The Lipstick Trace Playlist – “Poison Heart” (Ramones) and “Rock & Roll Thugs” (Icon For Hire)


In the 2nd of 4 entries, we look at the music that helped influence Quincy Abrams, our main protagonist. Quincy is similar to William in that he is an only child, but unlike William who had caring parents, Quincy was often left to fend for himself.

The Ramones came out with a song in 1992 that was always one of my favorites, and I knew it would influence a story one day, as I was listening to it one day, Quincy came into my mind via these lyrics:

“No one ever thought this one would survive
Helpless child, gonna walk a drum beat behind
Lock you in a dream, never let you go
Never let you laugh or smile, not you.”

It was the picture of a person in whom nobody had faith, who had to learn to take care of themselves. He was introverted, and mostly by choice because of how he had been raised. Quincy became this person who locked people in his head, and would spend time looking into the mirror, imagining how conversations could have gone had he been quicker on his feet. He obsesses over his mistakes, and constantly tries to figure out how he could have done things better.

He withdrew into his music, and this became his salvation. Much too late came the single from Icon For Hire, “Rock & Roll Thugs”.

“Bury all the records in the backyard,
When you’re not looking I’ll go dig them back up
You can bury my body in the backyard,
When you’re not looking I’ll go dig myself up
And I know all about the drugs they hide inside the music, I know, I know
I know all about the drugs they hide inside the music

And the preacher at church must’ve told you about them too
‘Cause you came home dead set on what you had to do
You said the demons and drugs hide in rock n roll thugs
If I wanna grow up nice, I better give the music up”

This song helped me to shape Quincy the most in the final book “Skin Deep”, when Quincy overcomes his lifetime of neglect, and his validation with self-worth. He had lived through music, and the lyrics of his favorite vocalists; Jim Morrison, Freddy Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Gene Simmons. For him, music was everything, and no matter how much crap he got over his strange musical selection, he would dig himself up and be born anew in those tunes.

Quincy Abrams will speak to many readers, as we’ve all faced some form of neglect from someone we wished had paid more attention to us. Quincy is the representation of perseverance, and that good things come to those who work for it.


Poison Heart – The Ramones

Rock & Roll Thugs – Icon For Hire

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