“Oh really?” Freddie said. “Where?”
“We’re playing this music festival at Sunset Park next Saturday,” Boyd said. “There’s a rumor of some industry types that aren’t going to slum it to see a bunch of unsigned bands out in the heat.”
Lucifer was probably going to be there. How was he supposed to get a hold of him, anyway? Set up an altar in his already cramped room and sacrifice a goat?
“Then it’s good we’re supposed to rehearse,” Benny said. “How long of a set is it?”
“Half a hour,” Susie said. “So, that’s what? All four of our songs plus some witty banter in between?”
“Then let’s start jamming around and write a song today,” Freddie said, stepping around the bad parts of the floor to close the door. “Start some sounds and see if anybody comes up with lyrics.”
Freddie couldn’t really describe what they sounded like. It certainly wasn’t Queen, though they did have their flourishes; it wasn’t quite poppy but it wasn’t uninspired, either. He liked the sounds of some of the bands Lucifer played for him in that house: the textures that just basic instruments would make to evoke some complex emotions, while staying slightly catchy. At this point the band – called Gray Fellow after Boyd had a very brief stint working for the Clark County Coroner – had only been together for about six months, thus only four songs. They were able usually able to meet on the weekends for practice and writing, but mostly Freddie and Benny fleshed out ideas at home and Susie and Boyd were adept at bringing their own to whatever they were writing.
Benny had met Susie while they were working at a cell phone accessories place – Benny still worked there while Susie had moved on – and Boyd showed up one night on Freddie’s shift and they ended up getting along famously, so Freddie just asked him to join the band one night.
He looked at all of them, sitting in the round in this raggedy room, and thought they looked charismatic, even in these surroundings. There were a lot more songs to write, but they weren’t going to be Freddie’s. At least not the old queen, anyway.
Freddie’s voice was still solid, not as strong as it had been, but it fit in with the sounds they were trying to build in the band. He definitely had his fill of arena rock, and this time was going to be a little more… subtle.
They’d gotten a semblance of a song after about 45 minutes of playing around. “This is good so far,” Freddie said. Everybody was a little red from the heat. “Let’s take a loo break and come back to it.”
“Maybe we should do a cover,” Susie said. “Just to make it six?”
“That might be a good idea,” Benny said. “Everybody think of a song during the break and we’ll brainstorm.” Which was going to be hard considering how much music he knew alone, not to mention what they all wanted to play.
Freddie: Part 21
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