Rock Hard: Paying My Dues

Continues from here.

I just used sex as leverage to get Adam to shut up. Damn! That’s not me, I don’t mind joking around with sex comments at times but I’m not the person that says things like that to end conversations. I guess the topic of me singing Adam’s words to one of our songs was getting to me just a little bit. It wasn’t the words themselves, I intended to sing his words, it was just that I was getting sick of the conversation.

After dinner I sat down side of stage and watched the entire Battlement gig, again they were athletic on stagea, tight as a band, worked well together and despite not all of the audience knowing who they were they still managed to get a decent pit working in the front few rows. At one point as Dean was walking past I grabbed him and got him to stand and watch with me.

“I think we should get these guys to play more gig with us.” I said loudly so I could be heard over the music.

“They do sound good.” Dean replied.

We were pretty well booked for the current tour and that also meant our support acts were all sorted for the rest of the tour as well. Where possible we tried to get local bands as our support act, partly to give them a go just like bigger bands once gave us but mainly because a good local band obviously has a local following and sometimes getting the crowd onside and in a great mood before we even hit the stage is hugely beneficial.

“Maybe next tour if someone else hasn’t picked them up.” I said just to let him know I was serious.

“I think that’s a great idea, they do get the crowd going!” Dean said before wandering off and doing whatever it was I interrupted him from.

I watched the rest of the show, enjoyed every minute of it and when they got off stage I told them so. We had one more gig with them in Dallas, three gigs so close together made sense to have the same local support act, especially with many fans going to all three shows,and I wanted to invite the entire band on stage during our last encore in Dallas to show our appreciation. I knew my guys would agree and I was happy that Kate, the lead singer, and the rest of Battlement agreed.

With such an encore planned my first thought was to run another bet with Adam about the number of encores in Dallas because we were guaranteed three with my plan, but I decided against it. Before leaving Battlement to their cool down and heading off to prepare myself I promised them I would sort it all out for the following night.

Ok so I know you’re waiting for this so I wont keep you hanging. We hit the stage and the gig just went off thanks in part to the efforts of Battlement. We powered through our set, everything went great and when we came off stage for the first time I was still refusing to talk about the song change. When we came off between the second and third encore, usually a shorter break than the other two breaks, I flatly refused hoping no one suspected I would do it.

Then came my time to shine, literally, because despite my open refusal all day Adam obviously knew I wasn’t going to let him down. Unbeknown to me he’d organised the lighting guys to change the sequence of lights slightly so that when the new verse opened every light in the place except the spot light on my microphone went off and all the crowd could see was me!

“You bastard!” I thought as soon as I realised what was going on. In the four notes between the spot light coming on and where I had to start singing I nearly decided against singing it, but that didn’t happen.

This Adam is my passion
The bastard’s trying but to cash in
I love him with all my might
But I’m going to get payback tonight.

Ok so it wasn’t exactly as he’d written it but when the rest of the lights came back on I had fulfilled my little debt to Adam. Hadn’t I?

When the song ended I usually spoke to the audience one last time before the final song of the night. It was our last chance to say goodbye and thanks to the crowd. Part of the speech also included me introducing the band. I would introduce Mark on lead guitars first, then Benji on bass, then Dean on drums, then while Dean was standing and waving his drumsticks in the air he’d introduce me before we said goodbye and hit the first notes of the final song.

As soon as Dean finished his speech Mark hit a note on his guitar and I interrupted him.

“Whoa, hang on Mark, hang five guys,” I said waving my hands in the air and speaking into the microphone. “I have something else to say.”

I waved my hands to the crowd in an effort to quieten them down a bit. Sometimes it takes a lot to hush a crowd, other times not that much, the Austin crowd hushed and waited for me to speak.

“As most of you probably know by now there was some word changes in that last song.” There was some cheers. “Well those changes were forced upon me by one person, one person who believes he doesn’t get enough attention for the work he puts in. Give me some light on the desk Pete.” Adam’s desk was suddenly bathed in light. “Ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to Adam our sound tech. Give the guy a round of applause.”

The crowd turned and at my request cheered Adam on. With the focus suddenly on him I could see him fidgeting nervously, and loved it!

“Now I want you all to do me a favour.” I said to the crowd. “Because Adam doesn’t get enough attention I want you all to go up there and give the guy a hug when he comes out from behind his desk. Thank him for his efforts and remind him that he’s the most important person in our band!”

Before the light went off Adam’s desk I saw him grinning, but I knew inside he was probably closer to wetting himself than he’d been in thirty years.

Thirty minutes later I was sitting in the band room, relaxing on a large padded sofa and enjoying a drink. The band and I spent the first ten minutes laughing and talking about what had happened and how we all thought Adam would take it so when Adam finally walked in we were pretty much over it. However that didn’t stop the room falling into silence as Adam walked in and stood in the middle of the room. He looked completely spent, worn out and tired.

“What’s up honey? You look kind of worn out!” I said with a smile before sipping my drink.

Not looking at me Adam spoke directly to Dean. “Damn she has an evil streak in her!”

“Knows how to cut to the bone when she has to that’s for sure.” Dean answered with a smirk.

“On the upside, I scored more than a dozen phone numbers and bedroom invites.” He came back with.

I knew he was joking so instead of being offended or upset that my silly plan didn’t work I hit back with another joke. “You found a dozen desperate men wanting to sleep with you? Wow that must be a new record for you!”

“Ouch!” Dean said before deciding he had to be the mature one and mediate the situation. “Now you two kiddies stop fighting, Adam sit down next to Chris and you two kiss and make up!”

“Eewww.” I said and pulled away.

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