Susan Walsh set a tape recorder on the coffee table and cleared her throat. “Oh, yeah, ” she said brightly, as if she was picking up a piece of earlier conversation, even though we hadn’t had any conversation yet, “Michael said to apologize for him.”
Blank stares from our side. “Who?” I said.
“The guy who was supposed to be here instead of me. He normally covers the whole entertainment beat.” Her lips pursed. “He said you knew him.”
We looked at each other. Ziggy leaned forward, from where he sat between me and Bart. “I think someone’s having delusions of grandeur.”
“You’re probably right,” she said, blowing a stray piece of brown hair from her face. “He’s a jerk anyway.” She sat quiet for a moment while the rest of us waited for the interview to begin.
“Yeah, so…” Bart said, after a moment. “What did you want to know about us?”
“I brought some questions,” she said, opening her soft-sided briefcase. I was starting to think she was younger than we were, a college freshman or something. She pulled out a spiral bound notebook, the “college-ruled” kind, which reinforced my impression. “I guess I’ll just ask them and you guys answer whatever you want, okay?”
Bart smiled, stifling a giggle, and shot me a glance. Ziggy, still leaning forward, clasped his hands between his legs. “That sounds like a terrific idea,” he drawled.
She smiled and exhaled a short huff. “Okay. So how did you guys get started as a band?”
Bart: “We met in jail.”
Ziggy: “Be nice, now. Actually, I met the two of them cruising in the park.”
I didn’t know if she hadn’t read the press kit, or if she just wanted it in our own words. “Bart and I were in a band together when we were at school. When we moved to Boston we met Ziggy and started playing clubs there.” I paused for a moment and she tossed out the next question before I could say more.
“How would you describe yourselves? I mean, as a band.”
Again Bart was the first one out of the gate. “Well, you remember the New Wave. We’re the New New Wave. We’re everything that was good about the New Wave, but also everything that was good about the Old Wave.”
“The Old Wave?” I said.
“We’re the perfect intermingling of dark and light, musical color and form, rhythm and spice, musicianship and showmanship, love songs and social commentary, fun and tears.” Bart’s tongue was so firmly implanted in his cheek it was a wonder we could understand him at all.
She actually said “Ooo.”
I was already deciding this was one clipping I would not read.