Sledgehammer Nightmare; “You Can Almost See the Big-Time from Here!”
By Mike Stevens
Another Sir Robert Tale
His dream had come true, although Sir Robert Timkins still didn’t know how they had been picked to open for one of the biggest bands in the nation, Square Hole. He thought back to the strange phone conversation he’d had with Square Hole’s manager, Dirk Rammer:
“Hello?” Sir Robert stumbled to the phone, and answered. He had a gut-churning hangover from drinking the antifreeze, strained through a loaf of bread, that he’d become desperate enough to swill. This being beyond poor blew!
The guy on the other end of the phone line, answered, “Yes, hello, is this Sir Robert Timkins?”
Sir Robert immediately became suspicious. It sounded like a bill collector. “Who wants to know, and why are you yelling?”
“This is Dirk Rammer, manager for Square Hole; and I’m yelling because there’s a concert going on behind me, and I’d like to make myself heard! I’m trying to reach Sir Robert Timkins to see if Sledgehammer Nightmare would be interested in opening for Square Hole when we play in Big City as scheduled?”
Square Hole, only the biggest band on the planet! This HAD to be a bill collector, although he could definitely hear music in the background. “Ah, no, he’s not here, but I’ll give him the message.”
“And who might I be talking to?”
“Ah, this is his butler, Langdon Larimore.”
“Well Langdon, please have him call me at 555-1000 as soon as he can; we’d like an answer as soon as possible. We’re anxious to get you guys locked in so we can concentrate on the show at The Roundhouse Coliseum Saturday night.”
As he was saying good bye, Sir Robert heard in the background, the cheering of thousands of people, and the unmistakable melody of “Fire Walker”, the current number 1 with a bullet, runaway hit for Square Hole. Maybe this guy was legit! “Alright, I admit to being Sir Robert Timkins. I thought maybe you were a bill collector; I’ve had a little trouble with money lately.”
“Sorry to here that, Sir Robert; no, I’m not a bill collector, and will $25,000 dollars guarantied help with your money problems?”
Sir Robert felt his hangover disappear, and he croaked, “$25,000, dollars?”
“Yeah, $25,000 dollars!”
“How would that work?”
“Well, all you’d need to do is agree to open up for Square Hole, and we’ll pay you $25,000 dollars.”
“No way; I don’t even need to ask the other guys, the answer is YES!”
And so, here were the members of Sledgehammer Nightmare, looking out from backstage, on the milling crowd. They were all surprised; none more so than Sir Robert Timkins. He was finding it a trifle hard to believe they were about to be playing before a ‘milling’ crowd. 'Milling'!
Dirk Rammer was talking to lead guitarist Mack Daddy of Square Hole. Daddy was saying, “...and I don’t know where you keep finding bands who suck, so that when we come on, all we have to do is strike any chord even close to at the same time, and we’re Increda-Band!”
“Well, you know how it is; I fly into town ahead of your show, and strike up a conversation with someone about the local music scene. Then, after they list the good bands, I’ll casually ask about the s**t bands. They’ll know. After I hear a couple of names, I’ll make some excuse, and bail. Then, I’ll look up their number, and make contact with one of the crap bands, usually THE worst one, and offer them a lot of money to open up the show.”
Daddy chuckled, as they walked backstage.
Sir Robert, along with the others, was totally nervous, as they waited to go onstage. The crowd was HUGE; this wasn’t really happening to them, he must be having a delusion! And yet, there they were, at least 25,000 screaming rockers, awaiting Sledgehammer Nightmare; or more accurately, awaiting Square Hole, but this was what he’d long dreamed of. The band had been given a chance for massive publicity, and, by god, they weren’t going to waste it!
They opened with ‘No Good News’; Sir Robert thought it was sufficiently depressing enough the keep the audience happy, or at least keep them mollified.
“No Good News means nothing but bad; No Good News, alright, it’s so rad!” Then he could hear it; booing!
After struggling though the song, they decided to stop playing; well, to be honest, the coins and rocks hurled at them may have had a little bit to do with it. Sir Robert was depressed, again; his unique experiment just wasn’t working out. He needed to fine-tune his ideas!