Harry Whitewolf's Reviews > The Last Stage

The Last Stage by Jim Cherry
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it was amazing
bookshelves: beat-bums-drunks-n-drugs

Michael Gray, the protagonist of this story, doesn't just want to front a Doors tribute band- he wants to actually become Jim Morrison; living and performing the life that Jim led.
By just glancing at this book and its blurb, one could mistake it as a tale written by a Doors fan for a Doors fan- and although that's a part of it- in the whole it's no such thing. This is a story about idolisation and of wanting to become that idol, to the degree that one loses themselves in the process. So what better icon to use as the basis for this story than Jim Morrison? The true idol of generations who exceeded being pigeon holed into simply a music icon. Jim's magic. A myth. A legend. A god. That's who Michael Gray wants to be.

The Last Stage is a very well written, excellently thought out and extremely well structured book; set at the opportune time of the start of the nineties, when The Doors were more cult famous than long term super famous, and before cover bands were ten a penny, the narrative is interspersed with gig reviews and sub-stories, which all together create a multi-faceted tale.

I had a smile on my face through much of the book, and sometimes laughed out loud. Anyone who has ever been into rock 'n' roll will surely recognise a part of themselves in Gray and the other come-to-life characters. Each of us has surely had a music icon that we worshipped in our formative years- and often, as much as we're still inspired by those stars, by the time we're into our thirties and beyond, we realise a lot of the fan worship is also a crock, and we can start to poke fun at our idols, whilst still being inspired by them. A fitting theme for a book in our modern culture of everyone wanting to be famous- rather than being successful at something they've created themselves for the sake of creating.

Anyone who's ever been in love with Jimi or Joplin or Vicious or Marley or Kurt or Winehouse... will love this book. Seeing as Morrison was my own personal 'saviour' in my youth, I certainly bought into this book, but I don't think that makes me prejudiced. In fact, rather than having Doors songs running through my head whilst reading it, my mind was instead plagued by Radiohead, with Thom Yorke singing: “I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy... I wanna be Jim Morrison!”

Harry Whitewolf. (Author of Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol.)
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Reading Progress

August 23, 2014 – Shelved
August 23, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
August 28, 2014 – Started Reading
September 12, 2014 – Finished Reading
October 2, 2014 – Shelved as: beat-bums-drunks-n-drugs

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