“Burlap to Cashmere” was an alternative Christian rock/folk band that topped the charts and toured with the big guns like Jars of Clay in the 90’s. Then they dropped out of sight. I was thrilled to see them back three years ago at a festival and fell in love with their music all over again.
When I got home, I read up on why they had stopped touring and recording. They had been overbooked and exhausted. After resting, while recording their come-back album, they had a major setback.
Guitar player Johnny Philippidis, cousin to the lead singer Stephen, was in a car accident where he was also assaulted. He ended up in a coma and it was questionable if he’d ever play guitar again if he came out of it.
He did recover. And eventually the band recovered too and came back. I find Johnny’s guitar playing to be mesmerizing.
I was inspired to write a story, Feta & Freeways, about Stephen the lead singer, who I really don’t know, only that his heritage is Greek. I changed his name. I moved the band from New Jersey to Milwaukee and gave him a sweet gal to fall in love with.
So what about Johnny? Johnny gets his own story in Root Beer & Roadblocks due out early 2017. He doesn’t have a car accident or get beat up, but he does face serious struggles. I couldn’t change his first name though. He remains Johnny (but with the last name Marshall).
I really should be too old now to be fan-girling over musicians. I guess you could say that this is a little bit of fan fiction inspired by real life people and events. The real Stephen and Johnny know about the stories. I can’t tell anymore if I’m in love with their music now because it’s so great (it really is) or simply because I adore the characters so much.
Susan M. Baganz chases after three little hobbits at her house. She is a native of Wisconsin. Feta & Freeways is book three in her Orchard Hill Romance series. It is a stand-alone novel, and Pesto & Potholes and Salsa & Speed Bumps are its predecessors. Root Beer & Roadblocks releases early 2017. You can learn more by following Susan’s Silygoos blog http://www.susanbaganz.com and or her fan page, http://www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz. She can be found on Twitter @susanbaganz or Pinterest as silygoos.