A Novel by Art Edwards
Badge, aging rock guitarist, has drunk and screwed his way out of his best chances at life. For three years he's managed to stay off the booze and, not coincidentally, out of the music business. But in 2000, flat broke and fearing passionless days ahead, he accepts work in Los Angeles with a new artist, young punk diva Betty. The gig features great pay, professional studios and Badge's last best chance to rock at the top of the heap, if only he can keep his mind on the music and away from the bars, back alleys and backstage temptations that greet him at every turn.
At the same time, the music business is undergoing monumental change, with bands turning to the internet to reach their fan bases and record companies making criminals of their customers. With a lead singer looking for more from her guitar player than memorable solos, a ten-year-old son curious about his dad's new world, and an ex-wife who misses nothing, Badge navigates both home and rock life with values accrued in a bygone era, and toward a future as murky as a used shot glass.
My second novel, Ghost Notes, released on my own imprint in 2008, won the 2009 PODBRAM Award for best work of contemporary fiction. My work has appeared in The Writer and Writers' Journal, and online at The Rumpus and writersdojo.org. I am also a contributing writer at The Nervous Breakdown. In the 1990s, I was co-founder, co-songwriter and bass player with the Refreshments, a band that sold over 400,000 units worldwide, had a hit single (“Banditos”), and wrote and recorded the theme song for the Fox television series King of the Hill. I live with my wife, artist Raquel Edwards, in Portland, Oregon.
Badge is complete at 100,000 words, and while solidly within the commercial/literary realm, it also occupies the burgeoning subgenre of rock lit, which has seen successful titles in the past year by Jennifer Egan, Patti Smith, Nick Hornby and Steve Almond.