Kevin Johnson is an Aussie pop balladeer who had an international hit, many years ago, with his song, "Rock and Roll (I Gave You All The Best Years Of My Life.)" Yes, lengthy, but it works, boy does it work. It's been recorded by over 50 artists around the world including Tom Jones and Mac Davis and you can watch an early performance of it here
It's the plaintive tune of a rock muso who is always just one step behind the music trends, who never makes "the big time", whose dreams fade while others soar, but who plods on, ever faithful to the music and the industry he loves.
There's thousands of creative artists who could relate to this, who've toiled away at their craft over the years, never "making it" in the way they might have envisaged. In point of fact, there's many people from all walks of life who can relate on some level or other, at some point in their lives.
And what's more, it's a great story idea with hidden depths to explore. Which brings me to a great puzzle:
Rock music was the single, greatest, dominant, explosive, much-loved, much-hated, electrifying art form of the late 20th Century - damn, probably in all history.
It gave us extraordinary true life tales of rags-to-riches and back again, of dreams realized, of hopes dashed, of cursed romances, of lavish living, of impossible triumphs, of deep despairs and tragic ends. (And all for real, remember, all for real.) And it's not over yet.
And characters. Talk about characters - mad, lovable, eccentric, romantic, dangerous, self-destructive, both doomed and redemptive men and women and (yes, even) children - and they were just the support bands.
There's no end to the fascinating fictions that could be inspired by the whole incredible era.
So where are they?
It seems the fictional world has largely skipped by this rich tapestry of material, and that's a mystery worthy of Mr. Holmes himself.
There are, of course, some rock'n'rollish novels out there, just two of them being Don DeLillo's 1973 novel "Great Jones Street," which was well received and more recently "You Don't Love Me Yet," by Jonathan Lethem, but for the most part they are not widely known and have not had the mainstream impact of the big books by the bestselling authors.
Where are the literary world's answers to the "Almost Famous" and "A Star Is Born" movies?
Rock musos do turn up as characters in all sorts of novels, but even then they're few and far between, and these books are not rock'n'roll novels as such.
Joe Hill's supernatural thriller, "Heart-Shaped Box," is about an ageing heavy metal star who "buys" a ghost over the Internet and finds himself stalked and haunted by the deadly entity. It has parts with great humour, and parts that are genuinely chilling. Great read, great character.
And in Clare Francis' suspense novel, "The Killing Winds," (a.k.a "Requiem) a semi-retired rock star and an environmental activist investigate an eco conspiracy after the rocker's wife dies in mysterious circumstances. (A favourite of mine.)
But fiction about the world of rock, its origins, its influences, its creativity, its rises and falls - these novels, either mainstream or genre, are hard to find.
Any thoughts on this?
I've always believed that truth is far stranger than anything authors can create...Maybe, just maybe the real world of rock'n'roll is so eccentric, so bizarre, so over-the-top and infinitely outrageous, that 'fiction' can't compete and has, like the rest of us, taken a seat in the audience and is watching the spectacle from the front row...