Powder: An Everyday Story of Rock'n'roll Folk

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9780099289968: Powder: An Everyday Story of Rock'n'roll Folk

Liverpool -- 2002. Keva McCluskey is down and almost out. Despondent, embittered by the meteoric rise of a local rival, Sensira, he's close to quitting his dream -- of leading his own group, the Grams, to the acclaim and success it unquestionably deserves. But fortune starts to smile when the Grams get picked up by Guy de Bure, a hot young producer with a point to prove who is launching a new label. So begins the Grams' roller-coaster ride to the top. Fame, money, drugs, women -- they get more of all of these than they can cope with. But it's on their return to the States, for a grueling thirty-five-city tour to crack this elusive but enormously lucrative market, that things truly start to unravel. From the city that gave the world the Beatles comes Kevin Sampson's riotous, knowing, and totally compelling novel about a band on the make. Powder is also a frighteningly accurate lowdown on the machinations of the music business written by a man who has experienced them from the inside. "Read it and weep. And think twice before you give up the day job." -- New Musical Express (London) "All young bands should be made to read Powder, if it doesn't put them off, nothing will." -- The Times (London) "A pacey and hilarious catalogue ... a portrait of the contemporary music industry that is almost uncanny in its accuracy." -- Independent (London) "A code-red book ... drop what you're reading and read this immediately." -- Alex James of Blur

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From Publishers Weekly:

Former manager of a Liverpool band, Sampson takes a lengthy, labored spin through the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll in his turgid debut novel, a formulaic rags-to-riches saga about an alternative British pop band called the Grams. The primary narrator is 30-ish lead singer Keva McCluskey, a charismatic, moody lad who is obsessed with the Grams' rivalry with Sensira, another London band led by his former best friend. Sampson shifts gears to cover the band's initial success through his secondary narrators, the self-important manager, Wheezer Finlay, and the slick but unfulfilled producer, Guy de Burret. What follows is a not so magical, decidedly unmystical tour through virtually every clich‚ of the rock novel, from the landmark first gig, the big contract and the first album, to the penultimate make-or-break tour and the inevitable meltdown that follows. The plot hits all the overfamiliar moments, with overwrought scenes about rivalries within the band; snapshots of the lavish, over-the-top tour lifestyle; and incidents in which the band manipulates the fatuous rock press. The characters are decently drawn despite the triteness, but Sampson makes the hedonistic rock lifestyle as boring and pedantic as that of an accountant. If this imitative plot had been more concise, it might have been effective, but Sampson insists on chronicling virtually every aspect of the band's progress and setbacks. The result is a novel that feels as long and tortured as a two-hour drum solo and as predictable as the three-chord, verse-chorus-verse structure of every pop hit released in the last 50 years.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll always make great headlines but rarely a riveting novel. Real writers (Don Delillo, Great Jones Street) and dilettantes (Bill Flanagan, A&R) alike have faltered at translating the power of three chords into prose. A one-time rock manager and proud Liverpudlian, Sampson obviously knows the rarefied realm of which he speaks. The Grams start off as a credible creation, an ecstatically brooding four-piece who want to rule the word ... la U2 or the Clash and do, for the blink of an eye. But Sampson spreads his ink much too thin, weaving in and out of the heads of the band members as well as their record label president, manager, publicists, and bus driver at the cost of much-needed context and focus. As it turns out, excess in itself makes for a toxically boring trip. What could have been characters come out as coke-snorting caricatures. Sure, rock'n'roll is 99 percent bullshit, but that remaining shred of meaning fuels the future Kurt Cobains of the world and deserves more attention. With graphic sex and language, of course. Not recommended. Heather McCormack, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Sampson, Kevin
Published by 2000-05-25. (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099289962 ISBN 13: 9780099289968
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Cambridge Rare Books
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Book Description 2000-05-25., 2000. Book Condition: New. Vintage. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 512pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1745254

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