The Prodigal Band Trilogy, being about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a fictitious and big time rock and roll band, is full of celebrities. That makes the trilogy and the books within it ripe for satire among other genres. Though the three-books-in-one trilogy leaves out much of the satire originally published in the original three books, there is still enough to regale the reader here, with two snippets posted. One involves celebrity attention-seeking behavior, and the other involves their hypocrisy, especially when it comes to their so-called ‘environmental activism,’ which, in my opinion, is just more attention-seeking behavior but often strictly for tax-write-off purposes.
Note: while it would be nice to be a best-selling author, one thing I absolutely do not want is to be a celebrity! I value my privacy as much as I could have what with having to market my books, but if I became a celebrity I would have no privacy!
Being a celebrity is a double-edged sword. Yes, they have fortunes and fabulous homes and cars and whatever, but while it takes attention-seeking to maintain celebrity, at some point the celebrity wants privacy and to go about with their lives devoid of constant media-tabloid-hounds chasing after them. And at some point, someone will come up with some nonsense about them that is not true and turns their lives inside out and backwards. Yet, whose fault is that? Theirs! They’re the ones who sought the attention, right?
Fortunately, for me and my characters, I realized these books were not going to be essays on satire. Yet I believe if your characters are celebrities some satire is necessary.
In one of the snippets, I highlight celebrity hypocrisy as to nature reserves and saving wildlife that so many celebs take part in because they have the financial means to do so and mostly do it for tax exemption purposes. Considering at galas and whatnot they wear furs, kid leather, and custom woolen suits, etc., can they actually be considered “friends” of the wildlife that they spent thousands of dollars on to wear? One of the reasons certain fur animals are endangered is because celebrities can’t stand to not be ‘seen’ wearing them! Meanwhile, they berate us “little people” for wearing clothing made from wildlife of the cheaper variety, and for wanting to go camping and hunting and fishing every now and then! Is it any wonder celebrities that fly to environmental conferences about ‘saving the environment’ in their private jets are considered hypocrites?
And then there is that attention-seeking behavior…and celebrities wonder why they have no privacy!
In Chapter Seven of Battle of the Band, New Age cult leader Swami Negran fights his way into a Bay Area night club where Sound Unltd is performing–drunk and on various cocaine-laced drugs–in front of hundreds of fans right after their stadium gig. The night before the gig, during a party given for the band, bassist Keith and his lover, pop star Lisa, arranged to meet again in Phoenix in the midst of the following week. But later at that party, she saw Keith with another groupie, Lolita, which angered her enough to try to ‘get revenge’ on him. Lisa, ever the attention seeker, then plotted a publicity stunt using another rocker, Pete Slade, at that night club. Slade, whom she used on a number of stunt occasions, went along with it.
Swami Negran, two hours late for the start of the circus at Forkyz, had to fight through hundreds of stargazers milling outside the club. Then he had to push and shove his way through a host of silky-tanned bodies raising their fists or jutting their hips to the tom-tom honky-tonk beat of Uh-uh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Until he made it to the northwest corner. He was almost accosted by a bikini-briefed Lisa Brent and a Peter Slade in nothing but spandex shorts and Denny Spradlin’s mojo-sandals as they tried to move Keith’s skuz-wasted, pulsating body which grasped his bass in his left hand and Lolita’s bra in his right.
While the lame bassist howled and laughed through Slade’s and Negran’s attempts to prop him against the wall, Swami shouted, “This is even worse than fighting my way in here. There’s a couple o’ thousand people outside clawing to get in!”
Keith slurred loudly. “Well why the hell don’t we bloody let ‘em in? There’s room for—” Down onto the floor he fell in a heap. “Ah, shit! Get me the hell up, eh Mystic Man?”
Lisa, still acting disgusted from Keith’s perfidy the night before, snickered. “Just leave him there!” She then turned to her back-up lover, Slade. “Sweet Pete, listen to this, babe. I got a plan that’ll get us mucho headlines. Help bolster your career, eh?”
“And yours, Lisa love.”
“My career’s doing nicely, thank you!”
“So’s mine, thank you very much!”
“Oh, shut up, Pete, and listen. Both of us’ll go out there in front of the people out there—” Lisa turned to Swami. “Did you see any paparazzi out there?”
“Dozens of photographers, and some with camcorders.”
“Super! Okay, Pete, we’ll go out there and I’ll do my little act. You know, yell and scream about how Keith has betrayed me? And you escort me in your limo to the airport. I need to go on to Phoenix anyway to see my agent there about next year’s tour. I’ll meet you again when the Party Machine lands in Phoenix. Then, I’ll finish the little bastard off! How’s that sound, Pete?”
Slade answered noncommittally, “Sure, babe.”
Lisa then looked down on Keith. “Is that okay with you, you little shit?”
The bombed bassist mumbled his assent, knowing full well that the night before, he and his prime lover planned to greet each other with lavish affection aboard the jet—in full view of perplexed reporters.
Just as most of the horde of stargazers thought they’d leave the sidewalk in front of Forkyz and go home, just as reporters decided to call it a night, an enraged Lisa Brent blew out the front doors of the night club, escorted by a confused-looking Peter Slade. Seeing the mass of reporters hovering in front of Slade’s limo, she saw her chance. “Now listen to this, press boys!” she yelled for their benefit. “You can forget that goddamned Keith Mullock! We’re finished! You understand that? And you can quote me!” She stomped into the car.
Some scribes held Slade back.
“She’s just upset, eh?” he told them. “I’m just here to help her get over it.”
“What happened, Mr. Slade?”
“Listen, I can’t get into that here.”
The second snippet from Chapter Eight of The Prophesied Band highlights celebrity hypocrisy regarding ‘saving the environment’–only for the sake of tax write-offs. Said celebrities in the novel did not consider that wearing expensive furs and clothing of animal skins would in no way ‘save’ endangered species or help the wildlife they claimed to want to protect. The following scene involving singer Erik, pop culture-narrator Jay, and a group of pop star celebrities at a gala to support funding for new Church of the Circle of Unity cult leader Cole Blessing’s ‘Ashram’ south of the fictitious Bay area city of Richmont. Jay, the narrator, also references band manager Joe Phillips’ ‘watchword’ of hypocrisy of wealthy ‘guardians of the environment’ such as his own bank-oligarch father, not just rich celebrities. If anything deserves being the focus of satire, it is celebrity hypocrisy!
DomGerry, April’s poster boy for the Nature Club, discussed a juicy tax-break idea with his friends Jonny Kirk and Jillian Lowe—stars of the live-action movie version of Tree Huggers—and Jeff ‘Ax’ Axman, a major stockholder of a new cable TV network called The Whole Earth Channel. As I approached them I thought to myself how ironic it was these ‘nature activists’ wore either kid leather, ostrich leather, or leopard skins; DomGerry wore alligator-skin boots; Kirk and Lowe both wore chinchilla furs to the bash.
Joe Phillips had once told me the watchword of his father’s new order was hypocrisy. Protection of nature really meant protection of the right of the rich to plunder nature while denying access to the masses like those hapless people being loaded on that windowless bus.
“This forty-thousand acre ranch I bought in Desert Valley last year?” The singer smiled just thinking about how he’d top Ax’s tale of how he saved hundreds of thousands on his taxes by selling his own ecology foundation wetlands to set up a wildlife preserve. “From some old rancher who needed big money. Said he couldn’t afford to raise his cattle ‘cos the government kept lowering beef price supports.”
“The one in the Paramount Mountains?” Ax asked.
“Yeah. But I did you one better, Ax. Take a lesson, eh?” Laugh. “I sold it to my Desert Valley Wildlife Foundation for one tax break, then my foundation sold it to Sustainability, Inc., my ecological R & D corporation, for a double tax break.”
Though I stood behind Ax’s left shoulder, neither the singer-guitarist, nor the others, noticed me until Erik, who I’d been looking for, showed up next to me.
The newcomer suddenly asked, “So what’s up with the tree-huggers?”
Light laughter, until Dom and the others told Erik about Dom’s nature preserve activity.
“Can’t do that sorta thing back home,” Manning responded. “Can only lease it, eh?” He’d brought a long-stemmed champagne glass with him, and he sipped it.
“I thought you were on the wagon?” Ax asked.
“What, champagne, man? I gave up booze, not bubbly, eh? And besides, Ax, I have a nip o’ whiskey from time to time. But, you see, man, I got it under control.”
Lowe blurted, “Well that is sooo super, Erik. Bet you’re much more in tune with Mother Nature now.”
“Yeh, really,” the singer waxed sarcastic. “You know I’d like to get into something like that here. A nature preserve or a refuge or something. Leave it completely untouched for all the animals—all the animals but you, Ax.” Loud laugh.
“Hey up your British ass!”
They laughed, as the two always did after their jibes.
So, of course, the foursome had to tell Erik how he could do that and claim his preserve on his British taxes. The gist of their advice was provided by the singer. “Tell Cole what you need, and he’ll set it up for you.”
And there are more instances of satire besides satire involving celebrities. Buy the book to find out! And if one has read the trilogy or any of the separate books within the trilogy, any review or rating at any of the online sites such as Amazon or any of the others linked here would be appreciated. Or at Goodreads.
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.