Ronnie James "The Rocket" DeRenzo is a hard luck Jersey cowboy, a "dateless wonder" living in a gentryfing hamlet in the semi-rural Northern Highlands of Bruce Springsteen's state in the miserable economy of the late 1970's. Breaking his back unloading trucks to help pay for tuition and books at State College, a sylvan experimental school in the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, he plays his Fender Stratocaster knock off guitar three hours, dreaming of stardom. When he hooks up with classmate Charlie Torino, a drummer, and Dom Schubert, a bassist, things begin to happen thanks to his new Gibson Les Paul Custom and the magic of the Leafstoan, a fossiled fieldstone that marks his front lawn in The River like a sentinel. His is aided in his quest by his beautiful blonde Love interest, Michelle "The Fabulous Shelly" Williams, an aspiring photojournalist and publicist and the band's muse. From Charlie's basement they launch out to venues in Asbury Park and the Bowery and attract the attention of a well connected agent, Allan Houston, a co-owner of the famous Maxwell's of Hoboken. What follows is a tour de force of Jersey Rock and the emerging punk scene spanning decades, and a path to stardom, great wealth and a Citzen Kane like existence. It's a story littered with history and cameos by John Travolta, Clive Davis, John Lennon, Donald Trump, The Rolling Stones, Motley Crue, Eric Clapton and Bill Clinton. This is the complete two volume set, The River and The Ocean as I originally intended it when I sat down in front of my computer in the Summer of 2000 and tried to put down in words what I had been thinking about during an incredible daydream that lasted all the previous winter when a job interview in February got me thinking. What would have happened to my college band if I took up an agent's offer to play at Maxwells on Tuesday nights and hook up with REM is Athens, Georgia?
This post first appeared on RR Silone's Home Page, please read the originial post: here