In Which We Wonder If Any Of You Actually Followed Through On Those 33 1/3 Pitches

When we mentioned the call for proposals by the people behind the 33 1/3 series, in which a book is given over to an album (sometimes with great results), it seemed like quite a few of you were considering sending something in. I was wondering this morning (after re-reading my really poor treatment for Michael W. Smith’s Go West Young Man) if any of you out there actually got around to finishing a proposal, and if so, what album you decided to focus on. No one can steal your idea now, right? [33 1/3 blog]

  • SAShepherd

    Your problem, Dan, is that you re-read your treatment.

    I’m choosing to ignore mine entirely, thereby avoiding the self-doubt stage.

    (And, no, I’m not telling. You never know, next round of submissions is, what, 2010?)

  • Chris N.

    Aw, dammit. Missed it entirely.

  • Al Shipley

    I kept thinking really seriously about sending a pitch right down to the last day, but ultimately I flaked out due to a combination of procrastination, holiday burnout, and inability to narrow down from the 4 or 5 albums I was seriously considering. Maybe next time.

  • adoinel

    As Mr. Gibson probably already knows, I got my proposal sent in a while ago. It was a book on the Pulp album Different Class. I won’t go into details about it right now. I’m holding out hope that they actually like the idea and will want to publish it, and, yes, I don’t want to jinx it.

  • R. Morast

    my proposal was sent in, focusing on Waylon Jennings’ “Honky Tonk Heroes.” We’ll see if it makes the cut.

  • bcapirigi

    I wrote one too, which I sent in on Wednesday. I spent two months thinking about all the things I wanted to say about the Pet Shop Boys’ Very but then went with a different album at the last minute. I’m sure I have no chance, but, you know, whatever. (Which was after a month of debating about Playing With A Different Sex/Elastica/Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts/This Is Hardcore/Excerpts From The Love Circus/The It Girl/Solitude Standing/Sunny Border Blue/every other album I’ve ever liked ever.)

  • Chris B.

    I was overwhelmed with self-doubt throughout writing my proposal but I’m really glad I sent one in. For me, the hardest part was reading some really great stuff by people that have already written 33 1/3 books (if I read Amanda Petrusich’s tour diary on Americana before writing my proposal, it would have stayed in my head).

    Mine was on Annie’s Anniemal, for what that’s worth.

  • Anonymous

    I’d been playing with a concept for months and months now, seesawing between making it a 33 1/3 book pitch and something to write with the intention of getting it published elsewhere (or self-published). Too much’s been happening over the last 2-3 months for me to pull a proposal together, so Option 2 it is, and I’m happier that way, honestly. Less pressure.

  • Anonymous

    Mine will be, if I ever find time to write it, about Metal Machine Music. And as written it will make way more sense to readers than a book proposal pitch would. Somehow I just KNOW this.

  • heyzeus

    There goes my idea – an Elliott Smith selection is already in the works (but on XO; I would have done Either/Or or Basement on a Hill)

  • bg5000

    I sent in my proposal on De La Soul is Dead about 6 hours before the deadline. But i did send it in.

  • Ned Raggett

    Radiohead’s Kid A was my choice. We’ll see.

  • scott pgwp

    I wrote one up for Spiderland…

  • kurometarikku

    I did one for Give Up. I’m looking forward to my first ever rejection letter.

    Well, I mean rejection letter about writing, I’ve got rejection letters from chicks before.

  • Anonymous

    My finishing touches on my Beck Odelay proposal got in the way of writing some zingers for my Pazz & Jop ballot, but I did get the chili (and the vegetarian chili) cooked for the New Year’s party. Two outta three ain’t bad.

  • Anonymous


    I actually submitted a proposal for This is Hardcore.

  • the rich girls are weeping

    I had such grand plans for my proposal(s). Did I do them? Nope. There’s always next year, I guess!

  • DocStrange

    No. I wrote one, but didn’t send it in, because I thought the commercial appeal for a book on Barafundle by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci would be severely limited.

  • Cam/ron

    I submitted a pitch for a book on Pavement’s “Slanted and Enchanted” two years ago since it was the closest thing to a “classic album” created by a band near the Sacramento area where I live. I got in contact with ex-drummer/engineer Gary Young and most of the band via Matador’s media office, I was ready to interview the hell out of them. And then the 33 1/3 folks decided to have another writer tackle Pavement. It was a letdown but I’m still happy to see that a few of my colleagues submitted successful pitches.

  • humberthumbert

    @lecherousfrenchman: you really went for it. pulp, this is hardcore: world-class band struggles with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom. i like what i’m hearing…

  • Jack Fear

    I sat this one out, but I did pitch Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die in the previous open call, in 2007. I think they dinged it cos I wanted to have a 24-page pull-out comics section in the middle.

    I have a friend who writes alien-abduction stories and Bible prophecies for a newspaper tabloid; he keeps saying we should collaborate on a freeform Surrealist response to Camper Van Beethoven’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, but somehow we’ve never managed to get a proposal put together.

  • OokieDookie

    I sent one in for Pussy Galore’s Exile on Main Street. I figured if I’m going to go out on a limb, I may as well jump.

  • Eugene Langley

    One of the many things I didn’t get around to last month. It was a toss up between Mclusky Do Dallas and Journey’s Greatest Hits.

  • DJorn

    @Jack Fear: I’d read that! I submitted one for Key Lime Pie a couple years ago (even going so far as to contact the band and producer to secure tentative interviews), but no go. Didn’t even know about this one till after the deadline.