As the singer-guitarist with the Stray Cats (Keith Moon, Paul Nicholas, Dave Edmunds), Jim MacLaine (David Essex) wants desperately to use a show business career to escape his boring suburban existence. When manager Mike Menarry (Adam Faith) finds them a wealthy sponsor, things for the band are looking up. And as a result of Mike's single-minded and cold-blooded pursuit of success, the Stray Cats are rewarded with a string of hit records, international tours, and a devoted following of adoring fans. But success has its costs as Jim's relationships with his bandmates and his girlfriend (Ines des Longchamps) become strained as a result of his heavy drug use. As his surroundings become more luxurious, Jim's life becomes unhappy and, from his dizzying height of success, he becomes a high-wire artist who's condemned walking the tightrope of success above an adoring, yet fickle, crowd.