In Part One of a three-or-four-or more part new novel that will likely be titled The Murder Rule is featured the ‘suicide,’ which is actually a murder, of a minor character within the first trilogy novel, Battle of the Band, a rocker and friend of the prodigal band, named Denny Spradlin, front man of another Brit band called Wolfin. As with some of the prodigal band members, he is also a drug addict but is trying to end that addiction and find some meaning in his real non-celebrity life. He is also trying to leave behind the evil agenda within the music industry he knows he helped bring about.
In order to claim The Murder Rule is derived or ‘spun-off’ from The Prodigal Band Trilogy, parts of the trilogy had to come into focus while writing the manuscript for the new novel. In a couple of days, I managed to write two whole chapters that feature both the narrator or Battle of the Band as well as The Prophesied Band, pop culture pundit Jay Elliot, and the narrator of The Prodigal Band as well as The Murder Rule, pop culture pundit Lloyd Denholm. Lloyd, a Brit, moved to the fictitious California coastal city called Richmont, where Elliot also lived, so that the two could work on a pop culture magazine project about the history of rock music into the 90s and 2000s. But the topic of Spradlin’s demise kept cropping up in conversations between the two, due to the fact that various other rock stars of that time had also died or nearly died, rockers Elliot knew because these rockers tended to confide in him. Due to what Elliot had been told by some members of the prodigal band Sound Unltd and others, both came to the conclusion that murder, not suicide, caused Denny Spradlin’s death.
Two or more snippets from Part One of The Murder Rule will be featured in the coming weeks; right now, I will post a snippet from Part One of The Murder Rule to begin this series. I will not list the Chapter this comes from since I might change the arrangement of chapters and manuscript prior to publication later. And a reminder: The Murder Rule is copyright by Deborah Lagarde and will be registered with the Library of Congress when officially published, hopefully, this year.
In this snippet from Part One of The Murder Rule, the heart attacks of Sound Unltd singer Erik and bassist Keith, originally from Chapter Ten of Battle of the Band, are referenced. Denholm brings up the fact that a Richmont church preacher, Ike Lawson, claimed singer Erik was ‘the false prophet’ and the band were devil worshipers because they wore duplicates of the red crystal the evil Swami Negran wore to lead his ‘circle of unity’ new age cult. This was the same crystal Negran used to try to capture the souls of Erik and Keith while in hospital from heart attacks at the end of Battle of the Band but was stopped from doing so by the good spirit being known as ‘the witch of the Hovels’ who called on the band to invoke God’s angels, the Tooters. Also referenced is from Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band, where drummer Tom visits the Tooters statue to find out why the ‘witch’ told them to invoke the Tooters—and they answered him! They invoked the Tooters by singing a song the Tooters had ‘given’ them years before, a healing song called ‘Let the night Down,’ a song that would figure prominently in the prodigal band’s ‘mission of God’ role featured in The Prodigal Band. Denhom’s interview with guitarist Jack about that song, from Chapter Five of The Prodigal Band, is also referenced. Note: the prodigal band Sound Unltd is also referred to as ‘the Super Six.’ Here is the snippet:
In the summer of 1996, I moved to Jay Elliot’s neck of the woods, Richmont, California, to an apartment roughly two kilometers from the seaside area. Jay had an apartment toward the middle of the city near Divine Hope Community Church, which was led by Pastor Ike Lawson, the preacher who tried to get the Super Six banned from the US but failed. He’d claimed they were devil worshipers with no proof of that.
The reason I moved to Richmont? To be close to Elliot, whom in my opinion was the truthiest pop culture pundit on Earth and who had an uncanny ability to get anyone he wanted to grant him interviews, including Lawson, and including Sound Unltd, who wouldn’t give me the time of day. That was due to the fact that before they made it huge, I’d gotten into a short scuffle with that band’s keyboard synthist, Bryan McClellan, at a pub.
Jay and I had been friends since the early 90s. Further, he wanted me to help him complete a second CounterCulture mag ‘history of rock ‘n roll’ manuscript, updated to include the 90s and beyond.
But there was another reason I moved: with Denny Spradlin gone and Wolfin broken up with Blake becoming a recluse, I felt I had to get on with my own pop culture pundit life and get away from the memories of the previous pop culture pundit life.
But I couldn’t get away from it completely—I had once actually interviewed Lawson, or tried to. I’d asked him why he was so dead set on trying to ban Sound Unltd, considering they were Brits, not Americans, nor had they ever claimed to be satanists. His answer? Their singer, Erik Manning, was ‘the false prophet’ mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and they worshiped the false god, Corion, while wearing the Swami cult red crystal amulets. But what I had asked him was why them, who supposedly worshiped Corion, when there were Americans bands that clearly and avowedly worshiped Satan? Instead of answering the question, he ordered me to leave. My article written for and published by CounterCulture was titled, “Reverend Ike’s ‘False Prophet’ Problem”.
Further, I had a funny feeling there was more to Lawson’s agenda than simply messing with the band of the 90s! As did Jay, who, in July, told me this amazing story regarding the heart attacks in February that Super Six singer Erik Manning and bassist Keith Mullock had recovered from, which caused their Asia-Pacific Island tour to be rescheduled, which caused a pop culture media ‘heart attack’!
July, 1996, at Jay’s Apartment in Richmont, California
“What the media reported about those heart attacks—caused by drug and alcohol overdose—is only partially true. According to a very reliable source, it was actually some Swami Negran crystal that caused them—”
“You know, Jay, that’s what that Divine Hope Church pastor who tried to get Sound Unltd banned from the US, Ike Lawson, told me regarding the crystals that Swami cult members wore, that the crystals caused the fans to riot. Like the 1993 Richmont riots, and riots in other places that the Super six had just preformed in.”
“But Swami had the original crystal, which he said was going to be used to capture Erik’s and Keith’s souls for Corion, which is another name for Satan, the devil. But some old witch lady stopped it from happening—”
I stared a Jay for several seconds, then exploded. “Are you bloody serious? Why the bloody hell would Negran capture souls for the devil and some old witch—Jay, just who the hell told you that?”
“Jack Lubin, that’s who.”
The lead guitarist and band leader of the Super Six, that is. The only band member I ever had a chance to interview, back on New Year’s Day, 1990, at his estate. In the interview, Jack discredited the rumor that some ghost writer composed Sound Unltd’s songs. Then, he mentioned one hit song in particular that even I had doubts about, composition-wise, ‘Let the Night Down’. Jack had said he and lyricist Erik often wrote songs ‘wasted.’ But not that song, which had spiritual overtones. A song Jack had no idea about that meaning of the song, which caused me to question how a song could be composed and not know the meaning of! The song mentions a statue at the north end of Victoria Park in Walltown where the six are from, called The Tooters. Jack claimed the statue was constructed in the 1100s to protect Walltown from evil. Later he said that the song just might heal the Earth, because he believed the song that the Tooters ‘gave’ them while they slept off drugs and booze actually healed them, which caused them to wake up sober and compose the song. The song at the end mentions ‘my sweet love’ and a ‘golden crown,’ which to me almost sounded Biblical.
“And that’s not the strangest part, Lloyd. Jack also told me that old lady witch—oh, and did I mention this old lady witch and Negran just happened to show up in the hospital room at the same time, appearing out of nowhere?”
More look of shock. “Oh, bloody hell—”
“Yeah, Lloyd. That’s what he told me. And the old lady witch told him to invoke the Tooters to save Erik and Keith from death.”
“So then Jack said that the witch though didn’t tell him how to invoke the Tooters, but he figured it out on his own. Jack and the others including their women were to invoke the Tooters by singing ‘Let the Night Down’. And it worked.”
“Bloody hell! Jack told me back in 1990 it was a healing song that he thinks the Tooters gave him and Erik while they slept off booze, back in 1989 when they went back to Walltown to get Keith back into the band.”
“Right. And get this one, Lloyd, since that’s not the craziest part. Jack later told me that Tom”—the band’s drummer—“went to visit the Tooters statue to find out why the witch told them to invoke the Tooters, as if Sound Unltd had a ‘divine purpose,’ he called it. And you know what? The Tooters answered him! Saying that they had to believe—”
“In God, eh?”
“You got it, Lloyd. Or Christ. The Holy Spirit.”
“You know, Jay, you’ve been surmising for years that that Marauders’ song about the so-called prophesied band implied that Sound Unltd was the prophesied band. If there is such a band, then they likely are. I mean, if one of ‘em can communicate with an angel statue—”
“You got it, Lloyd.”
More of this chapter will be featured in the next spin-off snippet post within this series, in a week or two.
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