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My campaign to write The Princess Bride Musical

I had a lot of fun with this project. So much fun, in fact, that I found myself glaring at a couch covered in yellow scraps of paper when it was over.

It had been a big day. I’d finally released The Princess Bride song I’d been working on for weeks. It was my ship in a bottle, sailing the seas of social media, hoping to be picked up by someone who could give me the opportunity to make more. I missed it already.

For moments like this, I have an ideas jar, a large, glass container where I deposit the inklings that make me happy. When I finish a project, I sort through my ideas, find a smile, and start anew.

This time though, nothing was thrilling me. None of my ideas excited me as much as the one I had just finished working on. The next day, I was still feeling anxious when I spotted a lone, golden scrap I’d neglected to collect the night before. I picked it up, unfolded it, and smiled when I read the words: “PRINCESS BRIDE” scrawled in purple ink.

bridescrap

The idea for me to work on this project came from a friend who had read an article detailing Mr. Reiner’s difficulties finding a songwriter for the musical version of his film. My friend believed I could do the job. I expressed my enthusiasm, but confessed to her that I hadn’t seen “The Princess Bride” as a child. As an adult, I find it difficult to watch André The Giant in anything without seeing him as a 12 year-old kid headed to school in the back of Samuel Beckett’s pickup truck. It just breaks my heart to think that we lost him at 46. As such, I’d never been able to finish the film.

“Maybe that’s what your first song should be about!” She told me. Suddenly, I jumped at the challenge of responding to the smoke signals of Hollywood royalty. I went home, purchased the film, and started work.

Over the next few weeks, I learned that The Princess Bride isn’t only about the lines that people recite. It’s a story a father made up for his children while putting them to bed at night. It’s a story about an unbelievably evil man who conspires to start a war by forcibly marrying and murdering the most beautiful woman in the land. It’s a story about how love, family, and friendship can conquer such evil. It’s a story everyone should hear, sing, and remember.

As I worked, I became a fan of the film too. Now, I wanted to leave the theatre smiling. I developed an outline to tell the story musically. Call it fate or coincidence, but the first song to appear on my outline was indeed a duet between André the Giant’s character, Fezzik and Vizzini, memorably portrayed by Wallace Shawn. I loved every moment of writing this song. I would love to have the opportunity to write the next one on my outline, the next one, the next one, the next one, the next one, and so on until the story is told.

most sincerely,

-Alex Battles, Brooklyn, NY

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Newport, Rhode Island was swell! Now some September shows!

battles, banjo, winnersAlex Battles played a show in Newport last week and that was fantastic. He had the pleasure of running into his friend Milton there. Check out Milton’s music, he’s great: www.miltonmusic.com. Battles sang and sailed and strolled. Visit Newport and so can you.

There are some upcoming shows in New York this September that are going to be supremely enjoyable, and I’m gonna tell you about them.

Monday, September 8th Alex Battles plays Tammany Hall at 9 o’ clock in the East Village.

Saturday, September 13th Battles rocks the socks off Skinny Dennis in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He starts playing at 4pm and goes till 6. There are very few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you can make both shows, well then,  you’ve had a good week. And a good week is wonderful thing. Come see Alex Battles — it’s a practically prescription for success! If you measure success in smiles. True, honest, heartfelt smiles.

See you there.

-Battles’ Bad Secretary

 

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Thanks for the love, Staten Island!

I was pleased as punch today to see myself on the front page of the Staten Island Advance website! A link calling my song a “intimate”, “humorous”, and a “must listen” (!) leads readers to a write-up of “Amboy Road”, my new song about the South Shore of Staten Island. If you haven’t already, go here to read more about the story behind “Amboy Road.” Thanks again, Staten Islanders!

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Copyright 2014 Alex Battles.