Chapter 37 1973 - Sound bites

The investigation into the cause of the fire revealed the culprit. An electrical short in the alarm system sparked a small flame, which quickly spread throughout the wooden structure. Although the band’s concert equipment was safe, the studio console, tape decks and a library of recorded material had been destroyed. Once again, insurance covered the physical losses, but the loss of the early Golden Fingers sessions would prove to be incalculable.

The dream studio destroyed, the band resorted to practicing in each other’s houses, despite Henry’s protests to “turn it down.”

The fire and its subsequent investigation wasn’t the only thing on Henry’s mind. The continuing investigation of the Watergate break in was having a troubling effect on him as well.

“This is not looking good for Nixon,” he told Juliette. “I’m really getting worried that this is going to mark him badly.”

“Don’t blame me,” Juliette lectured. “I voted for McGovern.”

“They’re all turning against him. All of his trusted aides, they’re only looking out for themselves.”

“Can you blame them? I told you, he’s a crook!”

“He is not a crook!” Henry insisted. “He’ll be cleared of any wrong-doing. I’m sure of it.”

I came in near the end of his parent’s conversation. “Dad, you’ve got to drop this thing you’ve got for Richard Nixon. It’s bad for my career.”

“Your career? What, are you into politics now? What about the music?”

“I’m talking about the music. If word gets out that you are an ardent Nixon supporter, that doesn’t look good for me.”

“Well, your boy McGovern didn’t do that well against him.”

“McGovern,” I revealed, “was not ‘my boy’. I voted for Spock.”

“You Trekkies are all alike; no respect for the process.” Henry claimed.

I shook his head as he left for the day’s practice.

He joined the rest of the band at the Daly house. Sandy was between men and the extra space gave the band a place to spread out. Her attempts to seduce Osgood were largely ignored. He wasn’t exactly a “ladies' man.”

Spike was arguing with Isaac about his love for the weed. “You’ve got to quit that stuff, man. It’s not good for our image. We are trying to promote good habits, and yours is in contrary to the whole direction.”

“It’s just a little weed, man. It don’t hurt no one, and no one is going to care. I don’t do the hard stuff.”

“Still,” Spike insisted. “You need to clean yourself up. It's not going to work for us.”

Isaac assured them he would clean up. He’d made that promise before.

I got after the others to start with the practice. “I’ve got a new song we need to learn.” He grabbed Isaac’s guitar and proceeded to show him some licks.

Isaac told him, “I got it. I got it. I ain’t no dummy, you know.” Isaac fell into the groove, not only picking up the leads, but also improving them with his own additions.

Osgood started adding the keys and Spike laid down a beat. It was up to I to do his part, and he joined Isaac in echoing the lead part on the bass. He began to sing:

We’re the World’s Best Rock ‘n’ Roll band
Listen to what I say…

Spike stopped and protested, “What are those lyrics? People won’t buy such effrontery.”

“Effrontery?” I came back. “Now there’s a ten dollar word if I ever heard one. What’s with ‘Effrontery’?”

“Hey, I went to school like the rest of you,” Spike returned.

“Yeah, about that,” I still had never gotten to the bottom of Spike’s absence a few years earlier.

Spike just started beating the drums and called out. “OK, let’s take it from the top. Let’s see what else you got.”

Music fills every ear.
Its presence is never in doubt.

Spike stopped again. “Now that’s something I can get behind. I’m just not sure about the arrogance of the first verse.”

“What are you, Roget’s Thesaurus? Listen: if we want to make it to the top, we have to believe we’re already there. You’re not going to hear me sing ‘Hey, Hey, Hey we’re crappy, but listen to us anyway.’ Huh?”

“I’m just saying people aren’t going to buy it,” Spike protested.

“They’ll not only buy it, they’ll eat it up. Look how much crap is out there now. Don’t tell me you don’t skip songs on the radio. But people are buying them because they’ve been told they’re good. The thing is, with our stuff, it is good. It’s the best there is, and so are we. We are giving them what they really want. There’s no sense in not telling the truth.”

He laid into the final verse, “This is going to be our theme.”

Now you've seen and heard the best.
Can't believe your eyes.
So much better than all of the rest.
Stick with us if you're wise.

Spike wasn’t fully convinced, but he had to agree. It had a good beat and was easy to dance to.