Tag Archives: reunion tour

Set List For A Washed Up Rock N Roll Band

1. Open up with a deep cut from the first (successful) album. Let the crowd know that you know that your first album was totally fuckin’ awesome, even though you wrote all those songs when you were like 20 and now they’re kind of embarrassing.

2. Poorly received single that is still loved by diehard fans.

3. The 3rd best song on your 3rd album, which was a return to form for the band but an absolute critical failure that got you dropped from your major label deal.

4. Lead track off the 4th album. Not that anyone gives two shits about your creative output past the first album, but now that you’re in your 40s and married you might as well play that song you wrote that one time when you were actually sober about the woman who would later be your wife, right? Which totally won’t alienate your crowd at all, I swear.

5. Third track from the 2nd album which was a miserable failure as you tried too hard to capitalize on the success of your first album by releasing some contrived over-produced pop bullshit, but the third track still stands out as being a half-way decent effort despite how terribly Disney-fied it sounds on the record.

6. Bring it old school with an updated version of a song from your debut EP, or other slightly obscure work that pre-dates your mainstream success. Make sure you mention that “We’re gonna bring it old school right now” in the introduction to the song.

7. Drop in a live favorite, something that’s enhanced by the crowd, preferably with a sing-along or clap-along section. You know your fans love the clap.

8. Lead single from the 3rd album. Dammit, that really was a good record, looking back on it. Too bad it didn’t take off the way you wanted it to.

9. Now is a good time to play that new song you guys just wrote that no one in the audience has heard yet. They’re in a good mood, so they’re more willing to forgive the miserable ennui they’re about to experience for the next 4 minutes.

10. Ease the crowd out of their nap with either a re-worked version of an acoustic song that builds in dynamics, or a quiet version of one of your more rockin’ hits that doesn’t actually get rockin’ again until the very end. They’ll be that much more excited once the good part finally happens.

11. First track off the first successful album. This is an abusive relationship between you and your fans, and it’s time to remind them why they love you.

12. That Other Good Song From The 4th Album

13. A cover song, but not one that you’ve previously performed. Try an ironic cover of a presently popular song, or a real old school throwback to your influences’ influences that you used to lie about being influenced by but now that you’re older you actually listen to them.

14. A fan-favorite B-Side, or maybe a song that was only released on a soundtrack or something.

15. That Other Good Song From The 2nd Album

16. One more gem from the 3rd album

17. Just play the god damn single already, that’s all they wanted to hear in the first place and by now they’ve put up with enough of your narcissistic bullshit that you may as well give in.

Pop Song (Green)

Of all the things that Green loved about Blue, it was his mind she loved the most. The way it would move and tick like a freshly tuned grandfather clock, churning out all those new concepts, schematics, formulas, and plans. He never blinked between these thoughts — the action itself would disrupt his thinking — and he would be too lost, too focused on the process to notice his dry red eyes swelling as they cried out for moisture.

Green thought his concentration was the cutest. Blue’s red eyes were the closest she had ever come to purple dreams, the kind she’d had for as long as she could remember.

One day, Blue and Green were talking. Blue said, “I was thinking about making a device that could mimic you in every way.” Green smiled that quizzical smile, the same one she often did when confounded by Blue’s latest eureka.

“That’d be nice,” she said. “But why would you need a device for that when you’ve already got me?”

“Because sometimes we need everything from someone, and I never want to expect that much from you,” he said as he sketched out his plans with a stick in the sand. “And you’ve got to have a little bit of everything to satisfy all the minds of today.”

Of all the things that Blue loved about Green, it was her mind he loved the most. The wild, frantic ways it moved, like water carving its own path through the hillside, and her every non-sequitur a flower incidentally fertilized along that path. With every thought she kept him grounded, balancing out the hypotheses and theories that poured out of him like hail.

Blue knew that Green hated it when his thoughts went past her head, as often they did — past the pools beyond their home, skipping water like stones and splashing against the far-off purple sky — but Blue thought this was the greatest part of their relationship. They fed off one another, balanced their disparate but equally over-active minds, and this was the anchor for which they both had longed before they met.

One day, Green inquired after his latest invention. Blue had built a device that could mimic her in every way, so she would never have to offer more than she could give him. He tried to explain this to her, but found his words failing. He fumbled, trying to catch the thoughts that exploded from his mouth before they hit the ground, and finally asked her, “Can you hear me when I’m thinking?”

Green said, “No, but I was thinking about making a device that could do just that.”

And together they swam in the pop song waves of that small house near the stream, knowing full well that every song would be played precisely in its own way, exactly as it was meant to be — never any better, and never more right.

Reunion Tour (1.4)

We were just about ready to peel out of the parking lot when we noticed Stuart waddling after us, moving as fast as those tiny legs could carry him. I guess this should have been a sign that something weird was going on — he was definitely still inside with Fernando while we were running for our lives, and I can’t imagine midgets are that hard to catch.

On second thought, squirrels have tiny legs, too, and they’re pretty fast for rats wearing rabbit costumes, so maybe midgets have some kinda crazy super speed that I just don’t know about it. It wouldn’t really surprise me if they did. Either way, I didn’t expect to find myself back in that same parking lot so soon, if ever again. I was hoping to avoid that place like the plague that coats its bathroom floor.

Even as we drove right up to him, the bouncer kept pounding Dylan through the pavement, and barely paused a moment to welcome us; apparently “you’re surrounded by five police cars” translates to “keep beating the shit out of douchebag lead singer” in biker talk. Officer Denton turned her siren on, and the sound seemed to take control of him, as sirens often do. He pealed his hand out of the bloody porridge that once resembled Dylan’s face and cracked his ringed fingers. I couldn’t help but notice just how pretty Dylan looked right then.

Denton swung the car door wide open and stepped out slowly, inhaling deep on a cigarette, which probably would have looked a lot cooler if I didn’t know it was a stage prop. If bad ass iconography was an orgasm, this lady knew how to fake it. In what seemed like one fluid motion, she flicked her cigarette on the ground, stomped it out with the spiked heel of her shoe and dressed her eyes with a pair of aviators. I’m pretty sure this whole thing happened in slow motion with some shitty anthemic 80’s power rock song in the background, too.

Any other day, this would have been hysterical, but today it just reminded me of why I hate mornings so much. Like it’s not enough that one of my oldest friends is dead; now I have “Pour Some Fucking Sugar On Me” eating my brain. If there’s a God, he totally hates me.

Dylan was in a bad way, so Denton called an ambulance. I tried telling her that it wasn’t necessary, that our ambulance was parked right over there, but she just stared at me and walked away. It really pissed me off. I’ve always had a strange affection for that heap; not in a sexy kind of way, more like a brother, or a home. So while Denton was busy talking to Fernando, I walked over to the ambulance to see how he was doing. That was when I realized that Alex was hiding from the cops in the back in the ambulance. And that I’d just blown her cover.

Reunion Tour (1.3)

Granted, the money was technically ours, but Fernando never struck me as one with much regard for personal belongings.

After the show, Stuart went into the office to settle up like normal, while the rest of us were just anxious to get on the road. When he finally came out of the office, nearly half an hour later, he seemed a little shaken up. I didn’t really think anything of it — as far as I was concerned, the gear was in the ambulance already, and I was pretty drunk, so it was time to go. Also, I didn’t want to catch any more fucked up diseases. That place was grimy.

Naturally, Dylan assumed that there was something shady going on, and he yanked the cash out of Stuart’s little hands and counted it for himself. For once, his hot head paid off — we were $500 short of our contract. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure that money was the only reason Dylan even agreed to this reunion in the first place, so you can see why he’d be pissed.

Of course, I remember back when $500 was a pipe dream. When we first started out, we’d play anywhere for anything. Or nothing, even. But not anymore. See, we were doing pretty well for ourselves, before we broke up. We weren’t rich, but we were making enough to tour full-time and not have to work in between. Which was good enough for me, because I hate fucking jobs.

By the time the rest of us caught up with him, Dylan was already in the office screaming at Fernando and shoving things off his desk. Surprisingly, this didn’t seem to bother him. He insisted that he kept a cut of merch sales, and that was that. Stuart kept apologizing desperately, saying it was all a joke, or a misunderstanding, but I don’t think Fernando really cared. At some point, possibly between Dylan yelling, “Fat fucking mongrel!” and him getting punched in the face by one of those rent-a-thug Hell’s Angel wannabes who worked there, Gabriel gave me a nudge and nodded my attention towards the wall behind the desk.

The safe was open.

He and Alex looked at each other, then they both looked at me, and tried to do that whole conversation thing with just their eyes, but I wasn’t listening because I don’t understand eye-talk language very well. It really weirds me out.

Then all of the sudden, Gabriel dove behind the desk and grabbed a wad of twenties from the safe. Fernando turned around just in time to see him get up off the ground and bolt for the door. He yelled at the bouncer to follow, but all this did was distract him enough for Dylan to give him a leg in the crotch and split. I was pretty overwhelmed by everything at this point, but I did get the whole ‘run like hell’ vibe from everyone else, so I did. Run like hell, I mean.

(to be continued…)

Reunion Tour (1.2)

The police found the ambulance in a warehouse parking lot somewhere in The Bronx. Cate Denton, the officer in charge of the investigation, invited Stuart and I along in her cruiser, which was nice, because otherwise we were kind of stranded at the truck stop, and I’m pretty sure that the bearded woman who ran the joint had a sentient mole on her neck that was watching Stuart like a hungry vulture. Believe it or not, they were about the same size. He and the growth, I mean.

I breathed out a swear as we pulled into the parking lot of One Eyed Jack’s. I think it was “shit.” We had just played there last night, but it never occurred to me until we arrived that this was exactly where they’d be.

But Denton ripped the cigarette out from between her lips and glared at my reflection through her rearview mirror. I’m pretty sure the little plastic Jesus hanging down from it was looking at me, too. “Watch your mouth, kid,” she said, with gravel in her throat. She took another drag from the cigarette and exhaled, but nothing came out of her mouth. Up until that point, I hadn’t even realized she was smoking; there was no smoke in the car, and that awful smell like Dylan wasn’t clinging to the seats. I thought that maybe the Hanging Jesus doubled as an air freshener, but when she went to slip the cigarette back into its pack, I noticed it was never even lit in the first place.

Stuart and I exchanged a knowing look when we realized she was smoking a stage cigarette. I have no idea what kind of knowledge the look was actually intended to convey, other than the acknowledgement that this was pretty fucking weird.

See, we played our very first show as a band at One-Eyed Jack’s. Years ago, back before we were Daedalus. I think we were still The Slaughterhouse Five at that point, which didn’t really make sense, considering there were only four of us. But Gabriel likes books a lot.

Liked. He liked books a lot.

Anyway, the place was bought and turned into a strip club, and eventually came into the possession of a rotund Portugese bastard named Fernando, who at some point decided to turn it back into a nightclub. I think this happened about three days ago, since the stage walls were still lined with mirrors and there was a cute little grotto in the back complete with running water; not the ideal setting for a rock show, but it works. I did feel a little self-conscious knowing that the crowd could see my sweaty back reflected behind the drum kit.

Still, it was a pretty good set. Solid crowd, good energy. A homecoming, of sorts, as we neared the end of the tour. Hell, I almost forgot about the $500 that we stole from Fernando until I saw Dylan getting beat to shit by one of his biker-trash bouncers.

(to be continued…)

Reunion Tour (1.1)

I think it was Dylan who found it first. I say this because he was the only other one with keys to the ambulance, since we don’t have to worry about him staying sober. At least not anymore. When I got back with Stuart from grabbing breakfast inside, the ambulance was gone, and he and Alex were gone with it. Gabriel was gone, too, but in a different way, as we’d quickly discover. I’m not entirely sure what drove Stuart to look in the bathroom of all places, but midgets are compelled by all kinds of weird, outside forces that those of us at normal heights will never understand.

I’m not sure what killed him — he could have drowned for all I know, since we found him face down. There was a trail of blood flowing from his nose, but it had mostly stopped by now. Maybe that had something to do with it. I don’t know. I was a little surprised at first when Stuart asked me to join him in the shower; it’s not that I have a thing against midgets, I just thought, you know, that Stuart had a thing against guys. But then again, I think he’s European.

The water was still running. I asked Gabriel what was going on, and why he was sleeping in the shower, but he didn’t respond, so I gave him a kick. He and I have always had that kind of relationship where you can just kick each other for whatever reason and it’s usually cool. Not with Dylan, though; he was always uptight. Personally, I liked him more when he still drank. Then at least we could get fucked up, and he’d stop being a prick for a few minutes anyway.

Stuart did the right thing and called the police. He always makes good decisions like that. That’s why he’s our manager, because he calls the cops when he finds one of our band members dead in the shower while Dylan leaves the crime scene with our tour ambulance and abandons us at this ghost town truck stop. See the difference? We don’t really trust Dylan with anything except the car keys, and clearly even that was a mistake.

Although, I guess we trust him to sing, too. He’s good at that at least.

The cops were convinced that Alex and Dylan had killed Gabriel together, and had taken off in the ambulance. I told them that the whole theory was ridiculous, although I guess it explains why they left. Dylan’s temperamental and impulsive and all, but I can’t see him killing anybody, and Alex, well, I think she did all the damage she could when she lied about the miscarriage.

It took me a while to explain to the police that our tour van was actually a converted ambulance, but they caught on eventually. I’ve got to say, as far as reunions go, things could be going a lot better.

(to be continued)