Musician Jeff Finlin thought he'd hit the big-time—until he didn't. "I loaded his songs into my iPod and while living on the road, while sitting on planes and trains, while lying in strange motel rooms, I closed my eyes and focused on his lyrics and thought: This guy's channeling the angels. This guy's got the gift. This guy can conjure a heartbreak, a hangover, moonlight, the Deep South, with a few words. I wondered: Who is this guy? Who the hell is Jeff Finlin?"
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2007
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3744 words)
James Patterson rolled over his father's Chevrolet Suburban during a desert road trip with friends. Four of his friends were killed in the crash, and police determined he was drunk. Then-Times staff writer J.R. Moehringer spent nearly a year looking at how the 1995 crash altered so many lives. "He dreams that they are driving again, all eight boys cruising along the unpaved back roads of his mind. He begs them to pull over and let him out, he should get home, but they tell him to shut up and relax, everything will be fine. Reluctant, he sits back and lets himself be chauffeured across the stark landscape of his subconscious, past low-flying clouds of blame and guilt. He lets himself be ferried through the long night, until morning comes and the alarm goes off. Time to go to school. Time to face what happened."
PUBLISHED: July 28, 1996
LENGTH: 28 minutes (7049 words)