About the Author

  Russell Nakamura Russell Nakamura is a small business owner, insurance broker and property manager based in Calabasas, California.  Originally from Seattle, he holds a BA and an MBA from Pepperdine University and a degree in professional writing from University of Southern California. He wrote for the Ruskin Group Theatre Co. in Santa Monica and performed readings of written work at The Getty Underground event at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Taking a more conventional avenue, he chose a family and business over pursuing a writer's life. He spent twenty years in business leadership with major companies, even acquiring an active clearance for The Department of Defense. Consequently, h e spent the last decade-plus "away from the pen," during which time he built a company and started a family (which includes his lovely wife, two cute kids and a dog).  Hamelin  is his first creative work released with YouTube. When advised that his author page  photo  was more than ten years ol

About the Hamelin Project

If asked to name four pivotal bands from Seattle's grunge rock years... even for me --  a true poser who was either too young or too poor to attend a single concert -- it's a very simple answer:  Nirvana , Soundgarden , Alice in Chains , and Pearl Jam.* *(Mudhoney and Melvins fans can troll me later.) *(STP fans can go f**k themselves.) But let's remember each of the respective lead singers of the first three bands (Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, and Layne Staley) have one tragic thing in common.  HAMELIN is my retrospective on what was happening in Seattle between 1990 and 1996. I was a boy at the time, but it's my observation there was perhaps something in the air, or in the water, brewing in the forests of the Pacific Northwest during this time in American history. Desert Storm had come and gone. Music changed rapidly from New Jack Swing to Grunge Alternative Rock in months or weeks. And kids in Seattle began to dress in a way my high school classmate Christine Celio

The Time I Lit The School On Fire

There was a time in my life when I listened to music. Then it ended. After that, any music I encountered was more or less garbage. As decades pass, I’ve become a grumpy old man about it. New music actually angers me—it literally puts me in a sour mood. Perhaps it’s because at age forty-five, you enter that phase in life when pop culture no longer pertains to you. The zeitgeist of film and music isn’t producing works considering you as its target audience. The arts have moved on—and whatever you think of it no longer matters. It’s sort of like alcohol. You see a bottle of Crown Royal in your pantry and consider having a glass, remembering fondly the way it used to make you awesome. Instead, it just puts you to sleep. Music once mattered a lot. As a kid, it probably ranked number three or four in my list of importance, somewhere behind girls or sports and maybe clothes when I got less fat. Music mattered for young people the same way grownups get riled about politics. It’s an expression

The Demon

We lost Tyler Weigel to suicide when we were forty-two. He posted online in April of 2020 that his mom had recently passed away from a stroke. This was early pandemic and we were all very much still hunkered down. I spotted the post, and suddenly remembered Tere Weigel, his mom, and what she looked like. How (as a sculptor) she stored many of her distinctive pieces around their house; I had stared at them on the many occasions I had come over to play in seventh grade. So on that day, I sent Tyler my condolences, despite not having seen or spoken to him since 1996, the year I left Seattle. Five days later, through social media posts, I learned that Tyler, too, had died. The next memory came quickly. It was a cool autumn night in 1990 near Concordia Lutheran School  –  where we both attended  –  in the North Seattle suburb, Wedgwood. I wrote about it in his memoriam:   In seventh grade, I was new at a school across town. One night playing neighborhood football, Tyler Weigel took me aside