An era's fashion never dies; it's only abandoned. Witness the last decade which saw the return of the '60s (Woodstock revival, hippies everywhere) and the '70s (bell-bottoms and disco). Nowhere can this be seen with more regularity than on VH1. This network has, for the most part, abandoned its video format so that it can highlight all of the goings on of whatever era is in fashion now. For the last year or so, they've been airing, revising, and re-airing a series entitled "I Love the 80s." More recently, they've taken to reuniting bands, most of them famous in the '80s (Flock of Seagulls, Freddie Goes to Hollywood, Berlin), on a show called--oddly enough--"Bands Reunited." Before this show hit the airwaves with its veiled hopes of a second hit for Kajagoogoo, Marc Spitz, senior writer at Spin, published his first novel, How Soon Is Never?. In this novel, the narrator, Joe Green, a fictionalized version of the author (think Mean Joe the football player to MarK Spitz the gold-medal winning swimmer) comes of age during the early 80s on Long Island, where he goes from a fairly typical boy who listens to Phil Collins to a young man who has been transformed into first a punk rocker then a New Waver. Mostly, he grows up to be a fan of the Smiths and through the turmoil of a typical teenager's life, in which the pursuit is wholly to "get laid," Morrissey and his bandmates provide the soundtrack.
As an adult, Green has transformed his adolescent love of music into a career as a music journalist. It is in this role that the two main forces that drive his life--unrequieted love and the Smiths--merge into a fierce pursuit. First, he falls in love with a co-worker who happens to have a boyfriend but who is also a bit too eager to share her company--just not her love--with Joe. This woman shares many of the same passions as Joe, most importantly though, she loves the Smiths. In an effort to win her over, he decides to attempt to reunite the band for one show. To do so, he recruits her, then sets out on an international and cross-country search for all of the band members. While the reunion is the force that drives Joe, it is always with a hope that he can achieve his one true goal: love.
Eventually, Joe realizes that neither is attainable. Though he is Morrissey short of a complete reunion, he knows that he'll never be able to reclaim the Smiths that meant so much to him when he was 15. Furthermore, he knows that he is doing it for all the wrong reasons.