Cherry Bomb in The Music


Jenny Valentish knows her music. Her debut novel, Cherry Bomb, is dense with detail – in a good way. It’s a work of fiction, but reveals more about the business than most music memoirs. And you’ll be trying to guess who inspired the characters. The book is about teen punk duo The Dolls, featuring cousins Nina and Rose, who get into the industry with the help of their aunt, Alannah Dall, a Chrissy Amphlett-like figure – an influential former wild child, with plenty of cautionary tales to tell. Jenny, the editor of Time Out Melbourne, has delivered a ripping read filled with zingers: “Alannah always said that Australia was more self-obsessed than a teenage girl”; “You couldn’t crowdsource yourself a seat in business class. It was much better having someone like Grandiose [the record company] to pay for you”; “Our last duty in Australia was a token show in Sydney to prove to the Aussie fans that they came first – before we disappeared to the States, hopefully never to return.” There’s sexual tension with the producer, problems with publicists, US tours, musical differences and interviews with Molly. Cherry Bomb is a sizzling summer read. Can’t wait for the movie. Jenny has already helpfully listed a killer soundtrack at the end of the book.

Find Jeff here. Photo by Ros O’Gorman.