Read Badge by Art Edwards Online


AGING ROCK GUITARIST BADGE drank and screwed his way out of his best chance at life. For eight years he's managed to stay off the booze and, not coincidentally, out of the music business. But in 2000, flat broke and fearing passionless days ahead, he accepts work in Los Angeles with a new artist, young punk diva Betty. The gig promises great pay, professional studios and BAGING ROCK GUITARIST BADGE drank and screwed his way out of his best chance at life. For eight years he's managed to stay off the booze and, not coincidentally, out of the music business. But in 2000, flat broke and fearing passionless days ahead, he accepts work in Los Angeles with a new artist, young punk diva Betty. The gig promises great pay, professional studios and Badge's last chance to rock at the top of the heap, that is, if he can keep his mind on the music and away from bars, back alleys and backstage temptations that greet him at every turn. Meanwhile, the music business is undergoing monumental change, with bands turning to the Internet to reach their fan bases and record companies making criminals of their customers. With a lead singer looking for more from her guitarist than memorable solos, a ten-year-old son curious about his dad's new world, and an ex-wife who misses nothing, Badge navigates both home and rock life with values accrued in a bygone era, and toward a future as murky as a used shot glass. Badge was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's Literary Contest for 2011....

Title : Badge
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780979906688
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 338 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Badge Reviews

  • Mark Russell
    2019-01-30 13:25

    Badge is about the seedy road to rock and roll success, the addictions it fosters, and the relationships it ruins, as written by someone who has lived in that world.The former bass player of The Refreshments, Edwards has experienced first hand the chaotic bus tours, industry swindles, intraband jealousies, and self-sabotage that is endemic to bands on the verge of greatness, and he paints these scenes with authority. There are a lot of aging rockstars out there who've written kiss-and-tell books about the lifestyle and conflicts of a band on the road, but what sets Badge apart is that not only was it written by someone who's been there, but by someone with the writing chops to tell those stories in a compelling fictional narrative.Badge is not some dusty Keith Richards or greasy Brett Michaels caricature. He's a human being with a family, a history, and the haunting awareness that every time he takes the stage could be the last. As a reader, you join him on the road, and follow each bend it takes with equal parts dread and anticipation.

  • Dan Berne
    2019-02-07 14:36

    This is the strongest of Art Edwards' "Rock Novels." Badge follows the attempted resurrection of a divorced guitarist whose demons come back to haunt him. One is rooting for Badge throughout the novel, though his self-destructive behavior seems a natural degeneration. While Edwards is more than adept at bringing us into the realm of rock music (it's a joy to read how Badge gets lost in the music), Badge is a soulful examination of a man who steps in the way of his own happiness. Badge is torn between a "normal" life with his son and the lure of the rock tour and a certain, young and sexy new rock star. It's this struggle that drives the momentum of the story forward, and we get to go along for the ride.

  • Stephan
    2019-02-10 11:25

    Art Edwards'Badge delves into the ambivalence of success along with an artist's ongoing fight for creative purity and struggles against the ubiquity of self destruction. Badge is a top flight hired gun with standards that are difficult to maintain within a touring musician's life. Edwards knows the road, the towns, and the music, and he writes with honesty and grit - Badge is his best book yet, and a great, well-paced read on sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

  • James
    2019-02-05 11:44

    I don't often read novels about rock stars, musicians, or the would-be type of either. While I do have a love of rock biographies and memoirs, the fiction side of the experience eluded me until I read Badge. And a great way to explore the music world, it is.I should say that I know the author and consider him a friend, but if I thought the book wasn't very good, I just wouldn't have reviewed it here. The thing is - and I'm always relieved when this happens while picking up something a friend authored - I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed the hell out of it.The book is a tale of success found and squandered. How one can rise to the top of the music game and still faceplant. Looking at the history of rock and roll, you could argue such an experience is standard for the game, so clearly this book rings true to life. Art has experienced the highs of the music industry and still left it, instead choosing to re-live, re-examine, and re-engage with it through another art form - the novel. He's doing a good job at it too.My biggest surprise in the book involves Badge - how steady and on top of everything he seems at first. His personality, internal dialogue - the whole of it - depicts a solid guy who's been through the ringer and came out relatively clean. The engaging aspect of the novel and the writing is the slow twist and turn of Badge, how you learn he is in some sense an unreliable narrator. His demons come forward from left field so slowly and so naturally that before you know it, the whole game has changed. Badge is not just a good rock and roll story; it's a great character story. That's satisfying reading.I also like Art's capacity for expressing what it means to be in a band, to be in love with music, and what it feels to be in the middle of a group of accomplished musicians making something happen on stage. Music is the biggest drug in the book (come to think of it, in many ways the biggest in the the world at large) and Art knows how to write how high it can get you.

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-04 14:47

    I read an early version of Badge, and soon--very soon--I will read my final, bound copy and give it a proper review. In the meantime, here are a few words about this book: Badge is not a sequel to Ghost Notes, but some of the characters overlap. (Betty fans, rejoice!) To really prepare yourself for the complete Badge reading experience, I'd recommend starting with Art Edwards's early work. (Read my review of Ghost Notes if you want to hear my thoughts on that. The author and I even have a long discussion after the review if you want a behind the scenes glimpse at how the book came to life.)If I had to guess, I'd say that Hote from Ghost Notes resembles our author quite a bit: He plays in a successful band but rejects the wild-n-crazy rock star life, preferring to hunker down in the tour bus reading novels. Badge, the titular character of this latest work, is nothing like Hote. So get your hands on this book and get ready for some good old-fashioned rock-and-roll debauchery! (Literary debauchery, I mean. More A Visit from the Goon Squad than The Long Hard Road out of Hell.)

  • Rob Mcnelly
    2019-02-20 10:42

    I can no longer remember how Art Edwards’ ‘Stuck Outside of Phoenix’ came to my attention. I am sure it is because I was a fan of the band ‘The Refreshments’. Edwards was their bass player, and somehow I received word through the grapevine that his debut novel was forthcoming. I truly enjoyed this book for selfish reasons. I was able to recognize so much of the landscape, the people, and the places. I had grown up in this same time and place. I find that listening to any of the familiar music from those years or re-reading this book can fill me with nostalgia for something that no longer exists but that can be conjured up in my hazy fading memory.There is a Waffle House restaurant in the book’s first scene, I have eaten there and driven past it many times over the years. I remember the dirt field that was across the street as described in the book that has since become the site of a mall and chain restaurants. The book’s protagonist Hote goes to a show at the Mesa Amphitheater, I saw many concerts there in the 80s and 90s. In one scene Hote is getting ready to take his leave of Phoenix and goes for a last drive around town, Edwards’ description of driving around and reminiscing about places like hole in the rock at Papago park, and the sights and sounds of Tempe, and driving south into Chandler always makes me homesick for a place that no longer exists. The other fun part of the book is guessing whether any of these fictional characters or locations are actually stand ins for places I used to visit or people I used to know. Although Edwards lists venues like the Sun Club by name, he never mentions Long Wongs, although you can be sure that is where some of the scenes are set. Some of the characters remind me of people that I met or heard about over the years. They say you should write what you know, and it seems to me that he knew the Tempe scene inside and out.As the years went on I acquired and enjoyed Edwards’ second novel ‘Ghost Notes’ and learned more about Hote’s fate. I was struck by how he seamlessly switches the narration from one person to another to move the story forward. We learn about other points of view, what motivates them and makes them tick. I was introduced to a new character named Betty in ‘Ghost Notes’ and as she came to life, I wanted to learn more about her. In this book she is a 16 year old cashier at Dart Mart who aspires to get out of the town she lives in so she can go be a famous punk rock singer. She has already dropped out of high school and has begun making her mistakes as she tries to grow up. She has started playing with her band, No Fun Intended, which includes Stuart, her 12 year old neighbor, on the drums. With a little encouragement from Hote she is ready to keep writing and making music, possibly utilizing the talents of Pedro on Bass. Who knew I would be waiting seven years for the next novel to come out so that I could find out what happens to her next.I continued to wonder how many of these story ideas were fiction, and how many if any were based on real life. When Hote has to kick his best friend and band drummer Lance out of his band, is there any correlation with a true life scenario when Dusty was replaced as the drummer of the Refreshments? When Hote leaves Fun Yung Moon, did anything like this play out with the breakup of the Refreshments? Was the conversation with Digs Ven based on any real life conversations with Doug Hopkins? When Hote says he quit writing songs because Gad does not want to use anyone else’s material, is this whole exchange made up? When Hote tells Lookout about the real reason bands drift apart, is it the author or the character, or both speaking to us? Was this wishful thinking, that an author would actually share true to life details like that in his fiction? I have my doubts that anyone left a sound check and started camping out in order to leave a band, but it made for a memorable tale. I have to quit my bad habit of reading anything more into it than is on the page and remember that these are just well thought out fictional accounts that help move a story along for fictional characters, but I can still pretend that these are actual back stage revelations as to what really went down all those years ago. The next work that came to my attention that Edwards was involved in was the low budget feature length movie version of ‘Stuck Outside of Phoenix’. As the theater darkened at the movie premiere, I was caught up in the same story I had re-read so many times unfolding on the big screen. I have seen the movie twice so far, and at the second screening I attended I found it interesting, when they asked how many of the movie’s cast members or audience members at the screening had actually read the book, the answer was not many.As is usually the case with the films I see, the book was better than the movie, although much of that is due to a low budget and the fact that in my mind’s eye the cast and location always looks like the memories I have. How can any movie be expected to compete with something I can plainly see in my head?After reading an early copy of the novel ‘Badge’ I still cannot decide if the title character makes me angry or sad. Every time he loses something it is his own fault, due to his own poor choices. Who can you blame other than yourself when you choose to start drinking, especially when you already know that you are a lousy drunk? I find it interesting that both Hote’s father Dale in ‘Ghost Notes’ and Badge are both drawn to drinking and cheating and it costs them both dearly. Neither one seems to realize how good they have it until it is gone. None of Edwards’ characters seem to be able to enjoy a blissful married life, except for the possibilities that exist for Lance with his job selling trucks and his new wife and kid.I literally had to put ‘Badge’ down and quit reading one night as Badge’s choices led to awful consequences. My stopping for the night had nothing to do with the storytelling, I was so wrapped up in the downward spiral of the character’s choices that I needed a chance to regroup and catch my breath. Edwards had me rooting for these characters, I cared about them and I kept expecting that they would dig their way out of the messes they had made, but the simple solutions to the character’s problems were not taken. How often do we find the same thing plays out in real life, we think we know exactly what people around us need to do in order for all of their problems to go away and their life to become bliss. We presume to know what is best for other people without ever having walked around a bit in their shoes. When things go from bad to worse for Badge, I can agonize as I think of friends and acquaintances that I have had over the years that have made poor decisions that left me shaking my head as I wondered how they could be so blind to their own talent and potential. (SPOILER ALERT)There was a scene with a hooker and some drugs that seemed like the perfect answer to everyone’s dilemma, and the beginning of the fairytale happy ending, but it did not work out the way I was expecting it to. (END SPOILER ALERT)I was caught off guard when this played out the way that it did, in any sitcom or typical Hollywood movie this would be the predictable scene where the world would be set right. When it does not work out the way that I thought that it might, I can take comfort in seeing that their lives are messy too, there will not be any easy paths taken by these characters to solve their many problems.Edwards’ books always leave me wanting more, and leave enough ambiguity that I cannot help but ask questions. What happened next? What about that other character? Is it just coincidence that in ‘Ghost Notes’, Betty’s dad keeps thinking about a trip he took with his wife to Mexico, where they listened to calypso music on the beach? Did that somehow enter Betty’s mind as she thought of the name of her song? I like the lack of a Hollywood ending in his books. Nobody ends up living a typical ‘happily ever after’ scenario. They just keep on living and doing the best they know how, like any of the rest of us. At the end of ‘Stuck Outside of Phoenix’ Hote is in his car driving into an unknown future in Seattle. At the end of ‘Ghost Notes’ I thought it was interesting that Hote ended up in Northern California, applying to go to college. I often wonder if he ended up as a writer like the guy that brought him to life. At the end of Badge, what happens after that final concert? Any adaptation of a book is never quite the same as the way you might have imagined it. The actual audio recording of ‘Calypso’, one of the songs from ‘Badge’ is not the way I envisioned it would sound either. It could just be that I picture Betty singing the song differently, it isn’t the instant radio hit that is described in the book and brought to life within the confines of my skull. It is a memorable song that I enjoy listening to, it is just not what I had made myself believe it would sound like. As with the filmed version of ‘Stuck Outside of Phoenix’ it almost isn’t fair to have something in the real world try to compete with what my fantasy can conjure up, my imagination will usually win. Over the coming years I am sure I will take these books out and re-read them from time to time, especially when I want to remember a time and a place that no longer exists, if it ever did.

  • Justin Boreanaz
    2019-02-03 17:29

    Badge is a well-written story about a seasoned guitar player making his comeback into the world of rock stars and the music business. Continuing part of the storyline of Ghost Notes, Badge emerges from civilian life and re-enters a hedonistic world he remembers and understands well. But his experience only keeps him out of trouble for a short time.Knowing that this story was written by Art Edwards, the bass player from The Refreshments, gives this book and his previous books more credibility than authors of similar stories. His notoriety will get you to crack the binding, but his writing style will keep you glued to the storyline. Art’s grammar and writing style is usually textbook-proper, but it strays often enough to reflect how people actually speak. This casual/formal blend has a flow that held my attention longer than usual and makes reading the story more enjoyable. The characters are relatable and unique, and the story moves quickly without losing the imagery or details needed to put the reader right there on the tour bus with the band. The excess of rock n’ roll and celebrity status involve many adult themes, but the story still steers clear of gratuitous vulgarity and unnecessary low-brow content.Several characters in the story make mention of actual bands and iconic names of the music industry as their influences. I enjoyed this, but also ended up doing some homework to look up certain artists that I was only vaguely familiar with. For example, I had heard of Patti Smith, but had never really listened to her music – in spite of knowing a great deal about the punk and alternative bands from that era. Most of the other groups that the characters discuss in the story are household names that most people will instantly recognize, but some readers may be as intrigued as I was to look up the less familiar ones.The most significant thing I took away from the story (and from the Refreshments) is the concept of impermanence. Our dreams of bands from 20 years ago reuniting and making new music are far more unlikely than we would like to believe, due to the simple fact that people and their playing styles are constantly changing. The incarnation of any band at any point in time is a very temporary thing. Often, the most successful and profound music is created by exceptionally talented musicians who mix together perfectly for a short time, but must then move on to other stages of their careers. The endless list of imperfections and mismatches that end a great band can encompass everything from personality clashes and creative differences to changes in family life and individual maturity. Badge experiences all of these things, as do many other characters in Art’s previous two books. These changes remind us not only how short and precious life can be, but also how rare and impermanent any particular assembly of music makers truly is. Even a talented band like The Eagles have a different sound and style than they did at their peak 30 or 40 years ago. The music they create today is more refined and played by much more experienced musicians, but can never be exactly what it originally was because those musicians have changed and evolved. I consider this to be what makes music so beautiful and special to us – To appreciate the magic of what is captured in a recording because it can only be created that way for a short time.I won’t spoil the ending for readers who haven’t finished the book yet, but the last three or four pages left a nasty taste in my mouth. I have no doubt that the author intended for this to happen, to drive home the harsh reality that there aren’t many people in the music business that are worthy of unconditional trust. I will, however, admit that I was so enthralled with the story that I continued being angry with certain characters for several days after I finished reading the book – which to me, speaks volumes about Art’s ability to write a truly excellent and memorable story.

  • J Eastman
    2019-02-07 18:26

    Lately, I’ve been a non-fiction type of guy. Mostly reading biographies…and I’m not ashamed to admit they’re mostly rock biographies. I like reading of others adventures and experiences on the so called “road to success”. I’m interested in them because while I don’t consider myself a “true” musician, I dabble. Oh, sure, once upon a time I harbored reasonably realistic dreams of regional stardom; however, nowadays I mostly just play the occasional weekend gig with friends. One of the reasons Mr. Edwards brand of rock fiction resonates with me is because I recognize the characters. Having spent time in bands, and playing in front of audiences…the situations his characters are faced with are sometimes very similar to those of my own. In Art’s book, Stuck Outside of Phoenix, when Hote had to make the decision to either stay in Phoenix, or head to Seattle…well, I’d been there, and had to make that decision. It wasn’t Phoenix, or Seattle…but many other circumstances were the same. The conversations were the same. I totally got it. In “Ghost Notes”, when Hote wants to quit a successful band due to personality conflicts….that was me! Well, my band wasn’t so successful, but same sort of dynamics played out. And Art very accurately paints the setting of these books, both of which take place in the 1990s with such precision, well…to put it simply: you can almost smell the flannel.Arts latest book, “Badge”, picks up a few years later, and we see a very different music scene – one that’s on the tail end of some enormous changes in the music industry – record labels are merging, and mp3s are on the rise. We’re now following Betty, who was introduced to us as a very idealistic “next big thing” in the previous book. She is now fronting her own band, backfilling it with experienced musicians not quite on the tail end of their careers….those who have been around the block a couple of times and have probably seen and done it all, and all they’re trying to do is hold on to their current gig without rocking the boat. One of these musicians is Badge – a guy who should know better, and does, but doesn’t always make the right decisions.I found myself really rooting for Badge to do the right thing – I was continually asking myself, “self, what would you do if faced with similar circumstances”…and the decisions our protagonist made wasn’t always what I thought they should be – and the slow grind of Badge’s self destruction is what made it so hard to put this book down…I had to find out what the consequences of his actions were going to be!Predictable? Not necessarily, and that’s what kept me coming back. Look – I’ll echo the sentiments of other reviewers – if you like a good solid character study, this book has the goods. You’ll especially like it if you’re music fan, and are curious as to the inner working of just about any band on the road. And a note to Mr. Edwards – thank you again for a good read, and I look forward to your next.

  • Jason
    2019-02-02 11:30

    In Art Edwards’ third and latest novel, “Badge”, Edwards is again creating a story built around music and musicians, bringing the reader into a vivid world of bands, clubs, songs, business and all the joys and miseries that come into play with talent, timing and ego and addiction.Badge is a rock & roll guitarist that has once tasted industry success and had that moment dashed due to multiple addictions and impulsively questionable decisions. Years removed from that era, the protagonist has an opportunity of a lifetime laid out in front of him in the form of a brash talent named Betty and seasoned studio players with backgrounds as colorful as his own – torn between two worlds and loves – choices made are never easy or go as wanted.The world Edwards creates is peppered with recognizable places and entities (some with names changed to protect the innocent) yet fresh-edged enough to really draw the reader in and allow them to exist within. The flow of his writing is never jarring, consistently moving the story along and introducing backstory and histories with deft ease. At the heart of this book is the passion to create something bigger than one’s self, whatever it takes – until the demons come out to haunt, old habits return and the path is laid out to the crossroads where one move can change the game in a whirlwind of ways, both good and bad. As a fan of music and stories about the dynamics of bands, “Badge” is a definite must-read – but especially if have an interest in the ‘90s alternative/college rock zeitgeist or rock music in general.The way Edwards writes about particular guitarists that have formed Badge as a player and the music encountered along the way is quite lyrical and shows his own deep love for music and that connection that we feel (some more passionately than others) towards the bands, songs and stories of the heroes on album sleeves and stages across the world. READ THIS BOOK NOW!

  • Chris LaFata
    2019-01-24 10:36

    Badge is the third novel in a projected 10-part series. Having read all three books so far, I must say this is the best. I was fortunate to get an advanced reader copy and could not put it down. I finished it in the first two days it was in my hands.Badge is a middle-aged rock guitarist who is more “almost was” than “has been.” Substance abuse and loose morals prevented him from achieving his dream, and he’s spent the past decade playing in cover bands and trying to stay sober before getting the opportunity for a second chance.Being a music guy, I was drawn to the subject matter, but there’s so much more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll. First off, it’s well written. For readers who’ve been around the music scene, the characters are people you’ve met—from the talented drummer who just couldn’t pull it together due to drug or gambling problems, to the seasoned player who’s looking for the steady paycheck (if you’re unfamiliar, simply browse the musicians wanted section of Craig’s List and you’ll see what I mean). Readers who aren’t experienced in the music business will get an unapologetic insider’s look at life on the road and find there’s more to it than what you’ve learned from listening to Bon Jovi or Journey ballads.Besides everything mentioned above, Badge is a story that takes a look at what can happen when you’re given another shot at your dreams, and how maybe the goal isn’t worth the price.

  • Alisa
    2019-02-17 11:37

    I thought this book was kind of sad. But the author pulled me in to a topic that I never read about. That says something. I kind of got sick of reading about gig after gig but I enjoy the drama that played out between the characters. Thank you GoodReads First Reads!

  • Sean Beaudoin
    2019-01-28 10:19

    The Edwards oeuvre continues to grow, and it also just keeps getting better. Badge is the best of of his three novels, which is unsurprising, given that his chops as a bass player no doubt got more honed the longer he played. This is more than a rock novel, it's a meditation on failure, on an unwillingness to change, on what makes us unable to see outside ourselves. Which is a nice inversion on the many fine passages about seeing into the music. Edwards knows his back stage backwards and his dissipation forwards, and nails them both. Check it out.

  • Ben
    2019-01-24 11:19

    Natural and lived-in.More -

  • Art Edwards
    2019-01-24 10:27