Nice Legs is the title of a collection of short stories published by guitarist Jack Beddows and a songwriter-producer named Larry Zeiger. Each of the stories, they tell the Reader, was inspired by the drinking of a type of wine, hence the title. “It’s when you have a glass of wine,” explains Zeiger, “and you swirl it around and hold it up to the light and see ‘legs’ running down the insides?”
“That’s an indication of quality,” Beddows says. “You say, ‘Nice legs!’”
The wine-drinking was a form of after-work therapy during a time when both men were employed as teachers at Point Loma High School. “We each wrote our own stories,” says Beddows. “The idea of the book was how the writing process took place. We’d pick a theme based on a bottle of wine.”
“For example, the first story,” says Zeiger, “‘Migration Pino Noir’ — that reminded me of when I moved to San Diego, first time in California, and the culture shock I experienced.”
Beddows says that the drinking and story-telling became a weekly meet-up. The two would select a wine and then challenge each other to come up with a true and personal tale.
“And pretty soon into the process,” Zeiger says, “we knew we had a book. This process started during my last year at Point Loma High, when there was all sorts of political stuff going on in the school administration.”
“All kinds of craziness,” echoes Beddows. “It was through wine that we had these revelations.” With the publication of the book, had their creative socializing come to an end? “No. We still get together and drink.”
“Not heavily,” Zeiger cautions. “Only two glasses.”
Zeiger retired in 2007 after 33 years of teaching cinema arts, musical theater, and language arts. He once told the Reader he gave pop star Adam Lambert his first studio break in 2000 when the then-teen recorded a song for Zeiger’s musical Sweating Palms — A Steamy Tale of Passion with a Coffee Aroma.
Jack Beddows is a classically trained composer with a pair of self-released guitar albums to his credit. He’s working on a new novel and teaches guitar, piano, and yoga. He was a San Diego Book Awards finalist in 2011 for his memoir titled The Amazing Adventures of Captain Immunity. Is there a Nice Legs Volume 2 on the horizon?
“A TV series is what we really want,” Beddows says.
“A million copies sold,” Zeiger grins. “Movie deals.”
For more information about Nice Legs and a schedule of signing events, go to facebook.com/larry.zeiger.