by Bill See

Bill See, $14.99, 278 pages

The microphone smells like cheap whiskey. The ceiling is too low for proper acoustics, but the crowd doesn’t mind. They move to the music, hands in the air while the lead guitar seasons the verse with an added riff. For these precious moments while the blood is hot in the veins, it doesn’t matter that there will barely be enough money to buy gas to drive to the next gig, and barely enough time to get there. ll In his debut memoir, Bill See captures the dream of every young crooner trying to make it to the big time. For thirty-three days in the summer of 1987, his rock band, Divine Weeks, toured nationally. They began in L.A., went through Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, over the mountains into Calgary, headed south to Edmonton, and finally came to Dallas. These four musicians lived out of a van and depended on the charity of their fans. ll We learn about life on the road and the price of chasing the dream of stardom. Despite their relative success in winning a record deal and debuting on MTV, their struggle seems daunting, especially when the ugly reality of prejudice threatens to tear them apart.

Reviewed by Casey Corthron