Disaster Blues by Francis Kuipers
Set in Italy during the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Disaster Blues recounts a music tour called “The Last Beachhead”. In the final aftermath of the ‘Folk Revival’, the musical revolution that swept the world, the tour has a historical doomed feel about it. The picaresque, exotic adventures of Boogie Baker, a talented but washed out musician and proclaimed failure, from Sheffield, constitute the basic plot structure of the book.
Disaster Blues evokes the social turmoil in Italy of the period. It also conjures up the unique charm and heart of the folk/pop music scene at that time. The tour is beset by all kinds of problems, including the profits of the last and only financially successful show being dramatically stolen. Roadblocks are a common occurrence; bandits are being hunted down as well as terrorists. Mysterious forces stage bomb attacks.
The police, mistaking an address in Rome where a politician is found murdered, for a town with the same name, raid Boogie Baker’s home. A porn-star begins her spectacular rise to become a national icon. Most entertainments and cultural events are virtually dependent on political manoeuvring and favouritism. Like his promoters, Boogie Baker, summoned to Italy for a music festival that never comes off, mostly has a knack of surviving disasters to get him through.
The author is Francis Kuipers “Superguitar”, a Anglo/Dutch composer, singer/songwriter and musicologist born in 1941, resident in Italy. He has collaborated with Beat Generation poet Gregory Corso and film directors Godfrey Reggio and Abel Ferrara, amongst others. Creator of a unique sound archive, he has conducted numerous series of radio broadcasts. For some years he directed the Music & Sound Department of Fabrica, the Benetton multi-media research centre.
There is music and more information on his website: www.franciskuipers.com
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