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Tandem, London, 1971
(price: 25p; 128 pages)

The blurb on the back:

A novel more sensational than 'Groupie'

A wild neon-lit, stereophonic experience, too out-of-this-world to be fact, too true to life to be fiction. the first moment of their appearance in the stadium the screaming of the fans swelled to a chaos of sound. Malk held up his arms and appealed for quiet, shouting into his mike in a futile attempt to make himself heard. He gave a shrug and turned to the others.
- Okay, here we go. A-four, a-three, a-two, a-one!
They launched into the act. No one heard them. Like figures in a silent movie they plucked their guitars, mouthed and gaped, stamped, shook, gesticulated. The pace grew wilder and wilder and when Sonny smashed his instrument to pieces and hurled away the bits, began to tear off his clothes and scratch his face, the audience took it all as part of the performance. They smelled blood, and howled for more ...

In the near future as society splinters and degenerates, rock music still holds sway and Satiety Incorporated are fast becoming the biggest band of all. In particular their drummer, Ariston, is a natural star. His charisma is assisted by the incredible potency he's acquired through the discovery of an aphrodisiac...

Actually that bit of the book's rubbish, but there's some real fun in here, particular with its over-written descriptions of youth tribes. There's a motorcycle gang called the Naughty Nihilists, whose slogan is Per Ardua Ad Nihil and who are led by Suchandsuch Smith ('unlucky seventh son of a seventh unlucky son, born under inauspicious signs in the year of the Howling Wolf'). And there are the Doll People: boys brought up as girls by their parents so they can be sold into marriage at the age of 13 to rich pederasts.

This is, in short, pure trash. And all the better for it. By the time Ariston has been kidnapped by a sadistic woman who locks him in an attic, starves him nearly to death and only visits to whip him, you know that you're in safe exploitation territory. Great stuff.


rock & roll