(Note: This is a new edition of “Hooks and Books”, a series that once appeared on a now-defunct website.)
In this series, we explore the inspiration behind specific songs. To wit, we examine the connection between certain songs and literature. Without any further adieu, here is the latest group of hooks and books:
“You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” — The Offspring
The American punk rock band The Offspring recorded this one for their eighth studio disc Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace which hit stores in 2008. The song was the second single from the platter. The song was inspired by the 1954 novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
American singer-songwriter and violinist Emilie Autumn composed this cut for her second studio CD Opheliac which dropped in October 2006. The song was inspired in part by both the actual title and nickname of a young gal who’s forced into a personal relationship with an older gentleman in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita.
“Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” – Green Day
This one can be found on the band’s 1992 CD Kerplunk! Vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong did not enjoy reading J.D. Salinger’s book The Catcher In The Rye as a kid. As an adult, he reread it was “punk rock.” The song is actually about the main character Holden Caulfield.
“The Battle of Evermore”
This song is by Led Zeppelin. More specifically, it’s a folk duet written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Sung by Plant and guest vocalist Sandy Denny, the song’s on the group’s untitled 1971 album, nicknamed Led Zeppelin IV. The lyrics reference material from the book, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
“Seabeast” — Mastodon
Finally, the Atlanta-based group Mastodon has a love of Herman Melville’s writing. Witness their Moby-Dick-focused concept album Leviathan. Released in 2004, this is their first concept album. It’s based on the classic 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. This song was one of the cuts released as a single.