Monday, December 5, 2011
How the Mistakes Were Made by Tyler McMahon
Laura Loss came of age in the hardcore punk scene of the early 1980s. The jailbait bass player in her brother Anthony’s band, she grew up traveling the country, playing her heart out in a tight network of show venues to crowds soaked in blood and sweat. The band became notorious, the stars of a shadow music industry. But when Laura was 18, it all fell apart. Anthony’s own fans destroyed him, something which Laura never forgot.
Ten years later, Laura finds her true fame with the formation of The Mistakes, a gifted rock band that bursts out of ‘90s Seattle to god-like celebrity. When she discovered Nathan and Sean, the two flannel-clad misfits who, along with her, composed the band, she instantly understood that Sean’s synesthesia—a blending of the senses that allows him to “see” the music— infused his playing with an edge that would take them to the top. And it did. But it, along with his love for Laura, would also be their downfall.
At the moment of their greatest fame, the volatile bonds between the three explode in a mushroom cloud of betrayal, deceit, and untimely endings. The world blames Laura for destroying its rock heroes. Hated by the fans she’s spent her life serving, she finally tells her side of the story, the “true” story, of the rise and fall of The Mistakes.
This wonderful book tells the tale of Laura Loss who grew up in the punk rock scene in the 1980s then lost it all when that scene turned on her brother and their band. Now working in a coffee shop in Seattle and still playing music, she meets two young musicians in Montana and sees a spark. When they turn up at her door and fall into a gig, they accidentally become the hottest new indie band in the country. When the band implodes, torn apart by drugs, sex, and rock & roll, Laura finds herself blamed by the world- this book is her story of how the Mistakes were made.
Told in spare prose from Laura's perspective, this novel is raw and moving. As the band spirals out of control, Laura is forced to look at her life and her history and her music. Caught between the fans, the record companies, and her feelings for her bandmates, Laura has to confront the reality that success is fleeting and that sometimes the music itself just isn't enough. Well-written and ultimately heartbreaking, this novel is an excellent look at the music industry and life and love. Highly recommended.