BOOK OF KILLS INSERT: Draft 2
By Aaron Farrington
It was a long and strange winter. A winter that found me alone in New York City staring at Christmas shoppers, wondering when the snow was going to end. I had a lot of free time to think about the universe and count stars and feel rotten about the world. But I started thinking about Jim Shelley and Book Of Kills instead.
Thinking about Jim sitting up in his attic by himself with his guitar and tape recorders and all the music he made for us up there. He didn't have to do it. He didn't have to give us any of his music.
But he did. He spent a fortune on Maxell tapes and Kinko's copies to get his music to us. He used up a lot time and nerves getting everything to sound right and probably smoked more cigarettes than he wanted to in the process. In return he's gotten a couple of glowing reviews in Alternative Press and become something of a rock god in the minds of a few lonely teenagers.
When I think of all the songs and all the memories that go along with those songs: Listening to For The Good Of The Cause for the first time in the high school library and then running to Jim's room between classes with a big stupid grin on my face, jumping up and down, trying to make him understand how great an album it was; driving through his home town of Dayton in the middle of the night with my bored best friend and our windows down and "Don't Stop The Scream" cranked all the way up as we drove past Jim's house so maybe he would know that were were listening; alone in the dark in New York and everything feeling dead, listening to Jim sing "I Wish I Was You" and Jim sounding like everything was dead...when I think of all the songs Jim has given us over the years...
They really are great songs. When I first started listening to Jim's stuff, I thought that maybe I just liked them because I knew Jim. But five years have gone by and many great bands have come and gone from my tape deck. Book Of Kills is the only band that I've ever consistently listened to in my life. And I wouldn't have listened to them for so long if I didn't like them. So I rank BOK with The Pixies and Husker Du and Nirvana.
When I think of all the songs Jim has given us...I don't know what to do. I guess I can only thank him and thank you, too. Because if it wasn't for you, then Jim might have gotten frustrated and not put out any tapes and my world would have been a much bleaker place.
(March 4, 1994)