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!!Tropes:

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!!Tropes:
!!"These are Stag Preston's tropes, from first to last":


* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Stag's attitude toward the Kemps, and later Trudy Quillan, once he's gotten what he wants from them.

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* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Not a literal example since no one is killed, but this is Stag's attitude toward the Kemps, and later Trudy Quillan, once he's gotten what he wants from them.


* {{Blackmail}}: Stag is subject to it when [[spoiler:a "friend" lures him to [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy a wild party]] where Stag engages in a threesome — which he doesn't know is being filmed. The Colonel pays to have the film destroyed, but it resurfaces later in the novel. However, it doesn't hurt Stag that much, because by then his career is already in ruins.]]

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* {{Blackmail}}: Stag is subject to it when [[spoiler:a a "friend" lures him to [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy a wild party]] where Stag engages in a threesome — which he doesn't know is being filmed. The [[spoiler:The Colonel pays to have the film destroyed, but it resurfaces later in the novel. However, it doesn't hurt Stag that much, because by then his career is already in ruins.]]



* FictionalCounterpart: Averted. Stag signs with a real record label (the now-defunct Creator/{{ABC}}-Paramount) and movie studio (Creator/{{Universal}}), and the executives who ran both companies at the time are mentioned by name.

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* FictionalCounterpart: Averted.AvertedTrope. Stag signs with a real record label (the now-defunct Creator/{{ABC}}-Paramount) and movie studio (Creator/{{Universal}}), and the executives who ran both companies at the time are mentioned by name.



* OneNameOnly: Marlene.

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* OneNameOnly: Marlene.Marlene's last name is never revealed.



* TitleDrop: Early in the novel, Ellison compares the "ominous, threatening, sensuously compelling" undercurrent of Stag's performances to "the kiss of a spider", among other bizarre, disturbing images.

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* TitleDrop: TitleDrop:
**
Early in the novel, Ellison compares the "ominous, threatening, sensuously compelling" undercurrent of Stag's performances to "the kiss of a spider", among other bizarre, disturbing images.


It was Shelly who discovered Stag (then known as Luther Sellers, "no relation to [[Creator/PeterSellers Peter]]") when he was just a talented kid working as a bellhop at a fleabag Louisville hotel, making a few extra bucks by leading suckers to illegal poker games, and singing on the side. Shelly recognized Luther's talent and charisma, so he brought him to The Colonel, who effortlessly overpowered the kid's original manager (Asa Kemp, a milquetoast bicycle shop owner) and started him on the road to fame and glory. Shelly renamed him Stag Preston, helped engineer his image, and made the deals that left him a rich, successful icon to millions of teenagers. And whenever Stag goes on a drunken rampage — which happens a lot — it's Shelly who keeps the latest incident out of the gossip columns. Every time he does so, Shelly becomes a little more disgusted with both Stag and himself. However, he's not disgusted enough to get off the Stag Preston gravy train — yet.

to:

It was Shelly who discovered Stag (then known as Luther Sellers, "no relation to [[Creator/PeterSellers Peter]]") when he was just a talented kid working as a bellhop at a fleabag Louisville hotel, making a few extra bucks by leading suckers to illegal poker TabletopGame/{{poker}} games, and singing on the side. Shelly recognized Luther's talent and charisma, so he brought him to The Colonel, who effortlessly overpowered the kid's original manager (Asa Kemp, a milquetoast bicycle shop owner) and started him on the road to fame and glory. Shelly renamed him Stag Preston, helped engineer his image, and made the deals that left him a rich, successful icon to millions of teenagers. And whenever Stag goes on a drunken rampage — which happens a lot — it's Shelly who keeps the latest incident out of the gossip columns. Every time he does so, Shelly becomes a little more disgusted with both Stag and himself. However, he's not disgusted enough to get off the Stag Preston gravy train — yet.


* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Shelly does this at the end of the novel. During a publicity junket in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, Shelly happens upon the strip club where Stag is now singing — ''after'' the beating that supposedly destroyed his vocal cords. Watching a performance, Shelly realizes that triumphing over adversity has made Stag a better singer than ever. Stag tells Shelly that if they renew their relationship, they could both return to the top. Shelly knows Stag is right, but he also knows that Stag is still a horrible person who doesn't ''deserve'' a second chance. Therefore, Shelly leaves Stag in the gutter where he belongs, regaining his self-respect in the process.]]

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* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Shelly One of the major characters does this by finally showing some moral backbone at the end of the novel. During [[spoiler:During a publicity junket in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, Shelly happens upon the strip club where Stag is now singing — ''after'' the beating that supposedly destroyed his vocal cords. Watching a performance, Shelly realizes that triumphing over adversity has made Stag a better singer than ever. Stag tells Shelly that if they renew their relationship, they could both return to the top. Shelly knows Stag is right, but he also knows that Stag is still a horrible person who doesn't ''deserve'' a second chance. Therefore, Shelly leaves Stag in the gutter where he belongs, regaining his self-respect in the process.]]


First published in 1961 under the title ''Rockabilly'', Creator/HarlanEllison's novel ''Spider Kiss'' chronicles the career of Stag Preston, a (thankfully) fictional star from the early days of rock and roll, as (mostly) seen through the eyes of Sheldon "Shelly" Morgenstern, the publicist who discovered him — and came to regret it.

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First published in 1961 under the title ''Rockabilly'', Creator/HarlanEllison's novel ''Spider Kiss'' chronicles the career of Stag Preston, a (thankfully) fictional star from the early days of rock and roll, as (mostly) seen RockAndRoll, mostly through the eyes of Sheldon "Shelly" Morgenstern, the publicist who discovered him — and came to regret it.


* AttemptedRape: Stag does this twice. The first time, his victim is [[spoiler:Jean Friedel]], who knocks him out. [[spoiler:This doesn't stop her from becoming his manager later in the story.]] The second time it's [[spoiler:Marlene, President of the [[UsefulNotes/NewJersey Secaucus]] Stag Preston Fan Club, who falls to her death while trying to escape him.]] This signals the beginning of the end of Stag's career.

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* AttemptedRape: Stag does this twice. The first time, his victim is [[spoiler:Jean Friedel]], who knocks him out. [[spoiler:This doesn't stop her from becoming his manager later in the story.]] The second time it's [[spoiler:Marlene, President of the [[UsefulNotes/NewJersey Secaucus]] Secaucus Stag Preston Fan Club, who falls to her death while trying to escape him.]] This signals the beginning of the end of Stag's career.



* ChekhovsGun: When Marlene from the Seacaucus Stag Preston Fan Club visits her idol, the club's other members are ready to photograph them posing on the balcony together. This explains why [[spoiler:they're able to photograph Marlene plunging to her death from the balcony instead]].

to:

* ChekhovsGun: When Marlene from the Seacaucus [[UsefulNotes/NewJersey Secaucus]] Stag Preston Fan Club visits her idol, the club's other members are ready to photograph them posing on the balcony together. This explains why [[spoiler:they're able to photograph Marlene plunging to her death from the balcony instead]].


Stag is, to put it bluntly, a sociopath. He takes self-centeredness and LackOfEmpathy UpToEleven, and he'll instinctively abandon any friend, lover or ally the moment he no longer needs them. Also, with his insatiable appetite for sex and booze, he leaves a career-threatening mess wherever he goes. And the one who has to clean up Stag's messes is Shelly Morgenstern, right-hand man to Stag's current manager, Colonel Jack Freeport.

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Stag is, to put it bluntly, [[TheSociopath a sociopath. sociopath]]. He takes self-centeredness [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centeredness]] and LackOfEmpathy UpToEleven, and he'll instinctively abandon any friend, lover or ally the moment he no longer needs them. Also, with his insatiable appetite for sex and booze, he leaves a career-threatening mess wherever he goes. And the one who has to clean up Stag's messes is Shelly Morgenstern, right-hand man to Stag's current manager, Colonel Jack Freeport.


* AttemptedRape: [[spoiler:Stag does this twice. The first time, his victim is Jean Friedel, who knocks him out. (This doesn't stop her from becoming his manager later in the story.) The second time it's Marlene, President of the [[UsefulNotes/NewJersey Secaucus]] Stag Preston Fan Club, who falls to her death while trying to escape him. This signals the beginning of the end of Stag's career.]]

to:

* AttemptedRape: [[spoiler:Stag Stag does this twice. The first time, his victim is Jean Friedel, [[spoiler:Jean Friedel]], who knocks him out. (This [[spoiler:This doesn't stop her from becoming his manager later in the story.) ]] The second time it's Marlene, [[spoiler:Marlene, President of the [[UsefulNotes/NewJersey Secaucus]] Stag Preston Fan Club, who falls to her death while trying to escape him. him.]] This signals the beginning of the end of Stag's career.]]


->''"...Stag Preston manages to capture a sensitivity that marks him as a performer of rare gifts. This is Stag Preston's show, from first to last, and he runs it with assurance, skill, and verve."''\\
--From a review of Stag's film ''Rockabilly''

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->''"...Stag ->''"…Stag Preston manages to capture a sensitivity that marks him as a performer of rare gifts. This is Stag Preston's show, from first to last, and he runs it with assurance, skill, and verve."''\\
--From —From a review of Stag's film ''Rockabilly''



--'''Shelly Morgenstern''', Stag's publicist

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--'''Shelly —'''Shelly Morgenstern''', Stag's publicist



--'''Stag Preston'''

First published in 1961 under the title ''Rockabilly'', Creator/HarlanEllison's novel ''Spider Kiss'' chronicles the career of Stag Preston, a (thankfully) fictional star from the early days of rock and roll, as (mostly) seen through the eyes of Sheldon "Shelly" Morgenstern, the publicist who discovered him--and came to regret it.

Stag Preston has everything. Thanks to a beautiful singing voice, a commanding stage presence, a lot of determination, and a first-class support team, he's risen from the slums of Louisville, Kentucky, to worldwide stardom. A naturally talented singer and actor, Stag has used his wealth to create a life where any pleasure or luxury is available to him--and he rarely has to deal with the consequences. Yes, Stag has everything, except for two qualities he has never needed nor wanted--compassion and human decency. And those he can fake, at least while he's in front of a microphone or camera.

to:

--'''Stag —'''Stag Preston'''

First published in 1961 under the title ''Rockabilly'', Creator/HarlanEllison's novel ''Spider Kiss'' chronicles the career of Stag Preston, a (thankfully) fictional star from the early days of rock and roll, as (mostly) seen through the eyes of Sheldon "Shelly" Morgenstern, the publicist who discovered him--and him — and came to regret it.

Stag Preston has everything. Thanks to a beautiful singing voice, a commanding stage presence, a lot of determination, and a first-class support team, he's risen from the slums of Louisville, Kentucky, to worldwide stardom. A naturally talented singer and actor, Stag has used his wealth to create a life where any pleasure or luxury is available to him--and him — and he rarely has to deal with the consequences. Yes, Stag has everything, except for two qualities he has never needed nor wanted--compassion wanted — compassion and human decency. And those he can fake, at least while he's in front of a microphone or camera.



It was Shelly who discovered Stag (then known as Luther Sellers, "no relation to [[Creator/PeterSellers Peter]]") when he was just a talented kid working as a bellhop at a fleabag Louisville hotel, making a few extra bucks by leading suckers to illegal poker games, and singing on the side. Shelly recognized Luther's talent and charisma, so he brought him to The Colonel, who effortlessly overpowered the kid's original manager (Asa Kemp, a milquetoast bicycle shop owner) and started him on the road to fame and glory. Shelly renamed him Stag Preston, helped engineer his image, and made the deals that left him a rich, successful icon to millions of teenagers. And whenever Stag goes on a drunken rampage--which happens a lot--it's Shelly who keeps the latest incident out of the gossip columns. Every time he does so, Shelly becomes a little more disgusted with both Stag and himself. However, he's not disgusted enough to get off the Stag Preston gravy train--yet.

to:

It was Shelly who discovered Stag (then known as Luther Sellers, "no relation to [[Creator/PeterSellers Peter]]") when he was just a talented kid working as a bellhop at a fleabag Louisville hotel, making a few extra bucks by leading suckers to illegal poker games, and singing on the side. Shelly recognized Luther's talent and charisma, so he brought him to The Colonel, who effortlessly overpowered the kid's original manager (Asa Kemp, a milquetoast bicycle shop owner) and started him on the road to fame and glory. Shelly renamed him Stag Preston, helped engineer his image, and made the deals that left him a rich, successful icon to millions of teenagers. And whenever Stag goes on a drunken rampage--which rampage — which happens a lot--it's lot — it's Shelly who keeps the latest incident out of the gossip columns. Every time he does so, Shelly becomes a little more disgusted with both Stag and himself. However, he's not disgusted enough to get off the Stag Preston gravy train--yet.
train — yet.



* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar: Plays a role in Colonel Freeport's {{backstory}}. In UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica, the Colonel's ancestors owned the huge Freeport plantation, only to lose it during the burning of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}. The Colonel has been saving up to rebuild this "tiny empire of regal living", and he expects his share of Stag's profits to put him over the top--at least, until Stag's antics threaten the Colonel's dream.

to:

* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar: Plays a role in Colonel Freeport's {{backstory}}. In UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica, the Colonel's ancestors owned the huge Freeport plantation, only to lose it during the burning of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}. The Colonel has been saving up to rebuild this "tiny empire of regal living", and he expects his share of Stag's profits to put him over the top--at top — at least, until Stag's antics threaten the Colonel's dream.



* {{Blackmail}}: Stag is subject to it when [[spoiler:a "friend" lures him to [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy a wild party]] where Stag engages in a threesome--which he doesn't know is being filmed. The Colonel pays to have the film destroyed, but it resurfaces later in the novel. However, it doesn't hurt Stag that much, because by then his career is already in ruins.]]

to:

* {{Blackmail}}: Stag is subject to it when [[spoiler:a "friend" lures him to [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy a wild party]] where Stag engages in a threesome--which threesome — which he doesn't know is being filmed. The Colonel pays to have the film destroyed, but it resurfaces later in the novel. However, it doesn't hurt Stag that much, because by then his career is already in ruins.]]



* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Shelly does this at the end of the novel. During a publicity junket in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, Shelly happens upon the strip club where Stag is now singing--''after'' the beating that supposedly destroyed his vocal cords. Watching a performance, Shelly realizes that triumphing over adversity has made Stag a better singer than ever. Stag tells Shelly that if they renew their relationship, they could both return to the top. Shelly knows Stag is right, but he also knows that Stag is still a horrible person who doesn't ''deserve'' a second chance. Therefore, Shelly leaves Stag in the gutter where he belongs, regaining his self-respect in the process.]]

to:

* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Shelly does this at the end of the novel. During a publicity junket in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, Shelly happens upon the strip club where Stag is now singing--''after'' singing — ''after'' the beating that supposedly destroyed his vocal cords. Watching a performance, Shelly realizes that triumphing over adversity has made Stag a better singer than ever. Stag tells Shelly that if they renew their relationship, they could both return to the top. Shelly knows Stag is right, but he also knows that Stag is still a horrible person who doesn't ''deserve'' a second chance. Therefore, Shelly leaves Stag in the gutter where he belongs, regaining his self-respect in the process.]]



-->'''Ruth:''' Look at you. Look at what you are. You aren't anything to be proud of. You think you've gotten away from being poor, because you wear silk clothes. But you're lower than ever. You have no heart, no soul. Look around you, see these people? They're as foul as you. They don't care what you do as long as they can make the money. But we ''know'' you back home. We hear what you do. You're an animal, Luther. You were always an animal, but we needed something to love, we wanted to be hurt, and you were always ready to hurt us. But you're not human... you're too selfish for that. You won't live long... you ''can't'' live long. God won't allow it. He'll find you out soon enough.
* SexySecretary: Jean Friedel, Shelly's LoveInterest. [[spoiler:Too bad [[AllLoveIsUnrequited she doesn't love him back...]]]]

to:

-->'''Ruth:''' Look at you. Look at what you are. You aren't anything to be proud of. You think you've gotten away from being poor, because you wear silk clothes. But you're lower than ever. You have no heart, no soul. Look around you, see these people? They're as foul as you. They don't care what you do as long as they can make the money. But we ''know'' you back home. We hear what you do. You're an animal, Luther. You were always an animal, but we needed something to love, we wanted to be hurt, and you were always ready to hurt us. But you're not human... human… you're too selfish for that. You won't live long... long… you ''can't'' live long. God won't allow it. He'll find you out soon enough.
enough.
* SexySecretary: Jean Friedel, Shelly's LoveInterest. [[spoiler:Too bad [[AllLoveIsUnrequited she doesn't love him back...]]]]back…]]]]



* UngratefulBastard: Stag's demeanor toward the Kemps. Once he's signed with Colonel Freeport, Stag callously shuts them out of his life, as well as making sure they get no financial benefits from his success. Stag never changes his attitude, even when [[spoiler:Ruth begs him to visit the terminally ill Asa one last time--or later, sing hymns at his funeral]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: When Colonel Freeport's employee Morrie Needleman gets the worst of a business deal, the Colonel instructs Shelly to have him fired. Never mind that Needleman's wife has breast cancer...

to:

* UngratefulBastard: Stag's demeanor toward the Kemps. Once he's signed with Colonel Freeport, Stag callously shuts them out of his life, as well as making sure they get no financial benefits from his success. Stag never changes his attitude, even when [[spoiler:Ruth begs him to visit the terminally ill Asa one last time--or time — or later, sing hymns at his funeral]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: When Colonel Freeport's employee Morrie Needleman gets the worst of a business deal, the Colonel instructs Shelly to have him fired. Never mind that Needleman's wife has breast cancer...cancer…


* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar: Plays a role in Colonel Freeport's {{backstory}}. In AntebellumAmerica, the Colonel's ancestors owned the huge Freeport plantation, only to lose it during the burning of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}. The Colonel has been saving up to rebuild this "tiny empire of regal living", and he expects his share of Stag's profits to put him over the top--at least, until Stag's antics threaten the Colonel's dream.

to:

* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar: Plays a role in Colonel Freeport's {{backstory}}. In AntebellumAmerica, UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica, the Colonel's ancestors owned the huge Freeport plantation, only to lose it during the burning of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}. The Colonel has been saving up to rebuild this "tiny empire of regal living", and he expects his share of Stag's profits to put him over the top--at least, until Stag's antics threaten the Colonel's dream.


* TheDeterminator: For better or (mostly) worse, Stag won't let anything or anyone stand in his way. This becomes especially clear at the end of the novel. [[spoiler:Stag's career is already a train wreck when two thugs severely damage his vocal chords, but he teaches himself to sing all over again. If Stag wasn't so despicable, it would be a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.]]

to:

* TheDeterminator: For better or (mostly) worse, Stag won't let anything or anyone stand in his way. This becomes especially clear at the end of the novel. [[spoiler:Stag's career is already a train wreck when two thugs severely damage his vocal chords, but he teaches himself to sing all over again. If Stag wasn't so despicable, it would be a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.[[DarthWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Heartwarming Moment]].]]


* ChekovsGun: When Marlene from the Seacaucus Stag Preston Fan Club visits her idol, the club's other members are ready to photograph them posing on the balcony together. This explains why [[spoiler:they're able to photograph Marlene plunging to her death from the balcony instead]].

to:

* ChekovsGun: ChekhovsGun: When Marlene from the Seacaucus Stag Preston Fan Club visits her idol, the club's other members are ready to photograph them posing on the balcony together. This explains why [[spoiler:they're able to photograph Marlene plunging to her death from the balcony instead]].

Added DiffLines:

* ChekovsGun: When Marlene from the Seacaucus Stag Preston Fan Club visits her idol, the club's other members are ready to photograph them posing on the balcony together. This explains why [[spoiler:they're able to photograph Marlene plunging to her death from the balcony instead]].


Added DiffLines:

* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Once Ruth Kemp finally gets fed up with Stag, this is the result:
-->'''Ruth:''' Look at you. Look at what you are. You aren't anything to be proud of. You think you've gotten away from being poor, because you wear silk clothes. But you're lower than ever. You have no heart, no soul. Look around you, see these people? They're as foul as you. They don't care what you do as long as they can make the money. But we ''know'' you back home. We hear what you do. You're an animal, Luther. You were always an animal, but we needed something to love, we wanted to be hurt, and you were always ready to hurt us. But you're not human... you're too selfish for that. You won't live long... you ''can't'' live long. God won't allow it. He'll find you out soon enough.

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