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Book three of the Sixties Trilogy. It’s the autumn of 1969. Steve has left university to work as a roadie for Epsilon, a moderately successful rock band, which includes Chas and Bud from The Sheriffs. Epsilon is led by Antoine DeMilo, the “enigmatic American organist” (New Musical Express). Hot shot flashy guitarist Mickey and ex-public school boy Julian complete the band. Epsilon have an album out, they’ve been on the John Peel Show. The band tours Scotland, England and Wales and moves into Germany. They play colleges and clubs. Humour comes from life on the road. There’s as much tedium and hassle as opportunities for debauchery (not that there’s a total lack of that). There is a background mystery involving the past doings of Antoine DeMilo, and a related mystery involving the crooked machinations of the club scene. Why is Antoine so reluctant to return to the USA? What happens when you really, really upset a major club owner? Steve runs into Marieke when they play his home town. He’s known her for years and she seems to be a pretty straight secretary, and prefers discos to live music. She turns out to be far wilder than Steve had ever imagined. Her boss is a seedy accountant, revealing a whole world of 30-somethings in smart suits and smarter cars. The story begins with Steve seeing the film Easy Rider and there’s a running connection. The title comes from The Weight by The Band (it features in Easy Rider), which defines the travelling musician’s arrival in yet another new place: I pulled into Nazareth Feelin’ bout half past dead I just need a place where I can lay my head Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed? He just grinned and shook my hand and ‘No’ was all he said
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Dart Travis was born on the island of Jersey to a French-speaking mother and an English-speaking father, which he claims gave him an early interest in the intrinsic lack of genuine communication between cultures. His mother, Denise Leniece, was an accomplished painter, who was fond of the works of Alexandre Dumas, and Dart said she was only dissuaded from calling Dart’s three older siblings Athos, Porthos and Aramis by a delegation from both sides of the family (I don’t believe a word of it). Whatever, she insisted on christening her youngest son D’Artagnan. Her Jersey landscapes were too bizarre to sell well locally at the time, but are now collected.Dart and I first met teaching in the 1970s, and I take credit for persuading Dart that while one apostrophe in a name was mildly irritating, two plus an intercap was ridiculous. After a few days of trying to explain his chosen spelling (D’Art’) to classes, D’Art’ became Dart, and has remained so ever since. We kept vaguely in touch through the 70s, and I received an occasional rude postcard from the various places where Dart had ended up teaching: The British Council in Bulgaria; the Oxford and Cambridge Language Institute in Phuket and The Kool Skool (sic) in Amsterdam. I met him once, in 1983 when I was in Viareggio, Italy and he turned up with his stunning Italian wife and took me to dinner. He told me he had taught in England again the previous year for a few months, and had tried to look me up but had failed to locate me.I often wondered what had happened to him. So I was surprised to receive a barrage of e-mails with the manuscripts of five novels enclosed.I know the eras, and I can confirm the accuracy of the setting of these picaresque novels. Dart has researched the music and events that form the background to the stories so as to give a feel of the era.I read them avidly, and it was with major relief that I realized that at least no character bore any resemblance to me. I know Dart had done lights on variety shows in his summer holidays for three years, lived through the May demos at university in 1968 and was a roadie for a rock band in 1969. We were working together in 1972. Dart was always a weaver of tales and the ones here are somewhat different to those he told me nearer the time. Peter Viney, Three Vee Limited
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Book Description 978-1-908103-20-8, 2015. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 339 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.77 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk1908103205