Cherry Bomb: Book of the Week on Evenings with Dominic Knight

Talking about codependent band relationships, stalker fans, music industry enablers and the power of the teenage girl with Dominic Knight.

Not every debut novel has effusive praise from Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers on its cover, but it’s not all that surprising when it’s been written by one of Australia’s most experienced music journalists.

If you’ve ever been in a band, or just wanted to, Jenny Valentish‘s new novel Cherry Bomb offers a great deal of insight into the road to rock ‘n roll glory away from the screaming crowds, where things can sometimes be a great deal less glamorous.

It’s the story of Nina Dall, who starts a band called The Dolls with her cousin Rose, and finds herself burnt out and cynical by the age of twenty-one. And it raises thorny questions about the way power and sex operate in the music world, an industry dominated by middle-aged men, but which fetishises youth and beauty above all else.

Nina develops a complex relationship with super-producer John Villiers, and that’s before her industry legend aunt Alannah enters the frame, first as a source of advice but increasingly as a competitor…

Listen to the interview