Most of us go through a stage in our life where we really want to do or try something but most of never take that step. 33 Days tells the story of a group of southern California rock band members who did take the step. Three of the four members had never been on their own on July 29, 1987 when they climbed into a rented van and left LA for a national tour. They had no idea of how they would be received nor what affect the trip would have on each of them.
Bill See, the author of the book and the singer/leader of the group, felt the urge to break away from an unhappy home life and believed at the age of 22 he was ready to let his music help others break away from their own problems. For three years his band, Divine Weeks, had been playing around in the LA area. They had been received well enough that Bill knew they could become a national name.
His closest friend, Rajesh Makwana, was the guitarist in the group and was having an extremely hard time leaving his Indian family. Their culture did not joyfully accept his band association. Raj had been subject also to much taunting both in England before the family moved to the states and then in this country. Bill was the closest and best friend he had ever had. So Raj was definitely in on the idea of the tour since music had been the best release from his somewhat unhappy life.
Another of Bill’s close friends was George Edmondson who was not only the band’s bassist but had been dubbed by some to be the best bassist in the LA area. George was also fired up about the trip because he also had become somewhat depressed with his college life and wanted to see Divine Weeks become a national name. However though unhappy with college he still had plans to go on to grad school and he had become quite serious with a young lady.
Dave Smerdzinski was the fourth and final member of the group. Somewhat older and used to living on his own he had recently joined the group and become a powerful force due to his nature, his drumming ability, and his showmanship.
Ian Bader was the group’s road manager and pretty much the steadying influence and caretaker of all of them.
For 33 Days they traveled through the western part of the country playing concerts in every type of venue that can be imagined. The shows were played before some packed houses and some very small groups but everywhere they were well received and built quite a following.
However they also had many problems and everything was not as easy as they had imagined it would be. Food, lodging, travel expenses in general were hard to come by for a new practically unknown band as they started out.
Each of the individuals did some growing on his own and they definitely grew as a group as their music and style spread across not only the country but even to MTV and other outlets.
There are many, many references to rock songs of the era as well as groups that were the idols to Divine Weeks. It sometimes seems to be necessary to be a fan of the music and participants to get full enjoyment from 33 Days. The author also tends to lose the thread many times because he moves from present day to past happenings without always making clean breaks.
It is however an easy read and quite enjoyable as the reader makes the trek along with these fired-up young musicians in their van as they travel the rock music venues of yesterday’s scenes.
Book furnished by Bill See and Bestsellersworld.com