Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A new note

By
December 8, 2008 |

Enterprise music critic

ÒI heard the notes of the Universal Chord, the combination of notes uniting us all…

ÒWe were all one, perfect notes in a perfect chord of harmony.Ó

These are the thoughts of Daniel Travers, the lead character in Roger TrottÕs fascinating debut novel, ÒGetting in Tune.Ó

The setting is 1976, and Travers has dreams of making it big with his band, The Killjoys. The band takes a weeklong gig at the Mai Tai Hotel in Puente Harbor, Wash. The Killjoys experience girlfriend troubles, creative differences and shady business dealings. But all the chaos is worth that moment on stage, where each musician clicks and taps into the Òuniversal chord.Ó

Trott, a UC Davis grad and economist, loosely based ÒGetting in TuneÓ on his own life. He formed the band King Joe in the late 1980s.

HeÕll do a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books and Music, 500 First St., Davis. For additional information, call (530) 750-3523.

ÒThe book is loosely based on a trip I took with a band to the Olympic Peninsula, when I was 20,Ó Trott said, during a recent phone chat. ÒThe characters are fictionalized. Some of the events actually happened with various bands.

ÒI wanted to put readers in the band. And I wanted to get into the main characterÕs head, to get at the concept of creating art in the midst of chaos.Ó

The universal chord is the Òtranscendent power of music,Ó in TrottÕs words. ÒMusic is one thing that can make your life better and solve problems.Ó

The Killjoys were based on a group of TrottÕs best friends.

ÒBeing in a band is like being married to four people. You go on the road and get put in stressful situations. EverybodyÕs got his own agenda.Ó

Trott was the leader of the band, and he wanted to make it in rock ÕnÕ roll.

ÒIt puts a lot of stress on you, and makes you step back and question how important your friendships are. Are you able to sacrifice your friendships?Ó

In the novel, punk rock is just coming on the scene. Travers can sense the importance of punk, and convinces The Killjoys to play his punk-inspired originals.

ÒPunk was an epiphany in my life,Ó Trott said. ÒI was in Redding in Õ76, when I heard about punk. I read a Rolling Stone article on the British punk scene. I felt kind of threatened by it. We were playing covers, and hereÕs this new music that threatens to tear the whole thing down. I eventually understood: This needs to happen, to strip down the bloat in rock music.

ÒGreat bands came out of it: Elvis Costello, The Clash, Gang of Four.Ó

The punk influence can be heard in TrottÕs now-defunct band, King Joe. (Try some samples at http://www.rogertrott.com.)

ÒWe were influenced by the Nirvana era. We got fairly serious and made an album.Ó

King Joe played the club circuit in Davis and Sacramento. Ultimately, friction between members drove them apart.

ÒI was one of two songwriters, and we went in different directions. Then we fired our drummer and could never find another.Ó

No surprise: Trott hopes to get a new band together.

ÒIÕm interested in new music. Unfortunately, people my age want to play blues and covers.Ó

ItÕs difficult to make a living as a novelist, but Trott intends to keep writing.

ÒI really enjoy the creative process of writing. I even enjoy the promotional aspect, which is surprising; doing radio and newspaper interviews and Myspace networking.Ó

Writing is a slower process than music; he took a year to complete the novelÕs first draft, and another year to revise it and find a publisher. Trott is happy to be with Coral Press, a publisher that specializes in music fiction.

The only downside to ÒGetting in Tune,Ó is that, as the book ended, I wanted the story to continue.

ÒYouÕre not the only one to have said that,Ó Trott laughed.

He started a 10-page sequel but soon realized he wanted to create something new.

ÒMy next book takes place in 1977 with a new band in Berkeley, and the punk scene is already happening. They go see the Sex PistolsÕ final show at the Fillmore.Ó

While writing is TrottÕs top priority at the moment, heÕs still driven to play music.

ÒWhen I was in my teens, I thought playing music is what you do when youÕre young. But as I got older, I realized you can do it forever.

ÒMy guitar is always right next to me on my desk.Ó

Ready to strike that universal chord.

Ñ Bloggers and bands with inquiries or information can contact Landon Christensen at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Landon Christensen

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

     
    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9