Funny how when you come to a crossroads in life and make a firm yet equally frightening decision, the Universe sets things in motion… A chance meeting with Jade at Betsy’s birthday party and her enthusiasm for a musical project she had in mind – Jade ov Arcc – came at the right time for me. I thought, why not have a go? It would give me more courage to later write my own fantasy saga that had been part of my life since I was seventeen. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It took me an hour and a half to get to J.’s home where we worked and the same to get back. At this point I had no inkling of what I’d be in for later with “Salomé”!
Knowing that it was to be a spoof on the music industry made it easier. I’ve known my share of artists who have been frustrated with music moguls, their insufferable assistants and incapable A&R personnel (Not all mind you.); the young wannabes who’d do anything to ‘make it’ and the whole rigmarole of pandering to the higher ups. In fact, we spent time discussing age in the business and our story began to take shape. We would infuse J.’s own songs into the storyline, most importantly “Shadow of a White Rose” – the song she had written with the figure of Salomé in mind.
Take our Jock Jerkovski: a ruthless music mogul with whom Jade Valour has to deal – a real slime bag who thinks Jade’s ‘too old’ to make it, but covets her song “Shadow of a White Rose” as the theme song for the movie his friend Archie Moskowitz is producing: “Salomé”, destined to be a blockbuster. He wants his starlet, a Latina called Alicia Gomez (at the time Jennifer Lopez was big!) to sing a duet of the song with the biggest Diva of them all: Lena Lerner. Yup, you guessed it – that’s Tina Turner! Ah… but there’s a twist with an even younger, sexier, conniving Miley Cyrus type gal coming into the mix, all through Jock’s machinations. And we gave Jock an alter ego – Wild Willy, as uncouth as the name suggests, who has helped him get to where he is in ‘the biz’. You get the picture.
But our heroine has help from other quarters than her helm-&-sword alter-ego. One of them is Jade’s gorgeous-guy romantic interest and fellow musician Harden D’Arcy. Of course there’s a happy ending with Jade becoming a star. Kitschy you might think and, well yeah, it was. But how we howled writing it and the serious parts of the story are valid. I was enjoying myself and I was at last in writing mode.
As we were rounding up Jade ov Arcc, J. told me about another idea closer to her heart: “Salomé”. We had already used the name for our ‘movie-within-a-movie’, but she had always felt that she wanted to do this mythical/biblical character justice. It would be another screenplay. I actually wanted to write books rather than movies, but I was on a roll and I was sharing ideas with J. of what we could do. Thus ‘Project Salomé’ was born. Little did I know that it would take years of weekends at J.’s flat, constantly living the story in my mind in between working hours and very little social life. And what an on-going adventure!