DOA. Part 9

Billy rushes to school, talks to Rick, and then heads back to Liam's for tryouts.

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Billy wakes up to Rita kissing him on the cheek lightly before stepping into the shower. He looks over at the alarm clock, it's 7:20. School starts at 7:40. He quickly gets up and gets dressed. He finds a bathroom down the hall and takes a quick shower.

Billy runs downstairs and finds Liam in the kitchen. Hey Billy, there's some eggs on the counter there. Eat up, and I'll give you a ride to school. Billy eats quickly and grabs his backpack. He heads out to the garage and Liam drives him to school.

***

Billy gets out of the car and heads up to the front doors. Rick is waiting there for him.

Billy, Dad says you have to come home right after school today. Rick says as they walk in to the school. He knows that Billy doesn't want to deal with their father.

What's he going to do if I don't, Rick? Billy says, knowing that Rick doesn't have an answer.

I don't know, Billy. But he says to tell you that you won't get in trouble if you come home today.

As opposed to what? A few choice words and a punishment of some sorts that I won't even obey? Billy replies as he digs his homework out of his locker.

I don't know, Billy, but we're having practice at Harry's tomorrow, if you're even interested in playing for Red Knife anymore. Rick says.

Yeah, I'll still play for you guys. Oh, by the way, Rick, Frozen With Fear is organizing a show this Saturday. They're trying to get a bigger show than last weekend. The only problem is, that if you guys play, you can't headline. Billy says, expecting Rick to have a problem with it. You up for it? He asks.

Sure, no problem. Rick says, the thought of playing a show seems to have a calming effect. If this show is as big as you say it's going to be, it won't matter who headlines. Rick says, nearly perfectly calm now.

Alright, Rick, so I'll see you at practice tomorrow then. Billy says as he heads to his homeroom class, which lasts a whole twenty minutes.

Billy heads in and sits down in his usual seat. He notices Alan sitting in the desk next to him.

Alan turns towards Billy, and starts to talk. Hey Billy, I printed up some flyers last night. You wanna help me put them up this period? I already asked the teacher. Alan says, excited, as he holds a poster up to show Billy.

Sure, Alan. Billy says, taking half of the stack of posters. I'll take the first floor, you take this one.

Billy leaves the classroom.

He holds up one or the posters and reads it. Local rock band needs rhythm guitar player. Tryouts today at 4:00. You must have your own gear, and be able to provide your own transportation. You must be ready to play gigs immediately.

Billy notices some contact information near the bottom, as well. However, they're just names and numbers.

Billy heads downstairs and hangs up all of the posters in various places on first floor. He heads to his first hour class as the bell rings.

Billy fades through the rest of the day, and notices Rita's car in the parking lot at the end of the day. He heads over to her car, and opens the passenger side door. Hey Billy, Liam told me to pick you up here. She says, as he slides into the seat next to her. She lends over and kisses Billy before she drives out of the parking lot.

They ride home silently, Billy too ecstatic to talk, knowing that it's more than a one-time thing with Rita.

Rita pulls into the garage and shuts the car off. She and Billy get out of the car. Billy heads to the living room where the practice area is setup. Rita heads to her room, after giving Billy a quick kiss.

Roy and Alan have already set up their gear, and Roy starts leading people in. By 4 o'clock, a dozen teenage guitar players have come to try out. Liam asks a few questions and nearly immediately narrows it down to nine people.

Billy examines the guitar players from his drum set. He recognizes two of them as seniors, three are juniors, three are sophomores, and one of them is a freshman.

First up is one of the seniors, apparently named Derek. Billy watches as he plays through a Randy Rhoads solo. He finishes, Roy doesn't look too pleased. The spot you're trying out for is rhythm guitar, not a half-assed lead guitar. You played that solo too slow, with incorrect notes, and went out of time halfway through. Next! The senior leaves, looking somewhat pissed. The next one to try out is a junior named Frederic.

He plays a few bars of full eighth note chords and then goes into a syncopated rhythm of some sorts. He starts out simple, withe a rhythm of eighth not chords, at somewhere near 160 beats per minute. He then plays a riff that sounds vaguely like an Avenged Sevenfold riff, but he uses multiple chords and less palm mutes. He finishes and Roy gives him a small clap. Mind hanging around until we're done with tryouts? Roy asks.

The nod of his head is a good enough answer for Roy. He calls the freshman up to play. The freshman, named Dan, takes out a Les Paul, the genuine article, and begins to play.

Dan starts in, playing a complex rhythm right away. He slowly fades into a Senses Fail song, and then goes back to another complex rhythm. He plays very well, and Roy tells him to stick around.

3 down, 6 to go. Roy calls a sophomore up to tryout next. The sophomore comes up to play.

The sophomore, named Karl begins to play a metal song on a detuned Epiphone. Billy recognizes the song about 4 or 5 measures in. Man Made God by In Flames. Karl finishes the song and Roy looks both pleased and disappointed.

Great playing, but we're a rock band, not a metal band. Roy tells him.

Oh. Karl responds, and leaves, uninterested in playing in a rock band.

Roy calls the remaining senior up. He begins to play, but goes out of time, quickly and often. After a few minutes of playing, Roy stops him. Nice try. He says, as the senior packs up his guitar and leaves.

Roy calls up the remaining guitar players one by one. Billy watches as they all play, none of them faring any better than each other.

They all play through songs, but nothing is impressive. They leave, and only Frederic and Dan remain.

Roy calls the rest of the band over to him. So what do you guys think?

Well I preferred Dan's style to Frederic's. Liam replies.

I like how Frederic plays more. Alan replies. What do you think, Billy?

I don't really know, I mean they can both play good, but it's no good if we don't get along with them. Billy replies. I think we should have an actual practice with each of them.

That's a great idea, Billy! Roy exclaims. He turns to them and speaks. Dan, you're up first. He says as he picks up his guitar.

Roy, Billy, and Alan dive into the intro for Fly Away'. Dan quickly comes in, improvising a rhythm. It builds up quickly and Dan catches on, he stops with the others. Liam starts to sing Fly away... and the rest of the band comes back in.

They play through the song, Roy plays his solo with more confidence.

Dan plays through the song, keeping perfect time, even without knowing the song.

Frederic gets up to play, plugging in his Gibson Xplorer, and running over the strings in a small sweep of a scale.

He waits for Roy and everyone else to start. They decide on Steal The Show' and begin playing, Frederic quickly jumps in with a fast, upbeat rhythm.

Liam comes in singing If I can breakout, leaving out the scat improv this time.

They play through the song, with Frederic playing a few small, quiet sweeps during the bridge, which features little instrumentation, ordinarily.

So, guys, what do you think? Roy asks afterwards.

***

So what DO you guys think? Dan or Frederic? It's up to you, UG. I'll let you have the choice. Vote in a comment. Voting ends Friday at noon. It's out of my hands now.

-Greg

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GrayFoxz
    this story is kick ass, imma read the whole thing again even though it hasnt ended..FIRST
    HiyuKantaro
    Normally I would say Fred because he is losing.. But I think Dan is more awesome.. So I vote for: DAN! (DAN THE MAN!)
    kingurth
    I'd probably like this a lot more if it wasn't rife with grammatical errors and "telling" prose. For example... "'Oh.' Karl responds, and leaves, uninterested in playing in a rock band." Do you really need to tell us that Karl is "uninterested in playing in a rock band"? Don't his actions speak for themselves? You do that a lot and it's sort of alienating as a reader (like you don't expect the reader to "get it," so you have to spell it out for him/her).
    GSD N3
    ok. Dan wins, hands down. and it didn't matter if you were late, cause he wins anyways.
    musiclover_92
    Dan, I guess, rhythm players need to stick with the rhythm unless it's a rolling stone change with the guitarists trading places.
    ratlr
    use both, make the band have three guitarist. bands the more the merrier.
    dial-a-death
    Although having said that, those are metal bands. Rock bands don't tend to sweep very often. (Sorry for double post)
    Gakbez
    Dan is a nice rhytm guitarist, has perfect timing, and doesen't sweep the **** in the middle of a song. He's a freshman too. Dan.
    sfaune92
    DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! Yeah...awseome story dude
    Noob_Cakes12
    Dan. freds supposed to be rhythm guitarist the **** is he doing sweeping in the middle of a song
    dial-a-death
    Fred seems to be the underdog, so i'll say him to even it a little. Sweeps are a little odd for a rhythm, but several bands have interchangeable rhythm/ lead players. Eg Iron Maiden, Megadeth to name a couple.
    Sylvanus
    Dan, Frederic seems a little to metal for them, since he's doing sweeps.