What do I do for geeky fun? Sometimes I make up fake memoirs.
The rule for fake biographies is that they have to a) make sense, b)use as much period detail as possible and c) be someone who, tantalizingly, might have been, but....Let me show you what I mean.
It's not often pointed out, but classic Rock & Roll was not much of an equal opportunity employer. As much as people like to point out Grace Slick, and the various J's :Janis, Joni, Judy, Carole, and Laura, the truly epic women of classic rock were not players, nor even songwriters, but wives and muses: Marianne Faithfull, Yoko Ono, Anita Pallenburg, Bebe Buell and Patti Boyd. (This is not to denigrate Women in Rock, per se, but that pre-punk, actual artists were (mostly) overlooked in favor of window dressing.)
Looking over their skill sets, however, they don't look to have done very much other than being muses.
About all you can say is that Yoko Ono is a good-enough conceptual artist to make standard histories the of postwar New York Art Scene without John, and her poetry is fun (though "Grapefruit" was written before she met him), and Marianne made a few more-than good-enough singles. As for the rest, most of the groupies just sort of faded. But I can think of something that could have put any one of them over the top as being, not merely decorative, but dangerous.
Having some electronics experience -- this isn't as far off as you can imagine, especially in San Francisco (apparently, since Hewlett-Packard & Co. employed women during the War and even after, even gentle ladies in the Bay Area know their way around a schematic) -- could be pretty interesting, in a setting where musicians, and even the people who 'do sound' for them don't know the first thing about how their magic boxes work. Ditto computers -- OK, microprocessing wasn't widely available until the early 80's. But I can imagine someone having a PDP-8 or 10 as an expensive adult toy, and, by the late 70's many people were building boxen from kits.
"She's such a weirdo -- she has a pet computer!"
Fone phreaking was invented by Abbie Hoffman
, and as computer historians can attest, he wrote about it extensively. And of course, a little neurochemical alchemy was always in demand. After all, Patti Smith
's first love was photography, which art she taught that handsome gay guy
who lived with her...In short, what if one of the First Ladies of Rock was a geek
The key idea, though, is to keep all this kind of a secret. If you're going to be living off the proceeds of some egomaniacal fellow with calluses on his fingertips, you can't appear to be too independent, or else he's going to figure out you can live just as well on your own, which is, after all, nearly unheard of, since you're supposed to be The Girlfriend, all mystical visions and pretty thoughts. That you can electrify a guitar with a dead telephone, play The Game of Life
(either on paper or with core
) and/or turn worthless diamorphine
into gold is not something that will make him happier with you, just a little afraid. Of course, you get to do all the standard rock-muse stuff: all the good drugs, great clothes, hanging around some of the most interesting people of the time...
So how does this work out as writing? It's not, precisely a story. You just have to figure out how this person could have existed, how they got to be there, and what happened in their later life. I'm still trying to think about motives: she's not a spy (the politics are WAY wrong), but she could just be powerfully smart...It's just fun, an exercise, like in The Glass Bead Game. Anyway, it's the geekyest thing I can think of to do.
Lately, too, I've been designing imaginary buildings: a house, a palace...But that's another story.