“One of the greatest rock and roll novels ever written, an exciting new voice!" – Ian Marchant. Oh my.
I've read a few stories about Birmingham but this is the first based in the modern era. The story of Jim Vale, AKA Jimmy of the Tyrants is told at the turn of this century. As it twists from gangland drugs to murders to stereotypical dodgy band managers and millennium parties, I find myself looking out of my Jewellery Quarter window to confirm to myself it’s not real.
27 being the infamous age when so many promising rocksters commit suicide, we wonder if this will happen to Jimmy, after the runaway success of one of their singles. He doesn’t like the way the band are going and his so called best friend/bassist seems desperate to take his frontman/singer slot.
He wants out.
But he doesn’t succeed.
So it is then decided by the Tyrants manager that he should lay low, pretend he really has shuffled this mortal coil and let the band re-invent themselves without him, milking the story for every £ they can so he can repay his debts.
He has nowhere to turn, firstly because he is meant to be dead but also because his mother is currently minus all her marbles, his former girlfriend wants nothing to do with him and he has no money to make music.
Instead he turns to an old friend whose ambition is to be the biggest drug dealer in the city. To earn himself the money he desperately needs to make his own album, he becomes his friend’s runner and finds himself embroiled in deeper trouble caught up between the city’s gangs.
Read the book to discover if and how Jim/Jimmy makes it through. But if you live in Birmingham, the city will look a lot different afterwards as you spot the various landmarks heavily featured from 1999.
Ryan will be talking about this book and his writing at the Birmingham Favourites #MeetTheAuthor event on August 11th2014. Click here for details & to book your free seat.
By Rickie J, editor & founder.