At the moment I’m re reading Fuel Injected Dreams by James Robert Baker for the umpteenth time. I have to thank the girl who also put me on to the Pale Fountains song after which this blog is named for also introducing me to this book. About a year after I left Aberdeen I was up visiting friends when I bumped into her and she gave me her copy as when she had started reading it she thought that it would be something that I would find interesting.
The story revolves around an LA DJ, who has a chance encounter with a reclusive, megalomaniac record producer who was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the early 60’s with the bands he created and famed for his production techniques but by the end of that decade had dissolved into a gun toting, drug induced psychotic who keeps his wife prisoner in his mansion, sound familiar to anyone? This chance encounter has the DJ revisit his teenage years and one summer in particular and try to solve a mystery which happened then with some very strange and extremely disturbing results.
The book is kind of trashy and a bit dated now, as it is set in the mid eighties but I think that it is still worth reading. On discovering that Baker was a screenwriter it did not surprise me as the book reads like a movie and it is easy to picture it as such. I always had Dennis Hopper down for the drug crazed producer.
As I said I have read this book several times and years ago I gave it to L when she was going overseas to visit her sister. I was rather hacked off when L arrived home sans book, don’t get me wrong very pleased to see her but slightly distraught about the missing novel. To this day she argues that she brought it back. I searched for this book but to no avail, this was pre or very early internet days and to make matters worse the book was then out of print, the author having committed suicide and subsequent major wrangles over his estate meaning that it was not available. Eventually after a few years searching and improvements on the web I tracked down a copy in a second hand book shop in southern California and payed quite a bit of money for it. It has, however been re-printed since and copies can be found on Amazon for as little as one pence, which may put you off, however it is worth the investment if you ask me.
All of this was just an excuse to post a couple of tracks produced by a deeply flawed genuis, who bears no similarity to the character in the book.
The Ramones – Baby I Love You
The Checkmates – Love Is All I Have To Give
and a cover of Spector’s first ever single which he recorded when he was 17 and the title of which comes from the words etched on his father’s gravestone.
Amy Winehouse – To Know Him Is To Love Him