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A nonfiction book for kids 8-15 about rock n' roll luminaries.
A nonfiction book for kids 8-15 about rock n' roll luminaries.
191 backers pledged $11,035 to help bring this project to life.

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For Those About To Rock: A Kid's Guide to 50 Music Legends

$11,035

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A couple of Christmases ago, I gave my 9-year-old son, Owen, a book about rock n' roll. Owen loves music just as much as I do, so I was excited to share my lifetime love of music with him. I envisioned many happy hours spent together reading about Jimi Hendrix and the Ramones. 

Unfortunately, this book fell short of our expectations. (I won't mention the name: I'm not here to throw shade--I'm just explaining the genesis of my own book.) It was supposed to be about notable musicians, but some of the featured artists were, um, not quite deserving of that title. For example, I have no beef with Chief Keef, but he probably has a few more years to go before reaching legendary status.

Owen was sad. He’d looked forward to this Christmas present. “You know what?” I said. "I’ll write a music book for you.”

And so I did.

Introducing For Those About to Rock: A Kid's Guide to 50 Legendary Musical Artists

The book tells the inspiring stories of 50 celebrated popular musicians, including Muddy Waters, Run DMC, The Doors, Bjork, Black Flag, Blondie, and Jimi Hendrix, to name just a few. You can see the full list of featured artists below.  

Each artist's page includes bite-size fact files and top song titles.

In addition, each page has a Music 101 section, which focuses on a musical concept that relates to that particular musician. For example, on Blondie’s page, we talk about liner notes; and on Bjork's page, we discuss musicians who incorporate performance art into their work. You can check it out below.

The book will also feature portraits of each musician, created especially for this project by talented artists from all over the world.

I say "will" because this is where you come in.

I want to expand this book's audience to all kids ages 8-15 who love rock n' roll and want to know more about it, and to parents and caregivers who want to bond with their kids through a mutual love of music. To do that, I need your help.

Your pledge will help me:

  • pay artists to create the remaining 48 musician portraits
  • edit the book
  • print the book
  • pay for shipping costs
  • create the super-cool rewards that will come with the book 

You'll help me make this book come to life. 

So, come on: get pledging, and get ready to rock out with your kids.

P.S.: I think Owen likes the book. What do you think?

DESIGN: Joey Spector

ILLUSTRATIONS: Rikke Rosbaek and Joey Spector

MUSIC: Antonio Travis

THE BOOK

For Those About to Rock: A Kid's Guide to 50 Legendary Musical Acts will be a 7x10 softcover book, filled with the stories of 50 epic artists. In its pages, you'll find out all kinds of fascinating musical facts, including why Pink Floyd wrote "Comfortably Numb;" what snack Madonna survived on during her early years as a dancer in New York City; and which performer once showed up on stage in a giant, padded Donald Duck costume. The book will also feature 50 original illustrations of rock legends, created just for this project, by talented artists from around the world. 

THE EBOOK

Take For Those About to Rock with you wherever you go, and read it on the go! 

KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE! FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK STICKER PACK

Get a pack of stickers featuring original artwork from the book! These stickers are only available to Kickstarter backers!

KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE! YOUR OWN CUSTOM BOOK PAGE

LIMITED-EDITION REWARD! Did I leave your favorite musician out of the book? Not to worry: I'll write you a custom book page featuring the musician of your choice! There is a limited number of these rewards on offer, so grab 'em while you can.

LESSON PLAN: PROTEST MUSIC

You will receive a lesson plan designed to teach kids aged 8-15 how rock n’ roll has been an essential part of protest movements over the last decades. This was the lesson plan for a course I taught at a charter school in Los Angeles in fall 2018. It includes YouTube and Spotify playlists, and uses music appreciation to help kids understand human rights movements.

MUSIC APPRECIATION WORKSHOP

I love getting kids to connect with music, and I have extensive experience teaching music appreciation to elementary school children, using rock n' roll as an educational tool to illuminate history and culture. I will come to your school, workplace, library, or other rock-friendly institution, and teach a 90-minute music appreciation workshop.* 

*Travel costs are not included. FYI when choosing this reward: I'm based in Los Angeles, California.

$10,000: HARDCOVER UPGRADE

We did it - we reached $10,000! All copies of the physical book will now come with a beautiful hard cover. 

NEW!! $15,000: NEW MUSICIANS GO IN THE BOOK - AND YOU DECIDE WHICH ONES!

This is a new stretch goal, suggested by one of my amazing backers. If we reach $15,000, all the backers--that means YOU--will get to suggest musicians that they'd like to see in the book, but who aren't already in there. Once we have a list, all the backers will get to vote for which musicians will make it into the book, and the top two will be included in the book, complete with illustrations! 

$25,000: FREE POSTER

If we reach $25,000, all copies of the physical book will come with a free 24x36 poster featuring the amazing illustrations in the book. See below for a mockup of what the poster might look like: it will differ from this mockup because your pledges will help pay our illustrators to create new artwork!

$40,000: PARENT PAMPHLET

So you love rock, and so does your kid. But how do you know which artists are appropriate for family-friendly listening? And what about artists like Prince? Some of his songs are totally kid-appropriate, and some are, well... Darling Nikki. How do you navigate the wild and woolly world of rock in a kid-safe way? 

If we reach $40,000, all copies of the book will come with a Parent Pamphlet designed to help you introduce your kid to artists that are right for their age group.  Each artist in the book will also have a page in the Parent Pamphlet. This page will contain a “What’s in the Music” section, which is a rating system designed to inform parents about the type of content in each artist’s music. Categories include sexuality, violence, drug/alcohol references, positive messages, and consumerism. Each artist also gets an MPAA rating, just like movies do: for example, Buddy Holly’s sweetly innocent tunes get a G rating, whereas the out-there tunes of the Stooges get an R. 

$50,000: SUPER TOP SECRET STRETCH GOAL

If we reach $50,000, all copies of the book will come with a... well, you'll just have to pledge and see. : )

I need your help to pay illustrators to create the rest of the artwork, edit the book, print the first 200 copies, and pay for shipping costs. 

The book and rewards will ship out to backers in July 2020. 

Risks and challenges

I've done a ton of research to ensure that printing and shipping of the book goes smoothly, but it's possible that printing or shipping issues could arise and the book could be delayed. In such an event, I'll notify all backers and give them updates on the reasons for the delays.

I'll also notify backers of any other delays, snafus, situations that have have become FUBAR, or things that are just plain fugazi.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    DOLLAR DOLLAR BILL, Y'ALL

    Thank you for supporting independent publications and the DIY spirit of rock n’ roll! You will have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    I GOT FIVE ON IT

    You will receive a thank-you in the book’s Acknowledgments, and you will have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    TEN CRACK COMMANDMENTS

    You will receive our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers, have your name included in the Thanks section of the book, and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 17 or more About US$ 17

    EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

    You will receive one (1) copy of the Ebook of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    EARLY BIRD (save $5) 1 BOOK

    You will receive one (1) copy of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; one (1) copy of the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    I COULD WRITE A BOOK

    You will receive one (1) SIGNED copy of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; one (1) copy of the e-Book; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 42 or more About US$ 42

    EARLY BIRD (save $8) 2 BOOKS

    You will receive two (2) SIGNED copies of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Reward no longer available 7 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    DOUBLE VISION

    You will receive two (2) SIGNED copies of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    NEW! GONE IN 60 SECONDS - PART DEUX

    Did I leave your favorite artist out of the book? And did you miss grabbing a CUSTOM BOOK PAGE featuring the musician of your choice?* (Illustration not included.) Don't fret: I'm opening up 5 more slots so that you (or a friend!) can get a custom page! Get 'em now before they run out again!
    PLUS: You will receive one (1) copy of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; one copy of the EBook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign! This is a limited reward, so get it while you can.
    *I still reserve the right to decline if you try to troll me by making me write a page about some crappy Nazi band. Nope, not gonna happen.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 73 or more About US$ 73

    THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

    You will receive three (3) SIGNED copies of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 120 or more About US$ 120

    FIVE TO ONE, BABY, ONE IN FIVE

    You will receive five (5) SIGNED copies of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 225 or more About US$ 225

    10 SECONDS TO LOVE

    You will receive 10 (10) SIGNED copies of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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    Pledge US$ 700 or more About US$ 700

    LIMITED! ROCK WORKSHOP

    You will receive a box of 20 SIGNED books and I will come to your school or workplace and teach a rock history workshop.* Plus, you'll get the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign! This is a limited reward, so get it while it's still available.

    *You pay my travel expenses. Hey, whaddaya think, money grows on trees?! :)

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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    ROCK BOX

    Grab a box of 30 SIGNED books for your classroom, school, local library, or other rock-friendly educational institution - and you also get a lesson plan on how rock n’ roll has been an essential part of protest movements over the last few decades. Plus! you get the Ebook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign!

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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    LIMITED! GONE IN 60 SECONDS

    Did I leave your favorite artist out of the book? Not to worry: I will write you a CUSTOM BOOK PAGE featuring the musician of your choice!* (Illustration not included.) PLUS: You will receive one (1) copy of the physical book of FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; one copy of the EBook; our Kickstarter exclusive Kids Rock stickers; have your name included in the Thanks section of the book; and have behind-the-scenes access to backers' exclusive updates on the campaign! This is a limited reward, so get it while you can.
    *I reserve the right to decline your choice of band, so don't try to make me write a custom book page about some crazy racist band, mmmk?

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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Funding period

- (45 days)