Two years ago, the lead singer for Axel Grind died of a drug overdose. Now, the label has brought the band back together and given them a new lead singer -- a young hot shot named Ricky. Ray, the band's lead guitarist and the man who writes most of their songs, has been given the task of being Ricky's babysitter. If anything goes wrong, it'll all be on Ray.
With a lead singer who has enough stage fright that he's puking before the show, and three original band members who resent the hell out of the new kid, what could possibly go wrong? Add in Ray's attraction for Ricky and he figures it's only a matter of time because things get messed up. In the meantime, Ray's going to ride the high performing brings him for as long as he can and maybe find a little love while he's at it.
In twenty-six pages, Vic Winters turns broken dreams, lost love, and substitute singers into some real magic. Ricky, who’se never fronted a band before, has replaced the previous lead singer, dead of all the classic rock star excesses, and he’s now Ray’s responsibility. While we’re seeing the evolution from Ray’s eyes, it’s Ricky who changes the most, starting out with a nasty bravado that’s hiding some real vulnerabilities, and becoming both a rock star and a really decent person to have around. This story is a look at dreams crushed and revived, and some dreams that work out better than the dreamer could imagine.
The language is rough, gritty, and perfect for Ray, who has a very direct way of looking at the world, and lets us share his joy in his music, his band, and Ricky. That joy is a while in coming -- Ricky's got to get to the right headspace too.