cover image Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story

Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story

Laurie Lindeen, Author . Atria $24 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9232-0

Sharp and sensitive, stoned silly and serious, all in the right places, Lindeen's account of her life as guitarist and songwriter for Zuzu's Petals is a love song (played really fast) for the postpunk or Amer-indie scene of mid-1980s Minneapolis, when bands like the Replacements and Soul Asylum had yet to move from cult heroes to major-label artists. It was also the time when Lindeen, a music-loving, four-time college dropout with multiple sclerosis, could guilelessly decide to "start a band and make that exciting life of song and guitar feedback, travel and intrigue, carousing and cavorting our own." What Lindeen finds at first is fulfillment and self-confidence on stage, and at the end a hard cycle of "drive, eat, go to a bar for sound check, hang out, play" that leads to her breaking up the band. In between, along with some touching scenes from her youth, Lindeen skillfully details great and not-so-great gigs, horrible hotels, wonderful (if weird) fans, boyfriends and all sorts of strange events and locations ("The walls are covered with black Astroturf"). After paying her dues, Lindeen finds love and marriage in ex-Replacements leader Paul Westerberg, which brings it all back home for her—and her readers—in what is a truly wonderful book about life in rock music. (June)