Chapter 38 1974 - Golden Fingers

By early 1974, Golden Fingers were the top band in the world. Everyone knew the names of I, Spike, Isaac and Ozzie. But within the band, I’s overt egotism was putting cracks in the façade. I was still writing new material, but the band was not giving it their full effort, at least in I’s opinion.

The band was preparing for the biggest world tour event and practicing their new material. Despite their ability to secure a practice space anywhere they wanted, they still preferred the comfort of one of the band member’s home to a sterile studio. I suddenly stopped and yelled out, “Alright, hold it! That was terrible!”

Spike was incensed. “Whady'a mean, terrible? It was perfect. Just the way you wrote it.”

I countered, “I didn't write that ‘pop.’"

Spike was confused. “What ‘pop’?”

I explained, exasperated, “Isaac's finger popped. I heard it when he barred that ‘C’ chord.”

Isaac defended himself. “Hey, man, it was an accident.”

“Well, don't let it happen again,” I threatened. “OK, take it from the top.” He counted off, “1, 2, 3, 4.”

They started over, played for a while, and then Isaac stopped, Osgood pulled off the keys but Spike and I kept going. Finally they gave in and stopped.

“What the hell are you doing now?” I yelled.

Isaac complained, “My fingers are beginning to hurt. And I've got to take a cigarette break. I'm about to have a nicotine fit.” He lit up a cigarette.

I was disgusted and gave Isaac a dirty look, but relented. “All right, five minutes, but then we’ve gotta go non-stop. We do have a show tonight.”

Spike called into the other room from his drum kit, “Hey, sis! Bring me a beer.” He looked at the rest, “You guys want a beer?”

Osgood scrunched up his face. “I'd like a lemonade. Can't stand beer.”

Spike turned to I and Isaac, “What about you two?”

I wasn’t happy with the delay, and knew a refreshment break would make it even longer. He groused, “I don't want anything.”

Isaac patted his pocket, “I've got my own.” I shot him another dirty look.

Osgood reminded Spike, “Don't forget my lemonade.”

Spike replied, “Yeah, Yeah,” and yelled out again. “A lemonade, too.”

Angela entered with the beer and lemonade. He gave Spike his beer and Osgood the lemonade.

Angela winked at Osgood, “There you go, sweetie.”

Osgood was clearly embarrassed at the attention given to him by his younger cousin, “Aw, c'mon.”

Isaac, without a drink, pulled out some paraphernalia and began to roll a joint.

Spike accused “Hey! What're you doing?”

Isaac replied, “Just some grass, whady'a think?”

Spike warned, “There's none of that in this house. Put it away.”

Isaac stashed his stash and grumbled, “I should’a got a beer.”

I looked at his watch, “Well, time's up anyway. We gotta get under way.”

Spike suddenly recalled, “Just a minute. The news is on in a few minutes. I gotta see what they say about us.”

He turned on the TV. The familiar electronic introduction was playing and they heard the news introduction voiceover.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is the six o'clock news, with Hardy Rochester. Brought to you each evening by Fender Guitars. "Fender: The most trusted name in guitars."

The electronic introduction continued, but didn’t cut off as usual. Hardy Rochester was on camera, and was clearly getting annoyed.

“Alright, already, turn it off” he yelled out. It was an uncharacteristic representation for the Emmy award winning journalist. He shook his head and below his breath he uttered, “Sheeze.”

Regaining his composure, he began the segment. “Headlining tonight's news is the Golden Fingers rock band, who are currently breaking all records in the music industry. Tonight is their opening appearance in their 1974 world tour. This morning we had the good fortune of speaking with I Mall, bass guitarist for the group.”

On the screen Hardy and I are seen conversing. Hardy asks, “Tonight you’re starting what looks to be your biggest world tour ever. From all accounts, it is the biggest undertaking by any group. You’ll be playing in fifty-seven countries and will be out on the road for nine months. Where do you find the energy?”

“Hey,” started I. “We’re all supermen. We feed on the crowds and are actually regenerated with the traveling between.”

“Feed on the crowds? What do you mean by that?” Hardy inquired.

“Well, not literally. I mean. We’re not vampires.” I laughed. “But the crowd’s energy feeds us. Standing up on the stage with thousands calling out your name, screaming, clapping, dancing. It’s all there is.”

Hardy continued, “Few have been able to account for your unprecedented success. Can you?”

I replied, “We strive for perfection in every musical selection. Hey,” he paused and stroked his chin thoughtfully, “That sounds like it could be a song in itself.”

He recovered from his reverie and explained sincerely, “Each individual note is plucked from the piece and practiced for a solid three minutes until we achieve what is called ‘The Golden Sound’.”

“That sounds like a strict regimen. Your rehearsals must extend for hours,” Hardy said.

I replied, “Well it’s only on new songs. Once we’ve mastered one, we move on to another. There’s no need to revisit it again.”

Hardy posed the next question, “You’ve written all of the Golden Fingers material. Do any of the other members ever contribute his own? How much of a group effort is it?”

“I haven’t heard anything original from the other guys, so we only do my stuff. I write, arrange, score and play it out for everyone before we go into the rehearsal. Isaac once tried to write a song, but frankly, it was terrible.”

Hardy wrapped up the interview, “Could you sum up your career in one sentence?”

I pondered for a moment and pronounced, “Only Golden Fingers could play so heavy.”