Pulling Into Nazareth
Book three of the Sixties Trilogy.
It’s the autumn of 1969. Steve has left university to work as a roadie for Epsilon, a moderately successful rock band, which includes Chas and Bud from The Sheriffs. Epsilon is led by Antoine DeMilo, the “enigmatic American organist” (New Musical Express). Hot shot flashy guitarist Mickey and ex-public school boy Julian complete the band.
Epsilon have an album out, they’ve been on the John Peel Show. The band tours Scotland, England and Wales and moves into Germany. They play colleges and clubs.
Humour comes from life on the road. There’s as much tedium and hassle as opportunities for debauchery (not that there’s a total lack of that). There is a background mystery involving the past doings of Antoine DeMilo, and a related mystery involving the crooked machinations of the club scene. Why is Antoine so reluctant to return to the USA? What happens when you really, really upset a major club owner?
Steve runs into Marieke when they play his home town. He’s known her for years and she seems to be a pretty straight secretary, and prefers discos to live music. She turns out to be far wilder than Steve had ever imagined. Her boss is a seedy accountant, revealing a whole world of 30-somethings in smart suits and smarter cars.
The story begins with Steve seeing the film Easy Rider and there’s a running connection. The title comes from The Weight by The Band (it features in Easy Rider), which defines the travelling musician’s arrival in yet another new place:
I pulled into Nazareth
Feelin’ bout half past dead
I just need a place where I can lay my head
Hey, mister, can you tell me
where a man might find a bed?
He just grinned and shook my hand
and ‘No’ was all he said
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