Toto's Extended Tour

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


A fun little story I wrote in the late 80's about what it might be like if Toto played on the Death Star for Darth Vader's Birthday. I wrote the story hoping it would get published in Toto’s
newsletter but it never did. I recently found it in an old file and thought it was hilarious. I edited it a little bit, but otherwise it’s the same story I wrote years ago.

Submitted: October 03, 2017

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Submitted: October 03, 2017

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Toto’s Extended Tour

Robert glanced at his watch and then back to the stage. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could wait. As the road manager, he prided himself on making everything perfect, but none of it mattered if the band was late. Even though it wasn’t his fault, he would still have to take the blame.

“Any word yet?” Robert asked Stu, the sound engineer.

“Just relax, man. They’ll get here. ” Stu replied.

Easy for you to say, Robert thought as he looked at his watch again. This gig had to run smoothly. After all, it wasn’t every day Toto got asked to play on the Death Star. It was about a month ago when the Galactic Empire contacted Robert for Toto to play a special event.  The band debated on whether to take the gig. It was out of the way of their normal tour schedule, by about thirteen billion light years. But they thought it would be good publicity. And besides, the pay was enormous especially after the exchange rate. So they took the gig.

“Is everything all set for the sound check?” Robert asked.

“You bet, but it’ll take a while. This hall is so huge, the acoustics are terrible. I swear this place is a mile long.” By coincidence, it was a mile long.

“Well, do the best you can,” Robert replied. “Remember, we want to record this for a live album.”

“Really? I don’t know, man. ‘Live on the Death Star’ sounds funky to me.”

“Well, it won’t matter anyway if they don’t get here soon. I am not looking forward to telling the guest of honor that Toto is going to be late,” Robert said.

Stu brushed his long hair away from his face. “Who is the guest of honor anyway?” 

Robert paused as he glanced at his clipboard. “His name is Darth Vader. I haven’t met him yet.”

“Oh, that dude? He’s over there. He stopped by earlier. He said he needed to talk to you.”

Robert looked to where Stu was pointing. “He’s the guest of honor? Why is he wearing a black scuba outfit with a cape?”

“Dunno man, must be one of them costume parties. You gotta admit, some of those monster costumes look pretty freakin’ real.”

Robert looked at his watch again. “Well, I suppose I should go over and break the news to him.”

“Yeah, be careful man. I heard he has a mean death grip when he doesn’t get his way,” Stu said.

Robert walked up to the man in the strange black scuba costume as he was ordering one of the officers to make extra-double-sure the beer was cold enough.

“If the beer is not sufficiently cold, I will carry out your punishment… personally. Do you understand?” Darth said in his hollow voice as he clenched his fist. The officer nodded nervously and then scuttled off.

Robert gulped and then spoke up. “Excuse me, are you Darth Vader?”

Vader turned to him with a stare that made Robert’s spine melt. Everything, including the mask, was solid black. If it wasn’t for the hint of wine cooler on his breath, Robert would have swore Mr. Vader was pure evil. “You are the stage manager?” He asked.  

“Yes, I’m Robert Duma, the road manager for Toto,” Robert said.

“Good. Is everything going according to plan?” Darth asked.

“For the most part, yes, but there is-”

“Excellent,” Darth interrupted. “This is my birthday party and I expect everything to be perfect.”

Robert paused. “Oh? Happy birthday. And how old are you?”

Darth stared at him for a moment. “Let’s just say I’m old enough to be your father.”

“Ah, I should have figured on an answer like that. Anyway, we do have one, teensy weensy…”

Darth cut him off again. “I do have one request for you Mr. Duma.”

“Yes? Mr. Vader?”

“Call me Darth. Do you think it would be possible for me to sing a song with the band?”  

“Uh, well, the band really doesn’t...”

“I understand your resistance, but I’m confident you will change your mind. You see, very shortly we will crush the rebellion and there is a song that inspires my troops. It’s not a Toto song, but it fits the occasion. I am an excellent vocalist, after I warm up properly, of course.”

“Um, okay... What song is it?”

“Satisfaction”

Robert imagined a guy wearing a black scuba outfit with a cape jumping around on stage like Mick Jagger breathing heavy. He did everything he could to choke down the laughter. “Gee, I’m sorry, but Toto doesn’t play that song.”

“Well now. That is disappointing, isn’t it?” Darth said.

“You should have mentioned it while we were writing up the contract.”

“Yes, that is unfortunate,” Darth said. “Speaking of contract, what was the clause added at the end?”

“Oh that. It states you can’t vaporize our planet to get out of paying.”

“Oh, I see. Do I look like the type of person that would do that?”

“I don’t know. I’m just the road manager, Mr. Vader. I mean Darth. Darth… that sounds like Garth. You’re not by chance Garth Brooks hiding behind that mask, are you? This whole thing is weird kinda like that Chris Gaines thing.”

“Garth? What kind of incredulous name is that? And do I look like I’m into Country Music?” Darth replied.

“Ok. Sorry. It was just a thought. Anyway, Toto hasn’t yet arrived so we are going to be …”

“Robby!” Stu interrupted as he stepped. “Yo, Robby. I’ve got Luke on the space-phone. He says their ship is caught in the force of a black hole and can’t get out.”

“What?!” Darth exclaimed. “Did he say LUKE? Did he say THE FORCE?!” Darth exclaimed as if he was about to hyperventilate.

Robert looked at him. “Yeah, you know, Steve Lukather, the guitar player? They’re caught in the force of a black hole!”

“Oh!” Darth breathed a sigh of relief. “That Luke, I thought you were talking about someone else.”

“So Robby, Whatta we going to do?” Stu said.

“How do I know?” Robert responded. “I’ve never dealt with this before.”

“Well, we could use our tractor beam to pull them out,” Darth said.

“Will it work?” Robert asked.

“Of course,” Darth replied. “But it is going to cost you…”

Robert paused for a second and then looked at him. “Satisfaction?”

Darth nodded and Robert swore he saw a smirk creep across Vader’s mask.

“Crap! Okay, fine! We’ve got no choice. Pull them out and you got a deal.”

Darth walked away giddy, or about as giddy as the lord of the dark side could be. He grabbed another wine cooler and went off to save Toto from certain death.

“What’s with satisfaction?” Stu asked.

“Don’t ask.” Robert answered. “Just make sure it does not get recorded. I don’t think our world is ready for this kind of solo artist.”


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