Mike Doughty’s Biblical New Year’s Resolution

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What is the creative project you’ve been meaning to get done? 

Last year, we followed listeners who resolved to write a short story each month, become a carpenter, play a cello recital, and turn an epic poem into an epic comic book. With our periodic encouragement (nagging), they all reached their goals. When we put out the call for 2014, we heard from hundreds of people eager to throw their hat in the ring. 

“This seems like an excellent opportunity to pressure myself into finishing a thing I've been messing around with for years: an adaptation of the Book of Revelation as a staged sermon/oratorio/pageant,” wrote Mike Doughty from Brooklyn. Yes, that Mike Doughty, the lead singer and songwriter of the 90’s alt-rock band Soul Coughing.  

“I was staring at the five translations of the Book of Revelation I had just bought when you announced this on the radio,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “It was simultaneously thrilling when you gave me the nod, and then suddenly it was like, ‘Oh, now I have to do this thing!’”

Doughty isn’t particularly religious but he’s been fascinated with Revelation from a young age. “I grew up a heavy metal kid,” he says. His introduction to the work was through the Iron Maiden song “The Number of the Beast.”  Doughty admits the source material has its pitfalls including a rambling plot and a fluctuating cast of characters. But he’s undaunted. “The imagery is such that if you like the Avengers, you’ll love the Book of Revelation!”

Task #1: Write an outline.

Got advice for Mike? Post a Comment below. 

Music Playlist

  1. Auld Lang Syne

    Artist: B. B. King
    Album: A Christmas Celebration of Hope
    Label: Geffen
  2. Circles

    Artist: Soul Coughing
    Album: El Oso
    Label: London Records
  3. Number of the Beast

    Artist: Iron Maiden
    Album: The Number Of The Beast
    Label: Sanctuary