7 – Blog 15 – Sufi Dancing

Another morning and Jim takes me to buy croissants.

“From my room, it sounds like Freddie’s ardor for you has not diminished.”

I laugh. “You’re welcome to participate.”

He is shocked, a proper Englishman.

“Any word from Brian about the birth?”

“Oh, yes. He is in fatherhood heaven. He arrived in time to participate until he fainted.”

“Such a macho dude. Any guess on his return?”

“Freddie told him to take his time and be there for Christine. They go home tomorrow.”

“Is Billy excited at reviving his back-up role?” I decide to not press my case to replace Brian.

“I’ll let you handle that, Boss.”

“We’re a team.”

We sit and enjoy coffee with our croissants. The Knobs wander about in varying states of alertness. Max was not the only one smoking pot last night.

“Did you hear about Brian, Billy? He’s a new father now.”

That gets his attention.

“I need your help working on the Queen guitar licks,” Billy knows the score

“Meet me in the studio after you have your coffee. Let’s get all the Knobs there. We can back you up.”

I am such the helpful dude.

I call Mike in Lausanne. He is excited about practicing his Sufi dancing. I agree to come there with Amar to rehearse for our Friday noon show at the Islamic Center Mosque. Just the hardest working musician in rock n roll – Knobs practice, Lakefront swim and sing, and Muslim worship in Lausanne. Better get cracking.

Billy is all nerves having already been replaced once. I show him the leads he is unsure about. We practice without vocals, Billy doing rhythm to my lead guitar riffs. We stop and start a lot. As time approaches 10 am, I tell the Knobs to work with Billy as I must meet Amar at the Lake. We’ll reconvene after lunch.

“I’ll play the MOOG and you can be lead guitarist,” I suggest.

Billy looks relieved.

The five-franc swim instructors look overwhelmed when I show up. The swim group has doubled in size.  I initiate the ‘Buddy System,’ where everyone is assigned a buddy and told they are to keep track of each other. There will be no drowning at Lac Geneve Swim School. The only instructor in a Speedo is promoted to head lifeguard to oversee safety and help with  instruction techniques. The one rule for now: no one goes over their head.

I see Amar hanging out with friends and enjoying Lake Camp.

 He is wearing a way out-of-date bathing costume, with bloomers and a vest. I ignore his discomfort.

“You’re my ‘Buddy’ today. We have to go to Lausanne after.”

“David told Dad I performed at the Mosque and will perform again after Friday prayers”

“Is he ‘on board’ about you performing with us?”

“He’s very happy, but there is a problem. He insists I wear proper Sufi clothing.”

“All the more authentic. Do you have the costume?’

“It’s a dress. A white dress over white leggings.”

I cannot help but laugh which makes him more miserable. I glance at his bathing costume. It is straight out of the 19th Century. I am learning about Muslim modesty practices.

He is humiliated, having hoped to fit in with kids his own age; now, no longer cool enough. I sympathize with a vague memory of having clothes issues with my parents, something about underwear. I am excited to remember I had parents but not necessarily happy about it.

“David will talk to your dad but remember he dressed up as a transsexual space alien just a few years ago.”

“Well, just as long as you don’t kiss him.”

“What? Your dad?”

“No, David!” They are on a first name basis now.

The swimming goes well, with no more claims by boys that their buddy is molesting them by keeping them from sinking with a hand on their back. Wait until they get held up on their stomachs.

I find fairly modest surfer trunks for Amar and show him how to do a beach change with a towel around his waist. The towel is about slip when I catch it for him. He is relieved to be like everyone else. He is my buddy and makes good progress floating and propelling himself on his back. We progress to ducking under water and opening our eyes. His grin is infectious.

Next is bubble blowing which goes awry when I won’t let him hold his nose shut as he submerges. Sputtering and coughing is heard from other pairs doing the same. Next, he lays on his back and propels himself just by kicking. Then he turns over and kicks while he turns his head to breathe. I need to keep him from sinking by keeping a hand on his waist. This is the molestation move that I knew would bother many boys. After complaints I get everyone’s attention and demonstrate with Amar how the molesting stops when the new swimmer is able to propel himself on his stomach, turning his head to breathe. Amar learns quickly, but one breath of water stops his progress. He quickly recovers and resumes kicking and breathing without my help. The other non-swimmers are not far behind. We end the lesson at that point. I challenge the instructors to a relay race with teams of four. I station myself about 50 meters offshore and run the relay from there. The five teams are very competitive. The lead changes back and forth and the races result in different winners. The non-swimmers cheer their friends and instructors on.

Everyone is out of the water and drying off. Sitting on our towels, I start off asking how many of them were at the Friday night show.

“Où vous avez embrassé Freddie Mercury,” a wise guy mocks our kiss on stage.

“Il est mon hero,” I explain.

“Couchez-vous avec lui?”

“D’accord, môme (kid). C’est le temps de chanter maintenant.”

 I sing ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll.’

‘Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Is all my brain and body need
Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Are very good indeed

Keep your silly ways or throw them out the window
The wisdom of your ways, I’ve been there and I know
Lots of other ways, what a jolly bad show
If all you ever do is business you don’t like

Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Sex and drugs and rock and roll’

Written By Chaz Jankel & Ian Dury

Everyone is singing by the end. I am unsure if they caught my meaning. Sexual orientation is no longer an issue.

“Everyone find your buddy and listen to make sure they are in tune with the song. If not, walk far enough away and teach each other to sing properly.”

It takes a while, and some are so terrible that they cannot get it together. Meanwhile I work with those already in tune. I line up the choir from the day before, as they are the best singers. I see Amar with the choir, looking proud and pleased with himself. The Sufi dancing allows him to lose his self-consciousness. I send him to collect the tuneless ones who have wandered off.

“Let’s do ‘Somebody to Love’ like yesterday,” I direct the choir.

We quickly run through the whole song. They sound like Queen, just louder.

“Great,” I compliment them. “When the stragglers get back, I want you to sing to them and get them to sing response and chorus back at you. Watch me, If I start to circle my hands, it means to keep singing the same lyric over and over. I’ll signal you when to proceed to the next line. Try to sing along and assist the crowd to get it together.”

It works beautifully. The choir keeps the crowd singing. There is hardly anyone out of tune.


I walk through the crowd and pull out several kids who seem hopeless. I bring the three worst up front. They are surrounded on one side by the choir and on the other side by the crowd. I tell them that only they will sing the responses and tell everyone else to be silent when the three are trying to sing.

It starts out horrible. Some in the choir cannot help whispering the right notes. The three improve. Soon they are singing out with the rest of the group whispering underneath them.

We proceed to the finish and everyone is singing louder and louder into a crescendo. It is sweet.

“All right. That is great. Everyone can sing. It is harder for some, but guess what?” I sing the Beatles’ ‘Help from my Friends’,

And, everyone joins in,

‘What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(Are you sad because you’re on your own?)
No I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends

(Do you need anybody?)
I need somebody to love
(Could it be anybody?)
I want somebody to love

(Would you believe in a love at first sight?)
Yes I’m certain that it happens all the time
(What do you see when you turn out the light?)
I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Oh I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends

(Do you need anybody?)
I just need someone to love
(Could it be anybody?)
I want somebody to love

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends
Oh I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends’

Writer(s): Lennon John Winston, McCartney Paul James

Several kids are dancing when Amar gets up and lets loose with his authentic Whirling Dervish twirls and circles. People move back as he loses his focus and spins round and round. We stop singing but he continues until he is so dizzy he collapses. Everybody bursts into applause.

“That’s a preview of what we’re doing in Lausanne on Friday noon at the Muslim Center.”

“Freddie Mercury is playing at the mosque?”

“No, David Bowie is singing his Turkish reggae song, Mike and I do percussion and Amar whirls. It is an Arabic celebration.”

“David Bowie?” they all shout. “Can we come?”

“Have you ever been to prayers at a mosque?” I worry they will get out of control.

They all look clueless.

“Just take off your shoes, wash your hands, and kneel in the back,” Amar explains. Even the lure of Bowie may not be enough to overcome their religious inhibitions.

Several girls grab Amar, “Show us how you whirl and spin like that.”

Amar is in his element. Girls are definitely his thing.

 I figure we should play outside the Islamic Center like we did on Monday. Hopefully there will only be a small crowd.

We break at lunchtime. Amar has collected phone numbers for future whirling lessons. I suspect that is not on his dad’s approved list. He remains breathless as we walk to the Lake House.

“Your popularity seems to be rising,” I observe. “Is it because of your new bathing suit?”

He realizes he has left the bloomers by the Lake. We double back. No one bothered to steal them. Too bad.

Dancing with girls keeps him breathless. I decide to sing ‘Breathless.’

Amar is not familiar with Jerry Lee Lewis but it doesn’t stop him from whirling up the hill to the Lake House. We burst in with teen energy, singing

‘My heart goes round and round

my love comes a tumblin’ down

You leave me aaah breathless ah’

The Knobs are used to me singing. The old boys are annoyed until they realize it is a song from their youth. The Knobs and Deacy join in for the finale

‘Ah come on baby now don’t be shy this love was meant for you and I
Wind rain sleet or snow honey Jerry’s gonna get you wherever you go

You leave me aaah breathless ah’

Writer(s): Otis Blackwell

We bounce around to the music in our head.

“Amar has a harem that wants him to teach them to dance,” I announce.

“A heterosexual?” Deacy expresses alarm.

“Yes. Somehow it escaped our gay radar.”

“Watch out, Amar,” Deacy warns, “you’ll be Laz’s next victim.”

“No problem,” Amar scoffs, “I know what I like. Now I know how to get it.”

“He’s caught your arrogance, Boss. Watch out,” Billy warns.

“It seems to work with the ladies as well, after I let him wear my trunks. His bathing costume was not working,” as I pull out the bloomers.

Everyone laughs at Amar but his hetero bubble holds fast.

“You all just waiting for me to start practice?” I note.

“Billy seems reluctant to play without your MOOG to back him up.”

“Where is the MOOG?”

“Brian calls it inauthentic,” Jock explains.

“What’s authentic about a 12-string steel guitar hooked up to ten digital reverb and delay pedals?” I challenge the missing Brian.

“We can’t just replace Brian,” Roger states.

“How about we replace Jim Reid and you guys listen to Freddie for once.” I fire back. “Now that he’s back in London, Brian will have Reid buzzing in his ear, sowing dissent.”

“Reid’s okay. He just saw that Freddie wanted to go disco and that we are a stadium rock band,” Roger is in Reid camp.

“At the same time, he was the one telling Freddie to go solo.”

“Not such a bad idea,” Roger tries to equivocate.

“Yeah two bands means twice the billings and two times the fraud.”

“How do you know that? You’re just a barmy lad.”

“Check with Miami Beach. He got a court order for Reid to turn over his books. The accountants know the truth.”

“Then why is Reid not in jail?”

“Miami says they are negotiating the termination of his contract. If he pays back the fraud and quits managing the band, everyone will be happy. Elton is Reid’s cash cow.”

“And his fuck buddy,” Roger scoffs.

“The music business sucks and you’ve been pulled into the muck,” I accuse Taylor. “All Freddie cares about is that you are his band mates; he will never turn against you.”

“And you know the whole sob story?”

“How you’ve always treated him like some Paki intruder in your West London pub band.”

“You have some bolloks, kid. Cranking up the roadies to replace us.”

“Wrong again, Roger. What the roadies did was get you all back here and Queen headlining Montreux this year.”

“What?” Roger missed that detail.

“Only the real Queen will headline. Everything we did was approved by Claude Nobs to build up drama for the Festival.

“The one show we did was sold out instantly. We had 250 kids standing in the orchestra dancing their heads off. Didn’t you, Amar?”

He nervously nods agreement, not wanting to be part of a band argument.

“You wanna hear what Billy can do on guitar or do you want to run off to London, too?”

“Shove off, ya poncy bugger.”

“Don’t you wish, except I don’t fancy pretty eyed boys with long blonde hair.”

At this point, Freddie walks into the studio, expecting everyone is ready to practice with Billy on guitar and me on Moog to cover for Brian May.

“Getting on well, fellas?”

“Swimmingly,” I lie. “We seem like every other rock band. Just takin’ the piss out on each other.”

“This ponce thinks he can be Brian on electric piano,” Roger blusters.

“There’s only one piano player in this band,” Freddie notes as he sits down at the stand-up piano. “What song are we working on, Boss?”

“’Another One..’” I decide.

‘I ain’t doin’ a disco song.” Roger interrupts.

“Well, Deacy has rewritten it. Mike’s version is gone.” I nod to Deacon.

He softly plinks the bass riff that rules the song. I mellow out the low bass notes with the echo function of the MOOG. Billy plays rhythm. Freddie waits for Taylor to drop the back beat on drums. Finally Freddie starts rapping new lyrics.

(song starts at 2:23)

“Let’s go”

‘Steve walks warily down the street
With his brim pulled way down low
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go’

The Knobs step up to Freddie’s mic at the piano and backup the chorus,

‘Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust’

The new lyrics and with everyone on the beat, Roger comes thundering in on the full drum setup.

Freddie raps the lyrics directly at Roger,

‘There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man
And bring him to the ground
You can beat him
You can cheat him
You can treat him bad and leave him
When he’s down
But I’m ready yes I’m ready for you
I’m standing on my own two feet
Out of the doorway the bullets rip’

Again, everyone sings the chorus as Roger rips the beat, looking like he really believes Freddie’s lyrics.

Freddie finishes the song, pointing his finger at Roger, jerking and blowing away imaginary smoke.

‘Repeating to the sound of the beat
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust yeah
Hey I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
Shoot out’

Songwriters: John Deacon

Another One Bites the Dust lyrics © Queen Music Limited

Everyone holds their breath, staring at Taylor.

Deacy breaks the tension, “That is fuckin’ amazing. Pure genius, Freddie. Com’n Rog, admit it rocks.”

Taylor goes crazy on the drums for a one minute solo. The energy drains from the room. Amar has been spinning and whirling. After we stop, he comes out of his trance, “What?”

“I’m changing my mind about the MOOG, as long as it mixes with the bass and leaves the piano alone,” Freddie likes what I did on the new song.

“Listen to how I mix with Billy’s guitar to recreate Brian’s leads,” I start playing ‘We Will Rock You’ on the drum machine.

Taylor is pissed. He stands up while keeping the beat going on just the bass drum. The guitar comes in late. near the end, giving Billy time to get into the song. He hits the guitar leads while emphasizing the distortion, I accompany him on the MOOG.

“Nice drumming, Taylor,” as I turn off the Roland Boss drum machine.

“Let’s do it again,” I take charge, “and this time, go right into ‘Champions’ like always.”

I add the harmonics to Billy’s guitar that Brian usually gets out of the twelve string. Freddie plays piano while singing. On the second chorus everyone is singing,

‘We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers (I point at Roger)
‘Cause we are the champions of the World’

I do not step on Freddie’s piano and the guitar/Moog mix is as good as Brian ever did it.

“You win, Boss. The Moog stays,” Freddie concedes, inauthentic or not. Roger seethes but gets no support from Deacy.

Time for you two to learn  ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,” I tell Roger and Deacon.

They had not heard it although they had been told it was Freddie plea to keep the band going, for them to return to Switzerland.

“Sing and play it by yourself so we know how you feel,” I order Freddie. “This is your song.”

“Yessir, Boss.”

‘I don’t want to stop at all’

We break the song into parts so Deacy can work out his bass riffs and Roger can try out different drum rolls. Finally everyone combines, including the Knobs on back-up vocals, to put it all together.

We do the same with ‘Somebody to Love;’ Freddie sings solo to show how he wants it.

We take it apart. I push Billy’s guitar riffs with the MOOG filling gaps that he picks up the next time through. Again the Knobs do the back-ups. Freddie is on fire.

Already it is late afternoon. Amar has been whirling and spinning, but the many stops and starts breaks his concentration. I see him anxious to go to Lausanne to practice his song with David. During a cigarette break, I explain to Freddie that we have to leave.

“Fine. Fine. Tell Mike thanks for giving us the song he wrote,” he waves me away. Having his band back is all he wants. He plans to work them out.

As we start for the railroad station, Jim asks if he can give us a ride. I think he feels sorry for me, his partner’s newly spurned boyfriend. I am relieved and welcome his offer. We are at the Bowie Castle in twenty minutes, instead of the two hours it takes by public transit. Amar has Jim stop at home for his Sufi dress. He gives me a look. I promise never to laugh at him again.

Mike runs out when we drive up, leading us into Bowie’s studio. He has found old records that purport to be Sufi performances. Amar explains they are a different sect of Sufiism, the Shia.

“In North Africa, Sufis are Sunni.”

We have no clue what he means. Amar has no trouble adapting to the Shia rhythms. Soon he and Mike are spinning and whirling while I stumble and stop as soon as I lose the beat.

“You can’t dance with us if you stop and start,” Amar explains, “it distracts us and we won’t go into the trance that the dancing inspires.”

“White boy got no rhythm,” Mike mocks me.

I find bongos to pick up the beat. It is slower than rock n roll but I maintain the rhythm without distracting the dancers.

David and his son arrive. Duncan grabs another set of bongos, and we play off each other. David refrains from the dervish dancing. He brings out his guitar and we all practice ‘Yassassin’ with Amar and David singing the title and I sing each line of the verse in English. David is proficient on guitar.

“What do you think about moving the performance off the street and into the Muslim Cultural Center?”

“Is it like a church?” I am skeptical.

“There is a performance space. Henri wants to record us on film. I’ll bring the original Turkish musicians in from Berlin. The Sufi whirling will make people notice the song.”

“Weird way to pump up record sales.”

“There’s over a billion Muslims worldwide. Maybe we should start to notice them. I have plenty of record sales.”

“Ziggy, no longer from Mars, is now the ambassador from Islam.”

“Better that the Thin White Nazi from Berlin. And I bet you’ll like the guys that come to play.

“Amar flunked me out of Sufi class. What can I do now?”

“You’re the Boss, kid.”

“Okay, Amar get that sufi costume on. Let’s see a real whirling dervish.”

He drags Mike into the bathroom with him to change. Amar brought two. I guess I no longer am his ‘buddy.’

Both come out in costume.

He knew my whirling would never cut it. It is all good. My new buddy on the bongos is a seven-year-old. We bang away.

David decides he needs me to sing the Arabic ‘Yassassin,’ that is the call to his English verses. Amar works on my pronunciation. I pass muster after extensive coaching.

I play the Sufi records. David, Duncan and I watch as Amar and Mike practice their whirling. It is a bit disjointed at first, but suddenly they both seem transported as if they are floating instead of dancing.

The energy slows down. We quit about 5pm. David announces we need to speak with the Mosque’s Iman about Friday’s show before evening prayers. “Magrib,” Amar translates, our expert on all things Muslim.

We arrive with Jim driving Freddie’s Rolls. The Iman ushers us into his large office.

David explains the order of songs we will perform and how Henri wants to film the performance.

“And why does such a famous Western artist want to entertain an Eastern audience with our own music?” Iman asks.

David thinks and answers, “It is a perilous time in relations between East and West. We are reaching out with song and dance that is familiar and shows respect.”

“With one Islamic boy and famous Western personalities?”

“Turkish musicians are coming as well. We want to show the spiritual side of Islam can transcend the political turmoil roiling today’s Islamic world.”

“You are speaking about Iran and the conflict between Sunni and Shia factions?”

“We believe Sufi spirituality reflects the positive values of Islam. The Western press is full of misconceptions, emphasizing Western values as superior to Islamic faith.”

“Western performers certainly hold considerable sway over Western culture’s perception of itself.”

“I am interested in how the subconscious influences the conscious.”

“That is your interest in Sufi expression?”

“The Dervish trance elevates the individual as they join with the multitude, much like a rock concert unites the audience to share the joy of music with the performers.”

“So you hope to solve the world’s problems through dance?”

“Politics divides people. Music and dance unites them.”

“Please do not make your performance here a political event.”

“Only by showing East and West both want to be united and not divided.

That’s my cue to jump up and sing ‘When the Kids are United.’

‘For once in my life I’ve got something to say,
I wanna say it now for now is today.
A love has been given so why not enjoy,
So let’s all grab and let’s all enjoy!

If the kids are united,
Then we’ll never be divided.
If the kids are united,
Then we’ll never be divided.’

The Iman is speechless.

“This is Laz. He tends to sing whenever he gets an idea. I think he means if we get Eastern and Western kids united it will change the world.”

“He’s the punk who caused the riot last weekend in Montreux?”

“The kids went crazy when he played the encore for Queen. It was meant to end the show, not start a riot. I guess it did both. No one was injured. It scared a lot of older people who expected to be entertained, not inspired to get up and dance.”

“Come here, son,” the Iman motioned me over. “Can we avoid a riot in my Mosque?”

“I play in churches all the time. Sometimes miracles happen. No riots.”

How do I know that? Casper confirms what I said. Maybe he is my lost memory.

“Laz is just helping out. He is not in the band.”

“Against my better judgment I have to agree with him. Please respect our place of worship. If we can be united, I am all for it.”

Time to leave. Jim pulls up in the Rolls and we depart. Sometimes the car you drive tells everyone how important you are. Having no car and unable to even borrow one from Bowie explains where I stand.

“Should we stay for evening prayers (Maghrib)?” Amar asks. “It may help us feel comfortable with the rituals.”

“I have my own ritual. It’s called dinner,” Bowie decides.

Amar looks disappointed. I worship at the altar of punk rock. Mike just wants to dance. Duncan is asleep in Bowie lap. Jim smiles as we drive away.

“Where to eat, Boss?” Bowie asks.

As we drive through Central Lausanne, I look around for inspiration.

“No Raclette. No Raclette,” Mike whispers at me.

I see the answer right outside the Rolls

I look at Boy Bowie and decide. “We’re going to McDonalds.”

Everyone cheers which wakes you Duncan, “What? What’s happening?”

David turns his son so he can see the restaurant.

“Finally,” Boy Bowie says, “somewhere I want to eat.”

“Drive thru,” I ask Jim.

“Not yet in Switzerland. No one has cars.”

David and Jim watch as three teenagers and one real kid charge up to the counter and order.

“Seis Mac Grandees Especials avec frites et shakes au chocolat.”

We sit in a single booth and wait for our orders. It being Europe, it takes a while. We chat about the performance and visit with the Iman.

“You look really good in a white dress, Mike,” I kid him. “Are you going for the virginal bride look?’

“At least I didn’t look like a whirling stumble bum,” he nails my dancing inability.

I have to sing, of course. I choose the Salty Dog Rag,

‘Away down yonder in the state of Arkansas
Where my great-grandpa met my great-grandma
They drink apple cider and they get on a jag
And they dance all night to the Salty Dog Rag
They play an old fiddle like you never heard before
They play the only tune that they ever did know
It’s a ragtime ditty and the rhythm don’t drag
Now here’s the way you dance to the Salty Dog Rag

One foot front, drag it back
Then you start to ball the jack
You shake and you break and then you sag
If your partner zigs you’re supposed to zag
Your heart is light, you tap your feet
In rhythm with that ragtime beat
Just pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And dance all night to the Salty Dog Rag

Songwriter: Red Foley

Amar jumps up and we partner around the McDonalds. Mike grabs Duncan and swings him round and round. Bowie has a harmonica in his back pocket. He blows ragtime blues while Jim claps to the beat. We annoy the staid Swiss until our Mac Grandees arrive. The locals who recognize David assume he is entertaining his son and his friends. They pretend they do not know who he is.

As we leave McDonalds, Mike asks me to spend the night. It is complicated. Does Freddie expect me to sleep in his room from now on. Does switching with Max violate some ethical consideration. The dog gets his pot fix while Freddie enjoys the vigorous ‘doggy style’ fucking. I know I cannot continually disassociate from reality. With Brian gone can I sleep in his room? Is Billy accepted by the band to fill in on guitar until Brian returns. I really need to be there to make it all work.

David catches up before we get into the Rolls.

“What’s up, Boss,” he sees my serious face.

“Will you bring Duncan and Mike to swim camp tomorrow? I need to be in Montreux tonight. After swimming, the kids like to sing. Amar will be there.”

Duncan’s eyes light up at Amar’s name. ‘Can we, Da?’

“Swim Camp? Duncan does need swim lessons. What’s happening with Queen?”

“Brian left for London for the birth of his first child. It’s a boy.”

“The drama continues. Do the others accept the Knobs’ guitarist, their roadie?”

“It’s a work in progress. I fill in on the MOOG when his leads are lacking.”

“So, this camp is just another project for the ever-energetic Laz?”

“I go by Laszlo now. It is more Romanian.”

“How many kids has the Pied Piper enlisted in this camp?”

“About 100. The older kids are paid by Henri to be instructors. Duncan will be the youngest but Mike and Amar will make sure he is fine. We use the ‘Buddy System.”

“Is it all boys from the ghetto?”

“No. there are girls but they act just as rowdy. The singing makes them work together.”

“Okay, Boss. I’m roped into another one of your projects. At least, Duncan will be there. I’ll bring my guitar.”

“It’ll be Sgt. Bowie’s Magical Mystery Tour.