Born in North Carolina in 1945, novelist and spoken word performer Michael Blake moved to California in the late '60s, where he first found work as a reporter for the radical Free Press. After spending the 1970s struggling to write while taking day jobs driving a bus and washing dishes, he became a fixture of the Hollywood underground in the 1980s, where he befriended the seminal punk band X. In 1990, he rose to fame on the strength of his Oscar-winning screenplay adaptation of his novel Dances with Wolves, the subject of Kevin Costner's lauded Western drama. Disenchanted with the Hollywood lifestyle, he moved to Vail, AZ, in 1992, but returned to L.A. in 1996 to cut his spoken word debut, End of the Century, a collection of rants supported by blues-rock backing from the members of X. That same year, Blake also published Marching to Valhalla: A Novel of Custer's Final Days. A second LP, Un Chien Andalou, followed in 1998.