Top Rankin': A Punk/Ska Noir Novel
Date: May 2021
Duration: 5 hours 59 minutes
It's the dawn of 1980 in Los Angeles and everything's changing.
James Dual, inspired by the racially integrated punky ska revival in England, starts the ON Klub, a ska, soul, and reggae club at the rough and ready pre-gentrified Silver Lake end of Sunset Blvd. He and partner in crime, Drea Dresden, try their best to make the transition out of the '70s in one piece.
A journalist friend brings a mob related music man connected to Bob Marley to visit the club, who becomes obsessed with the charismatic young Jamaican singer Loraine Sulley, who is performing that night. He lures James with promises to bring in iconic ska and reggae artists to perform at the club if James convinces Loraine to sign to Marshall's planned new record label. In the meantime, James and Drea are threatened by two corrupt Sheriff's homicide detectives who are still trying to nail an innocent James for the death of a band member that occurred soon after he first arrived in LA.
Top Rankin' is populated with real-life characters from the music world in Los Angeles, New York, and London, and leads listeners on a tour of the dangers and importance of providing refuge on the precipice of major political upheaval.