, a LONG time, far, far ago, in the distant past, when I had very first heard it, way back in 1992. ("It was long ago, and far away.") And I thought to myself, in the words of the great Londo Mollari, "Mr. Garibaldi . . . whatever it is . . . IT CAN'T BE THAT BAD!" (That's a "Babylon 5" reference; don't worry if it's too obscure.) And y'know what? It wasn't. It really wasn't that bad. Any of it. I really did feel like I was "never alone because I could put on the phones and let the drummer tell my heat what to do." In that moment, the angels had guitars even before they had wings, and it was a somewhat "religious" experience for me. (Or as close as I, an atheist, was going to get to one.) And so i dried my face off, and I sucked it up for just ONE more afternoon and put one foot in front of the other, and kept on going. Because of that song. And that was the day I started writing again for the first time after a two year dry spell. And I felt such a feeling of relief." I kept on believin'. Because when I really, really needed it most, that was the day that rock and roll dreams came through. This is especially poignant, because this was a few years before my friend Joe actually DID commit suicide, and the tragedy shattered all of the lives of those who loved him. And since then, nothing has been the same; I look back now — objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are — and I think, "How could I have been so shortsighted?" But I also think back to how that song saved me that day, and how Jim's music has that power . . . and how I wish maybe JOE's copy of iTunes had maybe played that song at just the right moment. What if . . . WHAT IF, y'know?


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