Thursday, September 24, 2015

Interview with the Author

A revised and updated version of Waiting on the Angels is at:

Iterview with Bill Kelly the Author of Waiting on the Angels – the Long Cool Summer of ’65 Revisited

Q: After writing non-fiction for decades and two history books, why did you suddenly decide to write a novel?

BK: Early in the summer I was looking for something light and easy to read, a fun book, and couldn’t find it, so when I complained about it someone suggested that I write the book I wanted to read, and I did, at least that’s what I tried to do. I always thought the events of that summer were really interesting and worth exploring in more detail. I always believed that the things that happen to real people are more interesting than anything you can make up, but sometimes fiction gets closer to the truth than any history text book can.

Q: So is it real? Did all of this really happen?

BK: Yes, it all happened – The Hell’s Angels did come to town and were kicked out of Ocean City, Harry Anglemeyer was murdered, the Air Force did lose two nuclear bombs off Cape May, Conway Twitty did go country and the Hawks backed Dylan when he went electric. And both Twitty and the Hawks played Tony Marts that summer, Tito Mambo did cause a riot, the Carroll Brothers were arrested for playing on the 14th Street beach, and my version of those evens is as close to the truth as I can take it. What’s not to believe? And if anyone has a correction or a different story, especially if they were there, I want to hear from them and will add it to the proceedings. A lot of the people mentioned in the story are still alive - Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Bob Harbough, Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, Andrew and some of those who played in the bands, and they each have a piece of the puzzle. I'm starting to ear from some of them. Joe Walsh, who wrote the song "Class of 1965," has been sober for over 20 years, and is receiving Kennedy Honors this month at the Kennedy Center in Washington. 

Q: If it’s all true then why is it fiction?

BK: It’s fiction because even though most of the characters are real, I created two composite characters (the mayor’s daughters) who are based on real people known to me, I invented some conversational dialog, and a few of the events are chronology skewed, but for the most part, what is described actually happened, I just use novelized techniques to tell the story.

Q: You also supposedly utilized some new social science technology and techniques and applied them to historical fiction for the first time?

BK: Yes, supposedly I am the first to write an historical novel using three radical social science techniques at the same time – namely natural psychoactive additives to affect the mind’s ability to travel, as demonstrated by the CIA’s interrogation research; I also used a modern experimental isolation tank to control consciousness; and third I used Remote Viewing techniques developed by the Army at Fort Dietrich and used extensively during the first Gulf War, that allows one to focus on a specific place and time to figure out what’s going on there.

Q: Do you think it works and will it catch on?

A: It works all right, but just as some researchers base their knowledge entirely on what’s written down, while others base the story on what witnesses said, both have often been proven wrong so, who’s to say if my approach is right or wrong? It’s just a different approach, and I believe it’s closer to the truth than the traditional histories with the official imprimatur.

Q: So who killed Harry Anglemeyer?

BK: Everybody who lived ‘year round in Ocean City at that time knows, and you can figure it out by reading this book, all the clues are there. The question should be - why isn’t anyone investigating this easily solvable crime? And the answer to that is pretty clear too - if you read the story.

Q: What became of the lost nukes?

BK: They’re still lost, and out there at the bottom of the ocean a few hundred miles from Cape May, though the military isn’t even looking for them.

Q: What happened to the Hell’s Angels? One of their founders Sonny Barger is now living in the Southwest and telling school kids not to smoke tobacco.

BK: No one really knows why they didn’t come back on Labor Day after threatening to do so. Some say Conway Twitty talked to their leadership, fans of his, and some say he did a benefit concert for them at some point, so maybe he did talk them out of it.

Q: So what’s next? What are you going to apply your radical research techniques on next?

BK: I’m looking at 1969 – The Summer of Love Revisited, which is one that I was personally immersed in, so I know a lot more about it. And then there should be one for the ‘80s, the decade of destruction, when they destroyed Shriver’s Pavilion, Bay Shores, Tony Marts, the Dunes, the Strand Theater and anything that was worthwhile, but I think I’ll skip that one.

There's talk of rebuilding Shriver's Pavilion, and maybe this book will get people asking questions and maybe the authorities will attempt to solve the Anglemeyer murder case and the military may try to find the missing nukes, so something positive may come out of it, but I doubt it. 

Waiting on the Angels - The Long Cool Summer of '65 Revisited


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