Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On "Three Chords and the Truth" by Richard Fulco (5551 words) ****

Here's a story about rock and roll, about adolescence, about being cool--or trying to--about picking up girls, about friendship, about parents and their expectations. Years ago, a friend of mine wrote a series of short stories about young girls, ages twelve to eighteen. The stories were intended for the young adult market, and by and large, they were really fantastic--of course, I don't think any of them ever saw publication unfortunately (that's a book of stories I'd have purchased).

Fulco's story reminds me a bit of my friend's stories. Here, all the parents are conspiring against their kids, conspiring, however, in the best sense. They just want to see their kids be successful. For Greg, that means playing football--not rock. For the narrator, that means studying algebra--not music.

But music is what inspires the narrator and why he has to conspire to practice it, play it, listen to it. It's also what brings people together who otherwise wouldn't be. It's a way to discover not just yourself but others. Meanwhile, the narrator is wrestling with girls just as many young men do, and his best friend, to whom girls come easy, is wrestling with a parental problems of a more sinister sort.

The title here lends to an ongoing motif throughout the story. The truth is compromised in order to play music--through lie after lie--but it's also what, down deep, one might say the narrator feels when he's focused on rock and roll. Read the story here at Front Porch.

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