In 2008 I was living in a dumpy little apartment, plunking away on an untrustworthy laptop. The apartment was okay, I guess, if you didn't mind doing without little things like heat. On a good day, the water coming out of the bath spigot was light yellow. On bad days, it was much darker.
I've written and re-written this next part a few times, wondering how much I should say, but this time I think I'll just say something true.
I'd broken up with my wife and only had my kids half the week. The reason I'd moved into such a crappy little apartment in the first place was because it was right next store to my little boy's elementary school. I wanted him to know I was still right there.
The rent was high, the neighbors were horrible, and the amenities were non-existent. But he knew I was right there.
The nights without them were soul-crushing. I missed them so much that it eventually drove me to attempt a project so difficult that it consumed my every waking moment without them. There was a ton of research involved and the insane attempt to marry two fully realized genres in a way that had never been done before. WHITECHAPEL began as a notebook full of scribbles regarding my take on the actual Ripper investigation.
On those lonely nights, I would play Morrissey's WHO PUT THE 'M' IN MANCHESTER dvd over and over. Moz's perspective on living a solitary, sexless existence informed my view of Sherlock Holmes and also echoed many of the things I was experiencing at the time.
I love that video. The song too. As I wrote the book, it seemed fitting to pay tribute to Morrissey by including him. Stephen Patrick Morrissey, the reporter, really has no resemblence to Mozzer the rock star except in name. I just did it as a tribute.
For me, the Apiary Society would be the enduring light Holmes gave to the world that would never go out. It would shine against the darkness for all eternity as long as there were brave souls willing to keep it lit. When it came time to name the other Acts for the book, I had to look no further than the Morrissey playlist on my iPod.
So here, just for fun, is my Top Ten Mozzer/Whitechapel Playlist
1. Will Never Marry
2. Death of a Disco Dancer
3. Come Back to Camden
4. I Know it's Gonna Happen Someday
5. Used to be a Sweet Boy
6. Dear God Please Help me
7. The Headmaster Ritual
8. The Queen is Dead
10. To Me You Are a Work of Art
Access The Apiary Society (Bernard J. Schaffer's website)
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