Hi I’m Sherry Carroll and it’s a pleasure to be read by you, I hope you’re enjoying half as much as I am. I have wanting to do one of these for ages and this is my first so you will have to bear with me. Bear with me? WHERE? Oh sorry I got distracted for a minute there. I’m just your average American mild mannered suburban Maryland housewife (with a secret identity) who always grew up writing poems to her at and elaborate Barbie doll melodramas, but it wasn’t until fairly recently I discovered, yes, it was true. I was a writer. God help me. This is what look like in real life
Then I take of my glasses ….
And voila! Somehow on the internet I look like this! Ain’t makeup and technology grand!
I write obsessively from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep.
Many a day I wake up at 5pm in the same clothes from three day before, after writing non-stop for days, still on the couch, shivering, with no blanket, my laptop still on lap, then after removing any ferrets that have taken up residence under or around me, shooing the birds off my head and picking the majority of the birdseed out of my hair, I start typing again.
Ever since those selfish ungrateful offspring of mine started growing up and moving out.
I have so many stories to tell and so little time left to tell them in, I don’t mess around, I must work all the time. I’m not getting any younger and I’ve put some serious wear and tear and quite a bit of mileage on this poor old beat up physical machine that will have to haul my typing finger the next ten or twenty years. And because I’m just learning; and constantly studying how to get better at this “writing stuff” I have been known to spend four or five hours on the same ten sentences until I have them absolutely perfect. So you can imagine how long 50,000 plus words took me to complete!
But eventually I did!
And the results were ”Even Rock and roll has Fairy Tales” (The Flight of the Sherry Fairy) The story of the 20 plus years I spent going backstage at rock concerts and my on-again / off-again affair with Eric Burdon The front man Of the seminal British invasion band The Animals and WAR who is currently experiencing at 73 years old one of the biggest comebacks in rock and roll history and is one of the must see acts and hottest shows in the business the last two years.
And no one was surprised than I when I started getting reviews like this …
”With the sounds of Rock and Roll and Sherry’s intoxicating laugh moving you though every memory—you’re sure to be captivated by this one‐of-a-kind, episodic memoir. Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales: The Flight of the Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy by Sherry Carroll is a coming of age memoir that the features love, humor, Rock and Roll, and a woman in love with life. Unlike many Rock and Roll memoirs, this one doesn’t start with specific ambitions that involve groupies, fame and drugs. The fun, sexy, and outrageous Sherry Carroll, begins by telling us how she once “bought a ticket to ride on the ‘American Dream’, however is willing to admit (pretty quickly) that it doesn’t quite work for her. After all, she can’t hide behind “owl‐like school teacher glasses” much longer when there are tight, sparkling clothes to wear. She dreams of a life filled with Rock and Roll, men, shenanigans, and perhaps even a little bedazzling. Sure, Sherry has her fair share of men to tell stories about, but the most interesting is Eric Burdon, (former lead singer of The Animals and living legend) He’s a character that, much like Sherry, is colorful and entertaining. While transcending the average healthy, functional relationship Sherry and Eric have some good times and some Oscar‐worthy verbal exchanges that are as unforgettable as her box of “useless crap” in the attic. This woman is ballsy, and takes no‐prisoners when it comes to love and life. Sherry Fairy’s dreams have the unique ability to carry her to places that the average person wouldn’t imagine—living vicariously through her life of mayhem, music, and madness is completely energizing and fun. It seems that the music, wind, and passion carry her to places that birth terrific stories for a memoir. And in this biographical account, you won’t have to “just wonder” about the things that happen when a big‐time rock star and a small town girl meet. Leaving you with the idea that dreams, no matter how ridiculous, are worth pursuing—because they just might lead to some mesmerizing music, interesting men, and hot adventures. Sherry is ridiculously fun, smart, and sassy. Her memoir, overall, is funny, fast‐paced and episodic.” The Penn Press
I originally wrote this story as a creative nonfiction short story assignment for a beginning writing class. The professor loved it so much she insisted I must turn it into a novel. So to her great shock, and even more so, my own, I sat down at the keyboard without moving for over 14 months and I did. Not only wrote it but published it, promoted it, and no one is more surprised than myself at the readers reactions, the critics enjoyment, the warm public reception and hopefully, it’s increasing success.
I really enjoyed writing the original short story version I did for class, I could play it up for all the laughs I could get and that was good fun. However I realized if I decided to turn it into a novel that wasn’t good enough, I had to really dig deep inside to tell it the way it should be told and that was going to be a very emotional and challenge experience. To find out what, if anything made this a story worth reading, a story that was interesting to anyone else but just me. What was it about my story separated it from anything that had been done before or like anything by anyone else?
There were dozens of books by girls glorifying their days at the back door and the has-been or want-to-be boys in the bands, and they were all selling the same pathetic thrills, exaggerating their exploits and crowing over their conquests, busy giving the “nobodies“ out there the thrills they thought was all they wanted, to get the same old song and dance, sex and drugs and rock and roll, of which had been told a thousand times before and was to be expected from that sort of crap. Bragging about hangovers and heroin habits, cocaine, cash and celebrities, limousines, liquor, limelight, and luxuries, all the women of course, and wild orgies galore.
They weren’t shocking or even interesting to me, it was all so commonplace. Predictable, ordinary, unimpressive, and unoriginal, the same boring backstage business as usual, same old “sluts R us” stories, identical interchangeable band after band, year after year, behind every backstage door all over the world, I worked hard to NOT do that.
I had never read one that told it like it really was. At least when you lived in a boring suburban place like Maryland, where there was nothing to do and nowhere good to go which is what 75 percent of being on the road is really like. I worried constantly “How much of it truly interested or mattered to the reader? Was the only thing the public wanted to hear variations of the same sexy glamorous Rock Stars Adventures in Excess instead of the truth, which often is not sexy and glamorous at all, compared to versions by pretentious posers? What more could I offer? What was so different about my experiences, to make it worth writing about at all?
Which aspects, if any, of my story would truly enlighten interest and engage a reader? Could my very unusual life and experiences reach and touch others and resonate within those who had lives nothing like mine at all?”
I don’t believe a reader can be captivated by a story unless they feel deeply and truly come to care about the outcome and the storyteller and the only way that was going to happen was if I was passionately, brutally honest and open, defenseless, unprotected and completely exposed.
I had no interest in telling the same old backstage sleeping with stars stories, no desire to be a sleazy stereotype or just another cheesy rock and roll cliché. If I was going to do this, I was going to have to go back to the very start, and become that child again, see it all through those innocent eyes that had no idea how the whole thing would eventually end, so as it all unfolded over the years it would be just as much of a surprise to me as it was the reader.
That part was really hard.
I had to feel everything I felt then with no reservations, the joy, the excitement and go through the pain of growing up all over again and learning it all the hard way as time went on, concentrating on how I felt in each moment as if I had no idea what was going to happen next.
I had to forgive Eric and fall for him again, just as I had as a teenage girl which wasn’t easy to do because when I started the book I had hated him so much I couldn’t look at a picture or hear a song or watch a video of him for 15 years. But I couldn’t write the story without looking and listening and thinking about him and the old days constantly.
I considered trying to go the route of traditional publishing but it takes years from start to finish getting a book on the shelves that way, if you can manage to get an agent or publisher at all in the first place. I knew that as a new writer, with no credentials convincing someone to take a chance on me would not be easy and frankly I really did not want to start off every morning with an inbox full of emails telling me, “No thank you, get lost, not interested, you suck.”
I found that many publishers/agents were immediately frightened off by the fact this was a true story about a living person and they didn’t want to risk leaving themselves open to litigation. But I knew I was safe from anything like that because one, it was all true and I could prove it and pass a polygraph with ease and two, because I studied the laws associated and followed very strictly what would and would not be considered defamation or invasion of privacy.
It was very important to me as well, because of my own personal ethics and principals that I tell the story in such a way I could live with myself and not feel I had betrayed his” expectation of privacy” in certain matters and certain places. I knew I was in for dozens or hundreds of rejection letters for months or years before I got a book deal, if ever.
And in this case neither Eric nor I will be around much that much longer and neither will most of his biggest fans, I didn’t feel like I had that much time to waste. I wanted the book on the shelves as soon as possible so I decided to self-publish and it was a very good thing I did as well.
Who knew that when I started a book about myself and a washed up superstar almost two years earlier that almost the exact same moment I finished it he would have one of the biggest comebacks in rock and roll history and become one of the hottest acts in the business, with an album in the top ten records of 2013? He has admitted to having the best year of his career last year and this coming one is looking just as good for him, if not better. Which works out pretty good for me too, so you won’t catch me complaining
I’m quite sure Mr. Burdon is not nearly as happy about this book as I am! When he read it, which I’m fairly sure he must have, he’s certainly aware of its existence, he has been confronted about it in the press often enough. I’m also fairly certain that he found it nowhere near as entertaining or half as amusing as the readers do and I did! but I suspect deep down beneath any outrage he might secretly be rather pleased with himself, at the ripe old age of 72, to be in the news for a juicy sex scandal, the star of a steamy rock and roll teen queens dreams, reminding the public how gorgeous, charming and sexy he was, how women all over the world once worshipped him, and why he was considered a legend off the stage, as much as one onstage, back in the day. Although he would never admit it to you or himself.
All Eric has said on the matter is he has no idea who I am, which is of course what he would say and he’s not fooling anyone. If there were skeptics before they read my story, they weren’t any more by after.
I actually expected to be called a liar or obsessed or crazy or worse when I published it and was braced for the worst and prepared to have to defend myself with all my might from a barrage of attacks but so far no one I am aware of has questioned my credibility. It was such a relief not to have to prove myself to anyone, and not to have to put up a huge battle to defend myself. I suppose the story is so detailed and so complicated, and so strange, amazing and bizarre they must conclude no one could make a story like this up, no matter how hard they tried.
All and all it has been a pretty wonderful and amazing experience.
I tried to truly give you an accurate picture of what the real world behind the scenes at a concert is really all about. I think most people imagine they do know from the sensationalized stories about oversexed rock stars surrounded by giggling, wiggling, gorgeous young groupies willing to thrill every boy in the band, and how marvelous it all is for everyone involved.
Books and magazine articles all blasting full volume the same message “My life is a non–stop party because I am wonderful, I am A STAR (or I sleep with them) don’t you poor boring ordinary people wish you were me?”
But the reality is very different and I wanted to show what I quickly discovered really happens behind the scenes when the “glamorous world backstage” becomes the one and only world you want and must have, and then turns into the only one you know. You have no choice but to convince yourself you are living the dream, every boy or girls ultimate fantasy; because when you stop believing in it, even for a moment and really look round at what is really going on, let the illusion suddenly be stripped away, you awaken to find everything you ever dreamed of only existed within the dream.
Because the reality wasn’t the place you had been promised in the fan magazines and the people there are not the people you thought they were or you really want to be with, and they certainly aren’t the people you think they are or the kind you want to turn out to be.
Because I write non-fiction and have been to at least 300 – 400 concerts throughout the years I never run out of material and so I never have writers block, Eric’s story is just one of many.
I am loathe to gossip about really nice people I respected and cared about over the years but the gossip so good I just couldn’t contain myself any longer and had to tell ALL MY STORIES! I have a massive project of epic proportions telling 40 years’ worth of stories as a set of serialized fictional novels
With all the dirt on every band and from every show, just with paper bags over their heads, so you can enjoy the stories, with the faces and names concealed and with the extra added bonus have all the fun of playing “I bet I know who that is…” while you enjoy the book.
Behind the guise of a narrator I’m very fond of. The 16 year old irresistible, irresistible, pig headed, troublemaking Amazing Gracelynn
Starting with Book One “Saving Amazing Gracelynn”
”Fictional in this case really only means a whole bunch of true stories just with a lot of fake names”
The identities of the stars involved just disguised (some better than others) depending on how fond I was of them and if it’s a tale of extremely admirable behavior or exceptionally bad.
If you have been an absolute villain, you will be shown to be one in my story and don’t be surprised if it isn’t that difficult for a music fan to work out who you really are.
Believe me boys; there are a few of you that should be very worried.
You know who you are.
Guess who is back in town?
Meet Gracelynn Patricia Parker in Book One 1977 “Saving Amazing Gracelynn”
Not a particularly remarkable name for quite an unusual young lady.
But that’s the only unremarkable thing about our Gracie!
Raised in a small southern town she is determined before she is four to get out into the great big world and become a great big star and she going to do whatever it takes to get there. By 16 years old she is finally free to follow her dreams, and gets as far as Washington DC, where she discovers city life, and the seedy world backstage in rock and roll at the height of its excess, danger and decadence.
Before she gets everything her hard headed, tough talking, soft heart desires (and once you’ve met the Amazing Gracelynn you will have no doubt there’s any other option) She will have danced from kiddie beauty pageants to Broadway, on tables for dollars, and in diamonds (and not much else for rock and roll royalty) and right into your heart! She will marry well, but go through hell, live and love hard, hot and cold men with fortune and fame and sweet pretty boys with neither and will not be stopped until she has reached the very top! www.TheAmazingGracelynn.com
By Sherry Carroll, Author of the One-of‐a-kind coming of age Memoir of growing up behind the scenes in rock and roll featuring Eric Burdon S&D & R&R, Bursting with backstage adventures, humor and heartache.
“Sherry is ridiculously fun, smart, sexy, and outrageous!”
I’m still up to no good at as always! According to my blog on true rock stories recent gigs and music news https://shinyhappysherry.wordpress.com
I also have a fictional long/short story I just published as an introduction to my work for new fans, a bargain at 99 cents, as a “try before you buy” for the cautious purchaser who won’t commit to purchasing a whole novel unless they are sure they are going to love it.
Now available on Amazon:
UK – USA – Canada – Australia
You can also find me at a little place called Facebook ever heard of it?
At my Book/Eric Burdon/vintage music news page
Or my Facebook Page
Or my writing reference Facebook page
I’m also on Twitter
And my professional page
Plus, of course, at www.evenrockandrollhasfairytales.com