Backstage with the Band from the Book

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
a short story about the band from the book. ;)

Submitted: April 09, 2016

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Submitted: April 09, 2016

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Backstage with the Band from the Book.

The bass goes bada-bada boom, boom, biddle bah.

The guitarist rips out a solo, shredding through some type of arpeggios.

The drums did some steady work on keeping the beat. The whole time the drummer looked serene like he might not be breaking a sweat.

Their singer jumped around like a coked up badger, making Van Halen era David Lee Roth look like a lazy sloth. The singer leaned down, recited a line that consisted of some amateur sexual innuendo, and improbably and most likely impossibly simultaneously made eye contact with every hot girl in the audience; and not just the skanky ones, but also the ones whose friends dragged them out that night, too.

The band finished the song with a coordinated, explosive finish (whatever the loving fuck that means).

Daryl, their singer, screamed, “Good night, we love you, and we are the Duncan Clarke Heinz Six!”

Back in the dressing room the band sat around, their gear already loaded up. Tim the guitarist was showing his musical depth by gently strumming flamenco tunes on his acoustic guitar.

Billy the bassist said, “You know what? This is bullshit.”

Daryl the singer was all like, “Dude, what are you talking about? Did you see that the audience loved us? I know the venue was small, but did you see how many hot girls were out there? And not just skanks, either.”

Billy rolled his eyes and pointed out that, “Yeah that venue was shit, but that’s not it, man. The whole thing is B.S., all of it, everything.” He paused for a second. “We also have a stupid name.”

Daryl was already somehow half-way through a cigarette when he shrugged in an impossibly nonchalant manner and said, “Yeah I know we’ll get a better name - they’ll get rid of the six before the story is published.”

Billy, looked more frustrated at this point and contradicted, “No dude, no way dude. Not only is the name so fucking stupid - and not just ‘cause there are four of us and it ends with a six - but would anyone go see a band with that name?”

Tim didn’t miss one note or mess up the timing of the incredibly complex ballad he was playing. While he looked up from his guitar for the first time tonight, looking with just his eyes over at the two arguing, he raised one eyebrow as if to say, “Oh this again - why can’t these guys just chill?” He didn’t say that, but if you saw the way he raised his eyebrow you’d get it. I know it’s in quotes but just know nothing was verbalized - it was all body language.

Daryl now was smoking a cigarette that somehow was slightly less smoked down than the one a few paragraphs ago. “Billy-o, man, that name is just a place holder until the author can come up with something more rock and roll. It’s just a place holder, and the six, don’t you worry about the six. He was originally going to have a sax player and keyboard until he realized that everyone reading the story was going to know he had not listened to any new music since the 80’s.” Now he was patting Billy on the shoulder, “Dude, man, it’s gonna get fixed before publishing.”

  Billy slapped the hand of Daryl off of his shoulder and fixed him with a steely stare. “LOOK DUDE! They’re not gonna fix it before publishing.” He said “publishing” in a whiney, mocking voice - I probably should have pointed that out before you read the dialog. You know what, I’ll fix it before publishing.

Bill’s jaw tensed up, as did his fist, like he was ready to start swinging. “Like I said, this is shit, the whole thing. This gig sucks. Name one band that made the leap from books to anything, to anything.”

Tyrell, the black drummer who is also the peace maker of the group, stepped between them. “Whoa guys, chill out. Look, don’t you remember why we started this band? It was always about the music, the friendship, and sticking it to the man.”

Tyrell then got that ‘oh no you didn’t’ look, walked over to the dressing room door near the margin, and started yelling, “Yo, hey, are you listening, asshole? Before you wrote me you assured me you wasn’t gonna write me like that!” He put his hands on his hips in the universal symbol for I’m pissed off. “You said you know black people, that they’re your friends, and you were going to write me realistically and with dignity - neither of which is happening right now! In fact, I don’t think you’ve ever met anyone that wasn’t white.” He was right. I hadn’t. But I figured I never met any Martians either and reviews said that I made them seem real, so I figured I could pull this off. It’s cool, though. He’s got a small part and we won’t hear from him again.

  Daryl, now smoking two cigarettes for some reason probably to calm his nerves stated, “Look, the gig sucks, I get that. But we’re paying our dues to the band union club.”

  “Yeah the gig does suck, but you know what else sucks? We suck. We’re a terrible band.” Billy still seemed pissed off, “Did you hear us? We don’t even make sense, it’s like a deaf person was trying to make us sound like the hot new sound before it’s a thing.” Still going, “Look at that intro - can you even put these descriptions together in a way that makes any sense musically?”

  Daryl, now circling around the dressing room, throws complementary trays of food and cocaine on the floor, against walls, into fucking mirrors. Yeah, that sounded a little dirty. That’s just ‘cause Daryl is the embodiment of hyper-cool hyper-sexuality – ‘cause he’s clearly a future rock star, oh yeah.

  Daryl, now with two cigarettes in each hand, puts his hands on his head, covering part of his lion-like mane. “Oh shit, you are right. Shit, shit, shit, you are so right. Why did we do this gig?” He starts looking around wildly. Then his eyes notice for the first time the baseball bat the management keeps in the dressing room for bands that don’t understand why they’re not getting paid for the show. He grabs the bat and holds it like he’s ready to cause some damage. “Let’s go have a talk with that fucking writer and make sure he knows we’re done - we are out of this bum deal.”

Billy pumps his fist and enthuses, “Yeah, oh yeah, let’s go get that mother fucker - and if he doesn’t understand, we’re going to make his face into pudding!”

Tim, now playing an old folk song showing his range and depth as a musician and as a soul, says without looking up from his guitar, “You know he’s not going to let that happen. These writers, that’s just how they are. We’re fucked and we might as well like it or at least accept it.”

Daryl and Billy both look at each other, realizing that he’s right. They look down at their feet, realizing the hell they’re stuck in. Then, at the same time, they look up at each other, communicating with just their eyes that they both realize they have a traitor in their midst.

The two descend on the guitarist, Tim, raining kicks and bat swings upon his surprisingly durable head and ribs. Billy grabs the acoustic out of Tim’s protective grip.

Tim begs, “Anything but the guitar, not the guitar. She’s innocent, she has nothing to do with this, man.”

Billy gets the guitar and smashes it over Tim’s head, which is when Tim starts to cry and mutter lamentations under his breath. Billy screams, “Break his fucking hands!” and they did.

The Duncan Clarke Heinz Six never broke out of books, but they did have a long and varied career playing in sci-fi, romance novels, and young adult. They even starred in one story about the career of a fictional rock band that was self-published, which no one ever read; but the story did possibly get the author laid on one occasion, when he mentioned at a party that he was a published writer.


© Copyright 2020 Robert Owen. All rights reserved.

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