644. Crowded House

(Quick announcement! Meme contest! I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and DGC swag as grand prize in a contest for MORE DGC MEMES to celebrate the release of ebook Volume Seven. All the rules and details are posted over here: blog.ceciliatan.com/archives/2459 -ctan)

There were some press people there during soundcheck and I think possibly to impress them Remo had us do a couple more songs than usual. Which is to say it was one of the few soundchecks where he actually ran the soundcheck instead of me. It being Remo “running” the soundcheck meant he said some things like “Hey, what do you think about running through such-and-such?” and “Why don’t we take another song for a spin.” Like in New York, in LA there were always a lot of extra people around: hangers on from the record company and people with connections and who knows what else.

Fran was in fine voice but she seemed a little nervous, and Clarice’s reaction to that was to tease her mercilessly about it. “Look at you, you’d think you never saw a microphone before. It ain’t going to bite you,” that kind of thing.

Fran got to tease her right back when I introduced them to Ziggy after soundcheck was over. “Look at you, Clarice. He ain’t going to bite you. You’d think you never saw a rock star before.”

Ziggy was polite to them and circulated easily among the rest of the people there, gliding through in the bubble created by his charisma. I on the other hand felt like the reporters were following me like vultures waiting to swoop down on any juicy morsel, so I retreated to the green room with a guitar.

I noodled around like usual. I found myself trying to figure out how the riff went that Jordan had plucked for “Breaking Chains.” It was still there in my fingers, it just took me a little while to bring it to the surface.

And then I was Travis picking my way through the chord progression of Candlelight and thinking how it would make for an interest instrumental track. Maybe with Bart’s cello. I saw Carynne pass by the open door to the hallway and I stuck my head out. “Hey, C. Seen Bart?”

“Look behind you,” she said without breaking stride.

I looked the other direction and there was Bart coming toward me. “Come listen to something.”

“Sure.” He got himself a Coke and sat down with me.

I played it for him and said, “what do you think about adding cello to it?”

“I think it would be fun but Daron, what for?”

“I don’t know. For the sake of making music?” I set the guitar aside and stretched, feeling the lack of sleep and the lingering edges of hangover in all my bones and joints. “We’re still allowed to do that, aren’t we?”

He chuckled. “Yes, Virginia. By the way, I was in Tower yesterday here in LA and they had a huge display of the record.”

“Yeah? Wait, which record.”

“Your solo instrumental album. They did one of those displays where they staple all the album flats to a wall and it was like a psychedelic thing what with your eye staring at me over and over again.”

“It’s not a psychedelic album at all, though.”

“That’s not the point. What I’m saying is I was surprised they did that for an instrumental album that wasn’t supposed to be a big thing.”

“Um, I’m surprised, too.” That reminded me that I needed to check in with Carynne and find out where Artie wanted me to be in a couple of days. “Is that why I feel like everyone’s watching me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like everyone here is following me around with their eyes no matter what I do. Reporters, industry people.”

Bart shrugged and leaned back on the couch. “That’s probably more to do with what happened this morning?”

“What happened thi–oh. You mean the radio station thing.”

He nodded. “You know it basically seems like a first step toward a reunion. Or a whatever.”

“Yeah.” The deejay this morning had asked all the questions everyone wanted to know: what’s next for you guys? Are we going to see more Moondog Three music in the future? Are you two working together again?

Ziggy had been cagey and entertaining in his replies. Which he was good at. Thank goodness. You know, he is great at getting everyone’s hopes up, even if nothing ends up happening, right?

The only thing the deejay hadn’t asked about was the lawsuits. He’d been told we weren’t allowed to talk about them. Which is good because I had no idea what was going on with that. Carynne had told me there had been lawsuit inflation, as more different suits were served. I had to put it out of my mind. If I let myself think about these things that were so completely out of my control but which were likely to determine my fate I would go right off the deep end.

“What are you doing tomorrow?” Bart asked.

“Ziggy. I’m doing Ziggy tomorrow,” I answered in as deadpan a fashion as I could.

Bart laughed. “Okay. I’ll make other plans.”

“Michelle didn’t come on this trip?”

Bart shook his head. “No. She’s doing a lot lately.”

Something about the way he said that made me ask. “You guys doing okay?”

“Just a rough patch, I think.” Bart rubbed his face. “We’ll get through it.”

Whoa. He was actually admitting some trouble. “Has it been five years now?”

“Yep. My longest relationship by a long shot. Seems worth working on, you know?”

I thought about Ziggy. If we counted anniversaries, what day would we count from? From that day in the park?

Or from that night here in LA?

Raised voices from the hallway pulled me out of my reverie. One of those voices was chillingly, enragingly familiar. Bart and I exchanged a look and then hurried into the hall where, it seemed, Digger was making an ass of himself.

“I’m sorry, sir, you can’t be here,” George was saying to him and trying to herd him away from the green room and the band areas.

“The hell I can’t. That’s my cocksucker of a son right there,” he said, pointing at me and gesturing as if I should come help him out. Did he not notice he’d just called me a cocksucker?

I just gave George a little shrug, not sure how to say I was sure Remo would support him booting Digger from the premises. Digger meanwhile had moved on to other tactics to get George to leave him alone. “What’re you afraid of, I’m going to chase tail back there or something? Lemme tellya, I know this crowd. They’re not the type to get their knobs polished by groupies and besides, you saw that gorgeous piece that just went by? In the white pants? She’s spreading for me tonight, boy.”

George was unimpressed. “You need to move to the press area, sir, or I will remove you from the premises.”

“Waitasec. Do you work for Remo? I knew it. That ungrateful sonovabitch.”

George gave one last glance back at me, I gave the finger across the neck sign, and George didn’t hold back at that point. He gestured to the cop working security detail and the next thing I knew Digger was being escorted to the parking lot by an LAPD officer who looked like he was just itching for Digger to resist him. Digger may have been drunk or stupid enough to provoke me but not a cop.

Ziggy reappeared the moment the area was Digger-free. “What an unpleasant man,” he said wryly. “Remind me I have something to tell you.”

“Okay. Ziggy, you have something to tell me.”

“I mean later,” he said, clucking his tongue. “When we’re alone.”

Right. Like when we’re alone I’m going to be able to think about anything clearly enough to remember that.


  • steve says:

    “You know, he is great at getting everyone’s hopes up, even if nothing ends up happening, right?”

    Ouch. Does he read these?

  • chris says:

    “Ziggy. I’m doing Ziggy tomorrow,” I answered in as deadpan a fashion as I could. ((Grin))

  • sanders says:

    Ugh, Digger. I figured he’d show up sooner or later to be a complete jackass.

    I love Bart here. I miss the dynamic of the band and his observations about everything.

    Interesting news about the record display. S and I were talking over brunch and realized the cover is very pink, albeit in a pale, shell way. Still, pink. I have to wonder whether there’s some subconscious signalling on Daron’s part in agreeing to that ;).

    • daron says:

      I miss Bart, too. And it’s not *really* pink. It’s more of a beige. I think. (They say men can’t see color as well as women. Please let me keep my illusions about beige.)

      • sanders says:

        You can keep your illusions… this time. I reserve the right to bust you on others in the future, though.

        Just a wacky idea, but you could miss Bart less if you used the phone more. Or invited him to tag along for a little while since he and Michelle are having a little rough patch.

        • s says:

          *snort* he won’t even call Ziggy very often…

          • sanders says:

            True, but calling Ziggy is Scary and Complicated. Bart is the direct opposite of that.

            • s says:

              Yeah, well, I think Ziggy’s just as afraid of Daron. Maybe this talk that’s hopefully going to happen like 20 chapters from now (they really do have a lot of stuff planned in LA) will relieve some of the ‘scary and complicated’…It certainly has the feel of one of Daron’s epiphany-type moments, anyway.

              • sanders says:

                For someone lacking self-awareness in the moment, everything is an epiphany in hindsight.

                I absolutely agree that Ziggy is probably just as scared–likely more so, even–as Daron, especially in light of the ‘on the couch’ piece you told me about.

                This trip to LA does seem really packed, just for this single day in progress. I’m wondering now if there’s a point, thanks to Fran and Clarice, that Ziggy ends up on stage with them. They already kind of put Daron through vocal warm-ups with them, and you know Ziggy would want in on that at the very least. I think I’ll be sorely disappointed if that doesn’t happen now that I’ve thought about it.

                • s says:

                  OMG Ctan please make this happen! Please please please!

                • Amber says:

                  I loved that piece about what would happen if Ziggy went to a psychologist. I think it would be a lot of fun to interview characters like that.

                  What do you think Remo would think of Ziggy being on stage? Do you think Ziggy would be willing to do it since it wouldn’t be his show but Remo’s?

                  • s says:

                    I think it would be a great way for Ziggy and Remo to connect since Remo said he wanted to make an effort to get to know Ziggy for Daron’s sake. I would like to see it as a guest appearance, maybe do a cover song or Daron and Ziggy for do an M3 song or even “Breaking Chains” after they’re little radio stunt that morning. So many possibilities and each would get Daron and Ziggy on a stage together without Daron having to work for Ziggy since he still hasn’t figured out if he can/wants to do that.

                  • sanders says:

                    Ideally, I think Ziggy joining in on the birthday cover (my brain says it’s Wishing Well, but I’m not sure that’s the song) would be the best way to make it happen, with Fran or Clarice inviting him. Anything else seems like it’d possibly flip Remo out. Unless, of course, Remo himself made the request for Ziggy to join them for a song or two to surprise Daron–D’s spent a lot of the tour keeping Remo on his toes, turnabout is fair play.

        • daron says:

          Ugh. I hate the phone. I don’t even know why. I guess because I never know what to say, there’s too much time in my own head trying to figure out if I just said something stupid, and everything that is great about a conversation with a real person is missing from it. (Besides trying to catch people by phone from the road is impossible and I hate answering machines even more than phones.)

          • s says:

            I hate talking on the phone, too. But I can promise you when I’m away from home overnight, I call, even if just to hear his voice and say ‘goodnight.’ Of course, cell phones have made that a lot easier to do. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like pre-cell phones. Perhaps I should stop whining about you not calling Ziggy…

          • Maelia says:

            Here to have a look at the comments and everything else that’s not in the ebook (thanks for sending it in advance to those who selected it as digital reward on Kickstarter, by the way :]), I can’t resist commenting on that because, when people say “Daron should use the phone more often” I always think it’s easy to say for people who are comfortable with phones. That “there’s too much time in my own head trying to figure out if I just said something stupid” is exactly what I thought could be the problem, because I have that problem too (with any kind of conversation, really). So even if I miss my sister a lot (which is probably comparable to how much you miss Bart, Daron, since he’s a kind of brother for you), I never ever call her. But fortunately we’re no longer in the early 1990s so we just “talk” through instant messaging instead, and text messages would work too if I could afford a phone plan that doesn’t limit free texts to one country. So now I’m wondering, Daron… Am I right to suspect that in these smartphone days you still never call anyone if you can avoid it and send text messages instead (or emails, since now you can read them even when you don’t have a computer at hand) ?

            • daron says:

              These days my phone is glued to me but you’re right, I still don’t talk on it much, even when I’m on the road and apart from the people I love. Texting and twitter are the best things ever.

  • s says:

    “What an unpleasant man.” Ziggy, I think Daron may be passing his ‘Master of Understatement’ title to you. Bahaha.

    Also, I very much love seeing Ziggy (and Bart and Carynne…but especially Ziggy) hanging out backstage. It just feels so much closer to the way it’s supposed to be, you know?

  • cayra says:

    Digger is like athlethes foot. Turns up wherever you don’t need him.

  • Amber says:

    God, Digger just makes my skin crawl.

  • EH says:

    There we go!

    And ugh, Digger.

    And hmm, cliffhanger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *