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Prelude to a Lick | Scott Hefflon | rant | column | Lollipop

Prelude to a Lick

The Editor's Rant

by Scott Hefflon
collage by Scott Hefflon

This is my first Prelude to a Lick in a year. This is also our Seven Year Anniversary issue. And somewhere, a handful of confetti was thrown... This seems like a good time to get all reflective and summarize "what's been going on" for the last year, the last couple years since we did that Five Year Anniversary special issue, and the last seven years I've been doing this little project thingy called Lollipop. Luckily, memory loss runs in my family and I've sped up the process – as is my way – by being drunk as much as possible for the last, um, 15 years or so...

"Know Thyself." Anniversaries are often triggers for reflection. And I'd be remiss to overlook the subtle irony of the broken mirror metaphor of this seven year benchmark. But to say this experience has been bad luck would be a great oversimplification. While it sure as shit hasn't been easy, and I've watched more flash-in-the-pan creative people blow their wads and realize their wild streak was merely hair dye that soon washed out, the all-consuming drive to organize odds'n'ends of people's misfiring subconsciousnesses has certainly been interesting. To say the least...

My last Prelude was a double, prefaced (Preface to a Prelude to a Lick?) by The Writing on the Wall, in issue 47. It's online, if you're curious. In it, I rambled on about the lopsided state of the music industry (furthered in issue 50's Why The Music Industry is So Screwed Up), and went on to discuss more. The drive to do more. And a year later, I find myself almost repeating the same rant, locking antlers with my rather annoying tendency to throw metaphors and thought-provoking tangents around, thus never really getting to the freakin' point I'm trying to make.

More, More, MORE! To fake a bit of enthusiasm to get rolling, then discover there's actually some merit to it (foreplay, if you will), there's so much out there, I just can't fathom why anyone'd pull in the reins, pull over to the side of the highway, let others go whizzing past, and set up camp at some mildly picturesque roadside attraction. Why stop? I've written (elsewhere) about over-stimulization, the mental image being that if you stay on the road for "too long" driving "too fast," the scenery becomes a constant blur, and that can be dangerous (because you really can't see where you're going anymore) and it defeats the purpose of traveling in the first place (which is to see what's out there). Only the blindly ambitious misunderstand that there's a destination; one that, once reached, is the spot to settle on, entrench roots in, defend with picket fences and zoning laws, and ultimately sap of all natural resources. The true adventurers realize that there are destinationsss. As many as suit your fancy. And when your weekend getaway becomes a community, a village, a string of housing developments with sushi bars, over-priced coffee shops, and laws that prohibit smoking on the sidewalk, much less in the gift shops, you know it's time to pack the family wagon and move on.

I originally wrote about four times this amount, but as is often the case, there's no room left. If you never stopped to think about what ideas were glossed over in movies, what news clips and sound-bites never made it to the air, what additional insight and perspective you've been denied because of the limitation and restrictions of the medium, well, good for fuckin' you...

While I kinda hate to do this, there's some summarizin' I feel I need to do... Everyone hates editors that simply rattle off the table of contents, offer a little (very little) depth and perspective to each piece, and express how excited (on this scale, amazed) everyone is that the issue came together.

For unknown reasons, last issue had few features. So, as is the nature of such things, I overcompensated and this one has a freakin' LOT of them. A few more'll be online-only -- Leatherface and Dillinger Four among them, hopefully -- for those of you into such things.

Another semi-interesting topic is why this issue is a little heavy on, well, heavy music. See, I was supposed to run this magazine called Juggernaut that, after it had put out two issues, just kinda sat around unfinished for a little over a year. It had the potential of being a quarterly, top-notch, full-glossy metal mag, and all I had to do was run it. Seeing as I run Lollipop (almost into the ground a few times, but if you didn't know that, why should I tell you?), I thought it'd be kinda cool to run two mags. I never got a chance because after finishing up issue three -- much of which was already done -- the parent company, Implosion Publishing, folded, went out-of-business, filed Chapter 7 or 11 or whatever, and otherwise finally kicked the bucket. Anyone unfortunate enough to've ever done business with them (probably only once) knows what I'm not saying...

So with a bunch of metal features assigned and received yet no fuckin' magazine to place them in, I added a couple into this issue of Lollipop, and the remainder'll be online -- Snapcase, Old Man's Child, Celtic Frost, Vader, Borknagar, and perhaps a couple of others... (I had to kill the Earth Crisis interview. Yet again, too late, I remember that Karl just can't seem to speak the fuck up despite repeated polite urgings, and I'm left with a tape of background noise, his faint murmurings, and my booming attempts to salvage the piece.)

Moving on to the fiction and essays, Mitchell Greentower -- long-time contributor, recent father, and all-around great guy -- submitted a couple pieces including one on Napster. For those who've followed with amusement as "old school" business tycoons try to use their same control-oriented tactics on the web (and there are a LOT of them; look around for the word "exclusive"), keep your eyes open to the many falters and changes that occur as people realize the playing field is a lot flatter than those hoarding the communication channels want you to realize.

Also, this issue holds the longest and most brutal piece of fiction Lollipop has ever published. This installment of Adam Haynes' The Lonelies will really get to a lot of people, and while I've gotten irate calls from moms across America for what we've printed in the past, this one is pretty damn disturbing and I'm glad we live in a country that protects the rights of those who examine life's dark underbelly.

I was going to "give props" and "shout-outs" to others, but I'm sick of listening to myself. There's more in here, obviously, but it's up to you to dig for it.

One other self-congratulatory note: this issue is the first in a long time to have something by Macaroni McSpoon. Seeing as I wrote this thing a couple of years ago and it never got published in the cool book idea an ex-staffer had that died a quiet death, I thought I'd finally print it. Coming full circle, this was the kind of thing I used to write when I started this magazine with people who aren't involved anymore. It's silly, zany, playful, and I don't give a shit if you think it's space that could've been used better by reviewing yet more records few have heard of that'll never even make brief footnotes in music history. I like it, and I didn't write it to try to sell anything. So there...

Lick me
Scott Hefflon
Editor/Publisher/Energizer Bunny


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