In the summer of 1988, White Lion, Poison, and Lita Ford all had top 10 hits. Guns n’ Roses went to number one. Def Leppard did it twice. For four and a half months straight, a metal band had the number one record in the country. Our music ruled the world. And the center of the world, the axis of the universe, was the Sunset Strip.
In the mile and a half between Doheny and Crescent Heights, shitball tattoo shops and porno newsstands shouldered up on legends like the Whisky-a-Go-Go where Jim Morrison invented leather pants, and the Hyatt House where Led Zeppelin used to race Harleys down the halls. Gazarri's, the Roxy, Licorice Pizza. Tower Records, the Body Shop, the Coconut Teaszer. This golden slap of road, like a belly chain slung round the hips of the Hollywood Hills. And it was ours.
So what the hell happened?
As the front man of the hair metal band Juggernott, Mikey Millstone had it all: a number three single, world tours, filled stadiums, crazed groupies. Then along came Nirvana to wreck the party, and Mikey never quite recovered. Now he's facing down fifty, still playing Tuesday night showcases at the Troubadour, and starting to realize that his comeback may not be coming.
Along with his crumbling relationships, Twilight of the Gods looks at the lure of fame, the drive that animates us all to leave something behind, and the slippery truth between history, memory and nostalgia. As Los Angeles continually erases its history, entire neighborhoods are built over and forgotten, and Mikey’s Sunset Strip of the 1980s is another lost place, reduced to an ironic joke even though for a moment, to millions, it was the most important street in the world.
Here's the Tumblr where I collect all the great things I've found researching the book, like Guns N' Roses pinball machines, scans from old glam magazines, interviews with L.A. Guns, and a picture of Kip Winger in a tank top.
Spotify users, click here for a playlist of the music that inspired the novel. Pour Some Sugar on Me, you say? I think I will.
Click here to read the short story, published in the Menda City Review, that ended up inspiring the novel.