Eighteen – Chapter 10 Part 3

We troop out with our guitars and the drummers set up at their kits. We broke into the intro to ‘Sgt Pepper.’

 

 

 

We jam and run around pretending to be the Beatles.

“Oh, I thought you wanted the greatest band in the world,” I yell into the mic. “Except they broke up. We just were arrested and locked up. Hey, I’m 18 now, and I like it.”  We go into the Alice Cooper cover

 

 

 

“Take that, Dade County Juvenile Justice,” I scream, pacing back and forth, strumming the chords to ‘False Gods.’

“We’re False Gods and grew up right here. This is what Miami’s about.”

We came in together to ‘South Florida’

 

‘Go deep to the South

When you can go no more

In the city trying to score

Come to our cool house

 

Bewildered by our drug

Whether it be love

Or just need of a hug

We’re free to meet the need

 

Miami’s here to serve

Keeps you safe and sound

Southern man beats you down

That’s what you deserve

 

Miami drug

Life too rough?

Take the time

Follow our sign

 

Girls are free

Always please

Jack your shit

Get into it.’

 

Both drummers end with a crash. I look up to see the shocked look on Jake’s face as he watches from the wings with Mom Watt.

 

“Y’all think that’s a drug song. Well, yer right. ‘Cause we know about drugs. Here’s a song we’ve never played to an audience before. Beware of what you want. It may just bite you on the ass.”

 

Drugs

I take drugs but I don’t understand

How you let things get so out of hand

Its no fun to be a bore

Waiting around for you to score

 

When you’re high stay close to me

Teach me to fly & how to be free

Please don’t cry, its only the drug

You won’t die, just give me a hug

 

Heroin & cocaine make a speed ball

Dilaudin or codein soften the fall

Thorzine puts you away for awhile

Acid & beer will make you smile

 

Needles give hep, death & the flu

For that rush that’s what you must do

Crystal meth is the best

But forget about sex

 

Whiskey & ‘ludes make me real rude

Acid & pot will make your brain rot

PCP takes you away from me

Red & beers chase away the fears

 

Do you still love me or is it the drugs

I love the sex but I need your hugs

Together we are happy, apart I am sad

Without a connection we always go mad”

 

Coyright MIB lyrics Tar Larner

 

It’s short and sweet. The crowd doesn’t know whether to cheer or just think about it.

We play it again, making sure they get the message. No regrets.

 

Robby and Michael start yelling at each other.  

“There they go again. They’ve been worst friends since kindergarten. Here’s a song about how Michael finally stood up to Robby.”

 

‘Look before You Leap?’

 

‘Wanna

Set you’re your buddy on fire,

Better buy a rug.

Wanna

Send your friends to hell,

Better get a priest.

Wanna

Beat up a bully,

Better get a gun.

 

Look before you leap

Better to say no

Then end up in a heap

No place to go.

 

Leap, leap, leap

You friggin’ freak

Leap, leap, leap

Strip and streak.”

 

Wanna

Beat up your friend

Get new friends

Wanna

Steal a new car

You won’t get far

Wanna

Dis some sweet lass

A beating comes fast

 

Look before you leap

Better to say no

Then end up in a heap

No place to go.

 

Leap, leap, leap

You friggin’ freak

Leap, leap, leap

Strip and streak.”

 

“When yer 15 and gotta get out and about, better know how to get around”

 

Sneaking

 

Sneaking around

Never been caught

All over town

Better than not.

 

Thrill’s in the chase

No time to waste

Folks on my case

All is in haste.

 

Waiting’s the worst

You were my first

I need you now

We’re on the prowl.

 

Back of an alley

Sprawled in the dirt

No time to dally

Who will cum first.

 

shaka shaka love?

‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka

Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”

 

“No need for shoes in Miami, especially when yer swingin’ through the trees.  And when ya git caught, best ta do the monkeyshines”

 

Barefooted Boy

 

Barefooted boy

Makes a stand

To take his joy

Going hand to hand

 

Flying out free

Branch to branch

Through the trees

Reckless chance.”

 

“Free to be

A monkey like me

 

Ha ha ha

He he he

Haw haw haw

Chee chee chee

 

I stay on stage, jumping around and scratching myself. The surprise of the night is when Iggy launches himself from one of the Globe balconies,  swinging like Tarzan on a rope. He lands in the pit and soon had everyone doing the monkeyshines. They all knew the moves.  We keep playing and repeating the chorus.

I’m tempted to bring him onstage and do his Stooges act but refrain from deviating from our set. Iggy is running around the pit congratulating himself.

“Thank you, Iggy, and your Detroit reprise of the Stooges. It makes me thankful I’m from Miami. Of course, I had to run away to Iowa to escape Juvie. Here’s a song from my band there with my twin sisters. We called ourselves The Triplets and this songs’ about having two moms.” 

 

‘They say we’re not normal
Our lives are too strange
Maybe we should be Mormon
Wouldn’t that be a pain.

We got two moms
We don’t need dads
Our lives are songs
So we won’t be sad

We grew up with each other
That’s just what twins do
Then along comes our brother
Now we’re triplets too

Normal’s not gonna happen
That may be good for you
We’ll just keep on truckin’
Triples better than two

We got two moms
We don’t need dads
Our lives are songs
So we won’t be sad’

 

“I love Iowa but it has its downfalls, like winter. It makes it hard to get along,  being stuck inside for months on end”

‘You.’

“I say, …you…

You’re such a fool

You’re just a tool

But I love…you

 

I say…. you…

What can we do?

You said we’re through

What can I….. do

 

I say,…. you…

We break the rules

We look like fools

I really need…. you…

 

 

I say, …you..”

 

“Then there is the football team. They were cool until ol’ Jack showed up announcing himself as my boyfriend. Those footballers and we had a little set-to on New Year’s last year. After the dust cleared, with five men down, they decided to like us after all.”

“Don’t fuck with me”

‘Don’t fuck with me
Might take ya down
Gots ta be free
See me git wound

Hate sees me seethe
Can’t seem to breathe
Yer arms on me
I gots ta be free.

Get outta my face
This ain’t the place
To make a stand
To be a man

Your nose I’ll crunch
My knockout punch
Will put ya down
Yer out cold bound.’

 

“It’s  so great to be back. Here’s our band song”

 

‘False Gods’

‘We rushed in where angels feared to tread

They gave up hope, gave us up for dead

Our memory lingers on eternally

From the abyss we heard Lucifer’s plea

 

But we too wanted a world of our own

Dreamed of ruling from a throne

We ran away from them to see

How we’ll be happy for eternity

 

We are false god,

We are false gods

 

We found this world so meek and blind

We stand here laughing at your kind

You cynical fools don’t understand

Fall to your knees useless man

 

This world so full of flaws

Facades and miracles applause

Eulogized not despised

Cause

 

We are false gods

We are false gods

 

From up the hill we hear your pleas

Bring us presents, fall to your knees

Pray and speak in semaphores

Sacrifice your hallowed sheep

 

Pitiful slugs that you are

Dance and sing around the fire

Arms waving all around

We’re so happy

This world we’ve found

Omnipotent beneficence astounds your broken minds

You’re just like toys

We’ve made our minds to be

False gods

 

We are false gods

We are false gods

 

We will live eternally

To hear your painful screams

Just wait 20 years or so

You will know just what we mean

 

False gods

False gods’

 

This song is ‘Life’s Lies.’ We sing about our lives when people look down on us.”

 

“This is our life,

our pride alive

Its our times

Lost our minds

Stupid rules rule

Demand we act

Just like fools

To be like you.

 

Look at me, you havta scream.

You think we be freakin’

You gotta be fast to not be seen.

No wonder we’re always sneakin’’

 

Our fans love us. Jake is smiling at me. It’s time to credit where it’s due.

 

“It’s time to remember two years ago when we celebrated the life of our inspiration, Jace, killed too soon by his evil brother. Com’n out, Jill. Our muse has written a song in Jace’s honor. She and her boyfriend, David Wilkie, were the first people to accept Jace and me as boyfriends. David won two gold medals at the last Olympics, by the way.”

Jill comes up to the mic backed by the three Jacettes plus Jenna. It’s time for her Rod Stewart style blues.

 

“Jace was such a sweet boy,” she explains. “We were devastated after what happened to him. To learn that it had been happening for a long time makes me so sad. But Jace wasn’t about to be sad. He had Tim and his band mates. They spread the joy that came from making music together.”

Jill and I sing the duet.

 

Jace

 

‘Two years gone

Memories linger on

A face not to replace

A life not to waste

 

You stole my heart,

I got your soul

You make me bold

We’ll never part

 

Our time was short

We stood our ground

Rock was our sound

Life we did report

 

Two years gone

But I have found

You’re still around

You just linger on.

 

Jace you have a place

I long to see you face

My heart skips its beat

Dancing attacks my feet.”

 

As soon as she starts to sing, photos of Jace are projected on the side walls. The other girls are singing doo wop backing vocals. Seeing the familiar yet lost face makes me gulp. I can’t go on. Jill is right there to hold me and hold the song together.

Once we finish, I tell Michael to get off his drums  and join Jenna at the mic.

“These two love birds make me know there’s hope for love. They’re going to do two songs for each other. It’s getting close to midnight. Take my advice, get close to the one you want to be with for the countdown to a midnight kiss.”

 

Michael and Jenna do an a Capella version of  the Carpenters’ ‘We’ve Only Just Begun.’

 

 

They followed up with ‘Close to You’

 

 

As they finish, Tommy runs out with the Chinese gong,  pointing to his watch, with 24 seconds to go until midnight. He hits the gong every two seconds, as everyone counts down. There is lots of scurrying among the youngsters, finding their perfect partner. I look over and see Jake smiling at me. I wink at him, just as Jack tackles me with a big hug. Hippie looks lost, with Anna gone home. He quickly has his cohort of adoring ladies, still the groupie king, and still blushing bright red. Tommy’s girlfriend jumps up on stage and flies into his arms as he rings the twelfth and final gong. It’s 1977.

“Time to go home. Thanks Antoni….” I’m interrupted by choruses of ‘No.’

“You want more? I got just the song to start off the new year, ‘Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight.’”

 

 

CURFEW

We’re still in our youth

But we have our ken

That these lives are ours

And they don’t belong to them

We’re having fun doing what we like

Then they come around and take away our rights

 

Makers of trouble

Wild and insane

Just because we’re young

We’re the ones to blame

The time has come

They’re telling us to leave

They’re pushing us around

So we gotta leave the streets

 

The streets are our domain

So they come and give us pain

But what gives you the right

To come blow out my light

But since I’m having fun

You’re gonna make me fight

And I just wanna say

Curfew must not ring tonight”

 

For the first time I  drive the tempo at a much faster pace.  Hippie is lost at first but catches up, smiling that I challenged his bass pace. Robby is wacked out but Michael keeps the  beat going, allowing Robby to continue furious rolls and high hat banging. Tommy jumps into the crowd of his Lauderdale fans, pushing and shoving anyone nearby. The pit is a swirl of thrashing teenagers. The adults move further back and the remaining kids rush forward. I catch Jake looking aghast from back stage at the chaos. This is not the controlled music for which he trained all his life. I wink at him, as he shakes his head.

 

“Ain’t ready to go home yet?” I shout into the mic.

“No!” the kids yell.

“Let’s hear from our friend Tom Petty and his new band. He led the charge at breaking down the fences at the Skynyrd concert. He’s a Southern Rocker to the core. This song is my personal statement song, ‘Won’t Back Down.’”

 

 

 

“Com’n over here, Jack,” I order him after we finish. “You came to my work in Hollywood. Some asshole called us faggots. I beat the crap out of ‘im. What did you say?”
“You’re So Bad,” he answers.

“Damn straight,” and we go into a second Heartbreakers song.

 

 

I look up and see old Jimmy Olson  taking photos and making notes.  I wave at him to come up onstage. He looks fearful making his way through the hyperactive kids.

“Git up here, Tom,” I order Tommy to get back on stage with us. We sit on the front, as Jimmy joins us. “Tell everyone how this guy saved yer ass from yer e-vil brother.”

The band leaves us alone on stage, speaking to Tommy’s friends and all the other kids, who sit in the pit. The adults move closer to hear our stories of Alligator Alley Adventures.

Jimmy becomes the interviewer with a live mic. “Hi, Tommy. Things are sure changed since I met you in the Lauderdale Hospital.”

“Your stories in the papers saved me from a life of misery. Now I gots good foster folks and these are all my friends here to cheer on Huck, my best friend ever, and his band. All ‘cause y’all wrote ‘bouts my travails in Juvie.”

“Tell us how ya met Tim.”

“Well, I’s always bin callin’ ‘im Huck, after we runs away from the e-vil Juvie prison by Alligator Alley and lived like Tom & Huck in Huckleberry Finn by Mr. Mark Twain.”

“Why’dcha havta run away?”

“That juvie justice was worse’n e-vil. They’s puttin’ older boys in with me and other kids. We was all 11, 12 & 13. Them ol’ boys was molestin’ us kids every night. The first night ol’ Huck showed up, he beat up 3 of them molesters and protected us from then on. But that Program was abusin’ us in other ways. We got whipped and when sum one refused to give in, they was shipped off to the crazy farm fer life. Huck he’s my hero, but even he gots attacked by the guards. We couldn’t take it no more and escaped over the fence. That was the beginnin’ of our ad-ventures, which I call ‘The Legend of ‘Gatoraurus.’”

“I bet yer friends already heard that once or twice,” Jimmy states. The Lauderdale kids all nodded vigorously. “But how ‘bout tellin’ ever-one else here tonight?”

“I’s always glad to tell ‘bout Huck. I love ‘em like no one other. Don’t care what y’all thinks. He’s my hero. You, too, Jimmy fer writin’ about me, so I’s ‘scaped that e-vil juvie injustice system.”

“That’s my job, Tommy. Yer a hero, too. For exposin’ the corruption and savin’ future kids from its evil ways. But how ‘bout y’all tell us ‘bout them four months in the Everglades.”

Tommy turns to crowd and begins to spin his tale.

“Now y’all knows about my friend, Huck here. I guess he’s real famous now. But before all that, he was my hero. This tale’s ‘bout a mighty large ‘gator we knowed that summer when we was livin’ it up in the Everglades.  It’s a big swamp in South Florida near where I’s always lived. So’s I’s pleased to be tellin’ this story dedicated to ol’ Huck, my hero.

The kids and the adults start laughing at Tommy’s accent and grammar. By the time his introduction is done, most everyone was laughing. He felt they weren’t laughing at him but were liking his story. I’m strumming the chords to ‘Crocodile Rock.’

 

 

“‘Gatorsaurus, he’s both a curse an’ a blessing fir our ‘scape from juvie. We jist hadda git outta that place. They was condemnin’ boys to the state mental hospital for not followin’ they’s rules. It were hell. Ta tell ya the truth, I’s scared of ‘gators when we slipped over the fence that dark and moonless night. They never guarded the back of that prison camp as ever’one knows there’s ‘gators out there that as soon ‘et ya as not. Ol’ Huck, he hadda hold my hand. I’s petrified I’s ‘bout ta be ‘et. Soon’s they knowed we’d ‘scaped they let the hounds out ta track us down. They was a’bayin’ and a’howlin’ on our trail until that ol’ “Gatorsaurus, he leapt inta action. Jist a few bites and them hounds was a’whinin’ and a’cryin’ ta git home. Guess that ‘gator he ‘et ‘nuff hounds ‘cause he let us go rather than have a second course of runaway boys. We’s a‘scaped. The next days was pure labor. Huck had me workin’ like an ol’ slave setting up camp and learnin’ hows to caitch catfish in the swamp wid jist ma bare hands. I taught him how to spot wild rice, jist like I’d seen at my granddaddy’s farm up state. We’s even found wild chickens fer eggs ta make fish chowder. I’s ‘fraid o’ that ol’ rooster ‘tills Huck kicked ‘im in the head. We’s havin’ so much fun, we plumb firgot ‘bout ol ‘Gatorsaurus. After a hot day’s work setting up camp and gittin’ food, we was a’splashin’ and a’goofin’ around in the water, havin’ a blast. Suddenly Ol’ Huck’s eyes gots real big and he screamed “’Gator,” over my shoulder. I’s so scared I jist jumped right inta his arms. As he turned to run. I seen them two eyes with ugly, scaly bumps behinds them a’swimmin’ right at me. I’s a’kickin’ ol’ Huck ta hurry up as we scurried away toward the swamp bank and safety. Sure ‘nuff, Huck git there a’fore that ol’ ‘gator. We lay there a’laffin’ ‘til I hads ta go see that ol’ ‘gator lookin’ hungry from missin’ his dinner. I’s throwin’ rocks at his ugly face. That ‘gator don’t cotton much ta bein’ mocked. Up the bank ‘Gatotsaurus comes. His feets going 80 miles an hour. I screamed like a girl an’ Huck, he grabbed me again, throwing me up on a tree’s branch. But ol’ ‘Gatorsaurus, he don’t give up. He’s charging right at Huck. Huck jist jumped up on that crazy ‘gators head and bounced into the tree, with ‘Gatorsaurus’s jaws snappin’ at his heels. Huck pulls me up to his branch and we’s sittin’ there naked as jailbirds, like we really was, laughing again at ‘Gatorsaursus. That ‘gator, he don’t like bein’ laffed at. With hundreds of slobber-covered teeth he attacked that tree, trying ta bring it down. “Gator must be stupid to be so stubborn. He looked like an ol’ dinosaur, 28 feet long, with scales oozing green slime covering his back and bugs living on the slime. He snorted water out his nostrils, lookin’ like a dragon breathin’ out fire and stinky sulfur.  We knowed not ta mock that ol’ ‘gator no more. It took more’n two hours fir ‘Gatorsaurus to finally give up on ‘etin’ us fir dinner. He swum away and never bothered us a’gin. Huck tells me that ‘gators gots big noses so’s they smells everythin.’ I figure ol’ Gatorsaurus never did come back ‘cause ol’ Huck, he smelled real bad.”

I finish the song on guitar. Tommy stands up and bowed. The crowd has been laughing non-stop for several minutes. He gets a standing ovation. All the other players run out from backstage. I pull Jill and the Jacettes up to the mic. We had to do one last encore. I whisper to Jill, “Rod Stewart, ‘my lover, my best friend.’” She sighs, missing Wilkie badly, and then gives me a kiss. I’m a lucky stand-in for our Olympic champ.

“Well, we didn’t think you’d still want more. But I know our Rod Stewart fan, Jill, wants to send out a song to her hero, Olympic gold medal winner and U of Miami swimmer, David Wilkie.”

We get another cheer. I pick up my guitar to accompany everyone on stage and in the audience, singing along with Jill.

 

 

Everyone is swaying to the slow ballad. Jack and Tommy are on either side of Jill, the boy magnet. The adults in the audience  move up front, mixing with the kids. No more thrashing about. The pit sways back and forth.

We’re done. Jake comes running out, hugging me. “You have stolen my heart,” he admits. “No one I’ve ever seen beats the show you just put on.”

I can’t hold myself back, kissing him passionately.  Devil-may-care me. I instantly start purring and vibrating.

 

Next: https://timatswim.com/eighteen-chapter-11/

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