It's a novel based on the story of Alekzandr, an eighties music icon who pushes the public's buttons well into the nineties and noughties.
This is a novel that I've been working away at for a long time. I actually had the horror of having all but completed the work before my laptop (and only copy of the manuscript) were stolen from my apartment in Rome.
Initially, I was devastated, but I stepped up to the challenge, tracked down every single piece of paper or draft that I'd hand written and set about rewriting the novel from scratch.
It's amazing how being on the cusp of despair can bring out the best of you, and now that I'm so close to finishing the editing (with the help of my genius editor), I'm proud that I came through and look forward to seeing the book take on a new life of its own, just the way a good hit single does. You know what I mean right? It's like when a song hits the airwaves and begins resonating with the public, it no longer belongs to the artist that created it.
What partly inspired me to write the novel were the back stories behind the making of great music, and the very difficult balance that all artists (regardless of whether its music, literature or art) have to find between their creative halves and their personal halves.
As someone who has been in the arts for decades, I feel like it's a divide that is rarely acknowledged but that is often more interesting than the end work itself.
Alekzandr, like many artists that emerged in the 1980s, was not a conventional musician. He emerged during a time when we were more open to the idea of fun and spontaneity in popular culture. It didn't matter if you weren't technically a great singer. You just needed that mysterious star quality, and the right people to help you along your way.
So like many other artists, what he lacked vocally he made up for with his music videos and provocateur nature.
But it wasn't ever a smooth ride for him. It's hard enough being labelled the popportunist but when you're also the first openly gay figure in pop culture you've got even more obstacles to overcome.
So, he may not have been Bob Dylan, but that's unimportant. Because Alekzandr, like other icons, makes waves and not just music.
And the Kanye West images? Well, if anyone in this generation has inherited the dual edged sword of eighties iconology it's Kanye. Brilliant, divisive but committed to what he does. Even if it makes you scratch your head or cringe at times.
In my book, there are few other mainstream artists around today who have that effect. Thankfully, in Vinyl Tiger we get to explore that one in a million personality type in detail.
If you want more information, feel free to message me or comment.