And as the flames climbed high into the night,
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died. – Don McLean
Music influences our lives in many ways. It helps us deal with difficult moments, makes us think of memories, influences moods. It can change lives. The musicians behind the music change our lives. In 1959 when the plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens crashed, the world wept as three musical legends were lost. The music died. If music influences our lives in such a way however, one wonders if something, or somebody, more influences them. Could this be where all the hidden messages in songs and records played backwards come from? Even more, are they influencing our legends to get to us?
When a pattern of cold-case murders from the ‘70s reappears in Los Angeles, the cops don’t realize they have happened the same way before. Nobody sees that, just like 40 years ago, the murders seem to revolve around the band Blue Rider. Each girl whose body has turned up had spent time with either the band’s groupies or the lead singer, Jimmy James.
In Joe Harris and Megan Hutchinson’s Rockstars Volume 1, Nativity in Blacklight, self-appointed private detective Jackie Mayer sees the connection. He’s realized there’s a connection since his childhood when he began having extra sensory powers. There are connections in everything, he feels, not unlike Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently. Bands play with other bands. Murders happen in areas they should not. And all of these murders, he sees, happened whenever Blue Rider has played during their extra-long career.
With the help of reporter Dorothy Buell and his cat Skydog, Jackie investigates these murders, digging into the history of Blue Rider and where the murdered girls were before their bodies were discovered. Unfortunately for them, the band’s roadies are less human than they appear, and have been watching the trio’s actions. It seems Jimmy James may also not be human, or even mortal for that matter.
The question is, are any of them responsible for the deaths of countless fans over the last 40 years? Were they responsible for changes in musical history due to the deaths of important performers in history, including the day the music died? What demonic being is really in charge?
What I really enjoyed about this series, is that while it is set in present-day California, the imagery is that of 1970s rock history. Even looking at Jackie and Dorothy’s dress one would assume this story is in the past, in a similar fashion to the show Legion. I was surprised that this was present-day when Dorothy pulled out her cell phone for research. Despite this, the story works extremely well with this backdrop, as the music featured throughout is from this time period. This also proves that music had really not changed a lot since the ‘70s. Different styles may be popular, but people still attend live concerts to spend time with friends and wait around to join the band and its groupies after the show. If you are looking for a compelling mystery with supernatural elements, Rockstars Volume 1 is worth checking out.