6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great rock 'memoir' !,
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
'Espedair Street' is the story of Daniel Weir - 'Weird' - the songwriter of (fictional) scotish rock band Frozen Gold. The novel depicts in alternating chapters Weird's current life -in 1987- as a 31 year old ex rock star and his journey as a 17 year old in 1973 to become one. Frozen Gold are a mid seventies supergroup - think Pink Floyd meets Fleetwood Mac, with all the ego,excess, drugs, sex and booze you could wish for!
The story is pure teenage boy wish fulfillment - beautifully and poetically rendered. The yearnings Weird has for love, sex and success along with the drab wet world of early 70's scotland he wishes to escape from are very well written. Equally well written are the stories of rock success and massive excess! Weird retains our sympathy because he is enriched by success yet scarred by it and because he retains most of his teenage insecurities.
I first read 'Espedair Street' 20 years ago when I was 17 years old myself. Then the story of Daniel Weir, the stuttering loser managing to become a rock star struck a powerful chord, 'Espedair Street' was my 'Catcher In The Rye'. Reading it recently as a 37 year old was akin to rereading an old diary. I was transported back to the late 80's and had the joy of reading a much loved story all over again.
Reading it now I see 'Espedair Street' as a wonderful teenage self indulgence. I would be fascintated to know what a 17 year old from 2008 makes of it - now that the late 80's 'now' the book is set in is now so long ago!
One section made me chuckle, (pages 128 -129), Wes MacKinnon, Frozen Gold's keyboard player buys a mainframe computer,transfers their studio music recordings onto discs so he can play them on his computer... Isn't this a late 70's version of a modern pc media player - riping cds to lisen to them on your mp3 player!
I LOVE this novel, like all great books it has passages you want to read again and again because they capture a feeling you yourself have had but express it better than you ever could. If this kind of teenage rock and roll is your thing I recomend 'Less Than Zero' by Bret Easton Eliis and 'Wonderland Avenue' by Danny Sugarman which is a REAL memoir about his teenage heroin adventures with Jim Morrison and Iggy Pop! For the ultimate Iain Banks novel get 'The Crow Road' which really is the business.
Now WHERE do I get hold of some Frozen Gold albums..?!