Narrator

Ali Smith

Ali Smith
  • The Ballad of Speedball Baby is the thrilling, darkly hilarious, and heart-wrenchingly vulnerable story of Ali Smith’s coming-of-age in ’90s New York as she commits to the messy, exhilarating life of a musician and must survive the slings and arrows society reserves for women who refuse to comply.

    As an only child reeling from the demolition of her parents’ toxic marriage, the New York City underground music scene offers a young Ali a different family of misfits and talented outsiders to belong to.

    She becomes the bass player for edgy band Speedball Baby, a decision that will take her around the world—from onstage at the legendary CBGBs to the red-light district of Amsterdam. She’s often the only girl in a broken-down tour van, being strip-searched at the Croatian border, chased by lunatics, and navigating the seedy underbelly of a male-dominated music scene full of addiction, violence, and misogyny—all while keeping her sharp wit and dark humor intact.

    Rimmed with heavy black eyeliner and smelling faintly of cheap booze, The Ballad of Speedball Baby is a pulse-quickening, unpredictable ride through the ’90s music scene—alternately terrifying, hilarious, and painfully evocative—as well as a love letter to the power of female solidarity.