The Book

Praise for "Off the Record"

Amplifier Magazine

Review
by John Holcomb

Music critic David Menconiís Off the Record is a marvelous novel detailing the exploits of the Tommy Aguilar Band, possibly the greatest band weíll never get to hear. Menconiís rockcrit background allows him to color and shade the story in a manner that will please even the most jaded music fan, and his characterizations of the talented Aguilar (think Jeff Buckley meets Tommy Stinson meets Johnny Thunders) and his bandmates (a road-veteran drummer named Ray and an overqualified bassist named Michelle) are startlingly realistic AND fascinating.

Off the Recordís greatest strength is Menconiís keen sense of detail regarding his characters: main character Aguilar alone has a ton of idiosyncrasies, or maybe we just KNOW more about Tommy (and thatís a good thing). Menconiís sense of realism goes beyond mere characterizations, as one is able to smell the smoky clubs, hear the battered PAs, and most amazingly of all, imagine the fictitious music of TAB. His ability to tell this story (and itís all here -- record company execs, small time managers, and yes, even burned out music critics) is so smooth that at times youíll almost be lulled in the mindset that this is a biography....which of course it is, but isnít!

Suffice it to say that Off the Record is one of the best reads Iíve had in a long time. While Iím not usually enthused when my favorite books are adapted to the silver screen, I think itís a natural for the transition. For one thing, I still want to hear TABís music! Move over High Fidelity, and tell Almost Famous the news.

-- John Holcomb, Amplifier Magazine

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