OK, time to answer the big question: are references to Molly (aka E, X, MDMA, etc.) OK in The Raver Stories Project? The answer is yes, with one major caveat: not making your story entirely about it.
To pretend that drugs aren't a part of pop culture is quite frankly disingenuous, and that's true whether you're talking about pop, rock, hip-hop or rave. However, there's a very important point to be made, and that is that they're only one part, and not even the most important part when you get down to it. The music and the social atmosphere have always been the primary reasons for people gathering in large groups like a rave, and that has never changed. You could have the best drugs in the world on-hand, but if the music at the event is shit, people are going to know it no matter what they might be taking. This is just as true today as it was back in the Prohibition-era Jazz Age ninety years ago. You can't disguise crappy music with outside substances, because people are smarter than that, even when they might be opening the doors of perception. (Thank you, William Blake)
So, if you have the urge to include in your story the experience(s) you had with Molly, then go ahead. Just be careful about what you write, and please make sure that your piece isn't all about that, because raves have always been much more than just an excuse to take a brief break from reality with a pill. This culture would never have lasted as long as it has if that were the case, and again, neither would any other form of popular music. So don't forget to put Molly in her proper context: as an accessory and not as the driving force, because she can't drive.
Hello again everyone!
Good news: the submissions continue to look great! In fact There's one in particular that we'd like to share with you that really nails what this project is all about. It's from one of our Argentinian friends who's written about their sublime experience at "A State Of Trance". We've trimmed their piece down here a bit so we can get straight to the really good parts, the ones that show just what kind of stories we're looking for. We hope you enjoy it.
"I’ve been raving in Argentina since 2012. My first love was Dubstep and I saw a few shows of it, ‘till one of my best friends introduced me to Trance music. I used to love Dubstep, because I would lose my mind with violent basslines and higher BPMs, but when I discovered Trance, I realized that there was much more. I’m not saying that Trance is better than Dubstep, Techno, Hardcore or other genres—in fact, I like almost every single style of electronic music—but with Trance I have a particular relation, because I feel something more with it. In Trance music I find deep feelings, adrenaline, beautiful lyrics like a sunset in a nice place, and it’s always changing. It’s very difficult to get bored with a set of pure Trance, ‘cause you have a moment for every feeling. And if you only wanna dance and jump ‘till the sun rises, trust me, you will."
"In 2014 we celebrated “A State Of Trance”, Episode 650 in Argentina, and the lineup was integrated by: Ruben De Ronde, Chris Schweizer, Heatbeat, Orjan Nilsen, Dash Berlin and Armin Van Buuren. When the day came, all sets were fantastic. Then the final set had come: the organization had added to the lineup a local DJ, Tomas Heredia. He stood up in front of thousands of people waiting for more Trance, and opened his set with Will Atkinson - Watch Out, and everybody went mad."
"Then, something unimaginable happened: Armin Van Buuren appeared beside him and they started a B2B set. The crowd went crazy, and me and my friend started walk to the front stage because we could not believe what we were seeing. When we came to the front, we [watched as] one by one, all the DJ's re-appeared on the stage and they started to play all together. I was stunned...a B7B set happening right in front of my eyes!! I remember every minute from that set. They played a lot of classic old school Trance like Sandstorm from Darude, Apache and other anthems. That night I experienced a feeling like none other before. While dancing and jumping, I couldn’t stop looking all around, and all that I saw was a big (BIG) family having a spectacular moment, united by music. Wherever you put your eyes, a huge smile appeared. Even the DJs were having fun! They were dancing and laughing while playing and it increased the collective hype."
"Then I cried. I don’t really know why, maybe I cried for the uplifting melody that Tomas Heredia was playing, or maybe I cried because I could not believe I was living and dancing something like that. The fact was that my eyes couldn’t hold any more tears, and that drove me to dance with even more emotion and passion. It was one of my favorite gigs ever, and I will remember it forever."
Yes, yes, YES! Give us MORE LIKE THIS!!!
We've been making a lot of progress! The first story submissions have started to come in, and we've got interest from prospective storytellers across the globe. I'm really proud of this, but that's not what this post is about. Actually, it's about a subject that might not immediately be associated with rave music: jazz.
Ever since the late '90s, I've always felt that the rave scene and the early jazz age of the 1920s and '30s shared a startling number of similarities, as far as experiences and themes go. This was thanks largely to Ken Burns' JAZZ,,his ten-episode epic that aired on PBS during the height of the Second Wave of the rave scene (coincidence?). If you choose to invest in Burns' 10-DVD set--a wise choice--I think you'll see what I mean pretty quickly. Both jazz and rave started out as underground music, both became hugely popular largely through word of mouth and media outside of the mainstream, and both were based on dancing. And as it turns out, both had the amazing means to transform lives.
As we've mentioned on this site, every raver has a story. Well, similarly every jazz fan has a story, and some of those stories will no doubt sound startlingly familiar to ravers, for jazz and rave deliver many sublime moments that have been experienced by both generations. As an example, I present to you one of my very favorite moments from JAZZ: the story of a young girl's first time in Harlem's legendary Savoy Ballroom, as told by professional Lindy-Hopper Norma Miller:
If you're a fan of music and that doesn't tug at your heart-strings, I don't know what will. This is exactly the kind of story that we want for THE RAVER STORIES PROJECT. Please feel free to use Norma's most excellent story as a guideline for your own. Don't be afraid to hold back. What was true in Norma's time is just as true today, as far as musical inspiration and joy are concerned.
We've been getting a LOT of great responses so far! There are a lot of electronic music fans who are gathering their great rave memories on paper as we speak. However, there have also been a few inquiries about how people should be writing their pieces. While there's no universal answer for that (since every person's story is different), we have come up with a few guidelines that we hope will be helpful.
First, write from the heart when you can. It's important that your passion for this music and scene come through, so that those not in the scene can more easily understand your point of view.
Be clear in your writing, and this actually has a couple of meanings. First of all, remember that you're writing something for a book, not an informal social media post or something like that. So, try to stick to the writing lessons you received when you were in school...in this case, spelling and grammar really do count. Secondly, you're not writing for your friends here--you're writing for the greater public, most of whom don't live near you and aren't familiar with your local scene, your friends, local landmarks, hangouts, etc. So, from time to time in your piece, it could be helpful if you explained a bit about those. For example, instead of writing something like, "We all went down to the Palace to party", change that to something like, "The Palace was one of our favorite hangouts. It was a 100 year-old theatre on the outskirts of town that had a lot of vintage atmosphere". It doesn't take much to make a good sentence into a great one, and your stories will be that much better because of that.
As we've stated in The Rules, please change the names of the people involved, except for the artists. People deserve their privacy and we don't want to invade that. If you can get written permission from the people in your story to use their names, then that's fine.
Write the truth. Don't embellish or exaggerate.
And, it's OK if you want to write about rave busts and the like. All social scenes have their problems, and we would be fundamentally dishonest if we chose to present the rave scene as some sort of perfect utopia. We are confident that the positive stories about the electronic music world will far outweigh the negative ones--after all, why else do the fans keep returning to raves again and again? As the saying goes, "it's all good", and even though technically that's not quite 100% true yet, it's true enough so that our community continues to progress and thrive to this day.
Hope that this helps assist you in producing something really good. Oh, and if you can, try to submit something sooner rather than later...it would make things easier on us here in the office, since we have to go through all of your stories!
THIS IS THE BLOG.
CEO of 5150 Publishing, and author of "DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave". Michael runs the blog for THE RAVER STORIES PROJECT.
Copyright 2016 by 5150 Publishing, Inc.
Copyright © 2017 5150 Publishing, Inc.