The band had two vehicles to load up their equipment. Chevy Kurtain, of course, had a Chevy van from which his name was derived. Peyton Ramparts had borrowed his dad’s white Ford Galaxie. Rick helped load most of the group’s gear into the van. The remainder of the musical equipment was loaded into the back seat and trunk of the white Ford Galaxie.
Rick rode shotgun along with Peyton.
“Wow, I had no idea you could play guitar like that,” Rick said. “Your band really put the crowd over tonight.”
“Thanks man. I was getting good vibes from the audience too,” Peyton said. “It always feels good when you feel rewarded for your work. I mean Winter Dreams has been practising two to three times a week for the last three months. Our sound is really coming together. We’re hoping to record a record soon as soon as I finish writing some original material for the band. Vance and I usually team up to write the songs. The stuff we’ve come up with already sounds pretty good.”
“How are you going to get your music recorded?” asked Peyton
“Chevy’s dad works at CKRC radio station. He has made some good connections with the deejays. One of them said he would see if we could do some recording at the radio station.”
The boys noticed that it had started snowing heavily and that the wind had really picked up.
“I was listening to the radio at home and the forecast warned of a possible blizzard this weekend,” Rick said.
“It’s starting to look like the station’s weather predictions were right,” Peyton said. “I’m just glad that the bad weather held off to after our gig.”
Peyton had the windshield wipers going at their fastest speed but his visibility was still poor. Rick enjoyed the winter season, even the snowstorms. He actually liked shovelling snow at his house. Rick loved to watch the snow pouring down under the glow of the white street lamps.
Within ten minutes Peyton’s car and Chevy’s van made it to Chevy’s place. Rick helped Peyton unload his car. He noticed that it was presently very cold with the added wind chill. His fingers were started to freeze. The band had to be very careful unloading their gear as the ground underneath them was now quite slick. Ice patches were covered by the new snowfall and it was impossible to predict where you the slippery spots were.
As the boys finished loading the last of their equipment into Peyton’s house, a red Buick parked in front of the house and several people started getting out of the large car. Among the passengers Rick could see his neighbor, Misty.
Vance Chessler stepped up to his mic stand and said, “Thank you so much people. We’ve had a blast playing for you guys tonight and we only have time for one more song. What do you people want to hear?”
An attractive blonde female wearing a blue and white tee-shirt and skin tight jeans yelled out, “Play ‘Gloria’”
“Ah, an oldie but a goodie. A wise choice my sweet young thing,” said Vance. “’Gloria’ it shall be and because you guys have been so good to Winter Dreams this evening, Peyton’s been practising a fantastic guitar solo that will be included in this song.
When the band finished playing ‘Gloria’, the small but crowded and sweaty audience began clapping their hands, whistling, stomping their feet and screaming, “More! More!” Vance looked exhausted but he turned around to the band to check if they wanted to do one more song. They nodded their consent.
“You are too kind, but if it is okay with the custodian, we’ll do one more song.” Vance looked at Jack, the heavy set custodian who yelled, “Go ahead guys. Five minutes longer isn’t going to kill me.”
Vance said, “You know guys, around 1965-66, there was a show band that we really loved called Paul Revere and the Raiders. We’d like to do their first big hit, ‘Louie, Louie.”
With that Peyton hit the first three chords to start the band off. Despite the fact that the hour was growing late the kids took to the dance floor with wild abandon each doing their own thing while perspiring profusely. A line of boys stood up a few feet from the band wishing that they were one of the guys performing on stage.
When the song was over Peyton picked up a towel to dry himself off and walked towards Rick,
“Well, what did you think of my band?”
“You guys are fantastic,” Rick said.
“Thanks. I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. What is you help Jack with sweeping and carrying the trash outside? After the band is finished packing up our gear we’ll all go over to my place and have a few beers.”
“You’ve got yourself a deal. Thanks a lot, man.”
Episode Twenty-Three of Infinite Realities:
At eight PM Slim unlocked the front doors to River Heights Community Club and a crowd of young people that had been waiting around for about twenty minutes came in. As soon as the band heard the crowd come in, they went straight into their opening number ‘Louie Louie’ This song is a three chord garage band classic that gets air play to this day. The Pirates liked using an easy song like this to get the band playing in unison. Although their amplifiers were small compared to today’s Marshall stacks, they were plenty loud for a local community club.
Rick was elated as his band rocked out. He probably made up most of the words to ‘Louie Louie’ as they came into his head, but nobody cared. They were getting off on the pure adrenaline rush of live rock and roll. Although The Pirates were only a local band Rick felt that he now knew what it was like for The Beatles to play a concert in front of an adoring audience. Rick was able to play the songs from the Pirates first set effortlessly and flawlessly. The band ran through a number of current top forty hits such as ‘Gloria’ Psychotic Reaction’ ‘Pushin’Too Hard’ ’96 Tears’ and numerous other songs that are classics today. Rick had a good laugh when he realized that most of the numbers that The Pirates played were now in a CD box set collection that he owned called Nuggets.
After about forty minutes the band’s first set was completed and it was now time for the traditional smoke break. Rick found it interesting that in 1965 probably more young people smoked than abstained from tobacco. The cigarette packs were all colorfully designed and were free of all the gross pictures that were mandatory today.
Some cute young female admirers were making their way towards Rick when he heard a sound alert coming from the inside pocket of his leather vest. Rick knew what the sound meant and ran outside and hid under a tree. He pulled out his tablet and was greeted by Virtual Darren’s smiling face.
I know that you didn’t get to read all the terms and conditions of The User’s Agreement, but in clause 7b it clearly states that certain experiences may be time limited and can be terminated at the Corporations discretion. Unfortunately for you, Rick, the Corporation has decided to end this particular experience. You will now be returned to your sofa in the living room of your apartment.
Rick texted back:
Come on, Darren! I’m having the time of my life. I don’t want to go home.
Don’t worry Rick. Your adventures have only begun.
Twenty-One of Infinite Realities:
For Rick Chandler this was a dream that had virtually come true. Darren was right. Even though this experience didn’t happen in his default reality, he could feel the emotional rush exactly as if it was really happening. What was even better was that Rick was able to experience this adventure from a fourteen years olds perspective. He had all the energy and hormones of a real teenager. For a brief period in time he would be able to enter another dimension where he was no longer living in an old person’s body and was suffering all the aches and pains that seemed inevitably to accompany living to the age of sixty-two.
Rick’s sexual desire was back in a way that he had long forgotten. This was another insult that one had to endure as they reached their golden years. He was almost mesmerized by the sexiness of Mikaela, their road manager and chauffeur for the evening. Mikaela had beautiful long strawberry blond hair. She was wearing a cherry red tank top and very tight stone wash jeans. Mikaela wore shimmering silver earrings that almost blinded Rick when a ray of reflected sunlight reflected off them. Rick knew that he was too young for Mikaela. Girls in high school always dated guys a couple of years older than they were. But what the heck, Rick would enjoy his daydream while it lasted.
The white van pulled up to the back entrance of River Heights Community Club. The recreation center’s part time caretaker, Slim Owens guided Mikaela as she backed the van to a spot where the band would have just enough room to unload the equipment. Slim was in his early seventies and he still enjoyed working at the community center. He liked young people and figured that keeping in regular contact with youth would increase his own longevity.
The band even had an unofficial volunteer roadie named Adam Roberts. Adam was a big kid about fifteen years old. Just last year Adam’s parents had bought him a bench press and a set of weights for Christmas as well as a Joe Weider resistance training manual. From this guide Adam learned all the basic exercises to turn himself into a weight lifter. As Adam had good genetics and his testosterone levels were high, within two months and with a lot of hard training, Adam had started to develop an impressive muscular physique. This made him a natural choice to be a band’s roadie. Adam liked being a roadie as it gave him some extra status in his local high school. He felt pride when kids would say that the big gut was ‘with The Band’. Adam also felt a strong attraction to Mikaela.
“You guys just go in the club and get yourselves a Coke. I can get all your gear in myself,” Adam said.
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Last night I started listening to an old album by Paul Revere and The Raiders. These guys were one of the greatest garage bands of all time. Many garage bands of the 1965-1966 era turned out maybe one or two hit singles before fading into obscurity but not Paul Revere and the Raiders. Their greatest hits package is one of my all time favorite albums.