It’s fitting that, in recent years, Chuck Klosterman has sort of gotten mixed up with ESPN and Bill Simmons. I love Klosterman, but like Simmons, he seems to have a ceiling, as though he’s written all he has to say and at this point he’s just rearranging the words (change the scores and the player’s names on Bill Simmons’ “Sports Guy” column, and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between a 2003 column and a 2009 one).
That being said, Klosterman’s early books are brilliant — he’s the nonfiction version of Nick Hornby, and of High Fidelity, except that his music preferences — especially in Fargo Rock City — were more geared toward the glam metal. Oh, and Billy Joel. Dude’s a weird sucker for Joel, though of all the artists … Billy Joel?
Anyway, Craig Finn — singer and lyricist for The Hold Steady — is teaming up with Tom Ruprecht, a longtime writer for “The Late Show with David Letterman” to adapt Fargo Rock City for the big screen. According to THR:
Klosterman’s book tells of growing up in North Dakota as one of the few fans of heavy metal, and his experiences using music to transcend high school nerddom. The 1980s-set screenplay will revolve around a group of high school seniors facing graduation as they try to find success with women and generally break out of their geeky cocoons.
“Seventeen or eighteen is the perfect age for characters in a movie like this, because it’s at that age that you have driver’s licenses and a certain amount of independence, but you’re still young enough that you can totally make terrible decisions,” Finn told us. “And you’re still young enough that you can have a two-hour argument over whether Motley Crue would beat Guns ‘N Roses in a fight.”
I’m digging this resurgence of hair metal (see also, Rock of Ages), and I think it’s kind of cool that — say, in Whip It — a Stryper shirt can be worn by hipsters to exude that sort of ironic coolness. I thought the late ’80s would go the way of Disco and never make a comeback. For a lot of folks, I suspect, that’s the way you’d want it. Me: I welcome it, as long as it’s an ironic appreciation.
I also have a fine appreciation for this quote from Klosterman, and the way it seems to apply to a lot of the newer movie bloggers: “The biggest problem in rock journalism is that often the writer’s main motivation is to become friends with the band. They’re not really journalists; they’re people who want to be involved in rock and roll.”
All of which is to say: I’m looking forward to Fargo Rock City.