On Saturday morning I got an email from a friend telling me I was on the FRONT PAGE of the daily newspaper for Marin Country, the Marin Independent Journal.
I just about fell over.
The article, by Paul Liberatore, begins like this:
There’s a scene in Michael Goldberg’s new rock ‘n’ roll novel, “True Love Scars,” that takes place in Mill Valley’s Depot Bookstore and Cafe, where the author was sitting one recent sweltering afternoon, sipping a hot coffee, despite the heat, and talking about this first book in what he’s calling his “Freak Scene Dream Trilogy.”
An ex-Rolling Stone associate editor and senior writer cum online music pioneer, the 61-year-old author describes the narrator of his coming-of-age story, 19-year-old Michael Stein, aka “Writerman,” as “a caricature of his teenage self,” a rock-crazed kid with raging hormones who’s obsessed with Bob Dylan and the “Visions of Johanna chick,” Sweet Sarah, he meets and falls in love with at a meditation center in Woodacre.
In Goldberg’s tragic love story, set in Marin County in the late ’60s and early ’70s, young Writerman begins his betrayal of Sweet Sarah at the Depot and its downtown plaza.
“It’s the first time he looks at another woman,” Goldberg explained, noting the parallels between the arc of his fictional tale and the maturation of the music he’s spent his career writing about. Novelist Tom Spanbauer calls Goldberg “a total rock ‘n’ roll geek,” a characterization that’s borne out in the rock references on just about every page.
“There are so many songs about teen love in the early days of rock n’ roll, and that’s a big theme in the early portion of this trilogy,” he said. “Then things change and get more sophisticated and evolved as the books progress, just as rock music did. I was taking emotion from songs and from albums and manifesting that into my fiction.”
If you want you can read the whole thing here.
And this fantastic review was posted by Gigi Little at her wonderful blog, ut omnia bena…, yesterday.
Here’s an excerpt:
This is sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, folks, which normally you probably wouldn’t think would be my thing, but Goldberg’s book is full of a voice that is so breathless and particular and, what attracts me the most, innocent. There is such a sweetness in the narrator, such youthful naive charm under all the F-bombs. (There are lots of F-bombs. Sometimes when he read pages in the Dangerous Writing basement, we’d count the F-bombs.) Michael Stein knows everything there is to know about music and the music scene. He’s a walking encyclopedia of rock ‘n’ roll. But there’s so much that he doesn’t know. And it’s in what Michael Stein doesn’t know that the story finds its heartbreaking charm – and, of course, its danger.
Read the rest here.
For more on the book, head here.