Flying Saucer Rock & Roll
It's the dawn of the nineties in suburban Quirely. Chris and Neil go way back, but now, as they enter their teenage years, Chris is no longer sure he wants Neil as his friend. Neil is embarrassing. Neil is odd. Neil talks about strange things that nobody else knows about, or wants to. And Chris just wants to be popular now that it’s time to be seen hanging around outside the gates of the local girls’ school.
Still, Chris has other interests. He’s fallen in love with the instrumental rock stylings of Joe Satriani, and is learning guitar at school in order to emulate his hero, if only he can get the hang of Streets of London first. But there’s another boy in his guitar class who’s miles ahead of everybody. He’s a natural at it, if a bit lazy when it comes to anything else. His name is Ben.
It’s only a matter of time before Chris and Ben find themselves in a band, Animal Magnets. On drums is Jase, sure of himself and easy-going. The bass player is Thomas Depper, ginger and spectacled, bad-tempered and violent. But who can they get to be their front-man? Although they hate to admit it, there’s really only one boy for the job…
Flying Saucer Rock & Roll follows Chris and Neil, Ben, Thomas and Jase through the years, into their teenage golden age and out the other side, where between them they face disillusionment and determination, the nine-to-five grind and art college, Britpop and Brighton. It is a tale of those who are alienated and those who belong, their childhoods lost and adulthoods found, and the fine line they walk between belief and madness. Most of all, it defines a generation, its music and mindset, a reminder of a time just gone, a world lost forever.
Jonathan Cape trade paperback