“I see a bad moon a-rising, I see trouble on the way…”
Whether he’s setting a sinister tone with Creedence Clearwater or more recently describing a gory murder scene with LDC Soundsystem playing, Stephen King books make it clear that he’s a big lover of music. To celebrate the release of Pet Sematary, we explored some weird and surprising ways he’s influenced the world of music.
1. The Ramones: ‘Pet Semetary’
Stephen King is a huge Ramones fan. As well as name checking the legendary punk band in many of his novels, he actually asked the band to write their classic track ‘Pet Semetary’ for the original movie of the same name. King gave Dee Dee Ramone a copy of the book and then he went on to write the iconic song in forty minutes.
2. Anthrax: ‘Among The Living’
The third studio album from revered thrash metal band Anthrax was so heavily inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Stand that guitarist Scott Ian was asked to write a forward for one edition of the book. The album track ‘A Skeleton In The Closet’ is also inspired by the novella Apt Pupil which was part of the Different Seasons collection.
3. AC/DC: ‘Who Made Who’
Few directors have ever coaxed AC/DC into offering their services, but for Stephen King the rock titans made a rare exception. They pulled together the album ‘Who Made Who’ for the film Maximum Overdrive which is his only directorial effort. While the film received overwhelmingly negative reviews, the pairing of AC/DC and Stephen King is an otherworldly collaboration. Watch him get excited while interviewing the band about the movie.
4. Metallica: ‘Ride The Lightning’
When asked by Rolling Stone where the title for their album came from, guitarist Kirk Hammett said it was also inspired by King’s post apocalyptic epic, “I was reading The Stand by Stephen King, and there was this one passage where this guy was on death row said he was waiting to ‘ride the lightning’. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, what a great song title.’ I told James, and it ended up being a song and the album title.”
5. King occasionally plays in a band of fellow authors
The legendary horror writer has been an active part in the American rock and roll band called ‘The Rock Bottom Remainders’. The band consists of published writers who are also amateur musicians. King isn’t the only massive name to have appeared on the lineup, The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening has also been involved. Check them play some Creedence here:
6. He owns his own radio station
King owns 100.3 WKIT radio which is located near his home of Bangor, Maine, an area which will be familiar to many of his readers. It’s one of the few commercial stations in America which remains locally owned. Tune in and you’re most likely to hear classic rock and their ratings have been consistently solid. You can listen in live to WKIT via their official website here.