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Cameron Crowe's Brand New Zoo Movie

One of the great things about writing this blog is that when I feel the burning need to write something which has absolutely no hooks to hair, beauty, fashion or similar, I can slide my rambling rhetoric into my Blog to relieve my itchy fingers and churning mind.

Such is my case with my need to write about Cameron Crowe, the famous teen writer for the esteemed Rolling Stone Magazine who went on to become a renowned writer, producer, director and who made a series of financially successful films.

(Image of Almost Famous Movie Poster from Wikipedia - All Rights Reserved)

While he appears to still have great hair in his early 50s, there's no point in even discussing his follicles because who really cares about Cameron Crowe's hair other than Cameron, his stylist and maybe his wife?

We Bought A Zoo

Instead, it seems more appropriate to focus on his writing and film making careers.  Which brings me to the point of my blog.  I recently noticed a news mention that Crowe (it feels weird referring to him by his surname) was getting ready to make his first film "We Bought a Zoo," since 2005's "Elizabethtown".  The movie he's making is a true life story about a man who actually bought a zoo.

Based on the 2008 memoirs of British journalist-turned-zookeeper Benjamin Mee, it tells the story of a guy who chucked it all and moved with his wife and kids into a barely functioning wildlife park in England.

Sounds fascinating and very appropriate for something the Almost Famous movie maker would gravitate towards.

My Ten Year Fascination With Cameron Crowe

Which brings me to my non-stalkerese fascination with Crowe.  You might conclude it's because he was a child of the infamous 60s, married one of my favorite female rockers (other than Stevie Nick), Nancy Wilson of Heart, or that he's the same astrological sign (Cancer) as me.

Well those are certainly interesting facts about him, but my fascination started with an October 2000 article in Rolling Stone Magazine written by the equally famous Herb Ritts who interviewed Cameron about his glory days as a teen reporter for Rolling Stone and his life with Nancy, his new born twin boys (who were born in 2000) and his initial struggles writing the Almost Famous film.

Every Piece Of Paper He's Ever Written On

What caught my attention about Crowe was Ritts' description of the film writer's "dark, narrow and cool three floor condo" where the real tenants were inanimate object including "records which line an entire room floor to ceiling" and "the living room and second floor office (don't even ask about the garage) are crammed with Crowe's endless boxes of transcripts, photos, films, scripts, bootlegged concert tapes and seemingly every piece of paper he's ever written on."

When I read that paragraph I felt shivers run up and down my spin and felt partial redemption to my lifetime of being teased, cajoled, harassed and hassled for my own private collection of boxes filled with endless clippings about topics I wanted to write about someday.  Who knows when, but I knew I would.  Wouldn't I?  Shouldn't I?

Old Collection Of 45s And LPs

Although my collection of records (old 45s and LPs) don't line an entire room like Crowe's I have my own treasured collection which fills an entire closet.  Also like Crowe there are literally books, magazines and little pieces of paper with my handwritten notes strewn throughout my entire house.

Books and magazines pile up next to me in a haphazard fashion until I am literally boxed into my writing table and have to climb over the couch to get out.

I totally get it about Crowe's endless boxes of papers, notes, scripts and stuff.  Is it that all Cancers are pack rats or is it that all writers hold onto all their notes?  Probably neither, but it makes me temporarily feel better about my own hoarding habits.

When I'm finally convinced by some well meaning soul (who eventually receives my wrath at wanting to unearth my nest) to go through the boxes, I am sucked into a whirlwind of unfinished projects I really wanted to do, but never did.  Of course there was always my hope that someday I might.  The lid goes back on and the box is moved out of my view until the next person convinces me to try and sort through my collection.

Crowe's Stash Of Notes

While it would be nice to go hang out with Crowe, Wilson and their famous friends, I actually would just love to see Crowe's stash of notes and his mountain of boxes.  I would feel right at home.  OK, his music collection would also be a great thing to see and hear but the thought of all those papers stuffed into all of those boxes are what makes my heart race.

Crowe's Anguish While Writing Almost Famous

The other thing which touched a chord in me about Crowe was Wilson's description of the anguish he suffered through when he was writing Almost Famous.  Crowe told Ritts "everything was hard on this movie" and noted "it was by far the hardest thing I've ever done."

His wife agreed with Crowe's assessment explaining "there was a lot of procrastination on Cameron's part because of the personal nature of Almost Famous."  She confessed Crowe had "a lot of deep dark doubt about doing it" and "his mother and I were a support group with no paycheck."

Unfinished Work

Which describes perfectly my ongoing trauma about my own writings.  Many of the boxes I have stacked in closets and under tables around my house are full of half finished books about so many different topics it might make someone's head spin, at least partially off.

Oddly I'm always organized when I start my latest book project, even though it never gets finished.  I start by finding a brand new three ring binder with a black plastic cover (it has to be black) that I can insert the name of my latest book topic.  Then I carefully outline the chapters I want to include, get cool separator tabs and go to town writing.  Except I never finish, to the frustration of all who know me closely.

Calling Nancy Wilson

I'm convinced if I had a Nancy Wilson figure in my life who became my partner and pushed me daily to finish my pages, I would eventually get one of those suckers done.  In the meantime, it just doesn't happen.  Some make it 90% finished and others sit languishing with just the original table of contents.

I've literally written thousands of articles over the past 10 years which have been published in a wide range of well-known magazines and on the web.  I've whipped out hundreds of works in lightening speed.  My editors often marvel at my turnaround times.

Writing Is Like Breathing

Writing for me is very much like breathing.  When I don't write something...anything...for a few days I start to have major withdrawal symptoms including a racing heart and shaky hands.  I get irritable and cranky until I can pop open the top of my notebook and let the ideas flow from my fingers.

For the past ten years I've held the 2000 Rolling Stone article about Crowe in my memory bank and whenever I read about him or Nancy I wonder just how many boxes he now has accumulated in his life which are full of his notes and scripts.  I also remind myself that if he could write an entire freaking movie, why can't I finish just one of my 100 unfinished books?

Yeah, well, who knows.  Maybe someday I will find the missing piece to squeeze it out of me.  Or maybe not.

Someday I might stumble across my own version of a writing partner or an unpaid support team like Nancy and Mrs. Crowe, who will push me over the edge on my never ending book writing journey.

In the meantime I will continue to build upon my collection of Rolling Stone magazines, including the 2000 issue about Crowe, neatly stacked in my own tower of boxes and hope to someday overcome my own procrastination with writing a book rather than a few thousand words dashed quickly out about Victoria Beckham's new hair extensions or Kristin Stewart going red.

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