When five dislocated teenagers form a band in the post-Nirvana wasteland of the late 1990s, they feel like they’ve found sanctuary. But as part of a culture that hardly exists away from the backstreets, JD, Sawyer and friends have no idea that everything they know about the world – and each other – is about to change…
Uh-huh. So, it’s me, Chambers. I’m one of ‘the friends’ – evidently not even important enough to be named in the blurb. Typical. Here’s my breakdown of what happened in the first 11 chapters of Children of Graffiti.
First, there’s the prologue. It’s the spring of 1998 and JD’s in hospital. He hasn’t told anyone apart from me about how he killed Ami. I tell him to keep quiet. Is it the best advice? Maybe. Maybe not. He does what I say, though, and six months later we’re leaving for London. Everything’s going to be okay. That’s what we tell each other. And with the voices of Shannon Hoon and Kurt Cobain ringing in our ears we probably believe it too. Which might not make all that much sense given how those two ended up.
We’re on our way to Carlito’s. Every band wants to play there. We’re actually going to do it. I tell JD the best 80s film is The Empire Strikes Back because I know it will send him over the edge. He looks at me likes he wants to kill me and I stop talking. Better safe than sorry. We arrive in London, we meet Carlito, JD’s being as weird as ever. We play our songs to an empty room. JD’s really in a black hole now. Then the police turn up.
Except it’s not the police. It’s David. And we might not know it yet but all the most important people we’ll ever meet are actually in the room with us right now. There’s Carlito. There’s David. There’s Fen. And there’s Sawyer. JD fell in love with her the minute she walked into the room. Carlito puts us back on stage and we play again. This time people listen and it’s possible JD won’t plunge into a pit total madness quite yet.
We’re living in Carlito’s basement now and working for him too. I clean the BMXs Carlito gives us and JD goes riding about on his while I pull pints. Some things never change. Sawyer invites us to a party. We meet Ace – her boyfriend. JD and him try to zap each other to death with evil stares. They’re back at it the next weekend too. Sawyer raises her eyebrows. It’s possible she’ll kill both of them before they kill each other. Thankfully, Carlito reminds us what JD and me came here to do. Will we actually do it? Read on to find out…
Children of Graffiti is a hymn to the grunge scene of the 90s and the emo music of the 00s. This is what we’ve been listening to over the course of the first 11 chapters.