7 – Blog 24 – Rockin’ the Casbah

The second Montreux Casino show is going great. A dolphin show for the fans before dark; The Knobs rock out; Queen is bumped to headliner; and, Bowie has me reinventing Ziggy Stardust as a teenager. ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’ passes the baton with everyone ‘reaching out’ to Bowie and me, singing ‘You’re not alone.’ The emotional drain is too much. We take a break.

Backstage, Bowie grabs and shakes me, “You were great. Maybe I can retire.”

“Never,” I hug him. I have no memory of the ‘old’ me. Maybe the new me can be a rock n roll hero. I have no knowledge of the despair that Bowie went through after Ziggy. We will show the dark side of becoming your own image in the second half of the set.

Bowie looks around for Amar. He tells Mike to have Amar bring Duncan backstage. The boy runs into his dad’s arms.

“You are the greatest, da,” he beams.

“You ready to be on stage with me?”

“Sure, da. If that’s what you want.”

“Laz will show the troubles Ziggy had after he came out in 1972. You can talk to me so the audience knows about our family.”

“But Mom isn’t here,” Duncan notes.

“Well, your Lausanne family is here tonight. You tell about them.”

“Okay, da,” Duncan does not have stage fright. “Can I still wear my robe?”

“Of course, Amar is part of our family.”

“He’s my best friend, like Mike and Laz,” Duncan has been watching us.

“Let’s get back on stage.”

Claude has been keeping an eye on the bar which is still backed up. He adds more staff and has the overhead lights flash off and on to hurry the drinkers. Bowie’s band sets up behind the curtain. The MOOG is moved up front and the main mic is set in the middle. I set up behind the MOOG and play riffs on ‘Starman,’ with quiet vocals.

David and Duncan walk out hand-in-hand. The kids on the floor in front of the stage cheer Duncan and call out his name. The audience needs to be clued in.

“We’re back, from Rock n Roll suicide,” David jokes. “Thanks for reaching out.”

The crowd politely claps for themselves.

“Tell them who you are,” David tells Duncan.

“Duncan Jones, Da,” he brightly says.

“And the name you don’t like?”

“Ah da, I hate that name.”

“That’s why you’re Duncan now. But what was it that you didn’t like?”

“Zowie. Who wants to be called Zoey Boy?”

‘Well, when you were born people called me Ziggy. I thought we could be Zowie and Ziggy.”

“You’re mental, da.”

“How about I sing your favorite song?”

“Prettiest Star?”

“That’s you, Duncan.”

“Aw, da. I’m too old to be pretty. Boys ain’t pretty.”

“How about Smart Star?”

“That’s stupid.”

“Well, you’re still my ‘Prettiest Star.”

David hugs Duncan as I begin the song with a highly distorted guitar on the MOOG.

Cold fire, you’ve got everything but cold fire
You will be my rest and peace child
I moved up to take a place, near you
So tired, it’s the sky that makes you feel tried
It’s a trick to make you see wide
It can all but break your heart, in pieces
Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the dark
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
The prettiest star
One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star


Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the past
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
Prettiest star
One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star’

Songwriters: David Bowie

The Prettiest Star lyrics © Carlin Music Corp

Bowie throws Duncan into the air, catches him, runs to the front of the stage and tosses him to Mike in the pit. Duncan is in his robe and spins like a Dervish. The crowd erupts in cheers for the misnamed boy Bowie.

The house lights go down. David and I switch places. The single spotlight picks me out at the main mic.

David speaks, “It was Ziggy that brought me (pauses)… ‘Fame’”

The Turkish band plays a heavy disco beat for the long intro as I writhe in the spotlight

‘Fame (fame)
Fame (fame) what you need is in the limo
Fame (fame) what you get is no tomorrow
Fame (fame) what you need you have to borrow
Fame (fame)…

Fame fame fame
Fame
What’s your name?
What’s your name?
What’s your name?..’

Songwriters: John Lennon / David Bowie / Carlos Alomar

Fame lyrics © Chrysalis Music Ltd., Tintoretto Music, Jones Music America, Unitunes Music, Emi Affiliated Catalog Inc., Lenono Music, Chrysalis Music Ltd

The spotlight stays on me

Bowie speaks in the dark, “All fame brought was shame and degradation,”

I jump in with ‘Jean Genie,’

‘Jean Genie lives on his back
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
He’s outrageous
(Jean Genie)
He screams and he bawls
Jean Genie, let yourself go
Ooo, oww’

The spotlight goes off. Bowie speaks in the dark, “Lost nights and forgotten days, until the anger burst forth with ‘Cracked Actor’.”

I rotate around the mic as the spotlight is on me again and I sing”

‘Crack, baby, crack,
Show me you’re real
Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck,
Give me your head
Before you start professing
That you’re knocking me dead
Oh, hey,
Uh, stay for a day, oh yeah
Don’t you dare
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh, yeah’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Cracked Actor lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Tintoretto Music

“That’s right, crack and smack, the Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum of too much fun until it all comes tumbling down.”

The spotlight is off. The house is dark. Mike comes up to sing about LA with me. David sets the MOOG to the disco beat of ‘Golden Years’

‘Last night they loved you
Opening doors and pulling some strings
Angel
Come get up, my baby
In walked luck and you looked in time
Never look back, walk tall, act fine
Come get up, my baby

I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years
Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years
Gold
Golden years, gold whop whop whop

Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Golden Years lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Tintoretto Music

“How I wished for ‘Changes’,” I yearn

‘Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
There’s gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Mmm, yeah

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through’

Mike joins me at the mic and we sing to each other,

‘Ooh, look out, you rock ‘n’ rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Changes lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, DistroKid, Tintoretto Music

I speak my lines, “There we are, the end of the line. Fame is not enough. It no longer turns me on. I go to clubs and ask the DJ what will turn me on.”

‘I am a D.J., I am what I play
I got believers
Believing me, oh’

Bowie speaks, “I am young, do I believe it?”

The spotlight comes back on me, with Mike backing me, on ‘Boys Keep Swinging’

‘Heaven loves ya
The clouds part for ya
Nothing stands in your way when you’re a boy
Clothes always fit ya
Life is a pop of the cherry when you’re a boy

When you’re a boy, you can wear a uniform
When you’re a boy, other boys check you out
You get a girl, these are your favorite things
When you’re a boy

Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out

Uncage the colors, unfurl the flag
Luck just kissed you hello
When you’re a boy
They’ll never clone you, you are always first on the line
When you’re a boy

When you’re a boy, you can buy a home of your own
When you’re a boy, learn to drive and everything
You’ll get your share
When you’re a boy

Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out’

Writer(s): David Bowie, Brian Eno

The band keeps repeating the chorus as Mike and I dance on either side of the stage. He adds  sexy shifts of his genitals to his moonwalk.  I smear the makeup on my face. The kids in the pit mimic our moves.

David announces the finale to our ode to youth, which I sing solo, ‘Oh You Pretty Things’

‘All the strangers came today

And it looks as though they’re here to stay

Oh You Pretty Things (Oh You Pretty Things)
Don’t you know you’re driving your
Mamas and Papas insane


Oh You Pretty Things (Oh You Pretty Things)
Don’t you know you’re driving your
Mamas and Papas insane

Let me make it plain
You gotta make way for the Homo Superior’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Oh! You Pretty Things lyrics © Tintoretto Music, Jones Music America, Chrysalis Music Ltd

The house lights come back on. The feeling of intimacy disappears as our swagger crushes subtlety.

David comes to the mic, waving us over and calling to Amar to come up on stage.

“Thank you, Montreux. This is a magical place. Thank you, Claude and all the Knobs, for hosting these two nights of celebration and catharsis for me. Don’t go anywhere; Freddie Mercury and Queen are in the wings. Whereas we have been intimate, Queen are stadium rockers. Put in your ear plugs. I finish where we started, my new song, ‘Yassassin.’ Long live! If we fail to accept the Arab Islamic world, God will never forgive us. When you see an immigrant struggling, please lend a hand. Right now, get your hands together for my Turkish band.” David bows to his band, who start their song

Amar starts his most radical spins while the other kids circle him, throwing him up as he whirls. The audience has their hands waving above their heads, ready to catch him when he comes down.

That’s it folks,” David concludes his part of the show. “You got a new Ziggy to carry on for me. Thank you for supporting immigrants. They just want to be friends.”

“No,” the crowd roars back and starts stomping for an encore.

“What do you want us to play?”

“’Heroes,’” all the kids in the pit yell and the audience applauds.

“Okay,” David agrees. “I must have played it ten times this weekend. Maybe you like it. How about it in Deutsch?”

The crowd cheers.

‘Du

Koenntest Du schwimmen

Wie Delphine

Delphine es tun

Niemand gibt uns eine Chance

Doch wir koennen siegen

Fuer immer und immer

Und wir sind dann Helden

Fuer einen tag

Ich

Ich bin dann Koenig

Und Du

Du Koenigin

Auch wenn sie

Unschlagbar scheinen

Werden wir Helden

Fuer einen Tag

Wir sind dann wir

An diesem Tag

Ich

Ich glaub’ das zu traeumen

die Mauer

Im Ruecken war kalt

Schuesse peitschen die Luft

Doch wir kuessen

Als ob nichts geschieht

Und die Scham fiel auf ihre Seite

Oh, wir koennen sie schlagen

Fuer alle Zeiten

Dann sind wir Helden

Nur diesen Tag

Dann sind wir Helden

Dann sind wir Helden

Dann sind wir Helden

Nur diesen Tag

Dann sind wir Helden

We’re nothing

And nothing will help us

Maybe we’re lying

Then you better not stay

But we could be safer

Just for one day’

I sing backups behind Bowie. In the middle of the song, Bowie pulls me to the mic and whispers, “en francais.”

Laz:                                         Bowie:

‘Moi, je serai roi                       (I, I will be king)
Et toi, tu seras reine                  (And you, you will be queen)
Bien que rien ne les chassera    (Though nothing will drive them away)
Pouvons être des héros             (We can be Heroes)
Juste pour une jour                   (Just for one day)
Pouvons être tous nous             (We can be all us)
Juste pour une jour’                  (Just for one day)

The Swiss audience cheers our acceptance that there is no single language for all their country. I think of it as a victory for New English. Bowie is laughing at how I kept the meter steady by shortening some words. I do best when unprepared – no second guessing in mid performance.

David is done, “Thank you, thank you. Queen is next, after a short break.”

Claude smiles as everyone heads for the bar.

Cathartic is Bowie’s word for the performance. I am spent with little energy for Queen’s set. Freddie looks at me, shakes his head and grabs Michael.

“Do something; your best buddy looks ready to die. I need him to synch with Billy and recreate Brian May’s guitar tracks.”

He pushes Mike toward me. I get slapped on the cheek.

“That’s what evil Joe Jackson does to me when I’m too exhausted to go on. Snap out of it.”

My anger rises, thinking how wrong it was for an 8-year-old Michael Jackson to be whipped like a draft horse.

“Hit me again,” I whisper. Mike punches me in the stomach. The anger is ready to burst.

“Sorry,” Mike explains, “I get carried away when thinking about my dad.”

I am on my feet, ready to play guitar god on my MOOG.

Next, I see Miami Beach arguing with two Gendarmes, holding what looks like a court order. Mike and I run over.

“Are you Michael Jackson?” the older Gendarme asks us. The younger one confirms the answer in his superior’s ear.

“Qui demande?” I respond.

Je le demande,” the senior officer replies. “J’ai une ordonnance du tribunal pour vous.”

The younger officer whisper again, “C’est le homme noir.”

His boss glares at me, pushing me aside. Miami Beach steps up.

“Je suis l’avocat pour M. Jackson. Le papel, s’il vous plais.”

Miami reads the order and tells Michael, “You cannot perform tonight. It is an order from an American court. I will correct this injustice in Swiss court. The order has no standing here, but  best not to perform tonight,” Miami tells us, fully aware that Mike has already performed.

I am pissed. Mike is resigned. He assumes he will have to fly home soon.

“I trust Miami to straighten this out.”

“The Swiss are subservient to American demands but in the end, they will act fairly,” Miami promises.

The show must go on. Freddie is determined to not be blown away by Bowie. We gather behind the stage curtain. Drums, guitar amps, my MOOG and several mic stands are our weapons of hearing destruction.

“Everyone crank their sound to past 10. Roger, you’ll open with a long drum solo. I’ll appear when audience anxiety reaches its peak,” Freddie gives us our orders. “Billy and Laz, you play like you are one person, Brian May.”

“Does that mean I have to change nappies” I kid.

“Shut up, kid. I’ll change your nappies.”

Everyone laughs at me. No fun to be the only teen in the band.

Freddie tells us to start with ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ and disappears.

Roger hits the high hat with rapid up-tempo strikes. Billy and I come in together with guitar and distortion from the MOOG. At last Freddie appears, to great cheers from the audience and sings

‘I was told a million times
Of all the troubles in my way
Mind you grow a little wiser
Little better every day
But if I crossed a million rivers
And I rode a million miles
Then I’d still be where I started

Keep yourself alive, yeah
Keep yourself alive
Ooh, it’ll take you all your time and money
Honey you’ll survive’

As we end, flash pots go off and we are suddenly lost in the cloud of smoke. My first pyrotechnics. Freddie walks to the front of the stage, emerging from the smoke, to quietly sing ‘Somebody to Love’

I play the keyboard intro with all the others, Roger, Billy and Deacy, singing backups to Freddie

‘Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
(Take a look at yourself) Take a look in the mirror and cry (and cry)
Lord, what you’re doing to me (yeah yeah)
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord!
Somebody (somebody) ooh somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?’

Roger  thunders the drums as the vocals reach their crescendo

‘I just gotta get out of this prison cell
One day (someday) I’m gonna be free, Lord!

Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love love love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Somebody somebody somebody somebody’

Freddie stares at the audience, leaning over the pit of outstretched Dervish arms

“This song’s for all the kids who just need to break free,”

‘Tie Your Mother Down’

‘Ooh, ooh yeah, ooooh yeah
Get your party gown
Get your pigtail down
Get your heart beatin’ baby
Got my timin’ right
Got my act all tight
It’s gotta be tonight….

‘Tie your mother down
Tie your mother down
Take your little brother swimmin’
With a brick (that’s all right)
Tie your mother down – yeah yeah
Tie your mother down
Or you ain’t no friend of mine, ooh no friend of mine
No no, ow, yeah, bad guy’

Writer(s): Freddie Mercury, Eldad Shrem

Deacy lays down a heavy bass beat. Billy hits Brian May riffs, which I distort the hell out of. Roger needs to stop thundering behind his 15-piece drum kit, standing up and crashing at the conclusion, like Brian Moon.

Freddie and I sing a duet,

‘Oh you gonna take me home tonight
Oh down beside that red fire light
Oh you gonna let it all hang out
Fat-bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round’

“You know what I need, ‘Flat Bottom Girls’ 

Roger comes thundering in on the drums,

‘I’ve been singing with my band
Across the water, across the land
I’ve seen every blue eyed floozy on the way
But their beauty and their style
Went kind of smooth after a while
Take me to them naughty ladies every time

Oh, won’t you take me home tonight
Oh, down beside your red fire light
Oh, and you give it all you got
Fat-bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round
Fat-bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round’

The flash pots go off again. The band disappears in the smoke. I start playing ‘Love of my Life’ on the keyboard as Freddie walks out of the smoke, all alone on the stage.

‘Love of my life, you’ve hurt me
You’ve broken my heart, and now you leave me
Love of my life, can’t you see?
Bring it back, bring it back
Don’t take it away from me
Because you don’t know
What it means to me’

The audience sings back the song to Freddie. Billy does the guitar solo like he is playing an acoustic.

‘Back, hurry back
Please, bring it back home to me
Because you don’t know
What it means to me

Love of my life
Love of my life
Ooh, ooh’

Writer(s): Freddie Mercury

The crowd is eating out of his hand. Bowie had pulled in the crowd because he felt alienated. Freddie’s message tonight is simple, ‘Please love me.’

Time for the favorites from ‘Night at the Opera.’

Freddie comes over and sits with me at the MOOG. We do the intro to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as a duet, playing and singing together.

‘Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landside,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I’m easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to
Me, to me

Mamaaa,
Just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger,
Now he’s dead
Mamaaa, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, oooh,
Didn’t mean to make you cry,
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all
The time
Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, oooh
I don’t want to die,
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.’

Billy takes center stage and rocks out the Brian May leads. Freddie jumps up and joins Billy at the mic

‘I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango!

Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening
Galileo, Galileo
Galileo, Galileo
Galileo, Figaro – magnifico…’

I back up Freddie’s vocals, as Billy gets off on the leads with help from the MOOG distortion effect and Roger on the ‘Galileo’s’.

‘Easy come, easy go, will you let me go
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go)(Never) Never let you go
(Let me go) (Never) let you go (Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me,
For meee’

Freddie comes and sits with me at the MOOG and we do the ending together,

‘Nothing really matters, Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows…’

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics © Queen Music Limited

Freddie sits there, head down, until Roger hits the bass drum intro to ‘We will Rock You.’

Billy and I combine guitar and Moog to make the leads fully soar

‘Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday
You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singin’

‘We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you…

‘We will, we will rock you, yeah, yeah, come on
We will, we will rock you, alright, louder!
We will, we will rock you, one more time
We will, we will rock you
Yeah’

Songwriters: Brian Harold May

We Will Rock You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Freddie is pacing back and forth. I play the keyboard intro to ‘Champions’ with Roger coming in when Freddie sings

‘We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World’

Writer(s): Freddie Mercury

The flash pots explode during the entire song. It looks like London Fog on stage.

Freddie bows and the band gets a breather.

“Maybe you came to see Bowie tonight and his teenage alter ego. But nobody comes close to my ego. David has the new song ‘Yassassin’ and I heartily support his reaching out to the Arabic world. Hell, I’m Arabic, specifically Persian. I know what it’s like growing up in London and not being accepted. When my bandmates here, Deacy and Roger plus Brian, now home with a new baby, left me alone in Montreux threatening to quit Queen, I wasn’t about to give up on them. That kid on the MOOG and that pop star Michael Jackson over there with his Dervish friends in the pit, picked me up and we created our new hit song, ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ The song made the regular band realize we are not done yet. I’ll end the show with it, but first here’s another new song, ‘Don’t Stop me Now,’ that I dedicate to all the original Queen members.” Freddie bows to Deacy and Roger who look slightly embarrassed.

‘Don’t stop me, don’t stop me
Don’t stop me, hey, hey, hey
Don’t stop me, don’t stop me
Ooh, ooh, ooh, I like it
Don’t stop me, don’t stop me
Have a good time, good time
Don’t stop me, don’t stop me, ah
Let loose, honey, all right

Oh, I’m burnin’ through the sky, yeah
200 degrees
That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I’m travelling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
(Don’t stop me now)
If you wanna have a good time (alright)
Just give me a call
(Don’t stop me now)
‘Cause I’m having a good time
(Don’t stop me now)
Yes, I’m havin’ a good time
I don’t want to stop at all’\

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Don’t Stop Me Now lyrics © Queen Music Limited

Freddie lets me play the keyboards and sing back-ups. I wish Mike was there with me to match Freddie’s high alto voice. I see him having fun in the pit. I feel a twinge of jealousy. It passes quickly. I love being on stage. I played with every band tonight, even singing to the dolphins in the Lake.

When will this idyll end? It must be a sin to be this happy. I jump up and rush Freddie from behind with my strongest hug. The fans see me in makeup and drag as Ziggy Stardust. I refrain from kissing Freddie, but I really want to. Maybe rock n roll turns everyone gay (at least a bit). A wave of guilt washes (literally) over me. Am I cheating on White D, my dolphin girlfriend? That convinces me that I am living an idyll, drunk on Lake Geneva water.

Time for the finale, Queen’s latest hit, ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ I sit back at the MOOG and turn on the disco function. Deacy solos on the basic bass beat. Freddie sings his accusations at his band mates

‘How do you think I’m going to get along
Without you when you’re gone
You took me for everything that I had
And kicked me out on my own
Are you happy are you satisfied?
How long can you stand the heat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat look out

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’

Produced By Reinhold Mack & Queen

Written By John Deacon

The Dervish in the pit improvise their spinning for a disco whirl. The spinning creates an illusion of flying as the robes inflate and float around the pit. Much more sedate than punk rock thrashing. Claude surveys the scene and sends staff to prepare Raclette on the back patio.

The house lights come on. People moan but the show is over. No time for more encores. I grab Billy and we plan to play one of my punk rock songs.

I step up to the mic, “Before you go home, hit the bar or other places (like Taboo). Your night need not end here, because ‘Curfew must not ring tonight.’”

The kids return to the pit and whirl about. The writer from the NME is taking notes. Do I care, or not, that I meet his English Punk cred? Security rushes the audience toward the exits. Some turn around bewildered by more performance. They are blocked from returning

Mike jumps on stage and is moonwalking all over the place.  Amar tries spinning into him. Mike thrashes back at him. Duncan runs up to defend his ‘best friend.’ Mike grabs him and tosses him into the air, all 40 pounds of him. Twenty robed Dervish rush on stage and attack Michael. Claude pulls the curtain shut. Noise emanating from behind the curtain sounds like a drum set being thrashed.  The Turks rush from backstage and eject the kids. The kit is destroyed. Immigrants always bear the brunt of entitled youth. ‘Yassassin.’

David, Freddie and I survey the damage being done.

“I thought Claude was feeding the kids,” Freddie notes.

“Maybe Raclette isn’t as popular as I thought,” I admit.

“You sure we’re ready to take this show on the road?” David asks.

“The whirling Dervish may have to stay home,” I suggest.

“Amar will be heartbroken,” Mike has joined us.

“He has Duncan to comfort him, his new best friend,” I laugh.

“My Muslim son,” David moans. “Can you adopt him, Freddie? He rejects the name I gave him.”

“Wowie Zowie Zoey Bowie? No wonder he gets beat up.” Mike defends his friend.

“He was beating on you when you attacked Amar,” I note.

“Maybe they both can come on tour,” Bowie reconsiders.

“We are going on tour?” my fantasies are coming true.

“Not if the Knobs keep laying punk rock,” David warns.

“We just call it punk,” I defend youth.

“That explains everything,” Freddie concludes.

“I’m hungry,” I complain, still a teenager.

“There’s always Raclette on the patio out back.”

“Back o’the bus,” Mike scoffs. “When are we getting paid?”

“You can’t be paid because of the court order,” Claude comes up.

“Dear old dad again,” Mike moans.

“I’ll pay for your steak. I should get four times what each musician gets. I was in four bands tonight.”

“That punk band was not authorized. And, there was damage,” Claude is in ‘screw the bands’ mode.

“Then you’re buying a steak,” I claim.

“I’m buying everyone steaks, unless anyone wants leftover Raclette.”

Barf.

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