Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: 33 Days

33 Days: Touring In A Van, Sleeping On Floors, Chasing A Dream
Author: Bill See
Title: 33 Days: Touring In A Van, Sleeping On Floors, Chasing A Dream
Publisher:  Lulu.com
Publish Date: June 7, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Divine Weeks set off on tour in a beat up old Ford Econoline Van, sleeping on strangers' floors, never sure they'd make enough gas money to get them to the next town. This deeply personal, coming of age, on the road memoir follows critically acclaimed 80s indie alt rock band Divine Weeks' first tour of the U.S. and Canada. Liberated from alcoholic upbringings and rigid cultural constraints, all they have is their music and each other's friendship. The road is filled with yuppies, brothels, riots, sleeping on floors, spiked drinks, DJs with no pants, and battles with racism. They set out on the road to discovery to drink in all they could and maybe sell a few records. They grew up instead.

Review: Very few memoirs about rockers come across so wonderfully...well..uplifting. This book doesn't deal with fights and egos. What it deals with are a bunch of guys setting out to make it in the music business. It also made me want to hunt down the music of Divine Weeks and give them a listen.

For all intents and purposes, the reader will feel like these guys are wasting their time trying to make it big, but music is hard business to break into and apparently you really should have a day job if you want to survive the early part of a career. These guys weren't making any money and they were schlepping across the country and across Canada! (And not without their share of problems) Yet, through it all this book shows how a dream and friendship make things happen even when there are things that make some band members want to give up. (George had a girlfriend he left behind in L.A. and Raj had family he felt strong ties too). 

The 33 days of Divine Weeks' first national tour is full of fun and probably typical rocker behavior... a little drugs...a lot of booze..and a lot of sex...erm...nope ...not much of that unless you were the soundman. (This is lamented several times in the book)

These guys faced a lot together and they could have given up, but they didn't. I think that is what made me feel so good at the end of the book. These guys toughed it out for a few more years. Oh and though I had never heard of Divine Weeks before picking up this book, I came to love this band. Bill writes like a person sitting down at a table sharing stories. That's what made this book so good for me.

If you have an interest in rock n' roll, this is a great story for you, even if you aren't this is just a good all around memoir that reminds us to chase our own dreams.

Rating: 5 flowers

Video: In The Country (Jim Carroll)


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