Welcome to the new snippet article series from The Prodigal Band Trilogy! Having done snippets within the non-genre-specific trilogy that have characteristics of the various genres (romance, thriller, mystery, horror, etc.) as well as character snippets on the various ‘prodigal band’ members, it is now time to post articles about factors within the real world that influenced this trilogy.
I was going to do a completely different reality snippet from this one, but then NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed near Calabasas, California, not far from the Staples Center where the iconic athlete played for the LA Lakers. Bryant, of course, died in the crash, and so did his daughter and several others. A few days later, one of my fave pop culture ‘conspiracy’ sites, Vigilant Citizen, did a post about this event, bringing up several ‘coincidences’ as to why this could have been a planned take out of another huge celebrity, comparing it to the supposed take down of Whitney Houston. One of the coincidences relates to the Grammy Awards, which was held shortly after the crash.
Note: I am not a basketball fan nor a fan of Bryant. And he’s not the only huge celebrity to die in plane or jet or helicopter crashes.
But this post isn’t about ‘crashes’ but the possible mechanical failures that could bring about the crash. In the case of the prodigal band about which this trilogy tells of their journey, their jet did not crash–it was burning due to an exploded bomb set inside or near a passenger seat. The bomb however was timed to explode over the Irish Sea on the way from Philadelphia to London, but the explosion happened when the jet landed.
Not exactly a ‘mechanical failure’ either! But ‘mechanical failure’ is what was assumed and what one of the band members told the media. Even though the band knew it was not just a failure, and was likely done on purpose.
The first snippet, from the beginning of The Prodigal Band Chapter One, introduces the jet burn and Trenchcoat, the man who set the bomb in Philly–the flight was originally from Dallas.
July 8, 2001
“If dead rock stars could talk,” a man in a trench coat muttered.
A private 747 jet began its descent into a London airport, originally from Dallas, Texas. Six male passengers, members of Sound Unltd, sat aboard. Twenty minutes later, the plane landed.
The passengers were missing.
Trenchcoat, standing behind an aluminum wire mesh fence close by, didn’t know that.
Kaboom! The jet’s passenger cabin burned. Outside the jet it sounded like a small explosion, less than a minute later.
He snorted and said to himself, “Sound Unltd? Not anymore, you’re not.” But dammit, he thought, that jet should have exploded in mid-air over the Irish Sea!
When police, fire fighters, ambulance crews and the news-and-gossip-hungry media arrived several minutes later, Trenchcoat was safely behind the wheel of his car driving toward the airport’s exit.
As to why ‘the passengers were missing,’ that will be dealt with later. Trenchcoat, of course, had no idea that the passengers were missing. But he would find out later when watching the news broadcast at his residence that the six band members did survive.
The second snippet has band leader Jack telling the media that it was likely some sort of mechanical failure.
After a time, they were dismissed from that heavenly realm, back to the furnace consuming the jet. Back in their casual clothing and shoes. As emergency people entered the once-plush, burning cabin, the fully-conscious band, coughing from sudden surprise smoke, jerked about in their seats, dazed but confused and unhurt, then yelling for help.
A short time later the six found themselves literally tossed out of the jet onto foam escape mattresses.
Then, disregarding authorities, the reporters and photographers engulfed them.
Jack Lubin, guitarist and band leader-spokesman, stood upright aside the mattress and answered, while coughing, six questions at once. “Yeh, we’re fine. No, we had no idea the jet was having problems, and no, we don’t know why it caught fire, and no, we don’t know how it happened, and yes, we happy to be alive, and I have no idea if it was an accident or not. We’ll look into it.”
But he ‘knew’ it was not ‘mechanical failure’ and told the band’s manager, Joe Phillips, that he ‘knew’ Phillip’s father, an evil oligarch, banker, and aristocrat, was behind it.
The media circus over, Sound Unltd met privately outside the clinic with their manager, Joe Phillips, in Phillips’ limo.
“Your father’s behind it, Joe!” Jack didn’t even wait to sit down before his pronouncement. “We know he is, and we know you know it too.”
For Phillips’ real name was Joseph Phillip Torquay-Lambourgeau, son of Baron Torquay-Lambourgeau of the same international banking cartel and the power behind many thrones, presidents and premiers, as well as the Novordo Club, the international elite that wanted to rule the world with impunity.
Later, while Trenchcoat is viewing the news report, he hears Jack stating it was likely a mechanical failure, referring to various similar events that happened to ‘rockers in the past.’ This relates to the following events: the plane crash in 1958 of Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly, as well as the crash that killed some of the members of one of my fave American bands, Lynard Skynard, in the latter 70s. I have no idea if the plane crashes had anything to do with conspiracies.
He sat back in the chair again, viewing with disbelief the site of Jack Lubin in front of him on the TV screen, saying, “Right now we’re sure the fire was caused by a fuel leak or something mechanical. An accident. Like with other rockers in the past. Only we survived.”
The final snippet relates to how the narrator of The Prodigal Band, pop culture pundit Lloyd Denholm, sees the event–a conspiracy, based on how the report is presented. He believes it is ‘foul play,’ and he is correct.
Richmont, California, the same night
While eating dinner at the living room table, I sat transfixed on the event broadcast on television that night. “The band’s jet was on the ground when it exploded and, while all the crew members suffered minor injuries, all six members of Sound Unltd were miraculously unharmed. Investigators have as yet found no evidence of foul play involved.”
No foul play? I thought. Why would anyone even conjecture that, except to make the news more entertaining? But one thing that I, Lloyd Denholm, Jay Elliot’s successor as CounterCulture’s lead freelancer, had come to believe was that in these crazy times where there were zillions of pop recording artists, and industry power was concentrating in as few hands as possible, that nasty play against the world’s leading per-unit-sales recording act, who were music moguls themselves, was close to a hundred percent likely. No foul play? I smelled a cover up.
Why foul play? And why were the passengers missing in a ‘heavenly realm’? Buy the book to find out!
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.