I remember as a teenager eagerly buying the NME each week, my only connection to the world of rock music, desperately hoping it would contain an article by either of my favourite writers, Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent. I wonder if those names mean anything at all to people under the age of fifty (or maybe even sixty)! Be that as it may, Nick Kent resurfaces into the public gaze with his debut novel, a tale of a cult sixties rock band who achieve fleeting fame and notoriety before their flame quickly fizzles out, seemingly for good. Fast forward fifty years, and interest in the band is suddenly rekindled when their music is used in a series of adverts for a mobile phone. Trouble is, the guitarist and musical brain of the band is living off the grid in Amsterdam, while the feral front man, a ruthless deluded figure, equal parts opportunistic and narcissistic, leads an itinerant life, drifting from country to country, sponging off friends and fans until he outstays his welcome. Pound signs appear in his eyes when he learns of this sudden change in fortune, and he turns up at the home of the band’s uber fan, a washed up but best-selling author who contributed to a rose tinted reappraisal of their music in Mojo, superficially to have him ghost write his autobiography but actually intent on bleeding him dry and disappearing again. Things rapidly unravel in this darkly comic tale as the wheels come off the proposed plan to cash in on the come back circuit. This is an enjoyable, caustically witty story that shows the years certainly haven’t dimmed Kent’s way with words, while also bearing out the old adage of never meeting your heroes!
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Music based fiction, remembering the good old days.
One thing you’ve learned
The initial inspiration for the book came from a tale of legendary fifties rocker Vince Taylor turning up unannounced at the home of his fan club president in the mid seventies and promptly taking up residence, with disastrous results as someone’s wildest dream quickly became a living nightmare.