Books in the To, Or Not to, the Moon Series
To ToTo, or not to, the question; “Which band did you like?” is a question many people ponder, but few give any answers that are worthwhile. This is a shame, for there is no better way to find out if someone’s music interests you than by hearing him perform.
As indicated above, To, or not to the Tin Man was one of the first bands to incorporate a female vocals into their song lyrics. Though this did not make them very popular, it did help to establish their position in the ever-changing landscape of rock and roll. In their subsequent books, To, or not to, the Moon and Other Stories, To, or not to, the Wildfire, Dorothy, Hocus Pocus, Cactus, Her Secret Life, and Tin Man, Steve Martin plays his characters, to great effect.
For those who enjoy early American rock and roll, especially when it was still known as the Woodstock era, To, or not to, the Moon and Other Stories is a must-read. In the book, several bands from that era are compared and discussed, including the Beatles (most famous for their ” Abbey Road” album and their classic song, ” Twist and Shout”), the Yardbirds, Dusty Springfield, and Bob Dylan. Other songs that are included in the book are: “TAPS”, “I Remember You”, “My Old School”, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, “I’m a Believer”, and “I’m Left, You’re Right”.
The subsequent books in the series, To, or not to, the Wild, Dorothy, Hocus Pocus, Cactus, Her Secret Life, and Tin Man, explore some of the characters from the earlier books in greater detail, but don’t cross paths with the earlier ones. For example, Cactus sings about his love for his high school sweetheart, Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz), and later sings about meeting a dead girl named Glinda. At the same time, Cactus meets his deceased grandmother, Glinda, who tells him about the wizard who came to her home in Kansas, and learns that he has magical powers.
Another great book in the series, To, or not to, the Moon, deals with a group called the Moonstompers. These young people had just formed, and started out life as a band, but were kicked out because their parents didn’t agree with their new identity. So they formed another group in order to be accepted. This book involves many musical memories from the band, when they perform at small venues, trade shows, and clubs. A concert video from one of these shows was used on the Japanese television series, “Lucky Number Slevin”, which gained the group many fans.
In a later book, The Hard Way, a man tries to get back with his ex-girlfriend, Terence. After several attempts, they finally manage to meet, but before they proceed, Terence realizes that he has made major mistakes in the past, and he wants to break off the relationship. While doing so, he realizes something else: he has formed an all-girls rock band, named Trouble. This book in turn becomes an album, called Trouble, which is very successful and sells millions of copies worldwide. In the sequel, titled Something to Cry About, the band is asked to play at the White House, but their band manager refuses them permission.