Skip to content

Nick Hornsby’s Fake Rock Star

In 1993 I wrote a novel about a rock star who commiits suicide. It was called Gilliam Almost. Gilliam was the lead singer of an all girl punk rock band and her big hit was “Baghdad Without A Map”. So i could believe in the band  I wrote the lyric and wrote the song. Here is a verse:

There is news at eleven we can watch soldiers fry
I don’t care as long as you’re nearby
You don’t care, you’re just tired
When I ask you what’s wrong you roll your eyes
But is it so awful, terrible, bad?
Every night could be out last
In Bagdad without a map”.

I’m claiming nothing for this except one thing. It was really a song and so i could really write about it.

In Nick Hornsby’s awful, terrible, bad, novel Juliet, Naked, I am slowly working my way through, Hornsby invents a rock star who suddenly disappears after releasing his masterpiece, an album about a bad break up with a married woman. The imaginary album is compared favorably with Dylan’s Blood on The Tracks. Here is the Juliet Track list:

Side One
1. And You Are?
2. Adultery
3. We’re In Trouble
4. In Too Deep
5. Who do You Love?

Side Two
1. Dirty Dishes.
2. The Better Man
3. The Twentieth Call of The Day
4. Blood Ties
5. You And Your Perfect Life.

Now here is the track list for Blood On The Tracks
Side one

1.”Tangled Up in Blue”
2.”Simple Twist of Fate”
3.”You’re a Big Girl Now”
4.”Idiot Wind” – 7:48
5.”You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”)

Side two
1.”Meet Me in the Morning”
2.”Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts”
3.”If You See Her, Say Hello”
4.”Shelter from the Storm”
5.”Buckets of Rain”

Hornsby titles are ridiculous for the most part. It is like he hasn’t found a proper noun, or a strong adjective, he ever wants to shake hands with. “And You Are?” is so placid it is unbelievable, “Adultery” prosaic in the extreme, “Who Do You Love?” already used, “We’re In trouble” as obvious as the blisters on your fingers. Compare to Dylan’s buzz words: Buckets and blues, rains and storms and shelters plus idiots, winds, and a pack of playing card.

It wasnt me who chose to compare the imaginary album  favorably to Dylan’s break-up album, it was Horsnby, and like so much in  Juliet, Naked (though to be fair I haven’t finished the novel yet) it reads fake. It has no resonance. Somebody somewhere should be able to write fiction about imaginary rock groups because our so called perfect novelists cant do it. Clue, boys, if you’re not Raymond Carver USE FUCKING PROPER NOUNS AND HARD ADJECTIVES.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Tony Orlando And SohoJohnny Always Ready To Tie A Yellow Ribbon for Charity

By admin | September 23, 2023 |

helped solidify Tony Orlando and Dawn’s place in pop music history.

UK Top 10 Albums 9-22-23 – 9-28-23

By Iman Lababedi | September 23, 2023 |

Busted to the side

UK Top 10 Singles 9-22-23 – 9-28-23

By Iman Lababedi | September 23, 2023 |

an easier separation in seasons as the summer of 2023 failed to prove itself musically

The Early Bird: Top New Album Releases 9-22-23 – 9-28-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 22, 2023 |

has never quite caught on in the USA

The Early Bird: Top New Singles 9-22-23 – 9-28-23 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 22, 2023 |

Jean making a name for himself and SZA stealing it

Steve Crawford’s Essential Songs from 1979

By Steve Crawford | September 21, 2023 |

a pretty solid starter kit

Summer’s Gone: In The Rear Window In 2023

By Iman Lababedi | September 21, 2023 |

the song of the summer that wasn’t one

Frank Sinatra’s “Duets” Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 20, 2023 |

Sinatra remained his aloof, superstar self

Steve Crawford’s Recommended Albums of 1979 in Preference Order

By Steve Crawford | September 20, 2023 |

my list syncs up pretty well with the 1979 Village Voice Pazz and Jop

Up 25th Anniversary Reissue coming November 10!

By admin | September 20, 2023 |

a special collection

Scroll To Top