||[Jul. 15th, 2014|07:16 pm]
Still hacking away at revisions and things, when I have the chance:|
Stevie Sweet hadn't been called that for at least twenty years; he'd been a glam drummer, back in the day, and there'd even been a point when he and the guys had done okay on the Sunset Strip - there'd been girls, drugs, sex, shows and even a little money.
Then Tommy had died; overdosed in his little apartment near Santa Monica, probably on purpose. He'd been HIV positive, with all the Hepatitus alphabet, too, and couldn't keep it together enough to do what he needed to stay alive. They'd looked for another guitarist, tried a few out, then Cliff and Kev disappeared; the cops didn't look very hard for them, and Stevie had a kid to raise, a landscaping business to run, a new wife to worry about...
In short, time moved on; Stevie Sweet faded into just the smallest pocket inside Steve Scherkowski, nearly forgotten except for one night of the year.
Every October 31st, Stevie Sweet returned to Hollywood, walked the streets he'd known and looked at the latest generation of wild young things; he hid, never quite coming to the surface of the man he was now, but he looked. And remembered.
He'd played an all-black Ludwig kit, with Paiste cymbals, one exactly like the set he found himself staring at through the plate glass front of one of the newer clubs. More than exactly; the kick drum was gouged in the same spot, the floor tom was the same mismatched Pearl he'd found in a pawn shop in Santa Monica...
It was his kit.
How, he didn't know; this club had been a Jaguar dealership back in the day - he'd never played here, ever. And he didn't remember what he'd done with his kit; lost it piece by piece, maybe, or left in a storage locker and never reclaimed.
Maybe, he thought, wandering through the doorway, the kid who owns it now will let me play a little.
The throne had to be readjusted a little lower; twenty years had brought forty pounds with them. He tried the kick; it felt right. A snap to the ride, a little sizzle then a roll...
A few seconds, nobody'd mind an old guy sitting in for a few seconds.
The trick that Stevie had used to remember all the songs was mnemonics; he remembered drum lines by words, phrases they sounded like. His favorite, and one of the favorite covers they did, was by the group that inspired his name, The Sweet: Ballroom Blitz.
How did that go?, Stevie wondered, Let's see. Kick and Thud and a Bucket of Blood, yeah, like THAT...
Two bars later, Cliff came in right on time, his voice a little more eerie, more reedy, than usual. "Ready, Steeevie?"
"Uh-huh," Stevie Sweet, no longer hidden away, breathed into his mic. He noticed the huge holes - shotgun, he supposed - in Cliff's chest, vaguely wondering if it would throw off his vocals.