Reads: 49

Paying Your Dues

The interrogation by the police detectives was very intense.  It was evident from the questions that the Rockstar was a suspect as were all past and current members of the band.  It was also painful in that it raised some difficult issues of the past that the Rockstar had consciously endeavoured to put behind him.  The interrogation began with the perfunctory review of his rights.  The Rockstar was grateful to have the senior partner of the law firm he employed present.

The lead detective began with a query about the Rockstar’s history with Mark Horton.  The Rockstar detailed when they first met at the church teen group and how he was an original member of the band.  He talked of the highlights of their long career together in music.  The lead detective, having shown remarkable patience, changed the focus to the challenges of the professional relationship between Mark and the Rockstar.  The Rockstar admitted that there were very few.  He based it on the fact that Mark was the Rockstar’s guitar mentor which caused the relationship to maintain a regard and respect that transcended petty grievances.  The level of reciprocal trust gave cause to both their close professional and personal relationship.  The detective pressed his question by wanting to know about challenges in their relationship.  The Rockstar noted that Mark had warned him very early during their teen years that Sandie could be problematical for the Rockstar at the personal level.  The Rockstar added that Mark was concerned about the state of the overall finances of the band and insisted upon a forensic audit.  Issues that had resulted from that audit were resolved and all band members declared their trust of the management of the band in which the Rockstar was very involved as a leader.  Other than that, the Rockstar identified him as a lifelong friend, confidant and major music mentor and influence in his career.  The detective asked if he could get the results of the forensic audit completed in 1980.  The Rockstar deferred that request to his lawyer knowing he would have to review it also.

The detective then turned his investigative focus to Sandra Woods.  He asked the Rockstar about his history with Miss Woods.  The Rockstar again gave a synopsis of their early history as musicians and took special pains to ignore their personal relationship.  The detective asked about the relationship between the deceased and Miss Woods.  The Rockstar was very clear about their relationship.  He told the detective that the two tolerated each other in the band but there was nothing more than a guarded relationship born out of necessity.  They did not like each other but respected each other’s vast talents.  He went on further saying that Sandie identified Mark as the cause for her leaving the band.  That was not true but Sandie believed it to be so.  She struck Mark once at a gig and told him she hated him.  As far as the Rockstar could recall, that was the last they saw of each other.  The detective then asked if the Rockstar knew that the deceased and Miss Woods had connections in the last 10 years.  The Rockstar told the detective he wasn’t aware of any except for when Sandie had met with the band during a gig in Vancouver in the mid-eighties.  The detective’s eyebrows suddenly raised.

At that point the second detective took over the questioning.  Starting in the same pattern, he asked the Rockstar to give a synopsis of Marley Donahue’s history with the band.  The Rockstar did so detailing the event of ending his time with the Young Ones.  The latter episodes with Marley were less definitive including his supposed appearance at early gigs in and outside of Calgary.  The Rockstar indicated he needed to think further about those alleged occurrences but Don Gardner might have additional information.  The lengthy interview ended with the detectives informing the Rockstar and his legal representative that they would have further questions in the future.

 

The band meeting and practice following the Henderson Lake gig turned out to be pivotal in the music life of its principals.  In the process of becoming road warrior musicians, the Young Ones and Jody learned that they had much more to learn and the next 2 weekends would be good teachers.  They began their preparation accordingly.

The reflection segment of the meeting focused on what they walked away with from the Henderson Pavilion gig.  Most all, including Jody, thought the gig went well.  It was a hard audience to get a feel for but the band seemed to be successful in doing so.  Jody felt her song went over well but the lyrics needed a bit of a tweak as they didn’t resonate as well as she had hoped. 

The Rockstar felt there was a need to be a little more vigilant regarding sensing a tension in the audience and maybe adjusting the set list on the fly to inject slower numbers to calm things down.  Don jumped in with the fight outside.  He indicated that it involved a couple of guys and a girl.  He couldn’t see the fight clearly as he was back a bit in the crowd and it was pretty dark.  He thought Marley Donahue was involved in some way but didn’t know that for sure.  The Rockstar added he thought he saw Marley in the tense moment on the dance floor prior to the quick exit of the small group of people.  Don agreed to follow up on it with the management of the pavilion.  Mark suggested that there needed to be special attention to balance in the set list and to maintain an audience-based ratio of vocals and instrumentals.  The Rockstar hitchhiked on this idea by reminding everyone of the travel to Edmonton and area in the next couple of weeks and the need to give audiences different covers of the bands from whom they have experienced frequently.  In addition, he noted that vocal covers needed to be distinctive from the talents of Barry Allen of the Rebels, Mel Degen of Privilege and Lennie Richards of the Nomads.  With that, the work began on crafting and practicing the set list for the northern gigs.

The first tune for the set list was determined to be their cover of the ‘Young Ones’ without the modified lyrics.  It was felt that it promoted the band’s name in a good tune that should get everyone dancing.  It gave Mark’s brilliant guitar virtuoso an opportunity to shine.  From there it was facing the dragon in the form of crack Edmonton bands that played there.  As there was a parade of Edmonton bands who had played Ma-Me-O Beach, an instrumental was chosen from their repertoires.  The Young Ones decided to play ‘Las Vegas Scene’ written and performed by guitarist Bob Clarke who played lead for both the Nomads and the Rebels.  From there the set list evolved into a balance of covers that showcased Edmonton bands that had records out at that time and would be familiar to an audience that would be visiting northern recreational country on the last long weekend of the summer.  The set list required the Young Ones to craft new arrangements for several new songs.  The busy week of practices ended with the arrival of new band uniforms to replace the individual garb each member chose to wear to the gig.  The new apparel, which everyone agreed that was best for comfort and affordability, was a white cotton short-sleeve shirt with a button-down collar, light blue 4-button cardigan and navy straight-leg dress pants.  Black shoes completed the uniform.  Jody felt they all looked sharp in their new duds. 

The Rockstar borrowed his Mom’s car for the trip to Ma-Me-O Beach at Pidgeon Lake.  Jody, Don and Mark travelled with the Rockstar while Alf and his girlfriend Lindy chose to travel alone as they planned to camp with friends after the dance.  As the summer village of Ma-Me-O Beach was located about 62 miles southwest of Edmonton,  the trip was anticipated to take 3 hours.  Leaving in plenty of time to find the community hall, get something to eat and check out the village, the convoy of three cars departed in the early afternoon.  Arriving there at 4:30 pm, the community hall was quickly located.  As it was a lovely afternoon, The Young Ones parked their vehicles there and decided to take a walking tour through the village and check out the beaches.  After doing so and having a nice supper in a quaint little restaurant, the band returned to the hall to set up a full hour prior to performing for the “End of Summer” dance on the last long weekend for the residents.

The Ma-Me-O Beach Community Hall was a well-maintained facility that had seen the Rebels, the Lords, and the Privilege play for beach dances over the summer.  The hall had a capacity for well over 100 dancers on a hardwood floor.  There would be a wide-range in age demographics expected as this event which signaled the end of the summer season since the majority of dwellings were owned by recreational residents.  Of course the shores and campgrounds on a lake known for its white sandy beaches and clear water would supply a few hardy dancers.  The building was well lit with a row of windows running the length of the hall.  Chairs were set up along the walls not occupied by the stage area at the width end of the building.  The band was pleased to discover a decent sound system enabling them to use the full potential of their vocals.  When the sound check was completed, the Young Ones had an opportunity to connect with the folks who arrived early.  These folks shared many stories about previous bands who played there and expressed how much they liked the Edmonton bands.  These conversations did little to abate the nervousness of the Young Ones who were making their first trip into the territory of other bands who were now their rivals.

The dance started right on time with a good number of people ready for an evening of fun and terpsichorean antics.  With a brief warm greeting by the Rockstar, the band broke into their signature opening cover of the ‘Young Ones’ by Cliff Richard and the Shadows.  The floor was instantly covered with dancers of all age levels.  At the song’s end, without any commentary, the band broke into their arrangement of ‘Las Vegas Scene’ which was written by Bob Clarke who had performed it with his own band the Nomads and with Wes Dakus and the Rebels.Bobby’s Intro caught the dancer’s attention and Mark’s brilliant finger picking centered it.Some stopped and stared at Mark, some continued dancing but all noticed his playing as indicated by the rumble of commentary that circulated through the hall.  When the song ended the crowd erupted into an appreciative applause.  The Rockstar thanked them for breaking the ice of nervousness and that the band was grateful for their warm welcome.  Immediately, the energy had been changed.  Capitalizing on the moment, The Young Ones  played ‘Mustang Sally’ with the whole band participating at their planned points but this time with a joy that follows relief.  Jody’s voice added incredible emphasis on the “Ride, Sally ride” chorus.  The Rockstar literally growled all the lyrics.  Mark even inserted a Bridge guitar riff prior to the second verse in this arrangement.  With this song, the Young Ones were “solid” in the turf of their idols and now rivals.

The balance of the first set went particularly well.  The dancers recognized several tunes from the Edmonton bands, seemingly liking the Young One’s spin on them.  Mark sang a very credible version of Lennie Richard’s and the Nomads tune ‘Cry Baby’.  Jody won over several hearts with her rendition of the Lord’s ‘Big City Guy’.  Later she blew the crowd away with her own song ‘First Dance’.  But again, many dancers stopped to listen to the lyrics.  The response to the arrangement of Wes Dakus and the Rebel’s ‘El Ringo’ illustrated how revered this band was in this territory.  The first set ended with the ‘Tequila’.  The individual band members played out of their minds on their solos on this instrumental which heralded the break.

The break and connections with the audience proved to be very informative for the Rockstar and his bandmates.  Many conversations with a variety of folks revealed some significant points.  There were many comments that affirmed the talents of the Young Ones but had the rider that they were not as good as the Edmonton bands.  This anticipated commentary was received as a challenge rather than a criticism.  There was general appreciation for the Young Ones playing tunes by Edmonton bands which was interpreted as a measure of respect.  There was a genuine appreciation of the differences in arrangements in these songs which bode well for the music chosen for the second half of the set list.  Comments about the lack of original music prior to the break was noted.  The audience seemed to recognize potential here and would like to get a better sense of what the Young Ones were really all about.  It seemed to be about identity.  They liked the casual look of the band.  It seemed to fit better in a recreational setting than the professional look of suits and ties.  The band was appreciative of this wealth of things to think about.

The second half of the dance began with Jody singing her new song ‘I Don’t Care’.  As a good dance tune, it went over well judged by the number of dancers who engaged instantly.  It also established a good energy in response to some of the comments at the break.  Jody did a masterful job and the tweaks done to the song contributed to energy generation.  The Rockstar knew Jody would feel better about this song based on the results he was seeing unfold before him.

Next up was ‘Bob’s Guitar’ recorded by the Nomads.  Mark and the Young Ones did a good job on their cover of this guitar instrumental.  The song showcased not only the lead guitar runs but the rhythm guitar chording skills of the Rockstar and Alf’s bass runs proficiency.  This song led nicely to the Young Ones rendition of ‘Savin’ recently recorded by the Nomads.  This well-received song involved the vocal talents of all members of the band.  The tempo change in the middle of the song lost a few dancers but all persevered.

The next few numbers included a balance of Young Ones‘ covers with Edmonton bands including the Rebels, Southbound Freeway and the Nomads.  The evening passed swiftly with everyone seemingly having a good time.  As the end of the evening approached, the set list shifted to the original work performed by the Young Ones.  The Rockstar performed a fine version of ‘Castles in the Mist’.  As a slow dance song, many did so but some chose to stand and enjoy the lyrics.It set the stage for Jody to perform ‘Dare I Dream’.  No one danced.  All stood in rapture as her captivating song washed over them in waves.  The end was an extensive celebration of her great job on an amazingly captivating song.  Rather than end the dance as planned on that song, the Rockstar signaled the band to do their ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’ cover.  This up-tempo song got everybody dancing and finishing the summer at Ma-Me-O Beach on an upbeat note.

The tear down of equipment provided a dearth of interesting reactions by the dancing audience.  Consensus was the Young One’s were a really good band and should revisit Ma-Me-O Beach next summer.  Some suggested a dual bandstand with one of the Edmonton bands.  Many comments were again directed at the original numbers performed by the Rockstar and Jody.  They were easily the hits of the evening and people wanted to know when they would be recorded and if more were planned.  These thoughts, while initially creating a rush of positivity, also signaled the essence of the 3-hour return trip to Calgary.

The journey back to Calgary, after stocking up on chocolate bars and pop for energy and caffeine, was replete with excitement of success in the face of the unknown and the great ideas that emerged from the folks attending the gig.  Jody was pumped and kept feeding the Rockstar pieces of Oh Henry as he drove.  Don and Mark chatted gleefully in the back seat.  Don  pulled out his spiral bound notebook and took down copious notes as the core of the band sped home.  Everyone knew the band practice on Monday would be a busy one with preparation for the 2-gig weekend in Edmonton and Sylvan Lake.  The Rockstar whispered to Jody the development of a plan to get together tomorrow.

Having taken the bus over to Jody’s house later Sunday afternoon, the Rockstar told her of his need to get a car and wondered if they could talk during visits to a few car lots downtown.  He was feeling the pressure of his excessive use of the family car and really needed the independence his own vehicle would give him.  Jody agreed, and off they went to the nearest bus stop.  The Rockstar began their conversation with how she was doing after being on the road for the past 2 weekends.  Jody offered that she enjoyed both gigs but the travel was not quite what she envisaged in the music part of her life.  Jody admitted she really liked the time spent with the Rockstar and the Young Ones but performing was very demanding.  She needed to think about this as it pertained to her life plan.  The Rockstar asked if she had made her decision about travelling north next weekend.  Jody paused for a moment before answering and told him it was a very difficult decision to make.  The travel and the performing aspects were important in her decision but also so were the optics to their families in going away for a weekend together.  She said her decision was based on a lot of soul searching.  She factored in her need to know about the impacts of her songs on audiences and the need to be there to support the band with the challenge of going into a rival’s home territory.  The Rockstar was amazed at the scope of her thinking.  Jody then announced she would be going with the Young Ones to Edmonton.  She would leave work early on the 8th knowing that the 3-hour travel time on Friday would have to be factored into the trip.  She also said she would ask Don to book her own room and any girlfriends that might be going could stay with her.  The Rockstar felt her decision was very well-conceived and he was very comfortable with it.

The search for a car went very well.  The Rockstar found a couple of vehicles he and Jody both liked.  They would likely serve him well and were within his financial capabilities.  He knew this was very premature exploration but it served as a good excuse for he and Jody to talk.  While walking between used car lots the conversation turned to songwriting.  Both the Rockstar and Jody had come to the realization that more original music needed to be added to the Young One’s repertoire and that work was primarily their responsibility.  The agreed to spend as much time as they could creating new songs.  The Rockstar broached the topic of recording some demo tapes to gauge Jody’s reaction.  The prospect of doing so seemed to please her and she was open to exploring the idea further. 

The bus trip back to Jody’s place was somewhat subdued.  Exiting at the bus stop nearest her home, the Rockstar asked if Jody wanted to get something to eat.  She responded by inviting him back to her house for a bowl of soup.  The Rockstar accepted as it had been a while since they had been alone.  The conversation after homemade soup and buns Jody’s mom had given her started as they sat on the couch holding hands.  The weight of the complexity of their young lives seemed to be weighing on both of them.  The heaviness of the moment compelled the Rockstar to tell Jody how much he admired her wisdom and focus.  He told her how grateful he was to have her in his life.  With that he kissed her and reveled in the comfort of just holding her in his arms.

The band practice on Monday evening of the Labour Day long weekend was a balance of jubilation from the success of the Ma-Me-O Beach gig and the preparation for the upcoming pivotal gigs in Edmonton and Sylvan Lake.  The primary focus, as always, was tweaking the set list and practicing numbers that were not at the standard the band was seeking in their performances.  Jody used the opportunity to engage herself in some of the harmonies and offer her thoughts on some of the instrumental arrangements.  Mark’s creativity added many new wrinkles to various numbers.  Bobby continued to grow as a drummer and fully accepted his pivotal role in setting the tempo during the count in of every piece the Young One’s performed.  Alf just continued to get better on bass as evidenced by the sophistication of his runs.  After ironing out the travel details, the Young Ones and Jody were ready to go north and face the challenges that emerged in the lives of young professional musicians.

The 4 days before the Edmonton sojourn were somewhat frenetic for the Rockstar.  He made arrangements to start work early and leave early on Friday.  He had a further connection with Roz who wanted to know how the Ma-Me-O Beach gig went.  She asked where and when his next gigs were scheduled and indicated she might go to one.  The big change came with the Rockstar’s attending his first music class at the University in Calgary.  It was an introduction to music theory that the Rockstar so desperately needed, not only to build his foundational understanding but it was a preparation for further coursework for untrained musicians.  He would take this 3 hour per week class during the Fall Term.  Going back into a class after 2 months off was not a big transition.  Going to university was!  He quickly realized his skills of being organized and responsible would serve him well.  As class was Wednesday late afternoon/evening for 3 hours, it matched his current life schedule well.  The rest of the impact would play out later as he got into his studies.

The Rockstar’s first music class went well.  He met some nice people and got a good overview of the expectations of the coursework.  The course was an introduction of the materials of music.  It included aspects of musical sound that included a few things he had picked up experientially such as beat and melody.  The course would add a whole lot more to this small list.  He was destined to learn the language and notation in music.As the class ended, he realized he had officially stopped dabbling his toe in the pool of musicianship but rather had now jumped into it.

The Young One’s entourage arrived at the Highlands Community Hall a scant 2 hours prior to the traditional start time of “Club Stardust” at 9:00 pm.  It was plenty of time to check out the hall, set up their equipment and complete the sound check.  The hall exuded the traditions on the tag lines of the poster stating “Edmonton’s Most Popular Teen Dance – Alberta’s Largest Weekly Teen Dance”.  This community provided a quality opportunity for teens and they knew how to do so.  Somewhat daunted, the Young Ones entered the hall to get a sense of their surroundings for the next 5 hours.

The hall was large and very well-kept.  A quality PA system was found on the stage area strategically positioned to optimize dancing.  Don made a solid connection with the community representative who was most accommodating to the band’s needs.  What was unique in this set up were the tables positioned to the right and left of the stage and the large cluster of chairs surrounding them.  They occupied little viable dance floor space but provided a vantage point for discriminating viewers of the performers.  This atypical arrangement was noted by the Rockstar and his bandmates.

The set up and sound check went well.  There was no echo and the mic system optimized the vocal contributions of key band members.Jody sensed the tension in the Rockstar and did all she could to minimize its effect on his mental preparation.  He was doing well for a 17-year-old who was facing a huge challenge in his very short musical life.  Don focused his efforts on calming the band members and making sure their nervousness did not get the best of them.  Mr. Evers, being the kind and caring man he was, also focused on encouragement.  When the doors opened at 8:30 pm, a flood of “Stardust Teens” entered the building to check out the new band.  Many crowded to the front of the stage to pose questions.  None occupied the table and chairs by both sides of the stage.  The young prospective dancers were great and asked the Young Ones a lot of very good questions.  Beautiful Jody attracted many young guys who quickly determined her maturity and realized they had no chance of any romantic success.  Some girls focused their energy on the Rockstar with similar questions.  When Jody edged over close to and briefly held the Rockstar’s hand, their interest in him waned.  As yet there were no identifiable members of any of the Edmonton bands.

On the dot of 9:00 pm, the Rockstar took to the mic and welcomed the now very large crowd and thanked them for the privilege of playing for them tonight.  With that, the Young Ones began to play their signature song – ‘The Young Ones’.  They delivered probably their finest rendition of that tune.  Mark was particularly good as his reverb-steeped guitar runs raised the eyebrows of many dancers.  Transitioning seamlessly into their cover ‘El Ringo’ recorded by the Rebels, the crowd parted and in walked the legend himself, Wes Dakus!  He and his entourage seated themselves at the table to the left of the stage.  Mark did not notice the arrival as he was focused on playing the lead guitar licks.  When the song ended the audience cheered.  The Young One’s were never sure if the cheer was for their rendition or the audience saw the arrival of Dakus.  All that was remembered was the thumbs up from Wes at the song’s end.

The Rockstar approached the mic to introduce the next number.  After thanking the audience, he smiled at Wes Dakus and indicated the band’s next song was “covered” by another idol of his, Wilson Pickett.  Upon Bobby’s tap in, he, Mark and Alf began the Intro.  The Rockstar burst in with his gravelly voice on the first verse.  When it came to the chorus, he could feel Jody’s closeness during the band’s harmony on the “Ride  Sally, ride”.  It buoyed him up and he sang his heart out on the balance of the song.  Again at song’s end, the audience erupted with a more boisterous applause.  Wes Dakus smiled knowingly.

Grabbing a swallow of water to soothe his dry and slightly irritated throat, the Rockstar faced the band and called the first alteration in the set list.  He sensed the band was on a roll and it was time to showcase the talent and beauty of Jody.  Showing she was fine with the change by smiling, Jody stepped up to the mic.  The Rockstar introduced her emphasizing that she was the songwriter. ‘First Dance’ had the same hypnotic effect as in other venues.  As the tempo was slower due to its story nature, the dancers were not sure what to do.  Some danced, but most stood and listened to the magic of the story and Jody’s amazing singing voice.  It was a memorable moment for many, in their own way.  The Rockstar felt his feelings for Jody escalate.  The audience was really enjoying the song.  The band was in the flow of success.  The Dakus’ entourage was in a total state of collective surprise.

The balance of the first half of the set maintained the established momentum.  Mark picked a great cover of the Fireball’s ‘Bulldog’.  He followed it up by a decent vocal rendition of ‘Cry Baby’, a recent release of one of the “Stardust Teens” Lennie Richards and the Nomads.  ‘Get Ready’ raised the energy in the hall a notch as did the cover of the instrumental version of ‘Memphis’.  Then it was time for the break.  As was now the pattern to end the first set on a high and showcase the band, ‘Tequila’ was counted in.  The Rockstar made sure the audience knew the name of each band member at the end of their solo.  The audience really liked this unique experience to both listen and dance.  The first set ended on a notable high.

The break, to say the least, was interesting.  The Rockstar was beckoned over to the Dakus’ table.  Don joined him, leaving the band to handle connections with the fans.  Wes stood up and shook the hand of the Rockstar.  “Nice band,” he uttered.  “You have some talent for sure.  Your equipment is crap but you get decent sound out of it.  Your lady singer is not great but has potential as a songwriter.  Put her in touch with me as I can help her.  If you want to record, I have a good relationship with Norm Petty.  Good luck with your second set.”  With that, Dakus sat down.  Both the Rockstar and Don knew the audience with the legend was over.

Crestfallen, the Rockstar departed.  He noted that the second table on the other side of the table was populated by people who had the appearance of musicians.  As a professional courtesy, the Rockstar went over to the table and introduced himself.  In doing so, he had the pleasure to meet Dwayne Osepchuk and 2 other members of Southbound Freeway.  Dwayne was quick to offer his genuine affirmations of the performance of the Young Ones.  He was more amenable to a conversation rather than just offering constructive criticism in the midst of the performance.  He was surprised when he found out just how much the Young Ones were “rookies” as musicians and as a band.  Osepchuk did drop a bit of a bombshell when he told the Rockstar the news that Barry Allen, notably Alberta’s best vocalist, had left the Rebels  and was now a member of his band.  In addition, Southbound Freeway had just a couple of weeks ago won 3rd place in the Battle of the Bands for Stardom in New York and its prize of $1500.00 of Vox guitars and amps.  While happy for the successes of a fellow band, this conversation did not add to his feelings about the second half of this gig.  Putting on his game face, and a warm hug from Jody, who immediately sensed something was wrong, the Rockstar assembled his bandmates and said “Let’s blow the doors off this place!”

The Rockstar opened the second set on the mic with another thank you to the audience for bringing the band here to the famous “Club Stardust” in the Highlands Community Hall to play for them.  He added that if they enjoyed the music of the Young Ones, the band was playing at 8:00 pm tomorrow night at Varsity Hall in Sylvan Lake and they were invited.  The second set was then opened with the Young One’s arrangement of ‘Pipeline’.  This fast-paced song prompted the floor to be instantly covered by frenetic dancing teens.  It was followed in succession by tunes that were very danceable and a skewed balance of the Young Ones best pieces mixed in with but a very few from the Edmonton bands.  This change in the plan from the set list was the Rockstar’s decision as he determined that the band needed to display their best and not overplay local band music.  The change in plan seemed to work well as the energy in the community hall escalated until late in the second set. 

As the set drew to a close, the Young Ones focused their energy on their 2 remaining original songs.  The Rockstar crooned his song ‘Castles in the Mist’.  The slower tempo of the vocal number, along with its lyrics that decried the state of teenage love metaphorically, was well-received by the dancers.  Most slow danced but many stood as an audience.  The impact of the song was noted by the remnants of the Dakus entourage and also those of other bands seated at an adjacent table.  Jody finished off the evening with ‘Dare I Dream’.  The “Stardust Teens” reacted  pretty much the same as in all previous gigs.  The dancers became concert goers.  Jody received high acclaim from the gathered throng including the band tables.  The sustained applause at the end prompted an encore and the Young Ones responded with a spirited version of ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’.  It finished off the evening on a very positive note.  The tired band was glad this significant gig was behind them and looked forward to a bite to eat and the reasonably short drive to Sylvan Lake.

The tear down and connections with the appreciative audience went well.  The band members talked with the teens while the Rockstar and Don paid their respects to the remaining members of the Edmonton bands who had come to check out the new Calgary group.  For some reason the suggestions to the Young Ones were manifold and the affirmations of their talent and skill were minimal.  That did not bother the leaders of the young band at all.  They were of the mind that all information that would contribute to their reflection for the future would be helpful.  This was not about ego, it was about getting better.  Mr. Evers chose to join the Rockstar and Don and his presence was most welcome.  At one point he pointed out to one particularly vocal Edmonton band member that the Young Ones had been in existence for barely over a year and they, in his mind, were doing very well for teens not a lot older than their audience.  That seemed to silence the most vocal critic.  The connection ended with a statement that he and his bandmates looked forward to seeing the Edmonton bands at their next gigs in Calgary.

The drive to Sylvan Lake was a very quiet one as everyone was pretty much spent by the intensity of the gig at the Highlands Community Hall.  Don had booked rooms at the Cougar Lodge Motel and made arrangements for a very late check-in.  The tentative plan was for the Evers [Bobby and Dad] to share a room, Jody and Lindy would share another room while the Rockstar, Mark, Don and Alf would share 1 large room.  Because Alf and Lindy had decided to have their own room, life was made a little simpler.  Arriving at the Cougar Lodge, situated right across Lakeshore Drive and overlooking the lake, seemed like a good choice.  It was centrally located making it simpler for the band to kill a good part of the next day prior to the 8:00 pm gig at the Varsity Hall.  Don had assured the band members that the bargain price was due to it being an off-season rate in September. 

The Rockstar accompanied Jody to her room to make sure it was all right and she was safe.  Opening the door revealed why the rate was so low.  The room was old and dark due to the cedar decking construction.  The furniture was dated but the room seemed clean.  Checking the bathroom revealed dated plumbing but a shower that worked.  There were clean towels and the fixtures were clean.  A 5-star room it was not!  Jody was okay with it but obviously not happy.  Fortunately the Rockstar’s room was just next door and that seemed to calm her down a tad.  The Rockstar took the initiative and told Jody he was sorry for this turn in events.  He explained this was a new experience for him and likely just the beginning of a succession of cheap and grungy hotels unestablished musicians experienced early in their careers.  He asked her what he could do to make it right.  She said, “Stay with me for a few minutes until I get used to this and settle a bit.  I want you to spend the night with me but not in a place like this.  I am not ready and besides I can’t dishonor the expectations of both our families.  If I phone your room, will you come over and sleep on the second bed?”  The Rockstar agreed.  “Please can we have breakfast together alone?” Jody pleaded.  “I have some things to tell you that I have thought about.”  Again the Rockstar agreed.  Jody seemed to settle down a bit and the Rockstar departed with a feeling that their late breakfast date might just be an unwanted game-changer in their relationship.

All members of the entourage slept very late the next morning.  The stress of the gig in a challenging situation, a long drive late at night and an unexpected décor of an inexpensive motel made for a very late breakfast that was more like lunch for the weary musicians.  The Rockstar and Jody found a quiet small restaurant on Lakeshore Drive that was willing to serve them omelets even though the small crowd already there were enjoying lunch.  Jody looked fairly well rested and was as always, beautiful.  But today, she was Jody sad eyes.  Holding her hands and looking deep into her espresso brown eyes, the Rockstar asked her what was troubling her.  She looked at him and as tears welled up, she told him she really couldn’t do this much more.  Expecting the worst, he asked her what she couldn’t do.  That opened the flood gate.  “I love you!” she said.  “And I want to be with you but not like this.  I saw how talking to Dakus took its toll on you.  You handled it with class and came back and inspired your band friends to reach greater heights.  You reached greater heights also but at great personal cost.  I can’t watch that happen to you many more times.  You and the Young One’s have supported me as a singer at several gigs now.  I am not a vocalist and have no desire to be one.  I just want to sing to you, not an audience.  I am not a performer like the rest of you.  I want to see an audience’s reaction to my songs but not from the stage.  I can and will do it again for you but know, it is for you and the opportunity to be with you.  I treasure the times we write songs together.  I really want to have fun with you but what is happening this weekend is not in my dreams for you or me.  I love you and want to be with you but not like this.  Please tell me we can work this out some way and that you love me enough to understand.”

“I do Jody,” he exclaimed as tears began to well up in his eyes.  “You don’t have to do anything with me that you don’t want to do, ever!  I love you and will never consciously drag you into my world for any reason.  You will be in my world in any way you so choose.  I just want you to be happy and not Jody sad eyes.  We can and will work this out.  I give you my word.”  With that he kissed the palm of her hand softly.

Having spent a delightful afternoon exploring both the town of Sylvan Lake and its beaches and checking out of the Cougar Lodge, the Young Ones assembled at the Varsity Hall on Lakeshore Drive.  Varsity Hall had a long history as a dance venue dating back to 1930.  It was noted for a short railing all around the oak dance floor and the stone fireplace on the left as one entered.  The large, 30” elevated, floodlit stage commanded a view of the large dancefloor.  The Young Ones were in awe of the majesty of this older dance hall that had seen many big-name rock bands like Chilliwack, Trooper and Sweeney Todd.  Of course popular bands from both Calgary and Edmonton played summer gigs in this incredible hall.

The Rockstar and his bandmates, overcoming their awe, completed their set up and soundcheck with hopes of playing a few games of pinball on machines located in the benched area behind the dance floor railing.  The Saturday night crowd started to arrive early.  The band was surprised to see some faces of teens they recognized from “Club Stardust” the night before.  No Edmonton band members were in the early crowd.  The Young Ones had a good chance to talk with the early arrivers about what tunes to which they liked to dance.  Bobby made mental notes and agreed to call the tunes to be played that night.  The Rockstar was happy to see the young guy taking on that responsibility.

The Varsity gig was a fun one to play.  The pressure of going into a new territory had passed and the focus was primarily on fun and excellence of execution.  It was almost as if each member of the band was trying to outdo each other but in a fun way.  The result was the delivery of a fine performance.  Even Jody lightened up after her weighty conversation with the Rockstar.  Her sad eyes were replaced with mischievous ones as she teased members of the band even as they played.  The positive energy generated translated into the music that was felt by the dancers.  There were very few folks standing or sitting behind the railing.  The break and the tear down connections with the dance patrons was very positive.  Even with 3 encores, the Young One’s entourage was on the road back to Calgary before 1:00 am.

The regular Monday practice allowed the Rockstar to address issues that had been emerging consistently over the past few weeks.  The band needed to talk about them and come up with actions that would propel the band forward on the journey to excellence.  The equipment issue was one that would be a factor, likely forever.  The Silvertone amps were really starting to show the wear of both travel and the need for excessive volume in larger venues.  Alf’s Fender Bassman amp was doing really well and served as an example that was worth exploring.  The Silvertone guitars were doing well but did not always optimize the demands of the potential of some tunes being performed.  Amplification on band vocals was always based on what was available in venues.  The band had not been burned by having to use mics in their amps just yet, but problems were anticipated in the future.  This risk was compounded by the variation of the age and quality of venue PA systems.  What this all came down to was money.  The Young Ones were playing more and more so the revenue stream was becoming predictable.No one really wanted to talk about this so it was agreed that the Rockstar and Don would bring back a plan for discussion at a future band meeting.

The Rockstar raised the need to continue to add more original music to the Young One’s repertoire.  The evolution of the band’s arrangements of cover tunes was a strength that needed to be a focal point.  Covers would never be a foundation for recording and it would eventually impact bookings.  Dancing audiences like variety and new music.  Concert audiences demanded original music.  The discussion around this point ultimately came to the Rockstar’s revelation that Jody needed more time to write music and had no aspiration to be a performing vocalist.  As such, her time with the band would be scaled back to periodic performing appearances to reactions to the new songs she writes.  The band was visibly shaken by this reality as all knew the value Jody added to the band as a vocalist.  The discussion ended with agreement to continue to develop new arrangements of covers and members of the band would try their hand at creating instrumentals and maybe even writing songs.

Finally, the Young Ones talked about the northern Alberta adventure in Edmonton and Sylvan Lake.  Bobby noted how much fun it was playing at Varsity Hall.  He really liked calling the songs but just enjoyed the less stressful tone on stage and the focus on fun.  He wondered if the goal of having fun wasn’t really what being in a band was all about.  Mark noted how uncomfortable it was playing in front of other musicians.  He felt the weight of the perception that people were just watching and judging.  He wasn’t sure if it motivated him to perform better or detracted from it.  The discussion that ensued showed both perspectives were valid.  The conclusion was that everyone had their way of dealing with it.  Alf noted the weariness of the long travel hours on the road particularly late at night.  He realized that it was a fact of life for beginning musicians but wondered if clustering gigs in out-of-town venues might better serve the situation in the future.  The Rockstar and Don raised their perspectives at the end.  Both spoke to the successes of all 3 gigs in the north.  The biggest success was how well the Young Ones were received.  Many positive comments were heard about the talent of the band, the quality of their music and their sensitivity to dancing audience needs.  Even the observing bands alluded to these points.  Arrangements and original songs were identified as notable strengths consistently.  The conclusion was that the band was on the right track.  Concrete evidence that emerged from the management of the venues, confirmed the aforementioned as many booking dates were proposed, in significant number up to a year away.  The Young Ones were a viable competitor in their counterpart’s market.  Both the Rockstar and Don chose not to share any negative details of their conversation with the Edmonton bands as it would not serve any purpose in the growth of the band.  Don assured everyone that the issue of travel would be addressed in both cluster scheduling and a fee structure to better address travel expenses.  The band then turned to the major task at hand; getting ready for upcoming local gigs.

The Rockstar awakened early the next morning only to find his Mom enjoying a last cup of tea before she left for school.  Joining her briefly before he had to leave for work, he broached the topic of buying a car.  He offered his rationale and then looked to her for a reaction.  Mom told him the demands on her car were challenging and she thought his idea was a good one.  She explained she regretted she couldn’t help him out financially as the family budget was too tight.  He explained he had saved some money and the band was playing more often now and that revenue would help.  He told her that he and Jody had done a bit of car shopping and he would spend more time on the search later this week.  Mom reminded him if he needed some assistance, his grandfather would welcome the opportunity to do so.

Arranging to have his grandfather go with him on his car search turned out to be very valuable.  Grandpa had some good contacts in the car business through his lodge and was thrilled to be able take him out later in the week.  The first visit to a car lot where the sales manager was in the Masonic Lodge that his grandfather was the Installing Master.  This resulted in them finding a 1957 Chevy 2 door sedan with a 265 V-8.  It seemed to be in good shape body wise and the interior was clean.  Even though it had over 150,000 miles, mechanically it seemed fine.  Grandpa insisted on a test drive and that it be checked by his mechanic before they could talk price.  As Grandpa was now running the show, the Rockstar deferred to his knowledge and experience.  Grandpa immediately drove the car to the service station the family had gone to for years.  Fortunately, he caught the owner who was just getting ready to leave for the day.  He agreed to look over the car mechanically and drove it into his shop.  After completing a fairly exhaustive check, the service station owner, pronounced the car to be in very good shape.  Grandpa thanked him, handed the keys to the Rockstar and directed him to drive back to the car dealership. 

The Rockstar fell in love with the car.  It was comfortable and roomy.  The light blue body colour was contrasted amazingly with the white roof and side strip.  It was easy to drive and the V8 engine gave it a bit of peppiness.  He knew instinctively that Jody would like this car.

The Rockstar’s Grandpa spoke to his friend the Sales Manager and explained his grandson’s position.  He asked what his best price on the car would be.  The Sales Manager quoted him a price of $999.00.  The Sales Manager noted from the inventory records that the car had new tires, had been fully serviced and a safety check had been performed on it.  The car’s previous owner was in sales so many of the miles were travelled on the highways of Alberta.  The car had never been in an accident and its condition was highly rated by the dealership shop.  He told Grandpa, “John, I would buy this car for my own grandson at this price if he was old enough to drive.”  The Rockstar’s limited business experience caused him to know the deal was all but sealed.

“Let me talk with my grandson.” stated the Rockstar’s grandfather.  After a brief discussion involving finances and processes Grandpa approached his friend.  “I will bring you a cheque tomorrow when we pick up the car.  We’ll have new license plates for your folks to install and expect the gas tank to be full.  New rubber floor mats would also be nice.”  Grandpa and the Sales Manager shook hands followed by the Rockstar shaking hands with them both.  The drive home saw the Rockstar very excited, but also very grateful for experiencing this adventure with his grandfather.

As the Hounsfield Heights Community dance was scheduled for Saturday night, the Rockstar called Jody and told her he had a surprise to share with her Friday after work.  He asked if he could drop by at a convenient time.  She asked him if he would like to come for dinner to which he said he would.  He drove up in his shiny new-to-him car.  He rang the doorbell with great anticipation.  Jody answered immediately as she usually did, threw her arms around his neck and greeted him with a kiss that was one you’d experience when you haven’t seen someone for a long time.  In their case, it was somewhat correct.  There had been no real time to connect on the travel weekends.  Jody hadn’t attended the last practice as she wasn’t performing at the Hounsfield Heights gig.  The Rockstar’s university course and his car shopping had prevented them from even getting together to write songs.  Suddenly she looked over his shoulder and saw the different car parked in front of her place.  She squealed joyfully, released the Rockstar and rushed out to see the new car.  Jody was impressed!  The car was cool but Jody was pleased for the independence and convenience that was just added to her boyfriend’s life.  “Take me for a ride!” she asked excitedly.

On Saturday, the Rockstar had an uncomfortable feeling as he unloaded his gear at the Hounsfield Heights community hall.  Whether it was the last gig there, the low stage or the fact that Jody had chosen not to even go to the gig, the guitarist had a very unsettling feeling as he began to set up his gear.  Alf had arrived without Lindy as she had also begged off from attending the gig.  Alf and the Rockstar talked about how tough it must be for girls to date musicians and have music such a big part of their time together.  The Rockstar asked how he was doing as they had been so busy at work, there hadn’t been the opportunities or time to talk about music.  Alf said he was doing really well.  He loved his new gear and was enjoying learning the nuances of its potential.  He was really enjoying the band.  They were a great group of guys and seem to play better each and every gig.  He hoped he was keeping up.  The Rockstar assured him that he was and told him how much he added to the band.  They both acknowledged at that point they needed to talk more at work about their common passion, music. 

Among the early arrivals during the band’s sound check were the 2 guys who had, at the previous dance at this hall, volunteered their services if things got rough at the dance.  Ken and Art seemed to know about the dark side of the dance scene.  They knew who the troublemakers were, gang affiliations and gang rivalry for territorial control.  They kind of liked the Young Ones and felt these teens had not experienced the dark side of the local music world.  As a result they offered their services purely as protection.  They liked attending dances for the great music and with their skill set, could make a little money.  They talked to Don pointing out they were not bouncers or troublemakers.  They described themselves as more trouble shooters.  All they wanted for their services was free admission to the dance and 10 bucks each if their protection services were used.  They assured Don they were more than capable of handling trouble that was a threat to the Young Ones.  Venue problems were stated as not their problems.  Don took them to the door, got them a refund on their admittance cost and introduced them to members of the band.

The dance was going well until about the middle of the first set.  Everyone was having a great time as were the Young Ones.  The dancing was energetically positive and everyone was having fun.  While enjoying watching proceedings, particularly during instrumental number, the Rockstar saw Rosalind from his work enter the hall.  He was not the only one to notice her as many guys were struck by this gorgeous redhead with a body that most women would die to possess.  She worked her way through the crowd to a chair beside the band.  Roz was dressed way too uncomfortably for a dance.  Her tight sweater snuggly framed her large bust and narrow waist.Her firm, round bottom and perfectly-shaped long legs that supported her 5’ 8” frame were displayed by jeans that looked like they had be sprayed on.Her long glistening red hair hung well down her back.  Her high-heeled shoes were not the kind for dancing.  She sat down, looked up at the Rockstar and smiled sweetly.  He returned her look with one of shock and evident awe.

It was not long before Alf saw Roz and gave her a big smile of welcome.  Not long after, Bobby spotted Roz and immediately fell in love with her.  Mark just kept playing his tunes.  At the break, the Rockstar immediately exited the stage and went over to greet Rosalind.  She stood up and gave the Rockstar a big hug which took him totally by surprise.  He told her how pleased he was to see her and that she would come to a dance.  She reminded him that she loved music and wanted to see his band play.  Roz told him how impressed she was with the sound of the band and that she really liked his ability as a singer.  She then asked if she could meet the band.  The Rockstar beckoned them over and introduced each one by stating a strength they each possessed.  Roz’s graciousness was overwhelming, especially for Bobby.  An intuition caused the Rockstar to introduce Kenny and Artie to Roz.  It was more than they were just standing there with the band.  At that, Don encouraged the band to connect with others who were now surrounding the band.  The Rockstar sat with Roz and they chatted until the break ended.

The second half of the dance went well.  The carefully crafted set list worked as hoped and created the desired energy and fun atmosphere.  The Rockstar was able to perform his cover of ‘Pretty Woman’ all the while glancing over at a coyly smiling Rosalind.  Sadly, the arrival of a large group of black teens caused a notable change in the energy of the dance.  It suddenly diminished and enthusiastic dancing turned to subdued and guarded watchfulness.  Kenny positioned himself beside Roz and Artie moved to the other side of the stage.  It looked as if the Young One’s new troubleshooters were going to earn their fee tonight.

It wasn’t long before the black teen who had a request from the previous dance approached the stage.  He got the Rockstar’s attention and at the end of the current song made the same request.  This time the Rockstar was prepared.  Remembering the title of the song, the tune had been practiced by the band and it was on tonight’s set list.  The Rockstar called ‘No Particular Place to Go’ and the Young Ones launched into this Chuck Berry song. The teen, not anticipating this response, stood in front of the stage dumbfounded.  The band played an excellent cover of the song.  Mark’s Intro was stellar as was his guitar Bridge.  The band did an amazing job considering they had just learned this tune not 5 days ago. 

The same teen again approached the stage with another request.  As luck would have it was a favourite of the Rockstar, covered by his idol Wilson Pickett.  The band had practiced the song but it was not yet on any set list.  The Rockstar knelt down and told the teen, the Young Ones would play right after their next instrumental.  After slowing the pace down, ‘Rumble’ by Link Wray resulted in some slow dancing that seemed to alter the tension a tad.  The Rockstar then called the request and Bobby tapped in ‘Land of 1000 Dances’.  Again the teen did nothing but listen to music.  He did not dance nor did his group of buddies that were on the opposite side of the stage from Roz.  After his requested song finished, he moved over and tried to talk to Rosalind.  Immediately Kenny and Artie stepped up and grabbed the teen and hustled him out of the hall.  They disappeared before the group knew what happened.  They looked around and then headed to the door.  A scant 5 minutes later Kenny and Artie returned looking a bit disheveled but with knowing smiles on their faces.

The tension lifted with the exit of the group of black teens.  The energy returned to a high level and the dance finished on a positive note.  During the tear down, Don gave Artie and Kenny each their $10.00, thanked them and recorded their phone numbers in his ever-present coil notebook.  Don asked them what happened outside.  Kenny told Don that after talking forcefully with the demanding teen and warning him about consequences with even going near the band, the teen agreed to leave people alone.  When his group arrived on the scene a couple of them took on Artie and Kenny but that ended very quickly and the group left the scene.  The Young Ones entered a new dimension of their music life.

Rosalind waited after the dance to talk to the Rockstar to tell him how much she enjoyed the music.  He was grateful for the kind words and asked her how she got to the dance.  Roz informed him that a girlfriend dropped her off.  He then asked how she was going to get home.  Roz replied that she was hoping he would drive her home.  The Rockstar agreed.  Mark watched proceedings as the Rockstar left with Roz and just shook his head.

The drive to Rosalind’s home was full of talk about the Young Ones and their music.  Roz asked about the history of the band and particularly how it got started.  She posed questions about members of the band past and present.  She probed about the dreams they shared.  As Roz questioned the Rockstar, she slowly moved across the bench seat to get closer to him.  The gentle sent of her distinctive perfume became intoxicating to the Rockstar.  Roz directed the Rockstar to her apartment building in the Beltline district.  She guided him to the visitor parking area near the front door to the 5-story building.  She asked the Rockstar if he would like to come up for a drink, coffee or something all the while looking beautiful and innocent.  Hesitantly, he agreed.

Roz’s small apartment was on the 5th floor.  A patio door window to a small balcony offered a magnificent view of downtown Calgary.  She invited the Rockstar to sit down and asked what he might to drink.  Almost embarrassingly, he asked if she had tea as he neither drank alcohol or coffee.  She asked him if he minded if she had a drink, as after tonight’s adventure with the aggressive teen, she needed one.  She put on the kettle and poured herself a stiff rye and ginger.  While the kettle heated up, Roz asked the Rockstar if he minded if she went and changed her clothes and got into something more comfortable.  With his agreement, she entered her bedroom and began to change her clothes.  As the door was not closed, the Rockstar could see her reflected in a full-length mirror, while she removed her sweater exposing large breasts encased in a black lacy bra.  Next she removed her shoes.  Then she slid her skin-tight jeans off revealing  a lace thong that matched her bra and exposed her magnificent bottom.  She then pulled on a loose-fitting t-shirt and a pair of flannelette pajama bottoms and reentered the room.  Pouring a tea for the Rockstar and retrieving her rye, Roz sat down on her flowery couch facing the Rockstar.

“Do you have a girl friend?” asked Roz bluntly.

“I do have a girl with whom I write music,” stammered the Rockstar, truly nonplussed by what he had just seen.  “Jody and I date a bit and sometimes she sings with the band.  I think I am falling in love with her.”

“You mentioned someone in the band named Sandie!  Was she your girlfriend?” queried Roz.

“I thought so but she dumped me at grad when I performed a song that Jody wrote for the grad dance.”

“Did you love her?” asked Roz.

“I don’t know because our relationship was very confusing but I think so. Why are you asking me these questions Roz?  I’m not sure I should be telling you this stuff.  It is becoming really uncomfortable.”

“You’re a virgin aren’t you?” pointed out Roz.  “You want to love these women but you don’t really know how to make love to them, do you?”  The Rockstar cringed as he knew Roz had uncovered something deep about him that he did not know about himself.  Tears came to his eyes.  “Come over here to me as I want to teach you how to do what I know you want to do with Sandie and Jody.  Obediently, like the puppy he was, the Rockstar complied.

As soon as he sat down close to her Rosalind reached out to him and kissed him passionately on the lips.  The kiss was warm and long and started awakening physical feelings he had experienced before but did not know what to do with them.  With Roz he just let it evolve.  The kisses became more passionate when Roz opened her mouth and let her tongue dance across his.  The reaction was electric for both of them.  His hand moved to her magnificent breasts which caused her to say “yes, yes”.  He felt her large nipples become firm through the lace of her bra and her t-shirt.  Without saying anything, Roz began to unbutton the Rockstar’s shirt.  When it was unbuttoned and pulled from his pants, she slipped it off and began rubbing his muscular chest.  He gently held the bottom of Roz’s t-shirt and slipped it over her head.  Her smile told him that that was what she wanted.  During the continuation of the French kissing as Roz called it, he gently unsnapped her bra.  After he gently removed it Roz pulled his head to her breasts.  “Kiss them and fondle them but be gentle!”  Roz  began to moan softly.  As he tried different strategies with his lips and tongue on her breasts, the moaning either increased or diminished slightly.  While this experimentation continued, Roz began to unbuckle his belt and unbutton his pants.  He gasped when she undid his fly and grasped his erect manhood.  He reciprocated by massaging her pubic area between her legs as he alternated kissing her lips and breasts.  Roz’s moans increased and the Rockstar could feel the dampness oozing through her pajama bottoms. 

Roz slowly stood the Rockstar up and gently led him into her bedroom.  There she gently removed his pants and socks, while he removed her pajama bottoms.  The young lovers could now see the bodies that were in store for each other.  Roz led the Rockstar to the bed, and laid down on the exposed bottom sheet.  “Kiss me more,” she said pulling him down beside her.  “Touch my pussy gently as you kiss me.”  Her hand gently stroked his throbbing member.  “Take off my panties and kiss my inner thighs!”  Her body began to undulate.  “Lie down on your back and I will take off your shorts!”  Deftly, she put a condom on the Rockstar’s fully erect manliness.  Roz then straddled the Rockstar and lowered herself onto him.  It was like his manhood had been plunged into a steaming caldron.  Roz’s body began to rise up and down.  “Fondle my breasts and massage my nipples!”  The intensity of the copulation increased until Roz let out a loud groan as she had her first orgasm.  Continuing her aggressive pace, she had 3 more.  On Roz’s fourth, the Rockstar was rocked by his first sexual intercourse orgasm.  He could  feel the explosion right to the top of his head.  It was indescribable.

Roz rolled off the Rockstar, pulled up the comforter and snuggled up to him.  Basking in the glow of a magical physical experience, the Rockstar asked why she seduced him tonight.  Her answer startled him but caused him to understand.  “I wanted to be with a guy who was different than the other men I have dated.  Tonight I saw a musical talent that has so much potential which is combined with a genuinely nice person.  Since I have gotten to know you better at work, I sense in you something different and something very deep.  I don’t love you but I sense that I could.  You have a different karmic future and this time is but an early period.  I wanted to be a part of it and tonight was my way of adding to your journey.  It was wonderful!  You are a caring and sensitive lover but tonight was not love.  It was great sex that met a need we both had.  I was glad to share it with you.”  With that, Rosalind dozed off.

The Rockstar’s mind was in a turmoil on his drive home from Rosalind’s place.  His current mental state was a bag of mixed feelings of which he struggled to make sense.  He felt regret that he had succumbed to his physical needs and wants.  He felt he had somehow cheated on Jody and thereby put their relationship at risk.  He felt he had wandered afar from the moral values of his family.  He felt he used Roz.  He liked her but certainly did not love her as he had Sandie and the way he was feeling about Jodie.  He was disappointed in himself for acting rather than thinking about consequences.  Most of all, he had no clue what to do as a result of this one-night stand.  He dreaded having to face his Mom, Jody and even Roz on Monday.  No plan would serve these interactions.  All he could do was play it out, stick to this principles and hope it would work out for the best.

When he wakened very late Sunday morning, he found his Mom puttering in the kitchen.  “You came home very late last night son,” his Mom observed.

“It was late!  I drove a colleague from work home after the dance.  I didn’t want her to have to take a bus that late at night.  There was some trouble in the parking lot before the dance ended and the risk concerned me.”

“Do I know this person?”  “You only talk about Alf from work,” offered Mom.

“Her name is Rosalind.  I never mentioned her because I really didn’t know her until we talked after the dance last night,” evaded the Rockstar.  Sensing his reluctance to share openly, Mom decided it was probably best to end this conversation and leave it up to her son’s good judgment to work out whatever was left unsaid.  The Rockstar did not feel good about the brief interaction with his Mom but had no real idea what to do about it.  He did not lie but felt omission is akin to one.

The Rockstar went to Jody’s place mid-afternoon to work on some songs.  He knew facing her would be as tough as facing his Mom and the consequences far direr.  Jody warmly welcomed him in with a quick kiss and hug.  She felt so good in his arms but his conscience created a barrier to anything more.  They sat and talked about the dance last night.  The Rockstar told Jody about the dance generally and what some of the highlights were.  He then told Jody the story of the problem with the aggressive teen.  He relayed the story in detail including the part involving Roz.  He ended the story by mentioning to Jody that he drove Rosalind home after the dance.  Jody quickly picked up the final detail and the Rockstar noticed the sadness creeping into her eyes.  She did not pose any questions but the Rockstar knew there were some really tough ones in her mind.  “Jody, what’s wrong?  I can see it in the change in your eyes.”

“Should I be worried about us?” bleated Jody.

“Absolutely not!” stated the Rockstar.  “I have no interest in or feelings for Rosalind other than she is a colleague at work.  I like her as a person.  She is nothing you should worry about.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.  My question was about us, not another girl at your workplace.”  The Rockstar knew he was now in big trouble.

“Jody, I love you and I want an ‘us’.  This should be of no worry to you.  We both will have others who journey through our lives every day.  But at the end of each day, we will be a couple.  I do not want that to change.  I am sorry that this is troubling to you.  I have learned a big life’s lesson here.  I need to be more sensitive to the consequences of the decisions I make, especially when they have the potential of impacting us.  I will do better in this regard in the future.  I am truly grateful that we are an ‘us’!”  The Rockstar knew he had to apologize but also knew his indiscretion had altered his relationship with Jody and for that he was truly sad.  Jody accepted the Rockstar’s apology but the sadness did not disappear from her eyes.

The Rockstar encountered Rosalind quite early Monday morning.  He smiled at her and greeted her warmly.  He asked if she and he could meet for lunch as he needed to talk with her about what happened after the dance.  Roz agreed and during their scheduled break, they found a private spot to eat their lunches and talk.  The Rockstar apologized for what happened at Rosalind’s place in the early hours of Saturday morning.  While what happened was amazing, he apologized for using Roz to satisfying his physical needs and his needing to know how to make love.  He felt that what had happened was based on his lust and was almost devoid of heartfelt feelings.  He told Roz that he didn’t want to be one of those men who used her as that was not who he wanted to be as a person.  He told her he genuinely liked her and hoped that they could at least remain friends.

Roz smiled, took one of the Rockstar’s hands and looking him straight in the eye, offered him the following.  “Thank you!  That was one of the nicest things a guy has ever told me.  There was really no need for you to apologize.  I initiated the seduction and did not feel used.  It was wonderful sex for me and you will be an amazing lover someday.  Who you are as a person made it a little more than lust for me.  Thank you for a very special sexual encounter.  Who knows where it could go between us and I am happy to remain your friend for now.”  With that, Roz returned to her salad.

Several days later, the Rockstar was sitting in the basement studio, strumming some chord sequences and pondering his current and future life.  He came to the realization he was at a number of crossroads.  He was concerned about his professional and personal life with Jody.  He knew he was in love with her but their relationship might have changed with his unfortunate indiscretion with Roz.  He was also concerned with their professional relationship.  He knew in his heart that Jody did not aspire to be a performer.  Even though she added so much to the band, it was taking a huge toll on her when she performed.  That could not continue much longer.  They had much to work out in order to have a future together.

The demands on the Young Ones to grow were huge.  The amazing success they had in such a short period of time spoke to their talent and potential.  Could the band meet the demands for anticipated growth?  Could he as their musical leader continue to facilitate this growth?  Could they achieve the vision they were developing and striving so hard to accomplish?These questions clouded the Rockstar’s mind.

Finally, the Rockstar wondered about his choice to become a successful professional musician.  The road to achieve this goal was unchartered in his mind.  He understood the need for formal training in music and felt his decision to register in university was sound.  He was finding road trips were challenging but necessary to get one’s music to one’s fans.  He wondered how daunting touring might be if the Young Ones ever reached that level of success.  The Rockstar’s next few years would be a significant challenge for an 18-year-old of the sixties.

 

Invitation from the author, Roy Wilcox …

Should you wish to find out what happens to the Rockstar in the next segment of his life, the second book in The Rockstar trilogy has unfolded.  Get ready to find out:

  • Why and who killed Mark Horton.
  • If the Rockstar and Jody’s relationship will survive Roz.
  • How and if the Young Ones achieve their dreams of success.

 

The Rockstar - Stardom

Few garage bands achieved the stardom they envisaged for themselves.  It was an elusive dream fraught with many perils.  Embarking on an unchartered path which only perseverance, good decisions and strokes of luck, resulted in the fulfilment of the dream was only part of the challenge. Time on the road and the demands of performances took its toll on musicians and relationships.  The Rockstar experienced many adventures on his journey of destiny and the inexorable tragic event.

 

Stardom will be released on Booksie in April upon completion of the editing and formatting process.  In the interim, commentary will be gratefully received by the author.


Submitted: March 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RoyBoy. All rights reserved.

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