I didn't know it at the time, but Changeling was my first draft of Morningstone. In those days I thought of it as a storytelling vehicle with music, song and dance for live performance, and I was trying to assemble a troupe with the skill and versatility to make it happen. One of the singer-keyboard players in the Changeling troupe was a talented young lady who called herself Melodie Ayres. I ran out of money for recording before I ran out of material and the Changeling troupe disbanded with only a demo tape to show for their efforts. Melodie, out of work but defending her decision to be a musician, played the demo for her father, author and Hollywood screenwriter Max Shulman, perhaps best remembered for "The Tender Trap" and House Calls." When he heard it, he had Melodie invite me over for lunch.
As we talked about Changeling, Max couldn't believe I had never even heard of Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. Before I left, he lent me his own copy. (I think I had to promise in blood to return it as soon as I finished reading it.) I returned the book through Melodie and asked her to thank Max for me, but I don't know if Max ever knew how grateful I was or how much that book has meant to me through the years.
Campbell's text explained that it was the social outcast, the isolated individual who was prone to undertake the hero's journey. You might wonder how a successful rock superstar "with the world by the ears" possibly qualifies, but Morgen's success isolates him from the rest of his kind. His fame precludes a normal life. Hounded by papparazzi, stalked by zealous fans, in danger, always, of being torn apart by his admirers, he employs security guards to guarantee his isolation! I had a taste of that life from the mid-sixties to the early seventies, and while I never was a superstar, I know the isolation of which I speak.
Morgen, exhausted after his May Eve concert, rebels and flees his obligation to meet with his guests at the party held in his honor, by driving away in his flashy new sports car. The otherworldly Barn Owl, ever watchful, seizes that moment of rebellion to guide Morgen across the threshold to begin his otherworldly adventure.
I highly recommend Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces, first published in 1949 and still in print today. It will enrich your experience in every facet of your life. If it was up to me, it would be required reading.
Travis Edward Pike, 22 August 2021, Otherworld Cottage
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