Saturday 5 June 2021

Book ~ "Bootleg Stardust" (2021) Glenn Dixon

From Goodreads ~ It’s 1974. The music world is rocking with bellbottoms, platform shoes and lots and lots of drugs. This year’s sensation is an American band called Downtown Exit and their latest album has just gone gold.

For high school dropout Levi Jaxon, things aren’t so great. After bouncing around foster homes for years, he’s living in his best friend’s basement. His dream is to someday be a rock star, but he has a problem - his own band has just broken up.

In an uncanny stroke of luck, Levi lands an audition for Downtown Exit, who are now recording their second album at Abbey Road Studios. He arrives in London and aces his audition, only to learn he’s not really in the band. No, Levi’s job is to sit in the wings and cover for the band’s real guitarist when he inevitably starts tripping on stage.

Levi sticks with it, hoping to step into the role he’s always dreamed of. But he must first navigate egos, jealousies, and deceptions. Frankie, the band’s front man, has it out for him. And Levi has fallen for Ariadne, the band’s photographer. All of them have their secrets, Levi included. And as the band tours through Europe and struggles to finish their new album, Levi comes face to face with unanswered questions from his past and the impossible price that fame demands.

It's 1974 and Levi is a broke 20-year-old living in Calgary, Alberta.  He's a high school drop-out and the band he is in has just broken up.  He spent his life in foster care and is now living in the basement of his best friend's mom's house.

After sending demo cassettes of his songs, he gets a call to try out for an American band called Downtown Exit, whose songs he covers in his band.  With very little money and lots of hope, he heads to London, England, where the band is recording their second album.  He gets the gig but realizes it's not actually in the band but playing in the background when the band's guitarist is too out of it ... the crowd thinks it's Pete playing and singing but it's actually Levi.  Levi eventually becomes a real part of the band but soon discovers it's not how he had envisioned fame would be.

I liked this book and the writing style.  It's written in first person perspective in Levi's voice and at times it's conversational as if Levi is talking to us.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

In an interesting twist, the author has recorded the Downtown Exit's songs and you can listen to them on Spotify ( and other sources of music and it sounds pretty good.

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