"I can tell Electric Stories
Electric Stories that will surely blow your mind
People find that I can tell
Electric Stories very well"
-Electric Stories, The Four Seasons
"Every Good Boy Dies First", the bi-weekly serial run on my blog Out Demons Out has finally been published in compiled, full-length form for your reading enjoyment. The tale of a young musician's dream of playing in a band only to watch it degenerate into a nightmare of greed, power, and deception, just like any sleazy non-artistic corporation. It's the bitter pill no one wants to swallow: rock bands don't have more fun, and here are the reasons why.
"Every Good Boy Dies First" is the story of Griff (Sam Fuller's generic name for every hero featured in his films from Forty Guns to The Naked Kiss), Hollywood trumpet player who falls under the spell of both free jazz and punk rock and staking an original sound as well as a name for himself with his band Garbage Truck.
While Griff trudges around Hollywood setting up Garbage Truck shows his former music teacher, now homeless and destitute hovers around the old music haunts like a ghost. My novel basically sets the tone of story by presenting two different ends of the musical spectrum: a hip, promising young jazz player playing punk rock and creating new, exciting sounds; and the old guard, a failed big band jazzer, rotting on the streets of Hollywood after spending his life making traditional music. Did the ends justify the means?
The questions all through the book becomes: how far is Griff from becoming just like his teacher, Jeffrey Chandler, roaming from apartment building to apartment building like a vagabond, trying to keep hi home life together while maintaining his artistic muse? Will he eventually end up homeless like his sensei? Griff has to keep his head together while dealing with clueless radio DJs, parasitic fanzine writers and devious scenesters. All to a breakneck hardcore beat.
Garbage Truck play the hot clubs all over town but feel a degree of peer pressure to play a more accessible, alternative-friendly sound just to go with the flow. Because our story takes place during the grunge-fueled Nineties, the boys in the band plot to wrest Griff's ownership of the band and forego a less cacophonic punk for a more sludgy stoner metal sound. Griff's vision of exploring new sounds is viewed as a commercial threat to the more careerist rockers in the band.
Egging his band to foil Griff is an arrogant booking agent, played by Moish Wilson of Varmint Booking as well as shallow all-girl band Kitten Claws. While Griff feels the pressure to cave in to commercial vapidity - remember when Punk bands went New Wave in 1979? - he holds on strong to his creative muse, finally giving into a climax of extreme violence.
Because "Every Good Boy Dies First" is a punk rock noir novel first and foremost, there's a dead body in there somewhere, there always has to be, a sadistic nightclub bouncer with the IQ of a sack of rotting meat. When Griff discovers the stiff's carcass in a parking lot in the dead of night it's similar to Antonioni's Blow Up, a murder no one wants to believe, much less care about.
There are a couple of people who have groused about my novel being too depressing. I don't get this remark at all. I didn't set out to write a trite load of shit like Almost Famous or Rock 'N Roll High School. If the world of rock is so sweet and jam-packed with fun why do so many bands break up? Very few rock fiction novels ever delve into the struggle, bitterness and futility of playing music. "Every Good Boy Dies First" completely demolishes the false premise that every show's a party. If only they were!
The cover art was designed by Rebecca Seven, who's designed albums and tees for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, L7, Faith No More, and Frightwig, she was featured in the anthology of female lowbrow artists, "Vicious, Delicious, and Ambitious".
"Every Good Boy Dies First" is first and foremost a story about artistic freedom and the battle to defend it even in a forum as self-deceptive as the alternative music scene. Dressed in noir clothes, you'll feel the throbbing feedback guitars humming through your brain and smell the beer and blood-stained walls closing in on you because Griff plays trumpet like Gabriel, summoning up doomsday with every blast. Read and believe!
Links to get "Every Good Boy Dies First":Amazon Kindle
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/every-good-boy-dies-first Sony Reader
Sold at Punk Rock prices - $2.99!