Chapter 48 2015 - Reunion?

I and Angela had enjoyed their many years of quiet retirement on their vast estate. Although the kids were grown and gone, their frequent visits with the grandchildren were the highlights of these soon to be twilight years.

But even with a beautiful wife and all the successes his career had brought him, I sometimes longed for a return to the glory days. His golden years had him longing for Golden Fingers.

As if sharing his thoughts, Angela remarked, “Have you ever thought of getting Golden Fingers back together again? Reunion was very fashionable a few decades ago.”

They knew each other so well; it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. “I've often thought about it,” he revealed, “but always seemed to put it out of my mind. I really don't think it would work out. We had our share of troubles, and I think those wounds may still run deep.”

“The troubles are long behind us, and the road ahead is clear. Personally, I think it sounds like a good idea,” Angela prodded.

“Well, we might be friends outside of a working relationship, but in the studio, I don't think I could get along with the other guys. You know how we argued all of the time. Besides, I think they still harbor some resentment for breaking up the group all those years ago to go out on my own.”

Angela replied, “But we know you've changed, and they've changed. Remember what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder. As a matter of fact, I spoke to my brother this morning on the videophone about it. He’s here for a visit.”

I was surprised once again, “Spike is in town? Where's he staying?”

Angela told him, “He's staying at the Century Motel, about a mile away from here. He'd said that he'd like to try a reunion. He came up with the idea in the first place.”

I stared wistfully before responding to Angela, “Did I ever tell you that Spike was the idea man behind Golden Fingers? I always liked to take credit for it, but he came up with the original proposal.”

“Of course, I know, silly,” chided Angela. “He was pretty sore for a while at some of those comments you made.”

“Yeah, I know he’s gotten over it, I admitted. “I guess Spike is in, but there's still Isaac and Osgood. They'd never go for it. I don't think they were into music all that much anyway. You remember how Isaac used to blow those leads all the time.”
“Spike's already talked to them,” Angela responded. “They agree it should be given a try.”

“So Spike keeps up with them? I’ve been out of touch with Isaac since the wedding, and only occasionally hear about Ozzie. Didn’t he finally get married a few years ago?”

“Talk about out of touch! It wasn’t a ‘few’ years ago, it was over twenty. And you were there at the wedding. You don’t remember?”

“Oh, yeah. Duh. He hooked up with that odd girl from the record company. What was her name, Peppermint or Spice Drop or something like that?”

“It’s Candance. They call her Candy.”

“Don’t they have a couple of kids now? Are they Peppermint and Spice Drop?”

“There isn’t any Peppermint or Spice Drop!” Angela was getting exasperated.

“If you say so,” I conceded.

“Ozzie’s kids want to see him on stage. All they’ve got to see it is the old online video. It’s not the same.”

“But what about Isaac? He certainly wasn’t in top form; he had a lot of vices.”

“Isaac's really cleaned himself up and Spike says he's really worked on his guitar lately. Didn’t you see that he released a solo album about five years ago? It wasn’t a chart topper, but it was a respectable effort.”

I remained unconvinced, “I still don't know. We were hot stuff in the seventies, but this is the twenty-first century. That was over forty years ago. People just won't accept us.”

“Don't you remember what happened in the seventies, though? That was the nostalgia decade. People were listening to the music of the forties, fifties and sixties and liking it. We could start a new nostalgia craze!” It appeared than Angela was already sold on the idea. It would still take more prompting to get I to agree.

“You know...” I paused as he considered the idea. “It sounds tempting...” Another pause, then a rejection. “But I'm too old. Besides, who wants to pay good money to see a bunch of senile old jerks trying to re-create the seventies? Leave it to today's youth. I just couldn't take it.”

“Come on, now. There are plenty of people who would want to see the reunion of the ‘World’s Greatest Band’. They don't want to see imitators and tribute acts, they want to see the real thing. You could attract all the old fans and even new ones. You may have retired years ago, but you can't leave the scene completely without a big comeback. That’s what everyone is doing. You owe it to the world to appear again.”
“Comeback? And how successful has that been for all the rest? Their comebacks have them playing in small towns and tiny venues. What kind of success is that?”

“It’s not about success at this point. You’re already successful. Look around you! Don’t you agree?”

“Maybe it would be nice to get out among the people again,” I mused. “I’ve missed the road; the excitement of touring. Waking up in a bus or a different hotel room every night. Well, maybe I haven’t missed that. But playing is the thing, I could do that.”

I stood up. “Alright, you talked me into it. Get a hold of Spike and we'll start to arrange the details.”

Angela picked up her phone and punched in a few characters. “I let Spike know and he replied that he’ll transport here in about fifteen seconds. They still haven't perfected the wardrobe machine at the motel and it seems he still has to put on his own coat or else risk serious injury.”

It was more like twenty seconds by I’s watch. The door chime announced Spike and opened. To I’s surprise, Isaac and Osgood accompanied him. While Osgood carried his age well, Isaac was a bit worn more than his years would merit. Even though he was clean now, it was obvious that the years of abuse had taken their toll.

As they walk through the door frame, a buzzer sounded. I held up his hand, “Hold it. The security alarm says there's something fishy going on. Have all of you been registered for clearance?”

Isaac’s admission, as he reached into his pocket, was a bit of a surprise. “It's probably because of my pet hamster. I take him wherever I go.” He stroked its fur.

I turned to Angela. “I thought you said these guys had straightened out?”

Angela giggled. “I didn't say anything about senility,” she whispered.

I turned back to the trio. “Okay, come on in. Hmm... You guys look as slick as a guitar lick.”

Spike replied for the group, “We've all been doing pretty well out there.”

Isaac remarked, “I can’t believe it’s been almost forty years since we were last together as a band!”

“Let's see how well we can do together again,” I remarked. “‘Reunion is total communion of souls.’ Isn't that how the old saying goes?”

Isaac looked at him with a question in his eye, “Never heard that one before.”

Osgood defended Isaac’s statement of fact. “He ought to know. He was the head of the English Literature department at the Multiversity.”

It was yet another item that had escaped I’s attention. “Well, it looks like we've got a lot of catching up to do, but we'll get on with that later. First we've got to plan this reunion.”

Spike was all business. “One thing we've got to do is tip off the music magazines. They're always hot for a rumor of reunion among old groups.”

I concurred. “We also need a promoter for the tour, someone who knows his way around.”

Isaac offered “How about William Graham III? That type of thing seems to run in his family.”

I agreed, “OK, I'll leave it up to you to get a hold of him.”

Osgood suggested, “We need a few new songs. The public might not settle for all the old ones.”

I didn’t quite agree. “Maybe we can pen one or two, but the purpose of this reunion is to bring back the era of the rockin' seventies.”

There were nods of assent all around.

Angela was curious. “What will you charge for the concerts?”

“That would be up to the promoter,” I said, “but I would imagine that tickets would run about thirty to fifty dollars each. That seems pretty reasonable.”

Osgood suggested, “Maybe we could make it a benefit tour.”

Isaac agreed, “That's right. We really have no need for the money ourselves.”

I thought it was a good idea, but asked, “Who will benefit from it?”

Spike jested, “William Graham III, for one.”

Isaac made his suggestion. “How about the Los Angeles Home for Aging Rock Musicians? I've heard the royalties from the old rock records are really slowing down and they're in need for some financial assistance.”

I agreed. “That seems like a good cause. Besides, we may end up there ourselves, someday.”

Spike also concurred. “It's true that it's the most popular home in the United States. It gets pretty loud there sometimes. The musicians all get together and jam on Tuesdays. At their advanced age they're near deaf and they have to turn up their amps to full volume to even hear themselves.”

I took mock offense, “What do you mean ‘advanced age?’ Most of them are no more than five or ten years older than us. At sixty-two, I resent being called an old man!”

Everyone got a chuckle out of that one.

Isaac continued brainstorming. “Maybe we can even have a re-issue of some of our old hits to remind people of the music of the good old days.”

Osgood started doing some calculations. “We can figure on a good total for the home. At an established world population of just over seven billion, we can figure on a twenty-five percent turnout, and at an average of forty dollars a ticket, that means about seventy billion dollars for the home. That should keep them out of the red for another five years.”

“We're gonna need a lot of practice,” I confirmed. He held up his hand. “I'm afraid these golden fingers have tarnished a bit.”

Spike agreed, “We'll really have to come on like a lion. We can prove again that only Golden Fingers could play so heavy!”