It's 1973 and Rick Harrington has just earned a degree in music. His teachers tell him he's got golden ears. Play a jazz chord and he'd whistle the inside voicings-if he could only whistle. Hard to do when you've got cerebral palsy. Hard to get anything going when the world won't cut you a break. But his break finally comes when his brother Kid, a notorious rock-and-roller, needs a soundman and Rick is swept into a rip-roaring rock-and-roll circus of sex, drugs, and ambition.
"Not because of your condition or anything," a mysterious beauty says to him in the midst of a post-concert bash, "but this doesn't seem like your scene." Yet what other scene does he have? Kid Chrysler and the Cruisers are his shot at life in the real world. Brothers in harmony and discord, the travails of a rock-and-roll band on the road, and one very special man you won't forget.
"Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll-and a wild-ass ride in a wheelchair! McKinney's lively story takes you backstage with a band on the road, from the fresh perspective of the disabled sound engineer. This is the real stuff, straight from the heart."
Sara Stamey, ISLANDS
"Irresistible. McKinney gets it right."
Cary Brown, THE DARK
"Confined by cerebral palsy to a wheelchair, Rick Harrington is determined to use the gift God gave him-his ear for music-and his skills as a soundman to build a life. For this he needs his older brother, the larger-than-life Kid Chrysler, a man of many appetites, and leader of the rock band, Kid Chrysler and the Cruisers. But Rick finds himself confined as well to Kid's enormous shadow. The flawed but complex Kid towers over Gary McKinney's energetic first novel. But at its heart is Rick's struggle for autonomy. Its soul is the soul of rock-and-roll. And its quest is for love, freedom, family and music. IF YOU WANT TO GET TO HEAVEN, read this book."
Laura Kalpakian, THE DELINQUENT VIRGIN
"This is a beauty of a book. McKinney has earned the right to this story by living close to the marrow and serving an artist's apprenticeship in the old-fashioned way. He knows about musical marriage-the six-way kind a band must forge and that other kind that threatens to break it all apart."
Kathryn Trueblood, THE SPERM DONOR'S DAUGHTER
"I haven't had this much fun with a read in ages. It kept getting deeper and heavier and more real as the book went on. There were moments when I just had to put it down and sit and stare for a few minutes because it was so moving."
Pamela Jull, Sociologist
"I cared about all the characters in this book, but especially Rick, who is a real person with some talent, not to mention far deeper and interesting than as defined by his outward appearance."
Pat Pancoast, Director, Community Action for the Disabled.