Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
In a semi-autobiographical jaunt back to 1961 Cleveland, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas chronicled the experiences of teenager Karchy Jonas (Brad Renfro), a senior at a Catholic high school and the son of Hungarian immigrant Dr. Istvan Jonas (Maximilian Schell). Cynical disk jockey Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon) pulls his red Cadillac into Cleveland and begins broadcasting from local station WHK. To impress Diney Majeski (Calista Flockhart), rock music fan Karchy floods the station with contest entries. When he wins the contest, Billy Magic offers him a job at $100 per week, and the job description includes payola. Karchy collects cash from record promoters, and his new way of life leads him into the fast lane of sex, rock 'n' roll, and self-discovery. His big date with Diney turns into a disaster, so Billy arranges for a prostitute to give Karchy his first sexual experience. Karchy returns the favor by introducing Billy to Cleveland Latin High's only black student, the musically talented Amos (Damen Fletcher). Billy likes the sound and immediately signs Amos and his music group to do a recording. A prank in the confessional gets Karchy suspended from school, and his pursuit of the American Dream takes another detour when a grand jury begins payola investigations. Karchy discovers this investigation could damage the U.S. naturalization proceedings for himself and his father. The soundtrack includes 18 rock tunes of the period. Filmed on location in Cleveland.
coming-of-age, DJ, ethics, father, naivete, rock-music, tradition, immigrant