Guitargasm! Part Twenty Five

At four o'clock in the afternoon Danny, Kev and Benny climb down out a city bus to look at the brown brick exterior of The Venture, the venue for Hellakill's benefit concert.

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At four o'clock in the afternoon Danny, Kev and Benny climb down out a city bus to look at the brown brick exterior of The Venture, the venue for Hellakill's benefit concert. The building is not what you would call stately, but not squalid either, despite its warehouse district home next to the railroad tracks.

The three high school seniors walk around to the front doors. The venue entrance is locked, but further down is the management office, which is open. Danny leads them inside. The office space is shabby but hip, giving a half-hearted nod towards respectability and professionalism, but mainly resembling a late-seventies flophouse for a bunch of rock and roll burn-outs. Torn and stained pictures and posters cover the walls and ancient brown carpets cover the floor. At a desk sits a teenage girl with lank hair, a grey cardigan and a "Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994" t-shirt. A dude with two feet of pony-tailed blond hair hanging down his back sits in a chair reading a magazine, and another dude is asleep on the couch, his trucker cap pulled low.

"Can I help you?" asks the girl in a limp monotone.

"I'm part of Hellakill," Danny says. "We wanted to come in and check out the room and stuff."

"What's your name?" asks the pony-tailed guy reading the magazine.

"Danny Warren."

The guy has a look at a clipboard. "Yeah, okay. You're on the list. Are these two staying for the show?"

"Yeah. They've got tickets," Danny says.

"Go through there," the guy says, pointing to a door. "There are some guys in there already setting up their gear. Do you guys have equipment to bring in?"

Danny shakes his head. He leads Kev and Benny through the office, through a heavy door and into the darkened cavern of the hall.

Near them on the right is the bar, and at the far end of the long room is the stage, the only illuminated part of the big room. On stage are two seated figures, partly facing each other, partly looking out into the room. They each hold guitars. There is a moment of quiet as Danny, Kev and Benny enter, but the silence is soon broken by a rumble of bass notes, soon accompanied by a gliding guitar line coming through the stacked speakers winging the stage.

Danny walks toward the stage and the other two follow.

"Danny?" Kev says. "You told that guy we have tickets. We don't have tickets."

"I'll get tickets for you," Danny says, stepping into the light near the stage.

Scott and Ron, the guitarist and bass player from Pattern Disruption, look down at Danny and the other two.

"Hey there, brother," Ron calls. "Come to rock with us?"

Danny shrugs. "We just came to check the place out."

"That's cool," Scott says. He nods to Kev and Benny. "Are these guys at IUM too?"

"You guys know I'm not in college," Danny says. "We go to McLaughlin. This is Benny and Kev. Ron and Scott are in Pattern Disruption."

Ron and Scott exchange a grin. "Hi there," Ron says.

"Where are the girls?" asks Kev.

"Julie didn't need to come," Ron says, taking off his bass. "and you missed Kathy by about fifteen minutes. We're just hanging out for the afternoon. The other bands are going to be dropping in with their gear, and we just want to, you know..."

"Keep an eye on our stuff," Scott finishes. He pulls off his guitar and gets up, leaving the guitar leaning against the chair. He flicks off the amplifier behind him. "Since you guys are here, do you mind sticking around for a while so we can go grab something to eat?"

"I guess," Danny says. "Are you going to be long?"

"Nah, we'll just go to the burger place on Third." The two Pattern Disruption players climb down off the stage and put on their coats.

"Can we play your guitars?" Benny asks as Ron and Scott start for the exit.

"Be our guest," Ron calls as they exit through the office doors.

The three kids climb up onto the stage. Kev stands at the edge and looks out into the dark empty space of the room. "This really is a big place," he says, standing up on his tiptoes. "It's like a primary school gym."

"I thought you'd been here before," Danny says, picking up Scott's guitar. He grips the strings to silence them and flicks on the amplifier. He adjusts the volume down, looking over at Benny trying on Ron's bass.

"I've never been up on the stage, Kev says. I saw Flag-Burning Youth here. They were okay. I don't know if I would pay ten bucks to see them again." He turns to see Danny and Benny sitting down with the guitars. They touch the strings and then start tuning up.

"Give me your 'E' again," Danny says.

"What the hell am I supposed to do while you guys play?" Kev asks.

"Get your ass behind the drums," Benny says.

"I don't know how to play drums."

"It's just tapping," Danny says. "Tapping and counting to four."

"Yeah, right," Kev says, stepping behind the kit. "If it were easy, everyone would do it." He picks up the drum sticks and starts tapping randomly on the skins of the different drums.

"What do you want to play? Benny asks.

Danny shrugs. Do you remember 'Skulls'?

Sure. I downloaded it. Ready?

They begin playing the song, running over the changes with no one singing. Kev sits behind the drum set holding the sticks, resembling the ape at the opening of the movie 2001, staring at the broken bone in his hand. At last, just as the ape learned to use the bone as a tool, Kev tentatively starts tapping one of the sticks on the skin of the snare drum, trying to keep in time with what Danny and Benny are playing. He starts counting to four, tapping awkwardly.

The three of them slowly play through an awkward and clunky version of Skulls, and follow it with a similar attempt at Twenty Eyes, another Misfits standard. This time Kev tries to alternate the snare with the high hat, going one-two, one-two, but he quickly falls out of time. He picks the rhythm back up just tapping the snare again, and manages to work in the high hat on the fourth beats.

Look at me, I'm Joey Jordison, Kev says as the song trails off. Cool. We're a band now. What are we called?

Danny smiles. The Lost Bandits of The Video Game Empire.

Too long, Benny says. How about 'Sound Check'?

Cool, Kev says. He tries to twirl a stick in his hand and drops it.

They play a few more, stretching Benny's memory of the songs. It's easier for Danny, who has been playing every day at home and at intense group practices once a week. In the few short months he's been playing, he's gained a lot of confidence through sheer repetition.

Benny pauses, stretching out her right hand. Danny starts tuning the Strat. Are you still mad about the posters? she asks him.

No, he says. I shouldn't have gotten mad about that. Sorry I was so shitty about it. I know you were helping us out. It's just weird, you know? To see your face all over the school hallways. I usually try to stay in the shadows.

Like Batman, Kev chimes in.

You're going to be on stage tonight, you know, Benny says. There are going to be big lights shining on you and everyone is going to be watching. I'm not trying to freak you out or anything, but you do know that, right? There aren't going to be any shadows to hide in.

I know, Danny says, twisting a tuning knob as he touches the strings with his pick. But everybody is going to be watching Jay and Tyson. Those guys are the show.

There are voices from the dark end of the hall as another band arrives to load in their gear. They step forward into the light from the stage, but Danny doesn't recognize them.

How's it going? asks one of the three guys. He's carrying a guitar case. We'll just toss our stuff backstage, right?

Sure, Danny says. Which band are you?

The Old-Timey Railroad Band, the young man says. I'm Brett. This is Gavin and Leo. You with Hellakill?

I am, yeah, Danny says.

Should be a pretty f--ked up night, huh?

What do you mean?

He smiles. I worked the ticket sales table at the university with your bass player Steve this afternoon, Brett says. We saw a few of the guys from Allsystemsgo. They are plenty pissed off at you guys, let me tell you. They said your guitar player was calling them fags on the radio, or something like that?

He never said fags. He might have said something about rim-jobs.

Well, whatever. Anyway, I don't know what's going to happen tonight, but I think we're going to have a pretty good time. Should be funny, anyway.

The Old-Timey Railroad Band takes their gear through the door at the side of the stage. Danny looks at Benny and Kev. I think I'm going to give Jay a call. See what's going on. He sets the guitar down and hops off the stage, walking toward the office.

The three OTRB musicians come out of the back, heading back outside to bring in the drums. One of them, either Gavin or Leo, stops by the stage and look up at Benny.

What's your name? he asks her.

Benny.

Kind of a dude's name, isn't it?

It's short for Belinda.

Oh, like Belinda Carlisle.

She shrugs. I guess. She stares at him until he finally breaks away and follows his band-mates out the door.

Creep.

He didn't ask my name, Kev says.

You don't have boobs.

In the office, Danny calls home. To his surprise, his father answers the phone. Hey, Dad. Um, is Jay home?

No, Jeff Warren says. He picked up his guitar and left about half an hour ago. Are you coming home for supper?

I don't think so, Danny says. I'm downtown right now, and I would have to come back down again, so I'll probably just stick around down here.

You have to eat. Do you have any money?

I've got a couple bucks. Don't worry. I'm fine.

Well, where are you? I can bring you something to eat. Or at least some money. You can't have a proper meal with a few dollars.

Um, just let me talk to Jay first so I can figure out what's going on. I'll give you a call back, okay?

His dad is silent for a moment. All right. But you promise to call if you need anything, okay?

Okay. Thanks.

Okay, champ. Love you.

Danny hangs up the phone. Weird, he mutters. He calls Tyson's house. Tyson answers, and sure enough, Jay is there as well.

I just had the strangest conversation with dad, Danny tells him. Like he's suddenly super-protective. Like instant TV-Dad.

Over-compensating, I would gather, Jay says. Where are you?

At The Venture.

Already? Jay says. What for? The first band doesn't play until eight. Shit, we don't play until eleven. Why don't you just go home? Eat, shower up, and put on something cool. If you want, we can pick you up with Peter's van later.

Yeah, I guess, Danny says. Um, there's one other thing. The Old-Timey Railroad Band is here. They said the guys from Allsystemsgo were talking shit to them and Steve at IUM today.

Hmm. Well, I guess we should have expected that. What did they say?

I'm not sure. You should talk to Steve.

I will soon. I'll see you in a few hours, okay? Call me here if you need anything, but don't bother going back to The Venture at least until seven. You can't just sit there for like, eight hours waiting. Are you excited to play?

Danny smiles. Kind of. Kind of nervous, too.

Don't worry, Danny. This is going to be awesome.

2008 Nolan Whyte

86 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Les Paul57
    YES! i friggen love these. i look forward to the next one. and i think its safe to say that everyone on ug are creeps, even the chicks.
    ToxicDonkey
    Shit man this story is ****in intence!! I wanna read about the concert!! Hurry Up with the next one!!
    Feel bad inc.
    nice, looking forward to the drama of when the other band burst in to try kick their arses or somethin.
    johnny-rock
    very nice.. but still cant help but feel we are no further than the start of this part.. that was what.. 10 minutes? in the life of hellakill? oh well, still cool! keep up the good work!
    Styx
    Allsystemsgo is going to crash their party just wait and see... anyway great just try to get them here faster please.
    st.stephen
    Styx wrote: Allsystemsgo is going to crash their party just wait and see...
    They have a gig >.< I liked this one, reminds me of waiting for shows to start, oh the nostalgia...
    irbdmck
    irbdmck wrote: lexaah wrote: aldor177 wrote: you don't have boobs lol well they're easier to talk to than the face
    I ****ing love you
    RazorbackDevil
    Look at me, Im Joey Jordison hahahahaha ok but seriously when the **** is the show gonna happen? i thought it would be next part for like the past three parts
    rich420
    Riot Act wrote:at this rate it will be as long as comeback road...good stuff though Nolan.
    Comeback road was awesome! I love this too though, UG's my homepage so i'm always stoked to see a new one of these out.
    randomhero93
    i must say, these are all really fun to read. all very creative. 9.9/10 idk why i took off .1
    Lemoninfluence
    Beernuts86 wrote: You are taking way too long for this story to go anywhere! I've been waiting for the actual benifit show to start for months!
    you're only saying that because you're seeing them published as soon as the chapters are finished as opposed to just having them all released at once like in a normal book. and it's not as if the writer owes you anything, so when you say "I've been waiting..." it just makes you seem selfish and immature.
    thefoldarsoldar
    What the heck, this almost ended in the same way as the last one!! You're killing me here, Nolan!
    akhimakhi93
    aldor177 wrote: you don't have boobs lol
    lol hilarious...great one nolan, but still u don seem to be picking up speed with da story...keep ir coming!(faster)
    Jastul
    not sure why but this kinda just felt like a filler to me, probably cause it's been so long since the last one, this one's so short and I can't wait for the concert!!!! my prediction: allsystems go crash the concert after their own gig they reveal it's them who stole the gear, brawl breaks out between the bands, Hellakill pwns
    The three high school seniors walk around to the front doors.
    weren't danny and his friends supposed to be 11th graders or something like that? at least I'm pretty sure it's been said they're 16ish years old. Oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter
    itchy guitar
    i think its blatently obvious that Rich distracted Hellakill while Lady Endorphine stole all of thier stuff.
    braineater.
    right now, i'm thinking lady endorphine and otrb got together and stole their gear. both of them seem kind of skeevy and 'oh hey i didn't steal your shit. you're nuts. no, seriously. -shifty eyes-'. hurry up with the next part, yeah?
    mdawg24
    I think The OTRB is who stole their stuff, just a thought though.
    masterohumans
    vash_08 wrote: Wow, I totally pictured Kev with man boobs, I guess I was wrong.
    I think of him as the fat kid as well. Its pretty good but its taking forever to get to the show. And how long has Danny been playing guitar, he should be able to play a powerchord by now.
    GuitarCrazyFrog
    Oh, for the love of god, FINISH THE DAMN CONCERT SHOW! This is a good series, but the benefit show should have been done 7 episodes ago. But, alas, he likes to keep us waiting. Still good though. This is the only thing I really read on UG besides, of course, the tabs, and occasionally the news.
    blazingchaz
    "You don't have boobs" LOL. Damn, this is getting me all the more anxious with every passing episode.
    Rockstar729
    LOL, I love this story. Its freakin' long though. I'm thinkin' after the show when they all hang out and crap, Sometihing'll happen between Danny and Benny.
    NOSPI
    Sanitarium91 wrote: Les Paul Ell wrote: "You don't have boobs." Hmmm, that OTRB guy must be a member of UG.. Of course. We all know that every UG'er is a creep :p
    Well not EVERY UG'er. Only the ones who hang out in the pit really.
    Phillitalian
    Danny smiles. Kind of. Kind of nervous, too. Dont worry, Danny. This is going to be awesome.
    grr. Nolan, why must you taunt us with these endings
    _GoingBlind_
    its like 24 for musicians, wish I wouldn't have started this til it was all finished and posted, like waiting for a series to come out on dvd so I don't have to wait a week ,or in this case 2+, for the next installment
    tona_107
    Come onnn haha I want more. But that was great, and I GUESS it's worth the wait... This is my favourite, it's really impressive that Nolan managed to give this a completely different feel than comeback road. Anyways you're almost as bad as tool, but we can wait.
    Curian
    Awesome chapter cant wait for the next one, keep up the good work man!
    Beernuts86
    You are taking way too long for this story to go anywhere! I've been waiting for the actual benifit show to start for months!
    musiclover_92
    WOOOOO, NOW MOAR!!!!!, jk, great part. I think Ravi Shankar should go up there and jam with the bands...
    demonmouse500
    Sanitarium91 wrote: Les Paul Ell wrote: "You don't have boobs." Hmmm, that OTRB guy must be a member of UG.. Of course. We all know that every UG'er is a creep :p
    Dude, I 'd probably only talk to her (and not Kev) because she has boobs, and I'm a chick. It doesn't really have that much to do with creepiness. It's not like I'd stare at them or anything, though. Er, also, good job, can't wait for the next one.
    lexaah
    aldor177 wrote: you don't have boobs lol
    well they're easier to talk to than the face
    Riot Act
    Wow, I had thought this was only gonna be 25 parts long...at this rate it will be as long as comeback road...good stuff though Nolan.