This is a review of "Catch a Falling Star" in John Morrow's "Pick Of The Week".
From an early age, shy Nicholas Walpole wanted to be a rock star. Although he couldn't play the guitar like the now deceased Jimi Hendrix, at the age of 12 he became entranced by David Bowie.
David Bowie's thin figure, draped in shiny jumpsuits, with bizarre make-up entranced the world, and no-one became more entranced than young Nicholas. David Bowie became Nicholas's fantasy figure and even started a new trend in hairstyles at Nicholas's school - rat tails and feathery cuts were mandatory for those kids who were cool.
Like Bowie and Marc Bolan, Nicholas craved stardom. Forget about those who hated Bowie's style and called his music and appearance gimmicky, to Nicholas, he Bolan and others of that ilk were heroes.
Nicholas lived in Donvale, a satellite suburb during the late 70s and 80s. It was here that he first met Shane and Phillip. Nicholas's parents were ten pound Poms who had migrated to Oz, while Shane's parents were from New Zealand. Shane was 15, two years younger than Nicholas. His parents were whiners, often referring to NZ as the only place to be, but Shane was okay.
Phillip's parents were from PNG and his father had re-settled in Australia to get the family away from the political turmoil and unrest his country was going through. Phillip, known as Ritzy, was 13 years old and the youngest of the three mates. In those days, the three boys were into The Police, Cheap Trick and Led Zeppelin.
As the years moved on, life changed for Nicholas when he met the beautiful and eccentric Jemma, who was determined to become an actress, even though she had missed out on a place at NIDA.
By this time, Shane was into film-making, and Nicholas was contemplating dropping out of Uni where he was studying a Bachelor of Education. It was on one of their nightly explorations that they came upon the idea of filming a rock video, with Nicholas miming songs, Ritzy doing something strange with make-believe model guns, Jemma spread-eagled over her VW and Shane playing imaginary air guitar.
When Jemma showed Shane's video to "someone important", Shane decided to chuck his job at Toyworld and pursue his big dream.
To find out if Nicholas really did become a rock star, if Shane did become a highly regarded film director, if Jemma did become a world class actress and if Ritzy went on to bigger and better things, you will just have to read the book.
By the way, the book is a great read - smooth, flowing and entertaining. With Peter Haywood's background and talent, it's no wonder this is a novel that is well worth a read.
"Rock stars, fame and fortune - this is the story of some Aussie kids who wanted to live the dream."