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It's about Truth. And rock journalism.
‘DOWN AND DIRTY MUSIC’ is the story of the rise and rise of Evel Tyler, an ambitious and unscrupulous rock journalist. Its time frame is from the late 1980s to 2011 with the breaking of the press phone hacking scandal. Evel Tyler is introduced in the present as the successful, corrupt and arrogant rock journalist he becomes. He is able to make and break careers with a combination of writing talent, being long established in the tabloid and media industry and through espionage. Through a female friend and colleague nicknamed ‘Dumpy’, he is able to hack phones and emails and monitor the communications of his celebrity targets better than any of his competition. Despite his success, Evel Tyler is tormented. He is prominent and powerful in the music journalism world but he despises it and longs for mainstream journalistic success like his former friend and colleague Lucas Bellator, a world-respected journalist and commentator. However he is too compromised and doesn’t have the right talent. Instead Tyler takes out his frustrations on those celebrities he takes a dislike to such as Alderson Lupton, a formerly successful rock star Evel relentlessly persecutes, and whose career he destroys. He does this because Lupton has the kind of sincere talent in his art that Tyler wishes he himself could have as a writer. In the middle of the phone hacking scandal in the present, Evel is summoned to a meeting with his former boss, the powerful media baron Burdett Docker. At the clandestine meeting Evel meets someone who causes him to remember how he climbed out of obscurity to his present success. We will not learn who this person is until the end. In flashback, we follow Evel’s start from humble beginnings. Growing up poor in Battersea in south London he gets a lucky break in being apprenticed from art school to a successful tabloid newspaper. Discovering he will never get on conventionally he instead cleverly invents his own interesting news and entertainment columns, including a music one that makes his name. Over the years, and with the help of a young computer genius Evel discovers while covering obscure court cases, he gets numerous exclusives from pop stars and emerging talent and gathers power through his influential music column. He also secretly and systematically blackmails and torments anyone he doesn’t like or who crosses him and makes examples of them. Alderson Lupton becomes one of these victims. Along the way he alienates Lucas Bellator too. They have originally met working at the same tabloid newspaper. Bellator leaves to pursue a successful and principled career as a respected journalist. With the additional help of a corrupt police officer who rises in the ranks with Evel’s help by profiling him and other compliant cops in the tabloids, Tyler manages to disrupt and neutralise any police or investigative notice coming his way. Inside information from this source helps him target his scoops and get exclusive stories even more effectively. These are also the tactics Burdett Docker and his senior management are using at their media empire. They are persecuting innocent people and distorting the news at a corporate level for momentary scandal-mongering profit. Eventually however Tyler's arrogance backfires on him, he trips up on some stories and falls out with his boss Burdett Docker and is fired, vowing revenge. Finally in the present, after years of gathering evidence, Evel watches the phone hacking scandal unfold with satisfaction, having played a secret part in sabotaging and exposing Docker. The media baron is aware of Evel's role however and summons him to the clandestine meeting we see at the beginning of the story. At this secret meeting we finally learn who the mystery man is - Lucas Bellator. Tyler sees to his horror that Bellator, long a champion of truth in the press and universally respected, is considering taking over the Docker media empire at Burdett's own invitation. This would completely undermine the case against Docker and his corruption. Summoning all his powers of persuasion Tyler tells the truth for once and convinces Bellator to reject the offer and not corrupt himself. They leave together – friends again after twenty years.