When you really think about it, The Rolling Stones really do have a lot in common with the flamboyant dandies of Victorian England, best exemplified in figures like Oscar Wilde. That’s the line of thinking that convinced author Simon Goddard to pen Rollaresque, a new novel that follows the band through a picaresque journey from their beginnings in 1962, but looks an awful lot like a Dickensian story set in the mid-19th Century.
“Rock’n’roll is something that we labelled in the 20th century as ‘rock‘n’roll’,” Goddard told NME in a recent interview. “It’s a sound, but it’s also a spirit and an attitude which The Rolling Stones exemplified, but that spirit existed long before the age of electric guitars in other forms. It goes back centuries….What The Stones did wasn’t just a 20th century thing, it was a timeless attitude of rebellion, and a very British naughty, rebellion that should be celebrated.”
The novel, whose full title is Rollaresque or The Rakish Progress of The Rolling Stones: A Tale of Loose Morals, not only adheres to Victorian literary tradition, it even comes complete with illustrations that mimic those found in Dickens’ novels. Considering there are countless Rolling Stones biographies out there, it’s refreshing to see someone take such a creative crack at casting the legendary band in a new light.
Rollaresque is available now.