“Rock Star” by Gary Sprague: The Grass Ain’t Always Greener… (Five Stars)
by sbr martin

For many, being a rock star would be a dream come true… But, for Dark Cross axe-grinder Sonny Wells, it was a living nightmare. Sure, it was great to play on stage and share his artistry with the world—and, the fame, fortune, and feral females were fabulous, of course. But, everything else? Not so much. As Dark Cross rose to dominate the 70’s rock scene, Sonny stood by as everything else around him fell apart and crumbled to the ground. The long-term friendships amongst his bandmates deteriorated almost as quickly as the drugs destroyed their minds, and creative differences, greed, and ego further forged a drastic divide. Enough was enough, and Sonny opened his eyes. He took a deep breath, walked away from it all, and never looked back again… until now.

“Rock Star” by Gary Sprague finds fifty-something Sonny in an unlikely place and unthinkable situation. Clad in work boots, mud-stained flannels, and a John Deere cap atop his scraggly grey strands, Sonny makes his home on a farm in rural Maine, where he lives in peace under an assumed name and no one is privy to his past. He’s clean, sober, and bedding a babe over thirty, and, for the past three decades, he’s strummed only for his faithful canine companion, the disabled kids at a nearby school, and the rock icons who hang on the walls of his well-hidden music room. But, unfortunately for Sonny, most of that’s about to change… When an overambitious journalist discovers Sonny’s whereabouts, there’s a media frenzy and corporate chase to get Dark Cross back on the stage. Equally as concerned with the band’s legacy as with his own serenity, Sonny is deadest against it at first—but, when he sees an opportunity to help those he loves, he reluctantly signs on and embarks upon a very lucrative reunion tour. Yet with the millions of dollars comes innumerable woes, and Sonny is once again forced to face those things he tried so hard to avoid, including coming to terms with the consequences of the decisions he’s made.

A delightfully down-to-earth and entirely entertaining piece, “Rock Star” takes readers on an incredible journey to places they might not necessarily want to go. Very realistic, revealing, and raw, it presents a world stripped of all the glam, glory, and gregarious good times we rock-star-wannabe-dreamers dream to find and shows how, believe it or not, the grass ain’t always greener on the other side.

Read it for pleasure; read it for perspective; read it for any reason, or for no reason at all. “Rock Star” gets five stars for its touching, thought-provoking portrayal of one.

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