This is a coming of age story, about a teenage boy who is inspired by a brightly haired Toyah Wilcox - one of those rare finds in those days, a female artist with something to say and who dared to be different.
There is a deep feeling of nostalgia and shared experience in the first few chapters as Chris Limb relives the time when he discovered the music that mattered to him. Most of us, I guess, go through this in our formative years, though the precise music may differ (Sorry Chris, really liked Toyah, but it was Kate Bush for me - oddly both introduced to me by the Kenny Everett Television Show...) but the process is the same; The music is discovered, the obsession grows and is explored. It is a very personal experience, and Chris writes it in way to make you relive your own experiences through his own.
The rest of the book, covers Chris’s time as a kind of groupie, following where there were Toyah interviews and appearances, and generally being where Toyah was. He became part of, what you could call hardcore Toyah fans who slept rough, hitchhiked and generally went to as many gigs and Toyah related appearances as they could. Toyah didn’t seem to mind much and even hung out with them and treated them like friends.
The story of personal development continues as Chris leaves school, goes to university, and the friends made around Toyah disperse, get married, move on.
So it is, at its end, a coming of age story, one that is familiar and condenses your own growing up into a 130 pages of an afternoon read. (Scary really).
Best line in the book is its last;
“Perhaps I’m not as fast and foolish as I was in the eighties, but my brain will have always have been wired by Toyah”.
A sentiment which sums up the book nicely and could equally be applied to anyone with similar experiences.
This book was received through Goodreads Giveaway