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In this book series, musicians & writers discuss when they first heard an iconic band: Bowie, Joy Division, Kate Bush, Smiths, & more.
In this book series, musicians & writers discuss when they first heard an iconic band: Bowie, Joy Division, Kate Bush, Smiths, & more.
205 backers pledged $12,638 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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THE FIRST TIME I HEARD is a series of music-related e-books that collect brief, conversational first-person accounts by musicians and writers about the first time they heard a specific iconic band.  The first five books compile essays about the authors' first experiences with (1) David Bowie, (2) Cocteau Twins, (3) The Smiths, (4) Kate Bush, and (5) Joy Division/New Order.

The book series is edited by Scott Heim, a novelist who has written books like We Disappear and Mysterious Skin (which was made into a critically acclaimed 2005 film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Elisabeth Shue).  Besides being a novelist, Heim is also a self-professed "music nerd" who has always been fascinated with how other music lovers remember their first experiences hearing the bands and artists they love.  When he began THE FIRST TIME I HEARD project, he simply wrote letters and e-mails to musicians and other writers whose work he admired.  The response was overwhelming; after only four months, he'd already received personal essays from nearly 200 people.  Members of bands like Throwing Muses, Mercury Rev, Lamb, Electrelane, Swervedriver, Lush, Shudder To Think, The Wedding Present, Gang Gang Dance, Curve, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Slowdive, 'til tuesday, Engineers, American Analog Set, Earlimart, Stereolab, Babes In Toyland, Laika, Antony & the Johnsons, Pale Saints, Maps, Catherine Wheel, Clan of Xymox, The Teardrop Explodes, Microfilm, B-Movie, The Aluminum Group, Hood, Spiritualized, Isan, Trespassers William, Film School, Guided By Voices, and many others have already contributed, as have individual musicians like Harold Budd, Annette Peacock, Tiffany Anders, Annie Barker, and John Grant, as have several novelists, journalists, and poets.

Heim is hoping to begin a Kickstarter fund to make the final push toward publishing the first five books in this unique series.  Contributions to the Kickstarter fund would facilitate the art and design for the books' covers; it would allow the final copyedits and typesetting of all the editorial materials; lastly, and most importantly, it would allow the editor to pay the contributors for their efforts in sharing their personal stories and making The First Time I Heard project an ultimate success.

Heim hopes to complete these initial five books before the beginning of summer 2012.  He would like to publish the books as e-books to the various internet outlets, with hopes of attracting attention to print publishers (eventual print publication is certainly possible through smaller presses, and the editor is planning to pursue this option in addition to the e-book route).  Heim's ultimate goal, if the books gather attention and possibly success, is to expand the project to a wider array of music. Other books that he foresees in the "First Time" series include The Pixies, Roxy Music, Public Enemy, Abba, Kraftwerk, REM, My Bloody Valentine, Leonard Cohen, and more.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Every little bit helps! Anyone who contributes an amount under $10 will be mentioned in the "thank yous" on the project's Facebook site and the editor's website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Each installment in this book series will be available as an e-book, and if you contribute $10 or more, you will receive one complimentary copy of your choice of e-books on any of the available outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes). In addition, $10 contributors will be thanked on the project's Facebook page as well as the project editor's website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Contribute $20 or more, and you will receive three complimentary copies of your choice of e-books on any of the available outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes). You will also be thanked on the project's Facebook page as well as the project editor's website.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Contribute $50 or more, and you will receive complimentary copies of ALL of the first five e-books in the series on any of the available outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes). You will also receive thanks on the project's Facebook page as well as the editor's website, and you will be listed in the acknowledgments at the end of each of the books in the series.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Contribute $100 or more, and you will receive complimentary copies of ALL of the first five e-books in the series on any of the available outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes). You will also be listed in the acknowledgments at the back of each book in the series, receive special mention on the project's Facebook page as well as on the editor's website. In addition, if you are a $100 backer, you will receive a specially designed "The First Time I Heard" project T-shirt featuring the cover design from one of the first five books in the series.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Contribute $500 or more, and lots of rewards will be coming your way: you'll receive complimentary copies of ALL of the first five e-books in the series on any of the available outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes); you'll receive all future e-books in the series as they become available (each time a book in the series is published, you'll automatically receive it!); you will be listed in the acknowledgments at the back of each book in the series, and will receive special thanks on the project's Facebook page as well as the editor's website. In addition, $500 backers will receive ALL five special "The First Time I Heard" project T-shirts featuring each of the book covers. Finally, if you contribute $500 or more, the project editor will send you a gift package, tailored specifically for you, that features several autographed CDs and books from some of the musicians and writers who contributed to the project!

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Funding period

- (32 days)