Bob Saar grew up in the Sensational Sixties, and his new rock and roll novel, “In Memory of David’s Buick,” brings that era alive through the music written into the story. The book follows songwriter, Bucky Minnow, who composes a ballad for his soldiering brother, David, missing in Vietnam. When the song is ripped off in the present day, Bucky hits the road in his brother’s Buick to set the record straight.
Saar, a guitar-playing writer, who lived in Lyons in 2006 and wrote features for the Lyons Recorder, is coming back for a “book-signing/book-singing” event. Accompanying him on this sojourn is longtime friend Patrick Hazell, an actual character in the novel. They’re on the road this summer performing songs from the novel. Hazell, a renowned musician from Iowa, is “one of the world’s best” according to Saar. Hazell accompanies the guitarist on harmonica. “Pat and I never know what direction a song will take,” Saar said. “But it’s always a real good ride.”
The two musicians are traveling in a 1966 sky-blue Buick Electra convertible that sometimes serves as their stage. They’ll be parking David’s Buick twice in Lyons: at the Lyons Depot Library, and later at Oskar Blues. Saar and Hazell will read from the book and play some of the songs Saar wrote for his protagonist. Saar said he completed the first draft of the novel at the Library late in 1996. “I probably drove Merlyn and her crew crazy because I was always waiting at the door when they opened and they had to throw me out at the end of the day.”
“We do the smaller venues as straight acoustic, but we carry amps for louder rooms and hosting local musicians,” Saar said. “We’re definitely not ‘normal’ on this tour, but we’re fun, and the initial events we’ve done have been very popular with adults and kids alike.”
They have a video crew traveling with them in a separate vehicle, shooting footage for their blog and music videos to be released this fall.
Hazell is a member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame and the Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, and has performed with musicians ranging from Duke Tumatoe to Maria Muldaur. Hazell tours solo in Europe, South America, and Russia. The Des Moines Register called Hazell “a legend in Iowa Music.” His most recent Colorado appearance was in Fort Collins. Saar’s past includes stints with Colorado bands Zephyr, the 4-Nik-A-Tors, and the Pete Klint Quintet in Iowa. He’s opened for the likes of John Hammond, the Allman Brothers, the Kinks, and Bob Seger, and he also toured Vietnam as a musician and videographer.
Saar and Hazell will pull up in David’s Buick at Lyons Depot Library on Tuesday, August 30, for a show from 4 to 6 p.m., and then from 7 to 9 p.m., at Oskar Blues. Both author and character will sign books, posters, and CDs. You can read more about their adventures on www.davidsbuick.com, where they’ve posted their schedule and videos and some of the recorded music from the novel.