Published: June 7, 2014

The Romeo BoysBy Peter S. Roper (Jour’76)
(Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 297 pages; 2014)

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Pumping gas in a small Colorado town in the summer of 1964 is hot, grimy work — especially if you want to be a rock ‘n roll star, like Bobby Masters and the members of his struggling band. When fate lets them chase that dream of screaming girls, spotlights and maybe even a guest spot on “American Bandstand,” they don’t hesitate, even though it means pretending to be “The Romeos” — an already successful band with a hit record on the radio. After all, who will find them out as they roam from Wyoming cowboy bars and battle-of-the-bands contests to playing a beach party at a tiny Nebraska college? And if they build a scandalous reputation for playing a raunchier son than “Louie Louie,” so much the better. Until the guys run headfirst into a curvy sorority girl who just won a darkest-tan contest at Daytona Beach. A liberated woman before her time, Susie turns the boys’ 1960s notions of romance inside out. The Romeo Boys is a coming-of-age story in that jarring time when rock ‘n roll was innocent, but the nation was not.