“Elvis has Left the Building!”
By Mike Stevens
An Elvis Kidd Tale
Elvis Kidd awoke with what tasted like 3-week old underwear in his mouth. True, he’d never actually had underwear, 3 weeks old or not, in his mouth, but he imagined this is what it would taste like if he did. It was really the taste of stale beer, and much too much of it, that he was tasting. Another hangover! Ever since his band, B.C.R., had disbanded much earlier than he’d expected, due to sucking, he’d been getting drunk every night, and feeling sorry for himself. He’d expected to keep rocking long past his present 68 years of age. The kids, who for so long, had been fooled into liking them, had suddenly realized they were being conned, and rebelled. Suddenly, the incredible wealth that had been pouring in had disappeared. Elvis had been living it up, and spending his money at an alarming rate; after all, there would always be more where that came from, would there not? Not! First, Ball Peen Records had dropped them when their sales took a major slide; then, when they’d tried to tour on their name, they’d found out their name was good for exactly s**t! Nobody showed up. The debts mounted, until finally, Danny Force, the band’s singer, had quit. It had been like a slap in the face to Elvis. After all, B.C.R. had given Force his big break, as the replacement singer for original singer Charlie Ripper. Force had gone solo, although, from what Elvis knew, his solo career was a flame-out. It was small comfort, but it still brought a smile to his face.
The ringing of the phone brought Elvis somewhat out of his drunken stupor. His seemingly-uncoordinated hand found the receiver of the phone on the floor beside his filthy hovel of a bed, and he croaked,
There was a pause, then “Elvis? this is Danny Force, did I wake you up?”
Well no s**t! What do you expect when you call someone at 3 in the morning! His groggy eyes sought out the alarm clock; wait, it was 11am! He replied, “Ah, no, no, I was looking through the paper to try and find a job.” What a crock!
“Well, hopefully you’ll like my idea; I was thinking we could form a new band.”
Sure; your band blows chunks, so why not get Elvis, he’s very gullible! thought Elvis, but then he saw himself living under a bridge, and he wasn’t far from it, and thought, Why not?
“Sure, why not?” he replied.
“Great! Well, we need to place an ad in the paper.”
“Musicians for a new, unique kind of band. What’s your favorite super-hero? Call for an appointment to try out!”
Captain Awesome, ripped into “Vengeance Squared” and soon was joined by Caveman Cop on the drums. Then, Elvis, as The Masked Guy, joined in, followed by Detective BigBottom on the bass, then they were joined on vocals by Worldsaver Man, or Danny Force. The new guys had real names, but Elvis couldn’t remember them. He had told each guy who made up Vengeance Squared, never mind they were a 5-piece, as the fledgling band was called, to come to practice dressed as a super-hero, although he had no idea who each was supposed to be. Caveman Cop? Detective BigBottom?, but he wasn’t about to say anything; after all, he was ‘The Masked Guy’. He’d tried to come up with a better name, but he’d run out of time before the first practice in full costume. He wanted something to cover up the fact he was 68, so he’d slapped on this mask, which at least covered up his worst, most obviously aged feature, his eyes, put on tights, grabbed a cape, and just worn his generic outfit. He wasn’t about to get specific as to who the others were supposed to be, or what The Masked Guy’s super-power actually was, and none of his other band mates asked him, so he left it hanging.
Tonight was their first show, and Elvis was psyched; it was good to be back in the saddle! He was a bundle of nerves as he waited for their introduction. Suddenly, a booming voice yelled,
“Oh yeah; are you ready to rock? You’d better be, cause you don’t have a choice; ladies and gentleman, boy and girls, look to the center ring and make an awful noise for, B.C.R!”
What? Then Elvis remembered he couldn’t find the paper with their introduction written on it, the panic as he searched for it, then the relief he’d felt when he thought he’d found it, but apparently he should have taken the time to read it, because he’d accidently handed an old introduction from B.C.R. S**t, too late now!
So far at least, they were going over all right. A crown of about 200 people, who were in reality here to see the band they were opening for, Heavyweight (so named for the members tonnage), seemed not to mind them too much, which was the opposite reaction that B.C.R. got, at the end. They’d done spectacularly at first, but then the unruly mob who made up their audience had turned on them once they figured out B.C.R. was only trying top cash in, which had been true; their record sales took a nose dive, they were dropped from Ball Peen Records, so they turned to live performing. But at one disastrous show, the fact they were air-guitaring to a record was glaringly pointed out, when the record had skipped. They should have been smart and used tape, but Elvis had unwisely thought he could save a few bucks by going with an actual record, when his friend Robbie Lewson had offered to make him a deal.
Now, his new band was called Vengeance Squared, and they were still air-guitaring, but Elvis had wised up, and gone with digital tape. They were in the middle of their last song, and Elvis was fairly happy. Hey, at least they hadn’t been booed off the stage. As he violently swung his head back and forth, his mask slipped down over his eyes. He was suddenly blind! The way he figured it, he could do one of two things; he could stop pretending to play, which would have exposed their lie, or gut it out and finish the song. He elected to go with the 2nd option. He gamely carried on, right up until he unwisely stepped forward and felt himself falling into a black void of s**t, right off the stage. He landed on an empty chair, and his guitar snapped off at the neck. He rose, and a tangle of guitar strings hung down below the suddenly-sawed-off guitar, and yet the song continued perfectly. Elvis still couldn’t see, and figured he’d better act like nothing was wrong, so he pantomimed playing. He didn’t know what else to do! He should have taken the time to straighten his mask, but he’d panicked. The incredulous audience heard a normal song, while they watched a guy attempting to play a tangled mass of strings.
The booing grew to a crescendo in the ears of, ‘The Masked Guy’, Elvis Kidd, and the rest of the band tried to finish the song, then gave up, as the song continued to play. They walked off amid crap heaved at them, to the strains of “Day Late, and 10 Bucks Short” blaring out of the amplifiers. Actually, ‘walked’ wouldn’t be quite accurate; ‘run’ would be the correct term to use. What a disaster!