A lifelong rock & roll obsessive, Robert Duncan was barely out of his teens when he gave up singing in bands and started as a writer for the influential, icon-smashing music magazine Creem, becoming its managing editor at the ripe old age of 22. He went on to contribute to Rolling Stone, Circus, Life, and dozens of other publications.
In the process, Duncan became a rock Zelig: he shared tall tales and fried shrimp with a young, scrawny Bruce Springsteen, while driving him around Cleveland; he introduced the Clash’s Mick Jones and Joe Strummer to a broken-down piano player of dubious ability, leading to a hilariously disastrous recording session with the band; he worked alongside his friend Lester Bangs and witnessed his tragic spiral, before discovering the legendary critic dead, at 33, of an OD in the apartment next door. These experiences, and many others, provide the fuel for Robert Duncan’s debut novel, LOUDMOUTH, a rip-snortin’ coming-of-age story that will be published by Three Rooms Press on October 6, 2020.
The novel is the story of Thomas Ransom, born to a severely dysfunctional southern family transplanted to New York City. Left to his own devices by neglectful parents, he spends much of his childhood shadowing his older, criminally-inclined half-brother and roaming New York with hard-drinking teenage pals. Tom eventually finds an outlet as the flamboyant singer of a downtown rock band, and later as the young editor of the Detroit-based magazine that invented punk—only to return to New York, at the height of the 1970s bacchanal, and crash. But it isn’t music that saves him. It’s a soft-spoken painter, who turns out to be the most outrageous character of all.
With echoes of Almost Famous and Just Kids, LOUDMOUTH tracks an impassioned musician and writer out among the punks, hippies, and wild geniuses of rock when music was the center of the world.
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