The final installment of the Thunder Road Trilogy, Too Far Gone, has it all: action, romance, adventure, one angry fire giant, and the perfect playlist. While crafting his urban fantasy epic, Ravenstone author Chadwick Ginther listened to a playlist of rock, metal, and country, resulting in this Too Far Gone soundtrack. Listen to the tunes of Too Far Gone and check out what Chadwick has to say about the songs that inspired its chapter titles. You can also get the Tombstone Blues playlist here.
Chapter 2: Burning Inside - Ministry
The first of many songs with a fire theme to show up on the list which, given the story I wanted to tell, and the monster I wanted Ted to fight, is no surprise.
Chapter 4: When the Trickster Starts A-Pokin' - Gogol Bordello
How could I resist this title? A lot of the music I listen to, or that finds its way onto the playlists, feels very "Ted." But ages ago, I built a "Loki Playlist" and a "Tilda Playlist" for getting into their heads when I hadn't written them in a while. Loki and Tilda are a lot of fun to write, but tend to be more work for me than Ted.
Chapter 5: Why Does It Always Rain On Me - Travis
Three books and several years into writing this character, and I'm still not sure if Ted Callan has good luck, or rotten luck.
Chapter 6: At Home He's A Tourist - Gang of Four
Sometimes you've just got to go with the perfect title. This isn't my favourite song on the list, but no other title fits this chapter better.
Chapter 7: Old Haunts - The Gaslight Anthem
There used to be a different Gaslight Anthem song on the list, and it fit (and still does) and the title worked too, but I heard the band play this song live, and it stuck with me ever since.
Chapter 8: This Old House - Loretta Lynn
One of several songs on this list that go back to my first conception of what Ted's homecoming might be like. This song was produced by Jack White of The White Stripes; the fact that a White Stripes song comes next is pure coincidence, or Loki meddling. You decide.
Chapter 9: Same Boy You've Always Known - The White Stripes
How much has Ted changed since he first left Alberta (magic powers aside)? How much could his life allow him to change?
Chapter 10: All You Ever Wanted - The Black Keys
I think this song could find a home somewhere in any story I want to write but I'm glad it ended up here. This song's been in heavy rotation since I started writing Ted Callen. Ted's always been a creature of big wants and desires, sometimes conflicting. And those desires come to a head in Too Far Gone.
Chapter 11: Wake Up You're On Fire - Scratching Post
Another song that's stuck with me since seeing the band live. In this case, long before I started seriously pursuing writing. This is a band I see Tilda liking more than Ted, perhaps. Hell, Tilda could be the singer.
Chapter 12: What Is And What Should Never Be - Led Zeppelin
Because there had to be Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin kicked off the triology with "When the Levee Breaks" and I also listened to a lot of "Immigrant Song" during my writing.
Chapter 14: Strangers When We Meet - David Bowie
David Bowie has been on every playlist in the trilogy, mostly Because Bowie, so I knew he'd have to be a part of Too Far Gone as well. I thought this was a fine accompaniment to a reunion of two lovers who left on not the best of terms.
Chapter 15: Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers - ZZ Top
I think this is one of the songs that best sums up Ted's old life with his old friends, and it's entirely appropriate for stag party shenanigans.
Chapter 16: The Wound that Never Heals - Jim White
There are some things you never come back from, that can never be forgiven, or will stay with you forever. Ted has to confront the past in Too Far Gone if he's going to have a future. But his temper makes it... difficult.
Chapter 20: Play with Fire - The Rolling Stones
Play with Fire was my working title for Too Far Gone, and despite loving the Stones, I knew it wasn't quite right, but I had to sneak it in there somewhere.
Chapter 21: Fire Woman - The Cult
"Fire Woman" first made the Too Far Gone writing soundtrack, like a lot of these tracks, because it had 'fire' in the title. At the time, I had no idea who the "Fire Woman" might be - only that there might be one.
Chapter 23: Fight - Motörhead
This chapter marks the beginning of the end. And what better way to kick off the final battle of the series, and what may be the final battle of Ted's life, with "The Loudest Band on Earth."
Chapter 24: There She Goes, My Beautiful World - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Chapter 25: Earth Died Screaming - Tom Waits
I listened to a lot of Tom Waits while I was working on this book. This song was always on the playlist, and always intended to be a chapter title as well.
Chapter 26: Don't Open 'Til Doomsday - The Misfits
Another song I like more for the title than the song itself, but when it works, it works. And unfortunately I couldn't find a home for "Astro Zombies" in this story without the series taking an odd turn at the finale.
Chapter 28: Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles - Captain Beefheart
This is a song from my Tilda mix that made the final cut after an editorial note resulted in my breaking up a large chapter into several smaller chapters.
Chapter 30: Outlaw - The Cult
This one was another late addition to the song list after my chapter reorganization, but hey, who doesn't love The Cult? I chose this one because being an "outlaw" is a very specific thing in the sagas, and I was happy to be able to reference it in Too Far Gone.
Chapter 31: Just the Right Bullets - Tom Waits
Pretty sure I could've made the entire playlist from Tom Waits songs...maybe this song is not an entirely accurate chapter title, as it was a magic sword, not a magic bullet that Ted needed to defeat Surtur...
Chapter 32: Shake the World - Motörhead
Pretty sure I could've made the entire playlist out of Motörhead songs too. The dwarves made Ted to "Shake the World"; they may as well have been singing this song when they tattooed him.
Epilogue: The Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson
I knew before I'd finished writing Thunder Road that this song would be the title of the epilogue of the final book - even if at the time I had no idea what that last book might be.