Blog Tour: Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘N’ That by Steven N. Gill

BLURB:

“Rock ‘n’ roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.”

The former manager of The Runaways said that. The mad bastard. And Johnny Harrison swore by it. He had to.

Almost forty, fully paid up member of the rat race and bored sh*tless. He had to believe in something.

Then something happened. Something magnificent. A once in a lifetime band dropped out of the sky and right into his lap.

A band unaware of just how great they could be. A band that had no idea what was about to hit them. A band that needed someone to light the fuse.

That someone was Johnny Harrison and the truth was he needed them so much more. They were his ticket out.

That’s how it is with THE ROCK ‘N’ THE ROLL. ‘N’ THAT. Buy your ticket and take the ride.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43531300-the-rock-n-roll-n-that
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Low-key.
He’d insisted on low-key.
Low-key. It’s
unambiguous.
Without fuss.
No surprise parties.
Resolutely no fucking
surprise party.
No ‘see them once in a blue moon
friends making up the numbers.
No debauched weekend in Eastern Europe
being rinsed by preternaturally attractive girls.
And resolutely no
navel-gazing or ‘what if’ recriminations.
At least not outside the
confines of his inner narrative…
Male
pattern baldness. Erectile dysfunction. Pension shortfalls. Prostate checks.
Taking up the saxophone. The fucking saxophone. Earhole, eyebrow & nostril
hair sprouting overnight. Middle aged spread. Just for fucking Men hair dye.
Fuck me. Buying a bike worth twice your first car and dressing up in lycra like
a Poundland Bradley Wiggins. Fucking Lycra. Prozac. Viagra. Vitamin
supplements. Antiwrinkle moisturisers at 30 quid a pop. Getting your five-a-day
every day. And your once a month bedroom treat. If you’re really lucky. Stop
wearing trainers. Christ. Health MOTs. National Trust membership. Three-day
hangovers. Dinner parties. Stroking you chin in Real Ales Pubs and Ministry of
turn the Sound down please. Going. Fucking. Bald. And so on…
It’d
better be fucking low key,
Johnny thought to
himself as he idly peeled at the dampened label on his bottle of lager.
Johnny Harrison.
Thirty-nine years and 364
days old.
Or young. Whichever way you want to wrap it
up. He had begun to warm to the vagaries of thirty-something… But forty.
Fucking forty.
Middle-aged.
Proper middle aged.
How the fuck had that
crept up on him?
4-0. That was a whole new demographic. The
39–45 bracket on applications. And that’s nearly 50.
He had been fifteen when his dad hit the
two-score milestone. The half century eluding him as he dropped dead of a
stroke at 48. Congenital heart condition. Long odds of it being hereditary. But
still…
It was to be a drink or two with his
closest friends in Manchester’s burgeoning Northern Quarter.
Dressed for the occasion in his
immaculate, but seldom worn, Navy Stripe Boating Blazer, green gingham checked
shirt and jeans – the same brand and fit for the past fifteen years. A pair of
new brown Desert Boots completed the outfit. A present from his long-term
partner, Claire. Complete with a card saying that it should really have been
comfy slippers. Drum roll please. “There’s just no place for the balds in rock
’n’ roll,” said Johnny
“Elton John,” Mark replied,
with a self-satisfied look on his face.
“He’s not a bald! Proper
head of hair on him,” Johnny replied.
“Fuck off. He’s bald as a coot! He wears a
wig. I’m sure of it,” said Mark with an exasperated tone.
“AHH!” Johnny said as he held an index
finger to his nose and pointed at Mark with his other hand.
“You’re such a sarky
twat,” Mark grumbled.
“Look. For every bald you can think of, I
can name a dozen that are hirsute in the extreme. Ozzy. All The Beatles. Bowie.
Zep. Let’s not start on The Stones. Clapton. Duran Du-fucking-ran. The
Gallaghers. Him out of Depeche Mode. The Roses. Pete Doherty. But I wouldn’t
encourage his narcotic intake.”
“Yeah, yeah alright,”
Mark ceded.
“I’m right. A healthy diet of drugs gives
you a great fucking head of hair. For life. So, shut the fuck up and tuck in,”
Johnny said as he nodded in the direction of the mound of cocaine that sat
centre stage on his finger-marked glass dining room table.
“FLEETWOOD MAC! They took loads. Legendary
for it,” he shouted smugly.
“Behave. Stevie Nicks has got a lovely
head of hair. She wouldn’t thank you for that,” Johnny retorted.
“Always the smartarse,”
Mark said.
“Always. But you still love me. Now get
that polished off. Taxi will be here soon. Give Chris a shout. Chain-smoking
like a lab monkey out there.”
“Anyway. Don’t change the subject. That’s
it. All downhill from here,” Mark said pithily.
“Fuck off. I’ve still got my hair. Bit
greyer. Well, a lot greyer,” he said shrugging, “and my eyesight’s only just
giving up the ghost. And I won’t be shopping for Blue Harbour’s finest
elasticated jeans like you. That bay window above your belt,” Johnny said as he
reached across to pat Mark roughly on his receding pate.
Mark recoiled, slapping
Johnny’s hand away.
“Look at the fucking state of you man.
You’ve given up. Five years ago, you’d have never been seen dead in them shoe
trainers or whatever the fuck they are. They look like someone dropped two pies
and you’ve stepped in them”
“Given up? You’ve not got a fucking clue
mate. Given up. Fuck me,” Mark said with a weary shake of his head. “I’d love
to drop a week’s wages on clobber. But the last time I looked at something
smart, it didn’t come in a wipe down from baby puke range.”
“Come on mate, I’m only messing. I’m 40.
What changes? It’s only a number. I’ll be right. Something’ll happen for me…”
“Do you mean you’re actually going to grow
up and face up to your responsibilities?” Mark asked. “It’s not too late for
you to become a dad or make an honest woman of Claire. Decide what you want
from your career!” His tone becoming serious as he attempted to add gravitas to
his advice “Haha! I’d love to take you seriously mate! I’m hanging on your
every word. But I cannot take life coaching from a man with a lump of coke
hanging from his nose.”
Rubbing his nostrils furiously, “You could
at least start with a proper haircut,” Mark said.
Chris returned from the backyard, having
just extinguished his fifth cigarette of the afternoon. “But it’s not ‘just a number’ is it. You’ll look at
what you’ve achieved or in your case…”
“Balls,” Johnny said, a
little too defensively.
An angular chin away from being classed as
classically good looking. Just under six foot, with an athletic build he had
somehow retained despite a lack of any meaningful exercise over the last
decade. A thick head of hair that had seen teenage attempts at a Morrissey
quiff – lamentably limp – ’90s rave ‘curtains’ which morphed into an indie bowl
cut and was now worn in an unkempt fringe that he felt was an act of rebellion
towards his corporate paymasters. And in his vainer moments, made him look like
Richard Ashcroft.
Decent enough house. Money wasn’t that
much of an issue. His job as an HR manager at a large IT company paid well, but
it wasn’t exactly what he had planned. Claire was a good partner. Although she
was not behind the door at reminding him what a catch she was. He missed her
more free-spirited days. Sort of. She was seemingly now far happier planning
interior design makeovers, with hours spent slavishly pouring over aspirational
magazines.
This can’t be it.
There must be more to the conundrum of
life. There’s got to be more than sitting on a sofa and asking each other what
you want to eat before you die.

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Steven
J. Gill is from  Manchester, living just
south of the city centre.
This
is his first book. Previously, his writing work was limited to music and
football fanzines.
He
has had quite the varied career, ranging from finance, delivering enterprise
days to schools, undertaker and. driver.
A
self-confessed cats, coats and Beatles obsessive.
Very
much in right time and right place in the early 80’s and 90’s and duly devoured
all that the Manchester music scene had to offer. Talked a lot of nonsense and
managed  a couple of bands that never
unite made it big. Sings like a donkey braying into a bucket but a very good
musical ear would be a fitting epitaph…
Having
had somewhat of a literary epiphany at the inaugural Festival No.6 in North
Wales, Steven decided it was time to set to and get writing. ‘The Rock ‘n’ The
Roll. ‘ N” That…’  is the fruit of
these labours.”
As
some Scouse pop genius once opined, “it took me years to write, so won’t you
take a look…”



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