Cover image for Say goodbye : the Laurie Moss story
Say goodbye : the Laurie Moss story
Shiner, Lewis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
245 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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Follows Laurie Moss as she leaves her native Texas in 1994 seeking stardom in California, where she struggles against the rampant sexism and cruelty of the music business.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Rock journalist Shiner has written an engrossing novel about a rock singer who never hits the big time. Laurie Moss is a talented young singer from San Antonio who moves to L.A., works as a waitress, jams with some excellent musicians, betrays one of them, forms a band with several others, makes a few videos, and goes on the road for a nearly endless tour in support of her first CD for a minor recording label, which drops her after disappointing sales. Shiner competently vivifies the uncertainties and boredom of the musician's life, but more impressively, he manages to convey the almost indescribable joy of bringing an audience from a state of apathy to the edge of hysteria. He also avoids most of the cliches of backstage life, though he does give the art of songwriting short shrift. Laurie is neither witch nor naif, and there is no deus ex machina in the last chapter to grant her the success she desires. A revealing look at today's music business. --George Needham

Publisher's Weekly Review

"What's your second choice for what you want to do with your life?" This question doesn't emerge until late in this soulful elegy for the brief rock-and-roll career of singer-songwriter Laurie Moss, but it haunts the entire novel like guitar-feedback. The melancholy presence of looming failure makes the tired "rise and fall of a star" plot line fresh and original in Shiner's (Glimpses) fifth novel. The unnamed narrator, a rock journalist writing a book about Laurie's slippery climb up the slope of fame, meets and interviews folks on the downslide, who once knew Laurie: a club-owner who gave her an early shot on his stage; a restaurateur for whom Laurie waitressed; folksinger Summer Walsh, who once had an act with Laurie, and who got ditched once success closed in; and the legendary Skip Shaw, rock star of the late-'60s era, who makes another bid for fame as a member of Laurie's band. Shiner sings a song of loss and striving, where hard work and a lucky break guarantee nothing. When Laurie, with all her talent and ambition, finds that even a record deal, cross-country tours and a flashy video on VH-1 can't catapult her career, she must come to terms with her half-failure and, with the untimely death of her Grandpa Bill, choose between faith and despair. Though headstrong, intelligent and resourceful, Laurie never quite makes it to stardom, and her tale is filled with win some/lose some crises; her band breaks the top 100, but never climbs above 89; they get rave reviews, but Skip's shooting heroin; they have a contract with General Records, a company of bottom-line-obsessed fast-talkers. Shiner's extensive research gives the story an authentic feel and keeps it from becoming a soap opera or a wearisome cover version of every other rise-and-fall parable. Honest, unpretentious and heartfelt, this novel remains a haunting refrain. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved