The Band: Array
setting: thursday evening at Andy’s house. our senior year. 1987.
band members: Andy- guitar and backing vocal, Johnny- bass, Daniel-drums, Rebecca- lead vocal, Kimmee- keyboards, backing vocal
“shit, boys, we are going to rock the house saturday night,” andy exclaimed as he gave me a hi-five. he turned to do the same with johnny but realized he wasn’t paying any attention. johnny was, as per usual, in his own little world, sitting back, smoking a joint and staring out at nothing.
a little perturbed by johnny’s lack of enthusiasm for the upcoming gig, andy picked up his guitar and played an intricate arpeggio that he had been working on the past few days. andy was a lanky rich boy who’s mom was never home and usually had the whole house to himself after school to play loud music in. he was the class clown and was even voted the “funniest senior” in the yearbook that year.
i played a couple of warmup drum fills on the tom-toms and then turned to andy and asked “are you sure we don’t need more rehearsal time before the party? i mean, i’m a bit nervous about it …and it’s like one of the biggest parties this whole semester, right?”
andy walked toward my drum set. actually it wasn’t mine. it was trey’s. andy stole .. i mean, had it on loan from Trey for the time being. “what are you kidding me? we are rock solid. you got that ‘neil peart’ thing down on the skins, i got the mad burnin’ leads on the geeettaarr and johnny boy over there …. he’s like the best damn bassist in our whole damn high school! what more do you want D?” andy asked while doing one of his motley-crue-rock-star-poses.
“i’m not talking about us necessarily. i’m more concerned about … uummm..” i discreetly motioned over to the two girls hanging out on the other side of andy’s oversized basement/activity/rehearsal room. rebecca was a bit preoccupied at the moment with getting her makeup “just so” in front of a mirror while Kimmee was lounging on a couch, busy yammering away with her boyfriend on the phone.
andy looked over and nodded. “look, i know they’re not the most talented, musically speaking but that’s not completely why they’re in the band anyway.”
i raised my eyebrows.
andy continued. “see, we (referring to johnny, andy and me) provide the musical foundation. we’re rock solid. no one’s gonna knock that. the girls, .. the girls.. are just the icing on the cake. they are our “hook”. there are a dozen other bands out there but with rebecca and kimmee, we stand out. rebecca’s out in front with the miniskirt and the tight shirt and then we got kimmee on keys and she’s smokin’ hot. you see what i’m getting at?”
“yeah. we’re a gimmick band,” i said crossing my arms, “a band with no integrity.”
“integrity? D, we’re in high school, there is no such thing. don’t worry, D. i’ve got it all worked out. i’m the mastermind behind the group anyway. i’m ‘Pete Townshend’ if you will.”
“who?” rebecca interrupted and then playfully grabbed andy’s ass.
“exactly,” andy replied back.
“if you’re Pete Townshend, does that make me, Keith Moon?” i asked while trying to be polite and not stare too long at Rebecca’s mini-skirted legs like i’ve tried to do this whole year.
“who?” rebecca again asked.
“YES” andy said while resuming back to doing rock star poses with his sunburst gibson les paul.
“no, i don’t want to be keith, he’s *dead* and all. but since you mentioned ‘Yes’ i can be ‘Alan White’” i said knowing that Rebecca would have no clue what i was talking about.
“nah. be Bill Bruford and i’ll be big ‘Chris badd-ass Squire’ on that mammoth rickenbacker!” Johnny interjected under a haze of smoke.
“whatever you guys are talking about, just stop it. it makes no sense.” Rebecca pouted. God she was so cute pouting like that. frankly she was cute all around but … but being “cute” doesn’t really redeem her from some of the bum notes she was trying to pass off as melody.
i walked over to andy and in a serious-down-to-business-tone tried to convince him to go over the set list with rebecca because i really didn’t think she knew all the words to *all* of the songs.
“don’t get your panties in a wad, Big D” Rebecca said to me after overhearing what i was saying to andy.
“you know i don’t like you calling me ‘Big D’” i said turning to Rebecca, “you make me sound like i’m fat or something.”
“dude, it’s a compliment. ‘Big D’ isn’t about your *whole* body,” she said with a wink.
andy stopped in mid-riff. “and how would *she* know this?” andy asked with all eyes in the vicinity turned and focused on me.
“she doesn’t. .. i mean… i DO… you know, i mean.. we didn’t … but size-wise..” i stammered losing all credibility.
as i continued to sink like the titanic, Kimmee waltzed back to her spot behind the Roland, waved at andy and asked, “now, Andy, show me how to do that C-chord again?”
a car is then heard pulling up in the driveway. andy ran upstairs and checked on who it was. “damn, it’s mom” andy said while coming back down. “OK, folks, we’re done here. i’ll see y’all at the clubhouse saturday, alright?”
on our way out andy raised his hands in the air and yelled “everybody, hi-fives, we . are . going . to . rock . the . house !”