Stephen King has been one of the world's most successful authors since his first novel, Carrie, hit the best-seller lists in 1973, but in addition to publishing more than 40 books, King is an enthusiastic music fan who frequently drops references to some of his favorite acts in his novels, and has written about rock & roll in his "The Pop of King" column for Entertainment Weekly magazine.
When not busy writing, King plays guitar as a hobby, and has performed as part of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a tongue-in-cheek rock band featuring a number of best-selling authors (including Amy Tan, Roy Blount, Jr., Dave Barry, Mitch Albom, and Scott Turow) who occasionally perform at fund-raising events for various charitable causes, many involving literacy programs. Several tracks by the Remainders appeared on the 1999 album Stranger Than Fiction, credited to the Wrockers, which also featured vocal performances from several other noted authors, including Normal Mailer and Maya Angelou, all backed by a combo not unfittingly credited as the Don't Quit Your Day Job Band. In the '80s, King's enthusiasm for rock & roll radio prompted him to buy a radio station in Bangor, Maine, WKIT-FM (formerly WGUY), which is one of the few commercial radio stations that still employs a staff of live announcers 24 hours a day. And King's interest in music took a new turn in 2000, when he was introduced to veteran singer and songwriter John Mellencamp. The two struck up a friendship and began collaborating on a stage musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a Southern gothic tale of a man who witnesses the death of his bickering siblings as a boy and fears the rivalry between his two sons could lead them to a similar fate. King wrote the book for the show, while Mellencamp composed the music and penned the lyrics; Ghost Brothers debuted at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 11, 2012, and an album documenting the show was released by Hear Music the following June. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi