Lonesome. When You Go by Saradha Koirala.. Pub. Makaro press, 2016.
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel about rock bands, music, school and teenage angst. It was like, and I quote from the author, opening a hot meat pie and having all the meatiness flood out at you.
The main character and narrator is Paige, a cool bass player for a school Indie band called Vox Pop.The band aspire to win the Rockfest competition for high school bands, they think they are pretty good but life does not go smooth for them. They have musical differences and personal differences and of course problems about school and in their family life.
Paige has a best friend Lily who is flighty, another friend Molly who has an eating disorder and a sister Rose who has relationship problems but is a really good older sister.
The bass players role in any band is to keep a steady rhythm and Paige does this in spite of the chaos all around her. Two male band members have a thing about Paige and she doesn’t know it. Cool chicks never do.
The drama derives from the Rockfest competition, will they won’t they, then the ultimate crisis when a band member has to be replaced on the eve of the final.
Musos will love this book and it will fill a gap in many school collections.
Structured in day by day accounts during all 4 school terms and in the first term of the following year. Well written, witty, perceptive and real. As Bob Dylan once wrote “get sick get well, hang around the ink well”.
This intelligently written and literate auto from Chrissie Hynde will rock you. It is not pretty it is not glamorous and it begins with a quote from Tony Bennett “Life teaches you how to live it, if you live long enough”.
Well Chrissie Hynde is still alive but there was a lot of carnage left behind and her own survival is quite remarkable as she tells in this exposee of the rock music world.
She opens with ‘here it is girls my reckless life’ and that is an understatement. She says it is about drugs and drug abuse and she is not wrong.The only thing she didn’t like about drugs were the assholes she had to hang out with to get them. She had tried LSD and hard drugs before she lost her virginity.
No parent wants to hear that their daughter or son went through all that Chrissie Hynde did and to her credit she waited until their departure from this mortal coil. to write it.
By her own admission she was a total prick when she drank and she didn’t think she was much of a guitar player or singer. She was wrong there of course, I remember how the Pretenders emerged out of the mire of punk music with their first album which was just divine. I still have the LP.
I highly recommend this book, the best from a rock star since the one by Marianne Faithfull also reviewed on this blog. In fact they tell a similar story. I would have liked to know more about the music she wrote and how songs came about. Songs like Kid, Private life and Brass in pocket need an explanation. The history of the Pretenders although short was a tragedy and is eloquently told.
The best thing I can say to Chrissie Hynde for this book is “thanks for keeping it real”. Celebrities these days couldn’t write the way Hynde has. They are to into Instagram and twitter to write anything meaningful.
I finished my adult reading for this year with this revealing and hopefully honest book by one of the legendary women of the 1960’s Marianne Faithfull.
I say hopefully honest because for much of her career she was stoned out of her head. She smoked a lot of dope, dropped a lot of acid, handfulls of pills and so much heroin and cocaine that her brains must have been fried. Still she came through it all and when she was last in Christchurch the reviewer from the Press who went to her concert said it was one of the most unforgettable experiences in his life.
I can understand why he said this because Marianne is a very literate woman. She read and obviously thought deeply about everything. She made love to hundreds of men without ever liking sex and had many girlfriends as well particularly Anita Pallenberg.
What makes this Autobiography different from that written by a male rockstar is that you get lots of talk about the fashions and clothes that stars wore also the houses that they lived in and the gossip about their lives. Intriguing stuff.
This book rocked me really especially with her portraits of Mick Jagger, Keith Richard and Brian Jones. She had them all but what shocked me was she considered that the Stones and Englishmen in general are mysogynists. And of mick she says the great love of his life was not Marianne, not Bianca, not Jerry but Keith.
Make your own mind up, there is a lesson in here for everyone.