The year was 1976 and California native Roger Trott and his rock band Catalyst were ready to embark on their first tour. The trip would take them from Northern California to the North Olympic Peninsula, from their "safe base" and friendly fans to unfamiliar locales with unfamiliar audiences.
"We took a road trip from Redding to Port Angeles," Trott recalled. "I was 20 years old ... it was our first long road trip."
Even after 30 years of playing rock music, Trott still vividly remembers that first "crazy" weeklong tour when the members of Catalyst played cover tunes up and down the West Coast.
"That week stuck with me," Trott said. "It was a challenging situation ... it was one of those weeks where you prove yourself to yourself."
So much so that Trott decided to write a memoir about the road trip. Eventually he changed it to a work of musical fiction, although he said he got many of the ideas from his own experiences.
"A lot of things happened to me somewhere along the way when I played rock music for the 20 or 30 years I played it ... a lot of it is fictionalized," Trott said. "Overall, it is a work of fiction."
"Getting in Tune," Trott's novel, begins with the Killjoys band from a fictional northern California city whose members are driving to Washington on tour; the rest of the book is set in a rundown hotel in a fictional Olympic Peninsula town loosely based on Port Angeles.
The main character, 20-year-old guitarist Daniel embarks on his journey while searching for the "universal chord," a supposedly perfect set of notes that will restore harmony in the musician's life that now consists of playing in an unsuccessful band and popping pills.
"He's dealing with his inner turmoil," Trott explained. "He's trying to find this universal chord that will reconnect him with everybody. The book worked better as a personal journey than as a memoir."
While "Getting in Tune" is Trott's first novel, he said he already is working on other musical-genre books.
"I like writing about music," said the onetime music critic. "It's what I know."
Trott, who lives in the Sacramento area, has taken a break from playing in bands and now mentors a youth rock band - a great way to share his own experiences, he said.
"It's kind of unique for bands, how everyone's in it together," Trott said. "I want to pass that along to youth."
Trott's book is available through his Web site www.RogerTrott.com where links for Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Borders.com are provided. For more information on the author and the book, visit the Web site or www.myspace.com/rogersbook.
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