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Inspiration: Who Loves Pit Bull Terriers?


Eric Guenther dogby Eric Guenther

No shit: I’m about to tell you guys about my dog, DIO.

Inspiration is a strange, elusive thing. It is a brutal, nightmarish hell of an existence to be an artist and to feel “dry” or not know where to go next with your creativity. Sometimes life itself can drain it out of you, but sometimes it will leave you for no apparent reason, which is all the more frustrating. Whether it’s just playing or writing, the challenge is the same, which is why writers keep a pen and pad on their person at all times; you never know when that moment will come. When it does, I like to let it fly.

And this is why I sing to my dog. Inspiration can come from anywhere and a whole array of feelings, but arguably the strongest is love. The little guy is a beacon of light, and if he makes me so happy that I just start singing at him then I’ve gotta just trust it and let it ride. I never sing to any of my girlfriends (usually because they beg me to stop my Scott Stapp or King’s X impersonations).


We have been working on a rock opera together for a couple years, and the story goes like this. Dio is, of course, the protagonist. I am the evil owner bastard that picked him up off the street and I’m running him around, working him out to fatten him up to sell to the sketchy meat factory down the road. The rock opera contains epic, thematic numbers such as:

“Pee and Poop” (think like Bad Brains style punk)

“Thank You (For Feeding Me)” ( “Thaaaaank YOU! for fee-ding me!” AC/DC vibe)

“Jean Dieux des Puppiere” (an impérial march theme with trumpets and a royal throne room)

“I Would Like to Sniff Your Crotch Tonight” (love ballad, duh)

“Moo Shoo Dio” (sad grinder; slow Type O Negative)

“Roses are Gray, Violets are Gray, I am Colorblind, I am a Dog” (another sad theme that gets a happy version later)

“There are Two Kittens on the Porch (DIOSNAX SUITE I, II, III)” (this is the real prog one; the cats seem evil at first but then they swoop in at the end of the day and save Dio from myself; like a Disney movie or something)

and the list goes on…

As you can see, we have been developing this story for quite a bit. I guess I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of brain energy on this dog’s tribute. I doubt it will ever get recorded even though the songs are mostly written; I prefer to leave it as a “living” myth. The only place our opera exists is when me and the little guy are kicking it and drinking beer together. But we write new chapters and it gets better every day.

I incorporated my personal publishing company as “Dio’s Dirty Dudebox.” HA. I’m just gonna leave that there.

Brian Eno uses his “Oblique Strategies” to help maintain creativity and keep ideas flowing, which is very closely related. They are basically just a bunch of cards with very vague phrases that are easily applied to almost anything, designed to jar something new out of someone stuck in a creative block. What are some other weird sources of inspiration? Anyone else tryin’ to buy some MEAT?!


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