Des Howell is a former rock 'n' roll star who never leaves his secluded oceanfront mansion. Naked, rich and fabulously deranged, he subsists on a steady diet of whiskey, pharmaceuticals and jelly doughnuts and occasionally works on his masterpiece, "Whale Music." One day, upon awakening from his usual drunken stupor, Des discovers on his sofa a young alien from the faraway universe of Toronto. This girl has made the trek to Des' hideaway because she believes in the "Whale Music" and she's crazy enough to think that Des can make a comeback hit with his mad magnum opus--
This nimble portrait of a rock 'n' roll legend turned Beverly Hills eccentric will amuse anyone who's followed the misfortunes of real-life ex-superstars. Ludicrously obese, plagued by tinnitus and suffering from apparent short-term memory loss, Desmond Howell (of the famed '60s Howl Brothers) is unlikely to make a comeback anytime soon. In semi-permanent mourning over the death of his brother Danny, he contents himself with puttering around his mansion, locking the doors (except when he forgets) against pushy psychologists, fans, ex-bandmates and relatives. Stephen Leacock award-winning humorist Quarrington's ( King Leary ) prose is fleet throughout, tracing the Howl Brothers from their origins as a Southern California teenage garage band through their glory days (where Elvis, the Beatles and Bill Haley make cameo appearances) to Desmond's current state of proud dissipation. The result is a tasty brew of rumors and modern myths from the rock era, with a flavor all its own.
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Great short musical read
Quarrington created a great little Brian Wilson-esque fiction about a reclusive alcohol/drug-burn out musician named Des creating music for whales instead of churning out pop hits like his manager, his mother, and every other hanger on with a hand in his pocket wants him to do. into his life pops a Canadian runaway with a troubled past of her own who inspires him and acts as a buffer with all the vultures looking to squeeze another dollar or pop hit out of Des. it's a light delusional flight of fancy with plenty of musical flashbacks (pinball with Elvis, fistfight with John Lennon) that'll leave you wondering what Des' magnum whale opus would actually sound like. p.s. Skip the movie. Chaykin is perfect as Des but the rest of the movie is tripe.