Early Metal, Classic Rock & Proto Punk The Music that Inspired An Augmented Fourth / by Tony McMillen

My new novel An Augmented Fourth is now available for preorder at Word Horde and to draw attention to that fact and also just use as an excuse to rock the fuck out I'm bringing you a smattering of solid heavy rock with some era and thematically appropriate curveballs that could coexist nicely in a soundtrack for my book.

An Augmented Fourth is about Codger Burton, bassist and lyricist for Frivolous Black, the heaviest heavy metal band to ever come out of the UK, who awakens to find his hotel snowed in, his band mates evacuated, and monsters roaming the hotel. It's a love letter to Sabbath and the underrated genius of Geezer Butler -all of that is obvious -but I'm also a huge fan of rock in general so there's other characters like Rikki Spectre  who comes from an early punk, early goth/ new romantics background. There's the character Marcus who's loosely inspired by Tony Funches, the bodyguard for numerous high profile rockstars of the 60s and 70s, most famously Jim Morrison. There's even an appearance from Frankie Gideon, my glam rock Bowie/Peter Gabriel composite character who appeared in the comic book Oblivion Suite by Catalina Rufin and me. Catalina even gave Frankie his first name. This is an alternate universe Frankie I think, so he's a bit different but the point here is we're gonna have some glam up in our metal too.

Before we begin it should be noted that basically any song off of Black Sabbath's first 5 records could be used as a soundtrack to this book. Except for "After Forever" (too pushy about its Christianity,  seriously) and "Fluff' (Fluff would be fine if it was a minute long, it just keeps on going, "FX" is just as bad but at least.....no, now "FX' is on the no fly list too.)

And if you want to just hear everything while you read here's the youtube playlist.

Since Sabbath is a given I'll just include one track up front and then a few more choice numbers at the end of the list. 

Black Sabbath "Sabbra Cadabra" 

Sabbath finally gets laid! And they're singing about it! And they're fucking peppy and it fucking works! Who'd have thunk it? This is off the criminally underrated Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album.

Deep Purple "Black Knight"

There are many toasty Purp jam but this one feels like a good song to play while Codger and co are raiding the kitchen for weapons or food.

Death "Where Do We Go From Here"

There's a lot of running from monsters in this book so we need some music for that. Here's a great cut from this proto punk outfit from Detroit that's not The Stooges.

Mort Garson "Deja Vu"       

This book is indebted to John Carpenter's early films so it seems fitting we have a cool creepy synth song. Mort Garson has a shit-ton of albums and songs from the 70s that are all trippy and dark as hell. Here's the first one I heard.

Blue Oyster Cult "Then Came The Last Days of May"

BOC has a lot of different sides and their desert road at night side is one of my favorites. This is an airy introspective tune for the similar portions of this story.

XRay Spex -"Oh Bondage! Up Yours!"

One of my favorite characters to write in Augmented was Rikki Spectre, a punk rocker loosely based on  Siouxsie Sioux and Poly Styrene of XRay Spex. A fun part of this book is that it takes place in 1980 at the apex of the metal vs punk thing right before the two seemingly disparate groups would come to their senses and fuse to create thrash metal.

The Pretty Things "Old Man Going" 

Let's get weird. Before metal was metal there was only heavy and this song is heavy as all get-out. 

The Doors "The Changeling"

One of my favorite latter day Doors' cuts and it's called 'The Changeling"?! Too perfect for this book with a character (Marcus) who used to bodyguard for The Lizard King and now has to deal with some seriously augmented people.

Thin Lizzy "Whiskey in the Jar"

Despite the cosmic horror and requite spills and thrills there's also a lot of good times in Augmented as well an examination of the hangover at the end of the party when you've stayed way too long. Which is what I figure the year 1980 must have been like for 60s and 70s rockers, especially the first few days after John Lennon was killed. The opening lines of the book read: 

December 12th, 1980, three days after some Yank shot
John Lennon dead on the street in New York City like
some unloved dog, and there I was, trapped, snowed
in at a hotel in Boston certain that someone was coming to kill
me next.

The Stooges "1970"

Speaking of the 70s here's the ultimate ode to the darkness and abandon of the time that would also suit the mayhem of the novel quite nicely. Plus, you got Iggy screaming "BLOW!" Sure, it's an instruction to a probably terrified saxophonist but it's also hard not to think it might be a request to whoever was holding the drugs to give Mr. Pop some more snow. Cocaine and the frenzy of it is another large factor of the novel.

Van Halen "Light Up The Sky"

The Halen is mentioned once in the book in an allusion to the infamous joint tour they did with Sab near the end of Ozzy's tenure when the fresh to the stage Van Halen blew the older metal masters off the stage routinely. Here is ball blaster from the early days with an uncharacteristically cosmic, other worldly lyric from Diamond Dave.

Siouxsie and the Banshees "Switch"

I can see Rikki Spectre rocking this into dust. Pure punk darkness. 

Bowie "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)"

Released in the year 1980 this tune is tailormade for this book.

Traffic "Dear Mr. Fantasy"

I think every rock casualty can relate to this song about the shaman/ martyr role that rockstars fulfill in the modern world.  

Black Sabbath "The Mob Rules"

There are several jokes hurled at Dio throughout the book, but I can't front on some of his work, including this roaring Sab tune.

Further Sabbath:

Like I said earlier, almost any early Sab tune works in this book but to single out a few more here are:

Snowblind = winter,cocaine. This could be the title sequence of the Augmented movie.

Because it rules.

Possibly their finest song. One of the most classic deal with the devil songs only this time the deal is eternal love? Oh yeah.

Black Sabbath's " Black Sabbath"

Metal ground zero. That sinister guitar you're hearing, what he's playing is a tritone also known as an augmented fourth. Wonder if that'll come up in the book?

Preorder your copy of An Augmented Fourth here.