By the time we’re all at Michael’s, it’s too late to set up, and still take a break at Sorrento’s. It’s obvious that I am not the only one worse for wear. Robby is pissed that we’d stopped him from molesting Hippie. The Jacettes are just tired. All band members are hung over from the partying after playing two sets the previous night, plus practicing to make the adjustment to my not singing. We set up at the party house. We know nobody there. The host, Grant, is dubious we can even play after finding out we are all 14 to 17 years old. He tells us we aren’t allowed to be served at the bar. Then, Jill shows up. Jace and I explain she is going to sing with us. The Jacettes welcome her into their clutches, while all the guys are in awe of a twenty-year-old hanging out with us. Several college guys try to hit on her but we kick them out, “Band only.” She comes over and gives Jace and me a kiss, admitting she’s a bit nervous.
“It’ll be fun,” we reassure her. “Remember when you and Wilkie sang ‘God Save the Queen?”
That makes her a little sad, missing David.
“You have a great voice, pure and true,” Jace knows what to say.
No sense waiting around to play. We get up, set up to start, tuning and adjusting mics. The Jacettes do a little a Capella, “love, love, love.” People start filling up the room.
Hey,” I croak into the mic. “welcome to our nightmare. We’re a little party’d out from the holidays, so I won’t be singing much tonight.”
Jace plays the first few bars of ‘Joy to the World,” as I glare at him.
“We have a treat for you instead, as our friend, Jill,” I point at her with the Jacettes, “ is going to do a little Rod Stewart tribute later on.”
She smiles and waves, to several whistles and applause.
“Since they cut us off at the bar, can somebody get me a beer?”
Jace cuts in with the opening guitar to the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light,’ which I can handle.
Then we did ‘White Light, White Heat,’ which is a strain.
Jace goes to the mic, while I grab my guitar. He lights into ‘Walk on the Wild Side,’
except he changed ‘Little Joe’ to:
‘Little Tim never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City is the place where they said:
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey Tim, take a walk on the wild side’
He goes back to the beginning, substituting ‘Holly’ with Edi and ‘Candy’ with Mary, and pointing at Robby for ‘Sugar Plum Fairy.’ I’m able to join in for the chorus of ‘doo doodoo doo doo deda doo.’
Songwriters: REED, LOU
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, SPIRIT MUSIC GROUP
Then he goes solo on ‘Waitin’ for My Man,’ which he sings as a love song to me.
‘Everybody’s pinned you and nobody cares
He’s got the works, gives you sweet taste’
at which he kisses me on the lips. The girls in the crowd start screaming and the guys look like they’re going to attack. Max comes bounding on stage and growls at them. Jace finishes and goes right into the Stones, ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together,’
“I love you more than ever,” not even looking at the crowd. I turn around and we were playing guitar back to back, butt to wiggling butt. More screams and plastic cups come flying from the back of the crowd. Next Jace goes right into ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ changing all the words around,
“Please allow us to introduce ourselves, we’re men of sexual needs, been around a long long time, won’t listen to Jesus’ pleas.”
He lets me play the Keith Richard parts, while he sings behind me, grinding his groin into my butt. People up front start to go “Yeah, fuck that boy.” There’s a fight in the back, and more cups come flying. Jace now switches to Bowie’s ‘All the Young dudes,’ while I shout out the ‘where are you’s.’
More fighting in the back. The girls up front are getting into the music, whistling and going all googly-eyed at us. Their boyfriends are trying to hold onto them. Jace switches genders in Bowie’s ‘Suffragette City,
Hey man, ah leave me alone you know
Hey man, well Henry, get off the phone, I gotta
Hey man, I gotta straighten my face
This mellow gay dude just put my spine out-of-place
Hey man, my school day’s insane
Hey man, my work’s down the drain
Hey man, well he’s a total blam-blam
He said he had to squeeze it but he then he
Ah don’t lean on me man, cause you can’t afford the ticket
I’m back from Suffragette City
Oh don’t lean on me man ’cause you ain’t got time to check it
You know my Suffragette City is outta sight, he’s all right…”
BOWIE, DAVID /
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC
and then going into ‘You Pretty Things,’ singing to the girls in the front.
People are still fighting in the back, slowly working their way to the front. Jace jumps into ‘Radar Love,’ playing the long solo leads himself, and then doing the vocals while I play lead.
In front, everyone is dancing and jumping around to the music. Robby and Michael are going crazy on the double drums. By the time the fighters get to the front, it creates a mosh pit of swirling bodies, thrown punches, people going down, and then getting trampled. Jace changes the final lyrics:
‘When I get lonely, and I’m sure I’ve had enough
He sends his comfort, comin’ in from above
We don’t need no letter at all
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love
We’ve got a line in the sky
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love’
KOOYMANS, GEORGE / HAY, BARRY
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
We go back to Bowie and do “Panic in Detroit.” with no gender bending.
The swirling mosh pit gets everyone moving in the same direction and people start picking up those who fall and get trampled. A gay boy with a black eye comes up and gives us two beers. We need it and pause while everyone settles down. Some guys are still trying to attack others, but the pit thrashers hold them at bay.
“You guys can’t take our gaydar love?” I shout, croaking. “Let’s take a step back into the 60s.” I pointed to Jill, who had been watching in shock. The Jacettes all come up with her, like bodyguards.
“Jill’s the sweetest person I know. She and her boyfriend were the first couple to accept me and my boyfriend when I came to Miami. She’s going to calm down the hate.”
Jace starts the guitar intro and Jill comes in with a high, lilting voice,
“You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should I grow old.
You are my lover, you’re my best friend.”
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Everyone is spellbound after the hate and anger and pride of our set.
She finishes to cheers.
“Wanna do another?” I ask into the mic.
She nods and starts singing without instruments,
‘If I listen long enough to you
I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true
Knowin’ that you lied straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe
Someone like you makes it hard to live without somebody new
Someone like you makes it easy to give, never think about myself.’
AUSTIN, DALLAS / REYES, TONY / RICHIE, LIONEL /
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, ALLEN STANTON PRODUCTIONS
Jace comes over and we play and sing ‘Maggie May’ to her.
She laughs and kicks us when we sing ‘kicked me in the head.’
At the end, she kisses us both and runs off with the Jacettes.
The crowd is pressing forward and cheering her. We say we’re taking a break and the cheers go up. The gay boy comes back with beers for everyone. We collapse next to the stage. Max stands guard as we catch our breath.
“I’ll never get laid tonight,” Hippie complain.
I tell him we’ll do his Doors songs. Then he should run off with the groupies which will be the end of our set.
“What if they try to molest me?”
“Just remember what we told you, if you like it, it ain’t molestation; if you don’t, then you’re being molested. Try to deliver the spunk package this time”
He’s smiling again. Hard to believe how Hippie has become the sweet side of our band.
Grant, the house owner (at least, his parents) marches over, pissed and ready to fire us. There’s been more than a little damage in the back.
“Hey,” I cut him off before he can start. “We can’t be blamed for what your guests do. Those guys in the back are bigoted assholes.”
“This isn’t New York City, boy. You can’t just go around fagging off in front of my friends.”
“This is how it’s going to play. We’ll do our Jim Morrison songs and end the set. You pay us our $200 bucks right now and 25% of the bar.”
“And if I don’t.”
“We’ll do our metal set and see how much of your house is left once we set off your guests. A little fagging off is nothing compared to a full-on thrashing.”
He turned white and gives me the $200.
“Now let’s see how much is in the bar till”
We walk over. It’s over $3000 already.
“I’ll take a thousand now and we’ll end this after a few songs with no further riot.”
He looks pissed, but he has no choice. We have his guests in our pocket, even the gay bashers.
I go back and find Dave and Jazz.
“Look. We’re playing a short set and then getting quickly the hell out of here. So be ready to move the equipment out as soon as possible.”
“These guys are assholes.”
I can’t disagree.
Jill stays with the Jacettes. Everyone is set. I take the mic last, to scattered boos and cheers.
“Having fun, boys?” I ask, to more boos. “Well, we’re not here to ruin your evening. You gay bashers might look up front for your girlfriends who look like they’re crushing on our act. They might find your ‘macho in the morning but can’t get it up at night act’ boring.” More boys cheer and a sprinkling of “Yeahs” in the front from the girls.
“Well, Grant wants us gone, so we’ll do our Doors act and hit the door.”
Jace does the ‘Light my Fire’ intro. Hippie comes up to the mic with me.
He’s forgotten he doesn’t know all the words. We play together and I croak out Jim Morrison just fine. “The Whiskey Song’ goes over well, especially the part of ‘show me the way to the next little girl.”
These guys are all pervs. I move back so Hippie can solo ‘Hello, I Love You.’
The girls instantly recognize a straight boy and flock in front of him. At the end, he puts down his bass and jumps into their waiting arms. He disappears into the crowd.
“That’s all, folks.”
We pack up and are out by the cars in five minutes.
Mr. Antonio comes up to me. “You really pushed it tonight. Lucky for you Max is here.”
Max barks his approval.
“Yeah, we’ll throw him more than a bone once we get home.”
“Speaking of bones. Did they try to stiff you on your fee?”
“He wanted to, but I explained what would happen if we really let the crowd go wild,” and I give him the stack of cash I had.
“You want a job, kid. We could use an enforcer who uses his brains over his muscles.”
I flex for him to show I do have some muscles. Unfortunately, I haven’t worked out in months. He just laughs.
We’re ready to go, but Hippie is not to be seen. I send Dave and Jazz to look for him, suggesting the nearest bathroom. Jazz comes back. He says Hippie is occupied. Dave will drag him out as soon as he’s ‘finished.’ Our boy is a quick learner and not so quick an ejaculator anymore. The two of them show up in due time. I never see Hippie without his angelic smile ever again. Sex Ed. is better as a do it yourself activity.
At Sorrento’s everybody gets $50, including Jill. That leaves the remaining $700 for Michael’s dad. He tells me he’s just about made back his original investment. It isn’t really about the money; getting his son’s respect has no price. He beams at me. I hug him, knowing it embarrasses him.
“You push the gay, boy,” he laughs.
“It pushes me,” I counter. “I can’t thank you enough for supporting us. All we need now is to impress Jenna’s dad on New Year’s Eve.”
“I’d lay off the gay stuff if you want to do that.”
“It’ll be the all Michael show.” Then I tell him we have two boys Jenna’s age, who’ll get everyone dancing to the pop oldies we will play.
“I’m still impressed by how much you plan ahead. You’re something, Tim.”
He puts his hands up before I can hug him again. I go back to the other table, where everyone is kidding Hippie, asking for details, which are too graphic for enjoyment. I know I need to teach that boy the no kiss & tell rule – don’t.
Nobody complains when I hand out $50 apiece, like the $50 they got the night before. Not bad for the weekend though – $100 each. Jill doesn’t want her share. I tell her to listen to her gay dads. She more than earned it. If she hadn’t calmed the animals with Rod Stewart, Grant’s house would be trashed. And we’d not been paid at all. She relents. We go over to Mr. Antonio’s table where they try to be better company than the horny 15-year-olds.
“How do you know Tim?” he asks.
“Well, we’ve gone along on his wonderful/horrible year. My boyfriend’s on the University swim team where Tim showed up last summer. Somehow they were swimming in the same lane at first. David became his first friend.”
“Who’s your boyfriend?”
“David Wilkie. He’s in London, working out with the British National Team for Christmas.”
“I know who he is. He’s a star swimmer. Was Tim also that good? I know he was City Champ, but that’s not in the same league as a world-class swimmer.”
“I think Tim just adopted us. Then one day he shows up at our door in tears, so we adopted him.”
“He does cry a lot.”
“He holds everything in. Then it bursts out of control.”
“I bought him a guitar. He acted like the world had ended.”
“He’s pretty tough and seems to pull others in, especially boys.”
“Hey, I can hear you, you know,” I pipe up. “My love life is complicated.”
They both laugh and agree I’m dramatizing what seems to be pure lust.
“Well, that’s the way everyone should live.” I assert.
“It’s more complicated,” Michael’s dad notes.
“Why? If you love somebody, don’t let them go.”
“Is it hard with David being in London?” He asks her. I guess they’ve solved my issues.
“Yeah. I worry they’ll make him stay and train for the Olympics next year. But he’s twenty now. He should finish his degree.”
“What about you? Will you go there if he stays.”
“I’m holding out until I finish my degree.”
“Yeah, but Jace and Tim have appointed themselves as my gay parents. They are keeping me from meeting anyone new. Did you see the girls in the band protecting me on stage.”
“That was cute. And you sing beautifully.”
“I told her that.” I add, not sure if I need to protect her from Mr. Antonio. “We can make her the lead singer in a metal band. Dress her like Pat Benetar.”
My enthusiasm makes them laugh.
“What the boys are doing is just fun and having fun with their friends, of which I’m one. Did you see how they got David and me to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ at the frat house?”
“Yeah, they come up with the greatest ideas.”
“That’s us, the geniuserators.”
I feel I should go back to the other table so the adults can pick me over behind my back. I’ll get Jill to tell me what Mr. Antonio really thinks about me. And the pot is going round there. I hear Max’s bark of approval. After indulging, I forget about what anyone thinks of me. I make sure Jill is driven home by Hippie, not Michael’s dad.
“Still protecting me, huh?”
“Always, luv.” She gasps.
“That’s what David says, even the accent.”
“I channel everyone, that’s why I can only sing covers.”
She gives me a peck. I tell her to come to the Viscaya show on New Year’s Eve. We need her to sing. She smiles and says, “Of course.”
Driving home, I notice that Jimmy Olsen is missing.
“He probably got sick of hanging out with high school dropouts.”
“What a soc.”
Finally, Jace and I are alone, except for Max, who’s well-behaved after getting high at Sorrento’s. Jace pulls off my clothes as I do the same to him.. I close the window and lock it. We lick our salty, sweat-stained bodies until we’re both writhing on the bed.
“Take me,” Jace begs.
We oblige each for an extended time. Finally he wraps his arms around me, squeezing me so intensely I have to arch again to get him to let me breathe.
“You were screaming,” he whispers.
“I’ve been cumming constantly for five minutes without stop. The well is dry.”
“The well’s a gusher,” he notes.
“You’re my oil rig rough-neck roustabout.”
He finds his shirt on the floor and wipes us dry. We snuggle into each other. It’s morning when I hear pounding on my window. When I open it, Robby recoils from the sight of me naked and covered with dried cum.
“Cover yourself. You gotta see this.” As he holds up the Miami Herald.
“Jace jumps up, causing Robby to again recoil.
“Have pity on a poor straight boy, please,” he begs.
“Take a picture for your memory bank,” Jace mocks him, walking over to see the newspaper.
Cub reporter Jimmy Olsen has sold our story to the mainstream press. The headline reads, “BAND DOESN’T NEED THE BEATLES.” It showcases the picture of the three of us hanging onto the Jacettes. It talks about Jace saying we mock celebrities who claim to be False Gods, like John Lennon. It’s pretty accurate about who we are, all friends in the Gables, who play cover songs and are doing parties near home and at the University. It details how fans go crazy as we rip through their favorite bands’ hits, metal, glitter, pop and oldies. It acknowledges Jace as a prodigy who can play any song by ear and from memory, and how we follow his lead. It says one member is just called Hippie, the bass player, who’s the only one with a driver’s license. It calls me a Bowie impersonator who can do R&B like Mick Jagger, pose like Steven Tyler, mug like Gene Simmons, and scream like Robert Plant. I have both boys and girls falling at my feet with my gay antics. It mentions Out & Proud and how we played in the street during Christmas week. The double drummers are praised as an innovation due to the guitar and vocals overpowering just one drummer. It calls Robby our cult leader, singing our original eponymous song ‘False Gods,’ which make kids run in fear from his Ozzie Osbourne antics. We have an Iggy Pop impersonator who gets the crowd angry because we won’t play the Stooges, until he charges the stage and takes over the band. He reviews our show last night, where the crowd went crazy about our gay antics. The result is a stand-off between angry metal heads and our Glitter defenders, until a U of M co-ed gets up and sings Rod Stewart love songs to quiet the crowd. It calls Hippie the quiet one who turns into a sex-crazed Jim Morrison, ending the show when a crowd of girls chase him into the bathroom and tear off his clothes.
He goes on to predict that the ticket everybody wants and nobody can get is our New Years Eve show at Viscaya where we plan to do a 50s sock hop for our drummer’s girlfriend and her friends, invitation only. It quotes Michael as promising we’ll only play dance songs, with no evil intentions. “We are a band that plays for fun. We want to make sure everyone who hears us enjoys rock n roll.” Maybe they are the future, local kids who just play what they like and don’t care about the music business. Maybe rock n roll is just for those who haven’t grown up.
I’m mad at him for describing me as gay when he said he’d ask me first, but he doesn’t really say I’m gay. Jace likes that he says we all follow him, which is true but he isn’t really our fearless leader. Robby says he isn’t running a cult and that Mael is a real god. We tell him to tell that to the masses. Mary thinks it’s typical that the girls are in the photo but not mentioned in the story. I call Hippie to warn him that his moms might see the story, but he’s still in la la land about last night. So I talk to Meg, who I think is more on our side. I hope she will tell Marge to cool it. She laughs when I tell her.
“Our little Gregory has grown up to be a sex fiend? Does he even know what to do?”
“We told him we all would tell him about the birds & bees when we come to dinner there, so you don’t think we are misleading him.”
“Well, what happened when they took his pants down?”
“Well, the first time he shot his load before anything. Have you ever talked to him about sex?”
“And make him into a chauvinist pig?”
“Good point. We’ll all talk to him together. We’re gay, so we know about chauvinist pigs.”
“Let’s make sure he doesn’t come home with some whiner and her baby.”
“Good point again. We’ll double team him.”
Mary makes us all go to church with her. We meet Flo and Edi there. It’s fun to sing all the hymns and wave our arms around. I find my voice is much better. The girls are happy that we attended. They introduce us to their other friends. Someone tells Flo that her picture is in the Sunday paper. We all run out and buy a bunch of copies.
“How come they only write about the guys,” Flo complains.
“You all are eye candy,” I tell her. She likes that.
Her father comes in and asks about the photo, when she shows him. He looks at me and asks why I have my hands on his daughter.”
“Todas nostros estos in banda juntos.” I answer.
“He asks me “?porqu hable espanol?’
“Estudio in mi escuela.”
“Okay. Keep your hands off my daughter.”
“Si, senor. Perdone me.”
As soon as he leaves, Flo gives me a kiss and winks at me.
“He thinks you’re serious about us because you went to our church today.”
“That’s a bad thing?”
“It’s a good thing, but he’s watching you now.”
Next we go to Out & Proud, which is pretty crowded for a Sunday. When Felix waves to us, all the girls turn around, scream and run out the door to meet us. It’s Beatle Mania. We push our way inside. Felix instantly puts us to work behind the counter. Sales are brisk, with the girls asking us to sign things for them. We ask if their boyfriends are embarrassed to wear gay clothing, especially signed by other guys.
“No. we’re going to wear them. We adore the gay look.” Felix is in sales heaven. He tells us that we were due a bonus for getting his shop in the Herald.”
“How about 5% of sales, like when we played outside.”
He goes to the registered, counts his sales and gives us each one hundred bucks.
“You’ve already sold $4000 today?”
“We’re on pace for that. If you keep making appearances, it’ll be every day until your fame runs out.”
I know that fame is definitely fleeting, so why not cash in.
All the girls were flocking around Mary, asking all kinds of questions about us. Who is going with who, if I’m gay why do I have a girlfriend, and what kind of underwear I wear. When Felix hears that question, he herds us into the back and makes us put on the most garish briefs he can find. They stick out way above our jeans, which he pulls down even further. After we go back to the counters, his whole selection is sold out in ten minutes. We start autographing underwear. I ask, “What’s your boyfriend’s name?” Then I write a personal message to him and sign it. I even write a bogus phone number to call. That backfires when one of the girls tries the number. We’re caught. We’re excused by telling them we were only kidding their boyfriends, because they had to be too young for us. We tell them to always go out with someone their own age.
“How old is your boyfriend?” one asks.
Jace answers, “I’m 15.”
They all gasp and say, “But you have a girlfriend?”
“We both like boys and girls, but just our own age.”
Then they want pictures with us together, so we kiss. All the flashes go off.
Felix positions us below the Out & Proud sign. We kiss again with our arms around all the girls. Of course they notice that we both are hard.
“Oh, they really are gay,” they scream and point.
The cops come by, telling Felix that Christmas is over. They have to keep the street clear. Felix shows them the Herald article. They laugh and say to keep the noise down. Felix goes to the complaining neighbor, explaining that drawing a crowd is good for business for everyone. I count over twenty young girls on the sidewalk trying to get in. There are a few gay guys, definitely in their twenties. I realize that Phillip isn’t there.
“Oh, I dumped him,” Felix explains. ‘He was too jealous of my sugar daddy.”
“Yeah, he mentioned that. He said he’s ancient at 35.”
“That boy needs to grow up.”
“You guys have fun at our Friday show?”
“Yeah, but not enough Bowie. And I hear you had a riot last night?
“Yeah, the haters were out, but the glitter boys defended us. That’s what saved us, plus Max growling at the metal heads.”
“Will you guys come by more. You look really hot in that underwear.”
“I look even hotter without it on.”
He gives me a quick kiss, making sure Jace isn’t watching.
“Naughty boy Felix. You’re my boss.”
“I’ll let you boss me around.”
Now Jace knows something is up. Luckily it isn’t my cock. We have to leave, Felix throws a bunch of shirts at us, yelling “I ordered Love jeans for next week.”
“We’ll be back.” Luckily, he sold out all the gay underwear.
Jace keeps snapping my butt with the elastic waist band. Mary says she’s never seen both of us acting out and proud before. I show her the hundred bucks we both made, “It’s just a job.”
Robby takes note of the cash, saying, “I can act just as gay.”
“You’ll always be straight underneath. Felix thinks you’re too dark with all the occult shit.”
“Get him to open a ‘Dark & Mysterious’ shop.”
“He’s got a sugar daddy who pays for the store. We make it profitable, so Felix’s has it made both ways. His daddy pays the bills and he keeps the profits.”
That makes him think, but Mary slaps him, “Don’t even think about a sugar daddy. You’re my sugar daddy.”
“Jace did call him the ‘Sugar Plum Fairy.”
“I ain’t a fairy.”