Glory Days - PROMO
Young Adult / Coming of Age
Date Published: March 3,
is heading into his senior year of high school and has the world at
comes easy for him. He’s the lead guitar player in a hard rock
band, about to embark on their first gig. He has a job he likes, a
car he doesn’t, a best friend he hopes to be friendlier with, and a
pretty good set of parents. He has it all.
dad suddenly begins acting strange and keeping odd hours. Matt has
his own life to live, though, and doesn’t pay it much attention.
Until he wakes up one morning to find his dad gone, leaving behind
only a short note to his mother, setting into motion a chain of
events that sends Matt down a dangerous path that could jeopardize
his present as well as his future. Forced to quit a job he likes, he
must take on a new job to help his mother out financially, but one
that also eats into his ever important social life as well as school.
Adding to his troubles, his best friend, Dawn, has a new boyfriend.
can’t wait to become a member of the Class of 1989, but first he
must get out of 1988 alive.
NOTE *Contains adult language
was seventeen years old when I played my first gig.
back, it really wasn’t that big a deal in the grand, macro scheme
of things. It didn’t change my life nor did it lead to a record
deal, followed quickly by fortune and glory. Women didn’t throw
themselves at me or scream and cry when they saw me, like the girls
in the old footage of The Beatles early shows. I played lead guitar
in an 80’s hard rock band. We did get a fairly decent sized
following around Columbia, SC, but a few years into our music career
the bottom fell out of that type of music. Thanks in equal parts to
fluffy ‘metal’ bands all over the airwaves and a few groups from
Seattle that took the nation by storm. So, yeah, that first gig
wasn’t that big a deal.
at the time? It was the greatest moment of my young
night before the show I didn’t sleep that well. I was way too
excited to be bothered by any of those little slices of death, to
paraphrase Poe. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to sleep, I really did.
But each time sleep started to overtake me, my overactive mind kicked
slumber to the curb and whirled with a thousand possibilities, all of
only had one guitar, so what if I broke a string during a song? What
if my voice went out? What if I forgot how to play the songs or
messed up during the guitar solos? What if my dream girl didn’t
show up? What if, what if, what if?
I would nod off for a few minutes and then wake up again and the
cycle would continue.
I kicked the covers off and slipped out of bed. I thought about going
for a swim—nothing quite like a middle of the night dip in the
pool—and then decided against it. There would be dead bugs in the
pool, possibly big ass palmetto bugs (my current Biggest Fear for
some reason), and we didn’t have enough light in the backyard to
properly scoop out all the detritus. So that was out. I decided to
get a pop out of the refrigerator and think about my
stepped quietly out of my room into the darkened hallway and tripped
over my dog, who was asleep on his side outside my parents’s
bedroom door. The big dog yelped and tried to jump up as I stumbled
across his previously prone form. I cussed, regained my balance, and
then he got his legs tangled in mine, and we both went down with a
crash, a jumble of arms and legs and fur.
of a bitch,” I said.
shut up,” Dad’s groggy voice bellowed from behind the
started to push myself up but Bo threw himself on top of me and
shoved me back to the floor. He licked me.
off me, you big moose,” I said and pushed his head away. He lurched
forward and got in one more slobbery dog kiss—his impeccabley aimed
tongue lapping my mouth—and then he was gone. I wiped his slobber
from my face and swiped my hand on the carpet. “Gross,
chuffed at me and then lay back down in front of Mom and Dad’s
closed door. I shook my head, got up, and went to the kitchen. I
squinted my eyes against the glare of the refrigerator light, grabbed
a can of pop, and plopped down at the kitchen table. I popped the top
as quietly as I could and took a big gulp. Then another. And one more
for good measure.
sat in the dark and drank and did my best to quiet my
didn’t really work all that well. I was nervous as hell, but at the
same time I was as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve. I finished my
drink, got up, and tossed the can in the trash. I thought about that
swim again and immediately put it out of my mind. The last thing in
the world I needed was a dead palmetto bug bumping up against me in
the water. I shivered in disgust at the thought.
went back to my room and, after closing the door behind me, flipped
the light on. I took my guitar off its stand and sat down on my bed.
If I couldn’t sleep, I might as well get a little extra practice
in. Just a quick run through of the songs we would be playing the
next night. I took a deep breath, played a few scales to limber up my
fingers, and stopped. I couldn’t remember how to play the song we’d
be opening with. Hell, I couldn’t even remember the
I muttered. I sat there with my guitar resting across one leg and
stared at my closet door, but the set list didn’t magically appear
on the wood in blazing letters from the heavens.
on, dumb ass,” I said. I thought about calling the singer but I
didn’t think his parents would appreciate a phone call at three in
the morning from some dipshit kid panicking over a song title. Why
didn’t I write the damned songs down and toss the paper in my
guitar case? Why was I such an idiot?
then it came to me.
“Stagefright,” I said and felt relief flood
through me. I shook my head and noticed for the first time that I was
sweating. I chuckled. “Flop sweat.”
did a speed run through the first few songs of the set and figured
that was enough. If I didn’t get some sleep I would be pretty
useless the next night. I put my guitar away and stretched out on my
back and stared at the ceiling.
ran the set list over and over again in my head and finally fell
dreamed of a swimming pool full of palmetto bugs and not being able
to scoop them all out. Weird and disgusting.
woke the next morning just before noon and had some leftover pizza
for breakfast. I went outside into the bright heat of the day and
glanced at the pool. Nope. Not full of those damnable little insects.
Not even one.
kicked around the house the rest of the day, not really paying any
attention to what I was doing. It just wasn’t that important.
Finally it was time to get ready for the gig, so I showered, blew dry
my hair, and got dressed.
grabbed my guitar case, told my parents goodbye, and went out to my
car. I put the case in the back seat, climbed behind the steering
wheel, and prayed it would start. I turned the key and prayed again.
It would be just my luck that on the most important day of my life
the piece of- - -
started on the first try. Hallelujah.
checked my hair in the rearview mirror—I wore it more Iron Maiden,
than Poison—and, satisfied, backed out of the
popped a tape into the tape deck and drove to the gig, a big dopey
grin plastered to my face.
Glory Days eBook