Before We Begin
First, let’s talk about Sex! It happens! Get over it! If you put a group of boys and girls in a cramped bus for long periods of time, you shouldn’t be surprised with what develops. Our story’s the twisted tale of a band of traveling musicians; leaving the crazy sex out would constitute not telling the story. Therefore I’ve elected to forego prudish propriety and tell it like it is. Of course, in the real world, there’s a difference between healthy and unhealthy sexual activities; we’ll be dealing with both, so gird-up, because if songs about masturbation bother you, you’re in for a bumpy ride.
OK, now let’s also talk about Sexism! It also happens! But there’s no reason you should be expected to get over it; we’re all far too accustomed to the omnipresent patriarchy we live in, already. I could have attempted to downplay the chauvinism, but that also would have been telling less-than-the-whole-story. So keep in mind: This is a tale of transformation; if the objectivist way the female characters are dealt with in the early chapters bothers you, trust me, you’re missing the point.
Now that you understand the general nature of our anxieties, I can confide some specifics: Our story concerns the tribulations of a band of fools — literally — a traveling rock-and-roll show band called THE FABULOUS FOOLS — consisting of three city-slickers (from Manhattan, Queens & The Bronx) who, without meaning to, suddenly find themselves living in a bus, on the road, surrounded by a gaggle of born-and-bred Southerners.
Our three fish-out-of water are: 1) on Guitar; Daryl Diamond (AKA Your Narrator); 2) on Bass: “Little Jimi Bond from New York City on the Six-String Bass” and 3) Stage Manager, Lighting Technician, Truck Driver, Bouncer, and All-Around-Good-Guy: Sylvester (Sly) Cameron.
Our Southern compatriots are 1) on Drums: Randall Beauregard (AKA ‘Satan’), Tuscaloosa, Alabama; 2) on Keyboards, George (Geepers) Douglas , Greenville, South Carolina; and 3) Soundman, Mascot, and Human-Sex-Toy: Joseph ‘Junior’ Jones who’d never been outside of Georgia before he began traveling with the band.
We also have two wild cards sharing the bus and the stage with us; we call them our “secret weapons” — our singers — dancers — sex symbols — eye-candy — our girls! Please note: in hindsight, there’s no denying that we were — even for the time — being obviously-over-the-top-objectivist. Understand (or you’ll miss the point of the story) that, at the time, it didn’t occur to us, not even a little, that it might be, sort’a, … well, … wrong; we thought it was just show-biz. That obviously doesn’t make it right, but as far as we could tell, nobody was getting hurt; nobody was ever asked to do anything they didn’t feel comfortable doing. In truth, the sexism didn’t occur, as far as we knew, to even our objectified “secret weapons” themselves — Annabelle Stamper (a beautiful Southern Belle from Winchester, Kentucky) and Victoria Pope (our Hollywood Movie Star).
Oh yeah, there’s another band member I might mention. I left out the original Fab-Fool drummer, Keith Marston. I figured we could dispense with him in the introductions since, in our story, he dies on the first page.
Last thing: YOU are aware of many things our characters are NOT!
Our adventure takes place over 19 tumultuous days in an unusual year called 1999; specifically, the ’99 that existed in a strange place called The United States of America. By way of orientation, there was no such thing as Facebook, or even MySpace yet. Cell phones were Blackberries, Prince was partying, and the Twin Towers were still standing. It was the 1,999th year of the common era (CE), the 99th year of the 20th century, and the last year of the 90s-decade.
It certainly felt like the end of something.
1999 did turn out to be the end of the world for our drummer, Keith.
And that’s where our story begins …
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