Released: June 2008
Publisher: Coral Press
Genre: Adult - Contemporary - Music
Punk Is Coming...But It's Not Here Yet....
Set in the mid-1970s, this musical odyssey and coming-of-age story follows the adventures of a struggling rock band as they try to make it big. Band leader Daniel Travers' life is a mess and he can't find a way out. His band, the Killjoys, is going nowhere and the amphetamines he's popping are making him crazy. Then out of nowhere, an agent calls with a week-long gig at a hot club in Washington where he was told Jimi Hendrix and Heart got their starts. With an imagined Pete Townshend whispering encouragment, Daniel and the Killjoys are off to a tumultuous week filled with inner-band turmoil, a cheating club owner, bar-brawling bikers, and lots of women.
When I was ten years old I told my parents I wanted to be a rock star. Then I started signing U.S. Blues by The Grateful Dead while playing the 'guitar' on a mop duster. (It was video taped too, and it's rather embarrassing to watch.) Then the next week I decided to be Harriet the Spy. Although my rock star detective dream never panned out, this book gave me a taste of what that life would be like. (Minus the detective work.)
Twenty year old Daniel Travers's life hasn't been the same since the day his brother was killed in Vietnam. His father has left, and the relationship with his mother has gone downhill ever since. With Pete Townshed's voice in his head as he searches for the Universal Chord, he deals with it all with two things: music and pills.
When the opportunity knocks for his band the Killjoys to get a week long gig at the Mai Tai Hotel, Daniel knows this could be the chance he has been so desperately waiting for. From that point on you are thrown into the lives of not only Daniel, but the whole band. With lead singer Mick and his fake British accent who thinks he's God's gift to women. To more level headed bassist Rob who can't figure out if he really wants in or out of the rock n' roll dream Drummer Yogi who is just plain adorable with his random outburst singing. (We would make a great duet on a random musical). Then there is Sam who played more of the middle guy, the one every group needs to keep everyone from killing each other.
Each day there is something new whether it's Mick trying to score with the girls, an animal cracker attack, a bunch of drunken cowboys trying to kill them, or finding out that the Mai Tai Hotel is a place the Hell's Angels like to hang out at. It doesn't help matters that while Daniel is trying to keep the band together, and his head straight, he meets up with Kitten, a woman who promises them big time gigs, but for a price that might not be worth it.
The book is set in the fall of 1976, and written so well you will feel like you were right there with the Killjoys. I absolutely loved every bit of this book, and will probably read it again. And maybe by the end, you might even find the Universal Chord for yourself.