In spite of the fact that I’ve been casting about for the right project and the right approach to get things rolling, one idea has remained constant. That concerns a vampire named Visili Kruvoi, who was born in the mid 1500’s, and who now lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida under the name of Bill Crewe. I may tinker on other things and consider which musical project I want to get off the ground first, but Visili Kruvoi is always looking over my shoulder, waiting impatiently for us to get on with it.
Not many people would notice Bill Crewe because of his dress or demeanor. Who notices real estate investors? The only hint of eccentricity around Crewe is his determination to drive a black 1965 Buick Riviera. Even then it’s more about finding a reliable car and sticking with it rather than being cool or scary. The Riviera wasn’t an eccentric choice when Crewe first drove it off of the dealership lot back in 1965.
Why do I mention all this? Simple. There’s a book waiting to written about Bill Crewe. I’ve already started it and have gotten about six chapters in so far. But there’s also a collection of music, about eight songs, that have sprung up around this. It’s taking on a life of its own, and it just won’t leave me alone. So, I’ve determined to see this through to fruition. This is going to be my primary project for the foreseeable future.
On a minor note, I feel like I should mention that Visili Kruvoi, Bill Crewe, is not like the vampires of popular imagination. Nor are any of his contemporaries. Every assumption you’ve ever had about vampires is wrong. They like it that way. If you think they turn into bats and flitter through the night, you’ve put them in the same category as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. If something is imaginary, you can’t be afraid of it, can you? And if you’re not afraid of something (and, in fact, don’t even believe it’s real), you’re not likely to show up on someone’s doorstep with pitchforks and torches.
No, my vampires live in the sunlight just like everyone else. They have jobs. Some of them have families. Their wants, needs and desires are largely the same as any normal human being… well, except for the need to feed on… a peculiar form of nourishment. No, I don’t mean blood. They don’t have to drink blood (though some do just to get their kicks). Sure, you can kill them by driving a stake through their hearts, but you can kill anyone by doing that. And as for garlic? Well, it’s nice on pizzas.
So… if my vampires are just like normal human beings in most regards, then what is the point? Well, that’s what I intend to find out. I contend that it’ll make them much more interesting to know that while they are super-human in some ways, they are just as frail as the rest of us. Although, now that I think of it, “frail” is a relative term. As I am constantly reminded by Visili Kruvoi, one doesn’t live almost 500 years if one is frail, does one?
I’m intrigued by the idea of re-inventing the vampire. The image we have of the vampire owes more to Hollywood than traditional mythology. The genre has been ripe for a re-imagining for some time. Best of luck with that! I’ll be waiting. 🙂