Crushing Blow: Band of Joy
By Mike Stevens
Under the cover of darkness, they pulled into Hampton City, for what would be the next stop on their state-wide Blow In, Blow Out Tour. These were the members of Crushing Blow, a new, untried music, heavy metal band. ‘Skinhead’ Jim Perdoosie, one of the bands’ guitarists, and who served as the bands’ manager, looked around the small town, and said,
“Look at this place; I’ve never even heard of this place; what kind of dip-s**t place is this?"
Crushing Blow was a brand-new metal death-band, who were trying to mix death-metal riffs with the operatic tones of lead singer Robert Timkins. It was a strange combination, but Skinhead Jim thought it would work, so here they were, ready to play. So far on their state-wide tour, even Skinhead Jim would have to admit, it had NOT gone well. At each place they played, the fans consisted of society’s outcasts who were in no mood for the sunny, optimistic lyrics of Timkins. They expected songs about hell and death, and when they didn’t get it, they became slightly agitated. The band had to make a run for it, as chairs, bottle-rockets, and many other objects rained down upon them from the upset fans. Even Skinhead Jim had started to doubt his prediction that mixing opera singing and death-metal music would be just an odd enough to work.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” which was an odd way of putting it, as every single fan in attendance was a dude, “Direct from Hell, would you welcome, Crushing Blowww!”
The band ran out on the stage, and Robert Timkins picked up his microphone, and addressed the audience.
“Well, we didn’t come directly from Hell; we’ve been to several towns around here first!” to which a voice was heard to answer,
“Yeah, we know; I was warned how bad you guys suck!”
Robert had no comeback for that, so he simply said, “Here’s one you might appreciate, it’s slated to be the first single off of our new record, “Sunshine while you Die”!”
This was news to the rest of the group, who sat looking at each other with confused looks on their faces.
“This one’s called “Dance of the Gruesome Heads”! Ah, one, and two, and...” Suddenly, an earth shattering wave of pure noise erupted from the amplifiers. Robert breathed into his microphone,
“The girl with the yellow dress screamed, it’s The Dance of the Gruesome Heads!, yeah, look out is what she said!”
Almost immediately, it was raining everything as the fans in attendance vented their spleens, and their displeasure, by throwing everything that wasn’t tied down (and soon things that were tied down joined the aerial barrage!)
“Run!” shouted Skinhead Jim, and the other members of the band needed no encouragement. Most of them were already doing just that, except Robert Timkins. He made the unfortunate choice of giving it back to the audience.
“How rude! We’re doing our best to entertain you, you bunch of ungrateful, uncivilized heathens,” he announced into his microphone, “and what do you poorly-educated hoodlums do? Start showing your immaturity by throwing projectiles at us! Well, I--” it was then he saw a blinding flash, then nothing.
What was that irritating noise? A high-pitched wail filled the air; so loudly that Robert Timkins couldn’t think. “What is that racket?”
“Oh, good, he’s coming around now,” said a voice he didn’t recognize. Then a voice he did recognize said,
“You had us worried there, partner,” Skinhead Jim said.
“Why, what happened, an where am I?”
“You’re in an ambulance and were knocked for a loop by a glancing blow from a brick someone threw from the balcony; it’s a good thing you were starting to turn away, or it might have been a head-Crushing Blow!”
“Really? I feel fine”
“Fine, dude, you’re lucky to be alive! I guess I was wrong about it being a different type of metal music; turns out the only thing it was, was s**t! I think we’d better quit before somebody gets killed!”
Robert should have been happy, but sadness filled his heart. He was hooked on the adrenaline being the front man for Crushing Blow had provided. “Well, if you think so, but would you mind if I kept the name Crushing Blow? I’d like to put together my own band.”