"Brian and I were close friends long before we became collaborators.
We attended a premier of STAR WARS: A New Hope together, and for years after I was a sort of sounding board for many of the ideas Brian wrote into his Han Solo novels and the radio dramatizations of the original trilogy of films.
They were four vocalists doing jazz standards, and Luceno was playing alongside a country guitarist—he had to learn to play both jazz and country, and although he sometimes felt that he was in over his head, being on the road with the band got him out into the world and turned him into a traveler.
In 1971, he saw a photo of an Ethiopian church in a magazine and was intrigued by its other-worldly nature, and he left The Manhattan Transfer to head to Europe, beginning a globe-trotting trip that would consume much of his life from 1971 to 1980.
I'll never forget our return to Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1982, after spending five weeks hiking in the Himilaya, and finding in a marketplace a bootleg video cassette of Return of the Jedi, which we bought and screened for the porters and Sherpas who had supported the trek." Thomas Pynchon, Ian Fleming, Carlos Castaneda, and Erich von Däniken.
Fleming and Pynchon were strong influences on his life at the time, and he credits Fleming, Castaneda, and von Däniken as having helped set him on the path of adventure travel.
"I didn’t grow up nursing thoughts of becoming a writer.