Crushing Blow: The Next Generation
By Mike Stevens
Finally; finally Sir Robert Timkins had filled all the positions for his band, Crushing Blow. He had placed a want-ad in the local paper, and had waded through all the losers and freaks who replied, but had finally found the right people, and tonight would be their first practice.
Sir Robert was almost sick to his stomach, as he gazed out at the overflow crowd. Bottle rockets were shooting back and forth as the people in attendance tried to keep themselves occupied. Marijuana smoke drifted lazily in the light from several colored beams which were aimed at the stage. He thought again, What am I doing here? Just look at these people! Mindless, drug-crazed young people who were looking for an escape from their dreary lives, and expected them, and him, to provide it. He'd traded people in fancy evening dress, harp music, and caviar, for wild-a** disaffected youth, in 'Eat Me!" tee-shirts, listening to devil-worship music, and who cared nothing about anybody else; all they cared about was themselves. Practices had not gone well, but this show had to be held, as it was set up by Robert after he'd decided on the band members, but before their first practice. Oh, how he wished he hadn't scheduled this show!
The band was waiting nervously for the curtain to rise. Danny (Blood Ritual) Carton, Walter Reasoner, Hell-Hammer (Wayne) Jones, Trevor Custis, and himself made up Crushing Blow. He felt is was a totally-unique mixture of hardcore rockers, and classically-trained musicians, who would smooth out some of the others' more extreme tastes. He wished their practices had gone better, but had to hope the pressure of having to perform in front of a live audience would whip everybody into fighting shape.
"Gentleman, are you ready to rock?"
"It's about fricking time!" someone in the audience shouted.
"Then without further ado, would you welcome to the dark side, Crushing Blow!"
The curtain rose, and suddenly Robert was standing, with no protection, facing what looked like a mob from Hell! His decision to begin the show with a recorded cello introduction was evidently the wrong thing, because the devil-worshipping hoodlums who made up the audience at first just murmured, then it quickly degenerated into shouts of,
"What's this s**t?", and "What is this, elevator music?"
Hell-Hammer Jones was the first to turn on the rest of the band. "Yeah, who's brilliant fricking dip-s**t idea was this? I didn't say anything at practice, but I thought this idea was asinine!"
"Oh, now is a great time to mention your doubts!" replied Sir Robert. "Now, you're supposedly professionals; quit arguing and help pull this thing out of the ditch!"
'Blood Ritual' Carton struck what should have been a power chord, except a string broke, and it sounded more like a wild animal in pain, which probably would have gone over well with their moronic audience, except 'Blood Ritual' Carton proved to have a bad temper, and he swung the hapless guitar high over his head, and brought it down hard on the stage, immediately reducing it to splinters. The cretins that made up the audience thought it was part of the show, and still went crazy; throwing m-80's, and launching torrents of bottle rockets towards the stage. Sir Robert took one look at the battlefield the stage had become, and fled. He didn't need this s**t!
So ended Sir Robert's grand experiment. As boring as classical music live was, at least you didn't wind up suffering from shell shock after performing!