Guitargasm! Part Seventeen

On the following Saturday Benny loads her bass and amp into her mother's car and drives over to Danny's house.

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THE ARTICLE HAS BEEN FIXED ON 05.05.2008

On the following Saturday Benny loads her bass and amp into her mother's car and drives over to Danny's house. The driveway in front of the Warren house is empty when she arrives, but she parks in the street anyway and carries her gear up to the front door.

Almost instantly after she rings the bell the door opens and Danny is standing there, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, his hair still damp from the shower. "Hey," he says. "Come on in."

"Thanks." She carries her gear inside the house and takes off her shoes. The two of them stand there for a moment, awkward at meeting outside of school for the first time.

Carrie looks around the living room. The space seems wrong somehow: half-finished, disorganized, in the midst of being taken apart. There are spaces on shelves where selected items had been removed, rectangular patches of non-faded paint on the yellowing walls where family photos had hung for years until being removed only a few days before.

"The place is kind of a mess right now," Danny says. "Mom just moved out Thursday."

"That sucks," Carrie says. "You just found out she was leaving this week, huh?"

"Yeah." He frowns. "They didn't give us a whole lot of time to get used to the idea. Anyway, come on in. Um, do you want to play in here? Or downstairs? Or..." He trails off and shrugs his shoulders.

She shrugs as well, a cute smile on her face. "Where's your guitar?"

"It's not really my guitar," he says, "but it's in my room."

"Do you just want to go there?"

He shrugs again and nods. "Sure." He picks up her practice amp and carries it down the hall, leading her to his room. He'd never had a girl in his bedroom before, and even though the jam session was an innocent idea, the whole idea had made him anxious. He'd cleaned his room more thoroughly than he had in years, even leaving the window open for a few hours despite the fall weather to try and get some fresh air in.

They enter the room, and Danny sets the amp down on the floor next to the desk. He fumbles with the power cord and plugs it into an outlet, waiting all the while for Carrie to make some comment on the barely post-adolescent dcor of the room: the TV and video game console, the desk covered with gaming magazines and school books, the small stereo and the stack of CDs borrowed from Jay, walls covered in video game posters, the neatly made bed with a black guitar case lying across it.

She presses the button to pop open the CD tray on the stereo. Inside is an Iron Maiden disc, A Real Live One. She smiles. "Iron Maiden? Really? Like, not as a joke or anything?"

"Yeah," he says, pulling the chair out from the desk. "It's kind of cool. It's kind of old and cheesy and stuff, but some of the songs are good. 'Two Minutes to Midnight' is cool."

"I don't think I know any of their songs." She sits down on the side of the bed and unzips her carrying bag, pulling out a maroon Kort bass. Danny plugs the cord that she passes him into the little amp and switches it on. Carrie touches the E string, producing a low hum. "Ready," she says.

Danny sits on the chair and takes out Tyson's acoustic guitar, placing it in his lap. He takes a pick from the case and strums the strings slowly. They take a long time getting in tune, and once ready they sit looking at each other.

"Um, what do you want to do?" Danny asks.

"I don't know," she says. "Do know any songs you could teach me?"

"Maybe. Or do you want to teach me something?"

Carrie shrugs. "I don't know how to play guitar, so I don't know if I could teach you anything. If I just play something can you figure out what to play along?"

"Maybe. If you can tell me what notes to play, I can try to play the same chords."

She starts strumming an open E, and Danny looks at the strings and finds his E chord. They play for several measures before finally trailing off.

"Well, that was cool," she says, somewhat sarcastically.

"I'm really just learning," he says. "Sorry."

"No, no, I suck too," she says. "Um, do you want to try a song I wrote?"

His eyes brighten. "Sure," he says, and then wonders if he sounds too enthusiastic.

"Okay," she says. "It's like, super easy. The verse is just two different notes: E eight times," she plays the note in a simple thumping rhythm, "then B eight times. The E eight more times, B eight more times, then the chorus is just D, sixteen times. Then you play it all over two more times, and that's it."

"Um, okay." Danny takes a moment to remember the fingering for the B and D chords, and they play through the simplistic arrangement, thumping and strumming along together, keeping almost in perfect rhythm.

When they finish they hear clapping, and standing in the hall outside Danny's door is Jay, in his sweats and t-shirt, his hair messy from bed. "Pretty good guys," he says, his eyes still half-closed with sleep. "What was that called?"

"Um, it doesn't have a name," Carrie says. "Are you Jay?"

"Yeah. You're Carrie? Listen, thanks a lot for helping us with our web stuff. I'm not very good with that sort of thing. Our computer is ancient."

"It's cool," she says. "I keep telling Danny you guys need to record something. If you could get me some mp3s it would be easy to put them on your page."

"Right, right." Jay looks at Danny. The look on his younger brother's face says go away, I'm with a girl here. "I'll talk to you guys later," Jay says. "I need breakfast."

He turns and walks out to the kitchen. The plink-plank-plonk sound of two new musicians fumbling with their instruments continues while Jay makes himself coffee. Right on, he thinks. Give someone a guitar and watch what happens.

Just as Jay is filling his cup, the phone rings. It's Tyson on the other end of the line.

"So," the singer tells him, "there's good news and bad news."

"Um, good news first." Jay takes a tentative sip of the hot coffee.

"The good news is that the tickets are printed. Peter and I are going to take them around to the stores that are selling them today. And the posters are printed up too. We can start putting them up any time."

"Okay, that's cool. Bad news?"

"Guess who's having a show the same night we are."

"Aw," Jay says, setting down the coffee cup. "Aw, don't even say it."

"Yeah, Allsystemsgo, man," Tyson says. "They're playing The Station on the Seventeenth, and get this: they're bringing The Bantam All-Stars to play with them."

"The Bantam All-Stars are coming? Shit, we need to get a manager. We should totally be opening for those guys! How the hell did Allsystemsgo get that gig?"

"You don't understand, man," Tyson says. "I was talking with this chick Cleo at the bar last night. She knows the guys from Allsystemsgo, and I guess their bass player is old friends with one of The Bantam All-Stars. They're actually bringing them in, just for this. The All-Stars aren't on tour. They're coming here for this one show."

"Yeah, to draw attention away from us. Fuck, those guys are dicks. A lot of people will go to that. The All-Stars are awesome."

Tyson grunts in response. "Exactly. I think Allsystemsgo is setting this up to intentionally fuck us over. I don't want to sound all conspiracy-theory or anything, but I wouldn't even be surprised if they ripped off our gear."

"Yeah, except they were on stage when our stuff got stolen. Hang on a second." Jay's jacket is hanging off one of the kitchen chairs. He goes into the pockets and finds his cigarettes, opens the kitchen window, and lights one. He picks up the phone. "There's something else we need to figure out."

"Jay?" calls Danny from down the hallway. "Are you smoking in the house?"

"Yeah," he calls in response. "We're moving out anyway. Who gives a shit?" He turns his attention back to Tyson. "Look, we need to get something recorded for the web page. At least a song or two. Who do we know that could help us out?"

"Well, we know someone," Tyson says. "But you might not like it."

Jay blows smoke toward the open window. "You mean Rich."

"Rich, and that chick from Lady Endorphin. He said her recordings were so good he moved here to join her band, right? So she must be good at recording stuff."

Jay thinks about it. "Yeah. I guess beggars can't be choosers, right? And if she does the recordings herself, maybe she'll do it cheap. Or free, right? Maybe we could work the angle that we'll use the recordings to promote a show that her band will be playing, so it would be to her benefit to help us."

"Sure," Tyson says. "I'll call Rich and see if he can set it up. I just wonder if he'll be sore about last Tuesday."

"Right. If he sounds pissed, just apologize for me, all right? Tell him I was in a shitty mood because of my folks. I mean, he pissed me off, but fuck it, I don't care."

"Yeah. The guy is kind of a dick, but he seems happy to help out," Tyson says. "I'll give him a call. Maybe we can do it this week."

"Cool."

They hang up. Jay sips his coffee and smokes his cigarette, and listens to the plunking of a bass and acoustic guitar coming from down the hall.

Tyson calls Rich and Rich calls Casey, the enigmatic lead singer of Lady Endorphin. Casey agrees, and on Tuesday morning Rich picks up Jay and Tyson at the old Nova Caf in downtown Millenburgh. Jay loads his guitar into the trunk of Rich's big old Thunderbird, and the two members of Hellakill climb into the car.

"Morning boys," Rich says. "Nice day to cut an album. Just the two of you, huh?"

"Yeah," says Tyson, ducking into the back seat of the two-door. "Peter's working and Steve's in class. But we should be able to put down the vocal and guitar tracks today."

Jay pulls the heavy door shut and the car starts moving. "This will probably be better anyway," Rich says. "Casey is pretty shy. Maybe meeting you a few at a time will be best."

Rich pulls the car up in front of a small house in Millenburgh's west end. The yard is a mess, with a patchy, uncut lawn and overgrown shrubs sprouting out in all directions. They get out, Jay collects his guitar from the trunk, and they walk up to the front door.

Rich presses the doorbell, and they hear the bing-bong inside the house. There's no response. Rich presses the button again, and again, they wait in front of the closed door.

"Are you sure she's home?" Tyson asks.

"Yeah, she's home," Rich grumbles. "She pulls this sometimes." He digs a cell phone out of his jacket pocket, flips it open and speed-dials a number. "Casey?" he says. "Yeah, I'm out front with the guys from Hellakill. No, just two of them. The singer, Tyson, and the guitarist, Jay. Didn't you hear the bell? Okay. Okay. Sure." He flips the phone shut.

Tyson and Jay look at each other and then at Rich. The Lady Endorphin guitarist gives them an embarrassed shrug. "Just a minute." They wait, and there's a click as the front door is unlocked. It doesn't open however, and after half a minute Rich turns the knob and lets them inside.

The three musicians step into the front entrance of the house, which opens into the living room. Instead of the couches, chairs and coffee tables which usually decorate living rooms, this one is filled with amplifies, sound boards, a computer desk, a keyboard, chunks of lighting equipment, endless cables and cords snaking all around, and most conspicuously, the massive welded-metal microphone stand that they saw dominating the stage during Lady Endorphin's set at the women's shelter benefit.

But Casey, Lady Endorphin herself, is nowhere to be seen.

"Just hang out," Rich says, sitting down on a folding chair. "Plug your guitar into one of the amps and tune up if you want. I'm sure she'll be out in a minute."

"Jesus," Tyson says, looking around. "Is this her house?"

"Yeah," Rich says. "Well, I think her parents pay the rent. Or maybe they bought it for her. I'm not really sure about that."

Jay, spotting an ashtray on one of the tables, pulls out his smokes and lights one up. "This is a pretty elaborate setup," he says. "She must have a lot of dough to buy all this gear."

"I think she gets a lot of used and broken stuff and fixes or modifies it."

"Right. So... where is she?"

"Hello," says a small voice from the doorway to the basement. The three boys turn. Firmly in the minds of Jay and Tyson is the image of the girl they saw on stage weeks ago: a raven-haired beauty in a tight, shiny costume, strutting and showing off a sexy body on stage, screaming and singing at a captivated audience. The girl that stands before them in the house wears layers of bulky sweaters and loose-fitting pants to completely obscure her figure. A wool cap conceals her long black hair. Even her eyes are hidden behind dark glasses. She seems to be trying to hide in plain sight.

"I'm Casey," she says with a voice like a squeaking mouse. "Nice to meet you."

2008 Nolan Whyte

112 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Shard Prime
    Rock on, man. Sweet story so far. Can't wait for the next chapter! :] The Benny-Carrie thing confused me a bit, though.
    graybass_20x6
    Updated is nice...though I still notice the character error in continuity at the beginning of the segment. I.E., Benny strangely transforms into Carrie at the very beginning of the story, paragraph 4, to be exact. She continues to be Carrie throughout the story when it is implied that it is Benny there. Unless there's something I've missed, a change there is not, unfortunately.
    jcwear
    there are spelling mistakes amplifiers is spelt wrong in the section where they discuss Lady Endorphin's house and also at the start where danny talks to carrie, carrie ought to say, "do you know and songs"
    batiboy06
    show us casey!! can you post some pics? haha. just doping. keep it comin' dawg. good job.
    krumpinjugger
    steel_jesus wrote: i have a strange feeling tht says for some reason casey and lady endorphine stole their gear. And maybe casey is really nervous because she doesnt want them to find out..... crazy i kno but i suppose we'll all find out soon enough
    yeah i totally agree!!i reckon lady endorphin pinched their stuff coz she got all that shit in her living room like what eddie's waitor said.
    Noxkid457
    Danny... Carrie.... Danny Carry, lol maybe he was making a Tool reference.
    Nick_porter333
    Get in, not the only one confused by characters swapping names... It was Benny to start with...and now Carrie...go Danny u stud muffin...except ur not real, but still...
    guitaringsailor
    Eddie's'Waitor wrote: She steals everything, just check out the lines " She must have a lot of dough to buy all this gear." "I think she gets a lot of used and broken stuff and fixes or modifies it " What a bitch...
    oh yeah... right maybe she was the one who ripped their gear... thats why she won't meet tehm all... and she wasn't on stage when it happened...
    musiclover_92
    incarnation wrote: I might be crazy, but I'm pretty sure the girl they met with Rich isn't the same one they saw on stage
    why would she not be, she might be using all of the clothes so people do not recognize her
    Skater901
    YEAH! IRON MAIDEN!!!! \M/ (8) Two! Minutes! To miiiiidniiiiight!!!!! (8) You get a cookie for mentioning Iron Maiden. No wait, several cookies! The story is as good as ever, but does take a while for the next ep to come out. Oh well.
    Eddie's'Waitor
    She steals everything, just check out the lines " She must have a lot of dough to buy all this gear." "I think she gets a lot of used and broken stuff and fixes or modifies it " What a bitch...
    redrumsixsix6
    who ever it is, its supposed to be Benny, cause she is the one who helped with the bands website
    Vinnie9
    Great chapter Seems like Nolan was in a hurry to write it though Benny - Carrie? a few spelling errors Great story, none the less
    Barkeeper
    Awesome chapter. Now it's gonna begin! ^FlamingYouth: Rofl, exactly what I was thinking =D
    FlamingYouth
    "I don't think I know any of their songs." She sits down on the side of the bed and unzips her pants, pulling out a maroon Kort bass.
    ahahaha. sorry, couldn't resist.
    Twixted
    imdwalrus wrote: I'm glad Benny became Carrie. Benny sounds like a dike name. Either a fat chick or a lesbian butch, or both.
    Ya when her name was Benny i imagined her kinda fat but Carrie sounds a lot hotter
    incarnation
    I might be crazy, but I'm pretty sure the girl they met with Rich isn't the same one they saw on stage
    Spl!nTeRgu!tAr
    There ARE a lot of characters, but if you read it in book fashion instead of a chapter every other week they would be easy to keep track of.
    claptonsson199
    wow this is absolute good stuff I would highly recommend getting it published but what the hell with the name And on another Eric Clapton's autobiography is coming out soon
    Mikhajlovich
    I don't want to sound too mean, but... damn I had to roll my eyes at that "bassline" Carrie produced (even if she is a newbie). It's no wonder so many guitarists are calling bass a "girl's guitar". Sort of makes me ashamed to be a bassist... perhaps Dave Mustaine was right in his dick comments about bass being a step above the oboe... >.< [On an unrelated note, "spelt" is the Commonwealth English variation of "spelled", and so is technically correct... Sorry. My "Language Nerd" personality took over there for a second.]
    k00kie M0nster
    timlikeHim wrote: jcwear wrote: there are spelling mistakes amplifiers is spelt wrong... Piece of advice: You need to learn to spell first before you criticize another's spelling errors. "spelt" is not a word. The correct word is "spelled".
    I'm sorry to break it to you, but "spelt" is a word and was used correctly. "Spelled" is correct too, but there is nothing wrong with saying "spelt."
    big-red
    havent read a good story like this since on the road on comeback tour
    timlikeHim
    jcwear wrote: there are spelling mistakes amplifiers is spelt wrong...
    Piece of advice: You need to learn to spell first before you criticize another's spelling errors. "spelt" is not a word. The correct word is "spelled".
    filthylittleboy
    great new addition I always wait patiently for the next ones the story is really unfolding... dont worry about the cynical crowd on these forums dude! you rock!
    Metal_Rich
    If I were Danny, I'd of said "Get the **** out of my house," when Benny commented on him listening to Iron Maiden.
    djmay71
    im totally confused and plus the storyline is a tad, dry, but meh, i'll put up with it
    PhrenchPhries
    Good story, but its hard to read a different section every week. It would work better if read in one go. I get really confused with all the different bands. The Benny Carrie thing didnt help either.
    Ibanez_Guy
    steel_jesus wrote: i have a strange feeling tht says for some reason casey and lady endorphine stole their gear. And maybe casey is really nervous because she doesnt want them to find out..... crazy i kno but i suppose we'll all find out soon enough
    no, it sez the Allsystemsgo guys were on stage wen their gear got rippd off