The House of Broken Dreams
By Mike Stevens
A Sir Robert Tale
Sir Robert Timkins thought it would be a good time to step away from the pressures of The Nightmare Tour, and concentrate on writing the best possible songs for the upcoming release of Sledgehammer Nightmare’s first album. Granted, nobody else was aware of this fact as of yet, but Sir Robert had reached this decision on his own. He also knew he was just kidding himself about the ‘pressures’ of The Nightmare Tour. They’d played one disastrous show at a rundown dump of a roller rink, and that was the extent of ‘the tour’. And, he was bound and determined not let the fact of being signed by exactly nobody stop his idea. They’d recently survived a close call on a cruise ship that had struck an iceberg and sank, so the boys would be up for getting back to normal, or a least normal for them, and recording an album, at least as good of an album as the old reel-to-reel tape recorder would allow.
When he’d told the others of his idea, at first they’d laughed, until they realized he was serious. He had written 11 songs, all they would have to do was learn them. He’d made them each a tape recording of his songs, so they’d know them.
Sir Robert had his old reel-to-reel tape recorder set up in his basement, and the other members of Sledgehammer Nightmare stared around them in amazement, as if to say,
‘You’ve GOT to be kidding?’
Sir Robert said, “Let’s get to it! Knuckles, you set up your drums next to the hot water heater,” he commanded drummer Knuckles Magginty. “The rest of you, set up over hear by the washer and dryer.”
They were ready to begin recording at last. Knuckles Magginty blurted,
“This isn’t going to work; the sound quality will be terrible!”
Sir Robert shot back with, “Hey, it’s the only thing we can afford. Let’s make the best we can of it!”
The band was all ready; Sir Robert pushed ‘record’, and drummer Magginty launched into ‘Good Day to Die’. The crushing, bruising guitars joined in, and Sir Robert sang,
“It’s a Good Day to Die, it’s not exactly clear why!” The song crunched to an end, and an anxious Sir Robert rewound the tape. All the members were gathered around the 1950’s era reel-to-reel, Sir Robert pushed ‘play’, and the drums could be heard, but when the others came in, just a droning hum could be heard.
“What is that?” Magginty wanted to know. The others exchanged looks, and Sir Robert replied,
“It sounds to me like the recording microphone was overwhelmed. We should all turn down, and try it again.”
Through trial and error, a happy medium was reached where all the instruments and Sir Robert’s vocals could be heard, although it sounded like muddy s**t.
“Well, I’ll make everyone their own copy on a cassette, so they can listen,” said Sir Robert. Inside, he was totally depressed, thinking there was no way this was good enough, but outwardly, he had to act enthused. He would make the rounds to record stores, and try to get them to buy, but with the sound quality they’d achieved, the sound of two cats in a dryer, humping, would have sounded like a masterpiece, comparatively!