Depeche Mode have been following me around as of late. The stalking is similar to those Burger King ads, where the King intercepts touchdown-scoring passes and nearly sends construction workers falling to their deaths.

Of course, the Mode aren’t stalking in my person. It’s their music. When Gwenn and I were in Pittsburgh a month ago for a conference, “See You” played twice in the hotel’s restaurant. “See You” is an obscure single from 1982, but I got the message: Depeche Mode were watching as I dined on my chicken fingers.

Then they struck again when I got home. I was in Staples long enough to hear one song on whatever comercial-free station Staples is obligated to use. “People Are People” was playing.

And I knew why.

I’d been meaning to send Martin Gore, chief songwriter for DM, a copy of My Pet Virus since last fall. Finally, last week, I sent one off to NY (to my agent), who will send it to London (Depeche Mode’s label), who will hopefully send it to Martin’s personal assistant (whereabouts unknown), who will hopefully get it to California where Gore lives.

Art inspires art, and it was fun to write about meeting the band in the book, and the peculiarity of having a Make-A-Wish and then using that opportunity to promote my own band. Oh, come to think of it, my band, Synthetic Division, has done a cover of Tori Amos’s “Raspberry Swirl”. Just click “MUSIC” below... and no, I didn’t include any of my music with the book, mainly because it’s such a DM ripoff, I’d be afraid of getting sued for gimmick infringement.

After I sent that book, Gwenn and I were in a rental car in Fargo, having just spoken to a group of kickass peer educators from numerous colleges. It was one of our best receptions since we started speaking, and as we were driving back to our hotel, the first song on the radio was Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence”.

In that moment, I was glad I’d sent along a book to an artist whose music definitely got me through some rough patches, and helped ignite my own passion for music. And I was happy to know that, finally, the band could leave me alone because the book was finally on its way to Mr. Gore. (The other band members will have to borrow his copy.)

Positively Yours,

Support Shawn in the NY AIDS Walk. Listen to the Tori Amos cover. Get the book. Vote Sanjaya.