Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
They were billed as “The Band With The Loudest Guitar Player In The World.” The guitar player was so loud, in fact, that the rest of the band was inaudible. The drummer played a modest Gretsch jazz kit; the bass player toted around a small practice amp which he may as well have left unplugged; the singer worked the room through a portable Bose PA system better suited for weekly town meetings than a rock gig.
The Guitar Player played a heavily modified Gibson SG – classic cherry red – sporting aftermarket Dimarzio pickups that were rewired for maximum amplitude, and a silver Floyd Rose whammy bar. It was impossible to keep in the instrument in tune, due to the twang bar’s shoddy installation job, and the pickups were overheated to the point that any musicality was strained out of the signal.
This contraption was routed into two Peavey Butchers by way of a signal splitter purchased at Radio Shack. The amps required constant maintenance: the “all the way to 10” attitude resulted in their guts being shredded as effectively as if someone had taken a shotgun to them. Most of the band’s moderate income went to repairing the two imposing black boxes. The guitar player’s persnickety nature required that his cousin handle all repairs. His cousin, an obviously intelligent young man who possessed a great talent for convincing people that he was slightly more gifted than he actually was, replaced parts based more on what they looked like than their true electrical capacity.
The amps contained fuses, tubes and breakers that had previously been found in television sets, automobiles and kitchen equipment.
The Band With the Loudest Guitar Player In The World lived about half an hour away from a popular New England college town. Despite the proliferation of clubs and universities, they had difficulty booking gigs. Any outing required the relocation of a small platoon.
The guitar player insisted that his cousin accompany them, to address the inevitable equipment snafus.
Another cohort, a strange man in his sixties, acted as roadie. He insisted that virtually no music of merit had been written or recorded since the mid-1980s. He would buttonhole club staff and refuse to budge until someone admitted that Can’t Buy A Thrill was the greatest record ever made.
Finally, an oversized woman would accompany the roadie on his missions. She refused to watch movies or television shows that did not have religious underpinnings. The roadie obviously viewed her as, in some fashion, his girlfriend; she, however, seemed to have no awareness of this arrangement, and spent the bulk of their time together watching The Ten Commandments on her iPad.
Anywhere between 7 and 10 people would arrive at the club with The Band With The Loudest Guitar Player In The World, booked on a Tuesday evening to open for a local blues band. Instantly, The Band With The Loudest Guitar Player In The World would make demands about stage times, and hector the waitresses about the inadequacies of the building’s wiring. The roadie, an aging fullback wearing a RUSH t-shirt, would stalk around the room, looking for someone – anyone – who looked like they might not have heard Can’t Buy A Thrill.
At 10PM, the band would unleash their inimitable roar, grinning mischievously at the din. People would leave the club inside of 15 minutes. Both the promoter and the headliner would threaten violence, afterwards. The oversized woman would bray about how people were “sweary-swearing” too much.
“These gigs are just popularity contests,” the guitar player would grumble on the ride home.