Disclaimer: The following story was birthed from an informal interview with an unknown source reputed to be an actual representative from an alleged band that wished to remain anonymous. No real names, dates, or places are mentioned, and the author cannot be considered financially responsible for any insult or injury that may occur to any individuals, fictional or non-fictional, resembling those represented in this depiction of a band reported to be quite famous. No one was harmed in the writing of this story and rest assured, reading it will not harm you.
Proceed with caution.
Montana found himself in the final stages of what had surely been an awful performance. His sweat stank of cheap liquor and his heart was threatening to burst. The crowd was giving him the benefit of the doubt, but that had never mattered for him. It was shit, absolute shit, and he knew it.
He looked to Bernie and saw disgust registering on the lanky guitarist’s typically stoic face. Bernie was a good chap and you could always count on him for a truthful response.
Mickey was another story altogether. Montana was hung over, and he had smoked at least six joints and snorted half as many lines of coke in the four hours he had been awake prior to the rise of the curtain, but he was good, really good to be honest, feeling just damn great actually. His drummer was wasted. Montana would bet every dollar in his bank account that Mickey had no idea where they were playing tonight—not even so much as the state. Nothing mattered to Mick the Hick but his next ride, and he was never coming down.
Montana turned back to face the hungry crowd, uncertain of how to proceed. Should they stick to the script and continue to fuck it up, or try something else completely and take the risk of fucking that up far worse? It was his call, . . . his and his alone.
“Excuse me,” he spoke into the microphone, trying to find his stride. “I’m looking for some people who want to tear this fucking place down. I'm serious. I want this fucking place to burn.”
A ripple seemed to spread throughout the crowd, which was suddenly gaining energy and enthusiasm. The head security guard gave Montana a stern glare, but the vocalist ignored it. He needed some magic and he was going to take a stab at shooting the moon. Singers always bluff when there’s money on the table.
“That's right, motherfuckers. I mean you people understand that we only live once, right? At least in this incarnation, that is if you believe in such things, but the point remains the same.”
Bernie was looking at him like he had flipped his lid. Maybe he had.
But maybe, just maybe, he was primed to explode one last time.
“Once. That’s a hefty fucking word as far as I’m concerned.”
The people were getting into it. They were moving. They were getting loud. Next they would get rowdy.
The security chief was still looking at Montana, but he seemed uncertain now. Maybe he was thinking about splitting.
“So why don’t we join together, . . . right here, . . . right now, . . . tonight, and make this fucking moment burn.”
What followed was the finest moment in the band’s infamous history. Only the bizarre notion of telepathy can account for the incident that forever defined them as rock icons and tragic heroes.
Montana and Bernie exchanged a prolonged stare, their minds melding into one. As the crowd writhed and chanted, their frenzied intensity blossoming into full-blown mayhem, the singer and the guitarist turned to regard the trashed drummer. Mickey met their gaze and nodded his head, vowing to go the distance. “Fuckin’ A,” he slurred, raising his sticks high overhead before screaming and simultaneously striking his cymbals.
Magic was the word of the day as the band launched into one of their heaviest songs, an unheralded gem from their second album that wasn’t on the setlist. Truth be told, prior to that glorious night of debauchery, the band hadn’t played “Sewer Bitch” in so much as a practice session within months of the show. Maybe years. It was an awful song, but awful times call for awful measures.
As the musicians gave way to the primal power that controlled them, the music brought out all of the passion and angst of those in attendance. There was chaos, bouncing bodies churning in a sea of violent emotion.
There was rock, there was love, and there was glory. Oh sweet glory.
And then some asshole accidentally burned the whole place down.