Are you ready for world domination?
Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void has a terrific new book out today, all about how to develop your very own evil plan. Seriously. It’s called — natch — Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Dominion. (Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Penguin.)
We’re thrilled that Hugh provided us with this excerpt, exclusively for Pink blog readers. Enjoy!
Fortune rarely favors those with a sense of entitlement.
IT WAS SPRING, IN MY HOMETOWN OF ALPINE, Texas. I was drinking a beer at the Railroad Blues, as I often did. Instead of the usual blues, country, and “American roots” bands they were used to having, the group playing that evening was a young indie/power pop/alternative group from Limerick, Ireland, called “We Should Be Dead.” Female lead singer and female lead guitar, male drummer and male bass. Average age, I’d say, was around twenty-four.
Now, Celtic indie/power pop/alternative is not exactly the kind of music I’m into (Louis Armstrong and Beethoven are more my cup of tea). But man, I was so impressed with these kids. They totally played their hearts out. Not to mention, there were a lot of cowboys and shit-kickers in the crowd that evening—not a group you’d want to tick off. Everyone—including the cowboys and shit-kickers—were impressed by how gutsy and fearless these kids were.
The lead singer, Tara—a tiny, skinny girl around five-two, would get off the stage in the middle of a number and walk around the crowd, singing full-blast into her mike, with these broad-shouldered cowboys wearing handlebar mustaches, ten-gallon hats, spurs, and boots, towering above her. Like I said, fearless. So even if the music was a bit alien compared with what people were normally used to, they still got a lot of people whoopin’ and a’hollerin’ that night. It was a great show. Months later, people were still talking about it.
I got talking to their manager—a stocky, Irish dude in his forties. It turns out, though they were now on tour, they hadn’t planned it that way. They had originally only come over for the big music festival in Austin, Texas—South by Southwest—and were planning to return to Ireland right afterward.
Then somehow while at SXSW the manager made some new connections, and the next thing you know, the band was headed west to California, ready and willing to play in every dive bar and dance hall en route that would let them—sometimes only for tips. Buying an old van; throwing their instruments, amplifiers, and sleeping bags in the back; living on a few bucks a day plus gas money; sleeping rough if they had to.
And they were going to keep on doing it till they had spent their last nickel, till they had burned their last drop of gas. Only then, and not before, would they fly back home.
Sure, they could have gone back to Ireland after SXSW instead and continued being a regular fixture around the local pub ’n’ club circuit. But they wanted to bust out of that routine—and here was their chance. Not a huge chance, but a chance nonetheless. And they were going for it, no questions asked. Like Anna, the equally tiny-skinny lead guitarist told me in her cute little Limerick accent, “We don’t want to go home. We want to keep doing this forever.”
Would you be willing to put in that kind of effort and commitment to make your Evil Plan a success? How willing to “sleep rough” are you? Are you that brave? Am I?
FOLLOW-UP: A couple of years later, at the time of this book going to print, I am happy to report that We Should Be Dead is still in America, playing mostly around Los Angeles and keeping really busy. God bless ’em! . . .
Adapted from Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod by arrangement with Portfolio Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © 2011 by Hugh MacLeod.