A few years ago, I read a book called “33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream”, written by Bill See. The title intrigued me. It’s a really great book that tells the true story of an indie band “Divine Weeks”.
Here’s the review I wrote at the time:
The story of a 33 day tour by the band Divine Weeks. Bill See, the author, was the lead singer of the L.A. band who enjoyed some success in the ‘80s.
In this memoir, See has collected together journal entries and memories to create much more than just a tour diary. He documents the tour with a great descriptive narrative that really captures the moment and brings his memories to life. He also talks about his own dysfunctional home life, which in some ways spurred him on to chase his dream.
See is a talented writer, who is able to impart wisdom and knowledge through his prose.
I enjoyed reading about the band’s progression from an unknown group who played only weekday gigs in their home town, to a successful band touring nationwide. But this is not just a story about the band’s journey, it’s also about the individual band members’ personal journeys along the way. See’s introspective and thought-provoking prose make the book a compulsive and insightful read.
We follow the band on their first real tour, across the US and Canada in 1987, where they play small venues, often to a handful of people. But the band’s passion is such that they are determined to do anything to reach their dream of one day becoming real rock stars. They survive with hardly any money and sleep in a van and cheap hotels, or even on friends’ floors. There is a lot of humour sprinkled throughout the book which makes it an enjoyable read. I liked the fact that the author has included photographs of memorable parts of the tour and his life in the book. It gives an extra dimension to the story.
As well as being an enthralling tour diary, this book deals with such subjects as family life, alcoholism, racism, dysfunctional families, relationships, friendship, loyalty, and the power of dreams.
Divine Weeks’ story is an inspirational one that shows what someone can achieve if they follow their dream. The author captures the essence of the book best, when he says: ‘This book is for everyone who’s stood at their crossroads with a dream screaming inside wondering whether to choose the road that goes off the map or fold up their tent and head back home.’
You can buy the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/33-Days-Touring-Sleeping-Floors-ebook/dp/B004M5HKCK/
Nearly thirty years after the tour that inspired “33 Days”, the band have reunited and have just released their new album, “See Those Landing Lights”.
The death of David Bowie seems to have played a big part in the band’s decision to reunite. The lead singer Bill See, said shortly after Bowie’s death, “Bowie said ‘Don’t waste another minute’ and so… DIVINE WEEKS rises. Coming Spring 2016: our first record in 25 years “SEE THOSE LANDING LIGHTS,” Our first show in 12 years… “
The band will be playing a show to celebrate the release of the album on the 21st of May at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do, in LA.
Check out the Facebook Event page for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/475535412629990/