The Peter Pan-Stephen King-Miami Dolphins Connection

The title for the new official Peter Pan book coming out this year is Peter Pan in Scarlet. As I’ve mentioned before, the rights to Peter Pan are a bit of a mess. According to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, they own the rights to Peter Pan forever in the UK, until 2007 in Europe, and until 2023 in the US.

But Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson seem to have ignored that for their book—although I’d be surprised if their decision hadn’t been vetted by a team of lawyers. The hospital doesn’t get any royalties from them, but because it has an arrangement on Peter Pan films with Disney (which published the Barry & Pearson books through their Hyperion arm) if any movies of the Barry & Pearson books are made the hospital would benefit from that. (The Wikipedia entry on Peter Pan has more details.) In any case, Barry & Pearson have offered to play a benefit concert for the hospital with their band, the Rock Bottom Remainders.

I saw the RBR in concert at an American Booksellers Expo in Miami back in 1993. I went with the Wieck brothers from White Wolf and Tara Gallagher and Jill Lucas from FASA. (I worked the show for ICE.) I didn’t have a ticket, but I scalped one from a woman in line. When we got inside, no one seemed to understand the set-up, which included tables around a wide-open and completely empty dance floor. With no one between us and the stage, the five of us strode right up to the front row and waited for the music to start.

Stephen King headed the line-up, and he did a fantastic version of “Teen Angel” while a hairy-chested man in a bloody prom dress chased him around the stage with a knife. Later he tossed ear plugs out at the crowd. Amy Tan came out in a black leather outfit and commissar’s cap, stiletto heels, and a whip, and blasted out a great cover of “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”

During the show, a pushy lady shoved her way through the crowd to stand next to me and shout at King, “Stevie! Stevie! Jimmy wants to say hi!” I turn and see that she has Jimmy Johnson on her arm, looking a bit embarrassed and waving up at the stage. He’d just coached the Cowboys to two consecutive Super Bowl victories and then left the team. Three years later, Johnson took over for Don Shula as the coach of the Miami Dolphins.

I guess he had a great time in Miami too.