A sweet little novella about a forty something rock ‘n roller, a guitar player who never made it bigger than the dives and bars, but loved his life on the road. Lest we think he is too disgusting, we learn he gave up booze and drugs, but maybe not the gals, ten years ago. The band travels around the country in a converted old school bus.
One night, after a gig, the brakes fail, and the bus goes over a cliff into a river. Jimmy ‘Guitar’ Velvet makes sure all the guys get out safely, but he himself drowns.
He goes to what is clearly a Christian heaven where he is made to view his life, which turns out to be not all that great, but certainly not as bad as some. He is denied entrance into the real deal heaven, but is offered the opportunity to go to Rock ‘N Roll Heaven, a special section just for rockers. (Turns out there is a Poet Heaven, Novelist Heaven, and a sparsely poulated Political Heaven.)
His angel guide takes him there, which is found by following a gold path of CD hits of rock ‘n roll. They enter 50s rock section, where they meet legends of that era, then the 60s era, etc. Each rocker gets to have his own venue of his design and choosing. Jimmy decides on putting down roots in 70s section. Looming HUGE in its absence is the complete lack of mention of any female rock ‘n rollers other than Janice Joplin. So this would make it a young man’s wet dream, where all females are merely groping groupies. Pissed me off.
There is not much in the way of plot. It is basically a vehicle to wax nostalgic over the big names of rock ‘n roll, and show us what a nice guy Jimmy really is and have a daydream about a wildly successful concert in which one is the star, cheered by thousands.
Sadly, the book ends with that timeworn trope, it was only a dream. He regains consciousness after being rescued from the bus by one of the guys.
A pleasant read, should appeal to all aspiring rock ‘n rollers everywhere as something to read while waiting for your turn at the mic.