3) Do It to Me One More Time
“Where the fuck is he?”
“Chill, Harry; he’ll be there. Keep your pants on.” Horn hung up on Harry and swerved his big black Mercedes to avoid a paint-splattered van not quite keeping up with the insane flow of traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway. He flipped the Chicano van driver off from behind the safety of the tinted–out windshield and clicked on Joey’s number.
“Yeah, baby!” Joey’s voice gleamed like an actress’s caps.
“Are you on your way? The girls are restless.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake, I’m only a few minutes late.” Joey looked at the time: 2:30. Whoops!
“Do you need to be picked up? I can swing by.”
“Nah, I’m coming down the hill right now. I’ll be there in a half hour, max.”
“Fine. It’s just Harry. He was easier when he was drinking.”
“Yeah, well so was my first wife. Actually, she was easier when I was drinking”
Joey looked out over the blue Pacific. The view from the driveway was almost as good as from the living room in this house. He felt himself coming; he leaned his head back on the headrest
“That’s it, baby, that’s it, oh god, oh sweet god, oh shit….”
Jas sat up slowly and pulled her long dark hair up in a twist.
He grinned at her. “You want to drive this thing?”
She shrugged. He got out and she slid over to the driver’s eat. It wasn’t far to PCH. He got in.
“OK, let’s see how you do this time. You gotta beat two forty –two.”
The wheels screeched as she peeled out of the drive. There’s nothing quite like an ’89 Maserati.
Harry paced around, fretting. Ace was trying to get a sound he could live with out of the rented Fender Deluxe. Ace hadn’t been playing out for a while. It didn’t matter. No one would hear him anyway. Marco and Boomer hung out: bored already.
Marco was playing Zelda Nine on his blackberry. Boomer was slumped on the couch reading the Wall Street Journal as usual.
Marco said without looking up from the tiny screen, “Hey Ace, we’ve been playing your song.”
“Which one, Slow Cookin’ or Nightline?”
“You wrote Nightline? I didn’t know that. We’ve been playing both your songs. Great songs, man”
“Well, thanks. Wish they could put ‘em out again. I don’t see much from the Cojones Brothers these days in my royalty statements. I’m proud to have been on that record way back when though.”
“I thought the Cojones were old, but you fucks are getting to be real dinosaurs. This gig is going to be sponsored by Depends. Oh shit! Dammit” Marco had to start the level again when he failed to get the green sword from the tomb.
“Yeah, we’re going to play all matinees so we can get to sleep early.”
“You should bring your kids along so I can have someone to hang out with at night.”
“You’ll have the Dark Lord.”
Horn came into the rehearsal space with two Hollywood-style suit types, one tall, one short. No ties, mock turtles, black and black.
Fuckin’ Mutt the tennis-playing undertaker and Jewish Jeff, thought Harry the Hebe.
“Guys, this is Ed Guilder and Nick Stein. Ed’s with Gratius Artus and Nick is overseeing this for Xeonosis.”
Boomer spoke up from his Wall Street Journal.” Hey, can you get me one of those implants?”
Horn said, “You need two, Boomer. Ace, how’s that rewrite looking?”
“Ok, here’s what I have so far. Mind you, it’s not in stone quite yet.”
“Was it a hard rewrite?” piped up Marco, “did you have a lot of lead in your pencil when you wrote it? “
“Alright, wiseass ladies!” Horn sounded serious. The hired hands looked at each other in mock fear.
“Ok, so you know how the original goes.” Said Ace.” Hey guys, chorus.”
Marco swung on his bass and Boomer settled behind the keys. Harry slammed the snare and they kicked into the familiar riff. It sounded good, even without Joey: thumpa-thumpa, chack-a-chack-a-chack. Ace leaned into the microphone.
“Here comes the big one,
feels like the whole world is shakin’,
no where to run, no where to run,
Here comes the big one.”
The Hollywood suits smiled and nodded. Ace signaled roll on; the band kept pumping.
“So I was thinking maybe….
Here comes the big one,
Hey baby, you know I ain’t fakin’,
gonna have some fun, gonna have some fun,
Here comes the Big One…”
They shut off the riff and looked to the two money men.
“Wow! Man! That is so, so…” Tall Ed glanced over at Short Nick. “so…like real… close! Yes, very close! I love it, don’t we Nick?”
Nick bobbed his head slightly.” Love it! I’m just wondering if it can’t be a bit more…well, you know… sexy! Yeah, I mean, not that it isn’t! But Xeonosis is spending a lot to bring this out and we want to be sure that it’s going to really be a home run! Can we get a little… I’m saying a little, but I mean a lot…yeah, a lot more sex into it?”
Harry, irritated from the first word of criticism, said,” Well, how about:
Men are from mars
Women from Venus
all you guys with little dicks
can get a big penis.”
Harry was laughing, but just under the jag he was fuming. Horn wished he could toss a bottle of cabernet into him and cool him out.
But Harry was on a roll. He took off his wire-rimmed glasses and wiped them with a little towel. ”Or,
You finally got a big cock
everybody respects it
you can sue Xeonosis
when your body rejects it.”
Tall and Short chuckled patronizingly at this humorous outburst.
Greg Horn interceded, shooting a stiletto of a look at Harry,” Ok, OK, fun is fun! Let’s get down to it.”
Just then the door to the studio flew open and in strode Joey Lowe, athletically resplendent in a black leather western gambler’s vest over a maroon silk v-neck t-shirt and wearing tight ripped-up jeans with red hi-tops. A couple of chains and a modest Celtic cross dangled on his chiseled chest. Ace peered. Joey’s dyeing his chest hair!
“You fuckheads!” he shouted gleefully. “Aceley- Waceley! Fuckin’ Harry the Hebe!” Hey Marco, Boomeranger. “
There were phony –baloney hugs all around. His smile radiated like a disco ball at one AM.
“Horny one, who are these fine gents?” He just about crushed Tall and Short’s hands with his taekwondo handshake.
One of Joey’s personal crew, a cockney bloke with spiked-out hair named Tool, said, “ ’ere we go, princess!” and slipped a custom candy apple blue Les Paul seven-string over Joey’s shoulder. He turned around and looked at his rig, kicked a couple of pedals and let out a wail that would have freaked out an F-18 pilot.
“What’re we doing?” He looked over at the dark-haired beauty queen he had come in with.
” Hey Jas, call Ruffo’s. Eight. You coming, Ace? You’re coming – everyone’s coming. Tell Ruffo we’ll need one of his fantastic paellas. You guys gotta taste this shit! Great! And Jas, get some of your girlfriends down there – Ace is two thousand miles from the old ball and chain.”
Ace rolled his eyes. Still, pretty girls to look at would be nice.
Horn said, “Ed and Nick were voicing some concerns over the rewrite that Ace did.”
Joey glanced at the paper on the music stand by the microphone. “What this? Sing this, Ace.”
Joey spun around, as if he was playing in front of sixty thousand people at Wembley, and stomped his foot. Harry slammed his sticks together One! Two! Three! Four! Now the band was really pumping. No Doubt. There was a reason why Joey Lowe was a household name. You couldn’t hear Ace’s guitar any longer. All you needed was Joey, ripping that big number one riff. Joey threw a couple of classic lead guitarist shapes to an imaginary throng and then crouched over and grinned at Ace who leaned into the mic.
“…. Here comes the big one,
baby, you know I ain’t fakin’
gonna have some fun, gonna have some fun
Here comes the Big One.”
Joey leaned into a rippin’ solo. Screeeam! Whaaa! Spoodley- doodley, Skeeoww! Flackata-Flackata! Pow! He spun and threw a reverse C shape in front of the drums, leading Harry the Hebe into a big ending.
“Yeowch! That is raw sex! I fuckin’ love it!” yelled Joey. He high-fived Ace and Harry, and then everyone else, including Ed and Nick.
Greg Horn looked at Tall and Short.” What do you think?”
Short Nick , glanced at Tall Ed, shrugged, grinned like ’58 Oldsmobiles, and said, “Absolutely brilliant. We love it!”