What makes great art? Is artistic value intrinsic in the work itself, or could it be the circumstances in which the art is formed or received that make it great? These questions are explored in the enhanced eBook, Van Gaux Lives!
Van Gaux Lives is the fictional biography/autobiography of Van Firenze, better known in the Bay Area music community as Van Gaux, folk-rock singer and songwriter. After fifteen years of trying to realize his dreams as a writer and musician, Van Firenze dies a tragic death, falling off the bluffs of Mendocino in the summer of 1996.
Months after Van’s death, his best friend, prime-time soap star Lindsey Elmwood, releases a CD of some of her dead friend’s recordings. After she features music from the CD in several videos, it becomes a smash hit leading to a tribute album featuring many of rock’s premier artists. Eventually several more releases over a span of five years produce platinum success. Curiosity aroused by Elmwood’s reticence concerning Van’s past and the circumstances of his death create a figure of tragic proportions comparable to his namesake. The public demands to know more.
In 2002, Rolling Stone writer Will Conroy is given the task of writing Van Gaux’s biography. Through his research Conroy begins to believe that Van Firenze is actually alive. He then presents Van’s previously missing autobiography, which tells the story of the singer’s life using song lyrics as springboards to his memories. At the end of each chapter Conroy presents the perspectives of Van’s contemporaries, painting the complete portrait of the artist and the man…
But is Van really dead? Could one man have perpetrated such a hoax? How did Conroy get Van’s autobiography, believed missing for years, and why was he only finally able to publish in 2016?
Van Gaux Lives! is a unique story combining poetry, prose, and music. It presents one man’s life following a dream through drugs and self-destruction, mysticism and religious rebirth, angels, visions, nightmares and hallucinations, broken hearts, and ironic twists of fate. While many of Van’s friends and lovers fall victim to the various insanities of the late twentieth century, he tumbles through it all, holding on tightly during the roller coaster ride that is his life. Through his songs and stories, Van Firenze presents an American landscape familiar to most of the Baby Boomer and “X” generations. The reader is able to instantly hear Van’s music via the enhanced features of the eBook, connecting directly to SoundCloud playlists and a dedicated website.