It is the year 2020 in the small New Zealand town of Opunake. Ambitious high school editor Jenny is summoned to an old house in a sea of maize to record an old man's seemingly preposterous tale. Jesse tells her of his beginnings in the area, and of his lifelong worship of the South Island hill billy singing sensation, Tex Morton. He recounts how, in 1953, he worked his passage to Australia, and then the USA, in pursuit of his hero, who had finally been 'discovered' by country music mogul, Ralph Peer. But Tex has shot through to Canada (where he will remake himself as the Great Morton, illusionist and whip cracker par extraordinaire) and Jesse is stranded in Memphis, Tennessee. Entranced by the music and and feeling at home in the culture of the South, the young man settles in for the long haul, innocently assuming a local identity. Long story short. . .In 1977, a desperate global music star fakes his own death, and travels the world in search of spiritual enlightenment, before eventually returning to live anonymously in the small town of his childhood.
The old man tells Jenny he thought he had found peace of mind, but--for a brief mad day or two--he admits he hadn't. And now he wishes he hadn't called all those newspapers. The music industry wouldn't want attention drawn to its long history of suspicious and lucrative star deaths.
Although, luckily, no one believed his far-fetched yarn.
But now his daughter isn't picking up his calls.
And there are strangers in town...