Monday, January 19, 2009

Fiction - The Show - #1

I was just about to put blogging on hold because I HAVE TO WORK EVERY DAY UNTIL A QUARTER PAST VALENTINE'S DAY! (huff, huff, huff) But then I got to thinking about November when I was doing a post a day. When you're really busy you mostly just post about being really busy. Not a lot of fun for the viewing audience. But the last few posts I started writing fiction. It was a blast and folks seemed do like it.

I've got all these stories from doing shows, mostly mine but a few from others. I've been thinking about a way to string them all together. My favorite part about Tom Clancy novels is all the inner workings type stuff that he surrounds the plot with. I'm short a plot at present but maybe you can help out with some ideas for my protagonist. In the mean time I'm going to just sketch out some scenes and see what develops.

The Show - #1

Jason rubbed his eyes and left the mixer. Plunging into the crowd he threaded his way to the stage for the changeover. Two more acts before his guys. Gawdawful gymnasium. Hell of a place to try and do a show in and make it sound like anything. Colleges have deep pockets though and the checks don't bounce... even if it sounds like crap.

By the time he got to the stage the first local support act had disappeared with his acoustic guitar. Too bad that lousy whiner was likely to be the best it got for the night. At least he had a chance in this echo chamber. From here on out it was going to be ever louder whiny crap. What ever happened to musicians that wrote about something other than awful relationships. Oh well, not everybody can work for Van Halen, and even a bad day at a rock show was better than a good day hanging drywall.

The new crop of whiners was shoving their gear into place. Of the three guitar players (three guitar players, Lord in Heaven) two looked at him like he had just run over their cat. I need a shirt that says "Don't Piss Off The Sound Guy". The drummer looked like he might not be able to read and the bass player didn't look much better off. Par for the course.

J could look over a band loading in and tell at a glance if they were going to be trouble or not. Stumbling idiots usually weren't too much of a pain in the ass but they sounded like crap. Smarty pants bands were usually a total pain in the ass, non-stop demands and at the end of the set they still sounded like crap. He could smell them out like checking to see if that Chinese food in the fridge was still good. The only good band was one that could slam their shit on stage and start bangin'. Like his guys. Months on the road had their skills sharpened. He proudly bragged to the local sound techs that he could get them on and line checked in under five minutes. No bull.

Slithering by the back line to place drum mics he felt a tug at his leg. Clip, clip, twist, clip.

"Hey! HEY!" J twisted his torso around "You just tumbled my wireless DOOD!"

Maybe if you had something better than that piece of crap from Banjo Center and put it in a rack like a big boy I wouldn't have knocked your little toy on the floor.

"S'matter with it?"

"It won't fuckin' turn on!"

J looked at the tiny black box in the kid's hand. The insulation was pulled back from the plug a good six inches. Yeah, keeping it in a duffel bag with your crap and being built by Chinese orphans didn't have anything to do with why that broke. My pant leg is totally at fault here. Might as well solder it for him. It's not like pushing the faders is going to make what they do sound any good. "Lemme see it. Huh. Get a cable, I'll go fix this. It'll be done before your set's over." Why don't I ever say that shit out loud?

J threaded his way back to the mix, performed a cursory line check, noted that all four string players were offensively out of tune and got out his soldering iron. The band ground away at their set. He kept himself blissfully occupied stripping the wires back while fifteen hundred college kids stood around and failed to be impressed by their classmates' attempt at emo.

He flowed solder into the splices with the deft moves of a surgeon, found some electrical tape in his box and finished up. Standing up and stretching he looked over at the lighting guy. "Five more." he said in the relative silence between caterwauling. The band started in again. J jerked his thumb over his shoulder and the lighting guy nodded. He'd mind the store. He was well aware that J hadn't touched a thing since the band had started and remaining untouched wan't likely to help or hinder the situation.

J stepped out from behind the mix and headed for an exit to grab a smoke. Two down, one to go... then we'll show these punks how you make music. Gawdawful gym. Gawdawful whiners. Beats swingin' a hammer though.

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  1. the word solder gives me problems. it doesn't want to be sodder. it wants to be soulder. good tale.

  2. 'dude.. could you turn up my monitor? i can't hear my beautiful self..'


    brings back memories of helping my brother do sound gigs. so fun.


Keep it clean...