Please Keep an Open Mind: The Held Under Story
By Mike Stevens
The Rags Back to Hanging Strips of Pure Crap Story of the Band Held Under
My name is Ned Voline, and the following is the story of how the greatest metal band in the history of the world got its start, or at least that's how they see themselves:
Mike Danger was once-again unemployed. I say “Once again” because, well, you have to see Mike to truly understand. See, Mike is what his father generously describes as “A no-talent, squid-ugly waste of a human being!” I didn’t say that, those are the words of his own father. Now, I’m not going to stoop down to his level and give you my opinion of the guy; no, for me to say how I really feel would be unprofessional. Let’s just say there are easier guys to get along with. Oh, I can’t help myself: the dude’s an egotistical, dong-nosed, no-talent, s**t-brained jerk-wad! There, I said it. If Mike doesn’t like it, let him meet me man-on-puss-man. (And you can guess which of us is the puss-man! I doubt very much the cowardly bastard will take me up on my offer, so I’m going to finish writing the story of Held Under.) Anyway, Mike Danger was unemployed, again, and was looking for an easy way to make big money, very quickly and without hard work. He thought he had vocal ability, so the lazy blob had a brilliant idea. He’d trick his brother Patrick into forming a heavy metal band with him. He pretended to actually give a crap about the music, and acted like he really liked heavy metal music as much as his brother when, if the truth were told, all he really cared about was getting rich and meeting women. Being an ugly bastard, playing this type of music provided him his only shot at meeting a girl. And it was a great chance for the lazy bastard to avoid work and to make big money. Patrick fell for it and thought Mike was totally sincere about loving heavy metal. He said they should form a band.
Into the local newspaper went their ad, and immediately, several people wanted to join. They held an audition, with Mike saying he couldn’t sing due to laryngitis. Out of that audition, Held Under came away with a line-up of Mike Danger on vocals, Patrick Danger on guitar, Bob Landmine on guitar, Steve Thump on drums, and Phil Hacker on bass guitar. After several practices, Mike’s laryngitis excuse could no longer be used and he was forced to sing. After the first song with Mike singing, the rest of the band had exchanged looks, and Bob Landmine spoke up,
“Holy crap, was that awfu—err—was that rocking! The only thing that I heard wrong was that Mike’s vocals are overpowering the music. Maybe he should be turned down a little bit, and we’ll be good to go!”
They then turned to their stage-show. Their big finale idea was to dress one of their friends up like a vampire, have him sprint out to center-stage, and light him on fire. As they finished their last song, the friend, or “Beast”, would jump into a tub of water and douse the flames. After it became obvious none of their friends found the idea appealing, they reluctantly shelved the idea and went instead with a pentagram poster behind the drummer Steve Thump. It was a much-lamer idea, but the band being a mostly-unemployed, lazy lot, it was all they could afford.
It was their first show. Before they took the stage, singer Mike Danger was a nervous wreck, projectile-vomiting into the toilet at the tavern where Held Under was to play. But if he wanted to get the money, he knew that somehow he’d have to swallow his fear and walk out on the stage, in front of several people. He was more nervous than he’d ever been in his entire life.
“Excuse me Mr. Danger, but it’s time to go on,” said the tavern’s owner.
“Yeah, I already am aware of the time, there ace,” Mike rudely replied. “You must really think you’re someone, but let me tell you, you aint anyone, you nobody loser!”
The owner slunk away; Mike walked out under the lights illuminating the stage and gazed out on the crowd. 'No way', he thought to himself, and sprinted to a side-exit, where he disappeared into the fog-shrouded night. My frequent requests to interview Mike for this book were met with hostility, and I was told by Mike,
“You come near me, and I’ll bash in your damned skull, Hatchet Boy!”
Mike quickly went downhill, albeit not a very big hill, after disgracing himself and soon somehow released a piece-of-crap solo album, entitled “Hell, Fire, Satan and Us”. To judge for yourself just how truly awful a singer Mike is, pick up a copy, provided you can find it. You might want to try garage sales or the clearance bins at stores; that’s where they try to unload non-selling crap! He then became dependant on several drugs and went to live in the deranged fantasy-land of his own tortured mind. He apparently was unable to get over choking and folding like a cheap tent trying to get up enough courage to perform in front of anybody. Or maybe he realized he blew chunks as a singer. Whatever the reason, Mike was soon to be forgotten by the other members, which would soon prove to be a major mistake, and threatening to their continuing meteoric rise.
Within a few hours of his quitting, the rest of Held Under had replaced Mike with someone who could actually sing, Frank Scream. And as to why Mike’s being forgotten was such a big mistake, you’ll have to read in my new book, entitled “Held Under: Danger on Tour”.
Held Under: Danger on Tour
By Mike Stevens
The Band Held Under and Their Encounter With Danger on the Road
My name is Ned Voline. I’m a freelance reporter and this is my second book chronicling the meteoric rise and rapid plunge back to reality of the band Held Under. My first book, “Please Keep an Open Mind: The Held Under Story”, is available wherever finer books, or for that matter, books period, are sold. For this book, I accompanied the band on one of their tours. The following is real. It would be impossible for me to even dream up something this incredible:
“Hey, would you look at the fun-bags on that babe!” yelled Frank Scream, as the band’s tour bus drove the band Held Under towards another city and yet-another sold-out concert. Pat Danger, one of the guitarists, replied,
“Shut up and quit looking at some underage girl’s rack; throw me another cold beer!”
Manager Ted Roselton piped in, “Pat, don’t you think you’ve had enough? You don’t want to be propped up with a stick again, do you?”
“Damn, would you give me a break, Ted?” Patrick retorted hotly. “Just because I enjoy a beer now and then, you ride my rear constantly!”
Roselton shot back with, “Now and then? Try constantly! You’re always plowed, and the rest of the band has to cover for you, or at least try.”
“Well, hell, I was unaware Mr. Gestapo here is in charge and must do everything in his power to keep any of us from having the least amount of fun!” directed a hacked-off Danger towards the rest of the band members.
Bob Landmine screamed, “Shut the hell up, both of you. Your quarreling is giving me a damned headache!”
Such arguing happens when 5 immature guys are locked inside a tour bus for thousands of miles and countless hours, as they drive from town to town, and state to state. All of the band members had held, at the most, minimum wage jobs, and were not ready for the overnight, unbelievable success the band was currently enjoying. They simply had no clue how to handle it. Patrick Danger, Bob Landmine, Steve Thump, Phil Hacker, and Frank Scream made up the band, and all were bored out of their minds and looking for a way to break the monotony of life on the road.
Frank Scream was an ex-con, ex-junkie, who had joined the band as singer after original singer Mike Danger, Patrick’s older brother, had frozen the first time he got up on stage and had quickly been replaced. He was glad to get on the road, because at home, he was getting harassing phone calls from Mike Danger, saying,
“You’re not the singer for Held Under, I am! You think you’re so much better, with your trained voice that can hit all the notes, but you lack one thing I have plenty of, sex appeal! Oh sure, most of the guys don’t give a rat’s a**, but the ladies? They want to see a guy like me, rather than some ugly deformed reject who can actually hit the right notes! You took my job and I’m going to hurt you, bastard!”
It’s not that Frank was scared exactly, but better safe than sorry. Being out on the road got him away from anything Mike might be planning, or so he thought.
Mike Danger was seething. The job that was rightfully his, singing for the band Held Under, had been taken away from him. Just because he had frozen and taken off running, once, he had been replaced. The name Frank Scream was constantly running through his mind; Frank Scream, who had replaced him as singer, and who looked like some sort of slow-witted clown. Granted, Frank always hit the right notes, but so what? Hitting the right notes didn’t matter, not if you were squid-ugly, as Frank Scream was. The singer’s job belonged to him, not Frank! Damn him. Mike popped another upper; anymore, it seemed he had to take more and more to get the same effect; he was totally depressed, and desperately wanted to block out the pain of having failed as a front-man. He just couldn’t accept that Held Under had made the big-time without him. The more Mike thought about it, there was only one thing to do: Frank Scream must die!
As the tour bus pulled into Chicago, the sight of their next concert, the members of Held Under wearily exited the bus. Oh boy, another show, they each thought. What city were they in? They all blended together in a mind-numbing blur. They made their way backstage and each tried to summon up the energy for yet-another concert. They automatically showed up where they were supposed to, according to the schedule, a schedule drawn up by Ted Roselton, their manager. They each had no control of their own lives; they were basically rock sluts, selling themselves like cheap hookers. Of course, they all found their motivation for each show by thinking of what they could be doing; returning to loser jobs or unemployment. After being scared and motivated for tonight’s show, the band known as Held Under took the stage and began to play, much to the delight of 25,000 screaming fans.
Mike Danger popped another upper as he sat alone, high above the band, as they launched into their final song. He had it all worked out; it was perfect; when singer Frank Scream, that backstabbing bastard, approached his microphone for the last sentence he was to sing, Mike was going to push a big light and send it plummeting to the stage below. And, being directly above Frank’s head, it would crush the bastard in front of his adoring fans. Let’s see if they still adored him, after they’ d seen his brains explode!
The band was almost through with their final encore song. Singer Frank Scream was about to sing the last line of their last song, and then they were out of this town. Frank didn’t know the name of the city, nor did he give a rip. All he cared about was leaving!
Frank reached down deep for all of his breath and let out a high-pitched scream. As he did so, he took a couple of steps forward. He heard a tremendous “Crash!” behind him that scared the living crap out of him and choked off his scream in mid-yell. What the hell was that? He wheeled around, startled, and saw one of their huge lights smashed on the stage, having missed him by only inches. The damned road crew; one of them hadn’t secured the light properly, and he’d come this close to being killed!
Mike Danger watched the heavy light, which he had unscrewed and pushed off the edge of the light rigging, plummet towards the stage, soon to kill Frank Scre---” What? Frank Scream had unexpectedly stepped forward, and the damned light had missed him. Damn! Mike saw several people staring up and pointing at him; his plan had failed! He knew he had to escape. He took off running and heard the screams from the audience as he leapt from beam to beam, and---he lost his footing and plummeted, frantically clawing at thin air, to his death!
“Did you see that bastard? He flapped his arms all the way down!” said one amazed, shaken-up fan. “I wonder who that crazy bastard was?”
The band Held Under had somehow managed to put their singer’s miraculous escape from a brutal death by being crushed behind them, and continued putting out sub-standard musical offerings. The kids who purchased their CD’S finally wised up to the fact that they were being fleeced, and stopped buying them. They lost their record deal and were sent reeling back into obscurity. Singer Frank Scream now sells tarps to construction companies. Patrick Danger became a raging alcoholic who sleeps under bridges and begs food money on the city streets, money he uses for cheap liquor instead of food. Bob Landmine became the spokesman for Cheap-Gag Dog Food, and lives in New Zealand. Steve Thump is now employed by The Festival of the Ancients Country Hoe-Down Musical Jubilee Traveling Show as a painter, and Phil Hacker sells homemade coleslaw out of his van. The old expression, “Too much, too soon” is an appropriate expression for this once-almost-famous band.