33 Days: Touring In A Van.  Sleeping On Floors.  Chasing A Dream. - Bill See, Rajesh Makwana
Wow. I don't know where to start.

This is a great story about all the hard work involved in actually trying to make it as a rock band. It's easy to dismiss those who have enough heart to attempt it as lazy and unmotivated, that they're doing it only because they don't want to get a real job. Well, guess what? This is work. Hard work. Harder than a tedious 9-5 job, because being on the road is 24/7 work.

Also, it's great to read a book where many of the events take place in my native Los Angeles. It's great to instantly be able to bring up a mental picture of places mentioned, even mundane ones like Burger King. And it turns out that I am the same age as the author, so I'm familiar with all the local cultural references he mentions and have fond recollections of the musical scene he recalls, despite the fact that I grew up on the other side of the hill. I was also pleasantly surprised at what a nice bunch of guys Divine Weeks were. Despite the copious amounts of alcohol they consumed, which is to be expected, drug use was negligible, and there was really no womanizing.

This book has also forced me to take a good hard look at myself, and it's not a pretty sight. I've slowly come to the realization that despite all my pretenses at being cool when I was in my late teens and twenties, I was nothing more than a poseur. Mr. See was the real deal. I am what he saved Raj from becoming. So Divine Weeks never became superstars. It doesn't matter. At least they can say they gave it their best shot. Meantime, here I am, middle-aged with teenagers of my own that I somehow have to inspire to reach their full potential while stuck in a job that, to quote The Smiths, "pays my way and . . . corrodes my soul" full of regret for being too scared to do something impulsive while I was still young enough for it not to matter. But I suppose you have to take the good with the bad. Mr. See describes a level of dysfunction in his home while growing up that I can't even begin to fathom. I might have been more willing to do something dramatic and spontaneous to escape a toxic home life, rather than pretend I have no dreams and stay in a nurturing environment.

I don't know if this book will appeal to younger people. I hope it does. I hope they will find inspiration in Mr. See's words: "The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all. The only thing that's truly terrifying is the unlived life."