Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Tragedy

Since this “snippet” series began with the genre category of Comedy, it is fitting that it ends with the category of Tragedy. Both are the hallmarks of theater that began in ancient Greece and are historically headlined by the immortal William Shakespeare.

When it comes to plays, NOBODY rivals Shakespeare! Tragedies IMHO are his magnum opus (especially MacBeth and Hamlet) but my favorite comedy character, theatrical or otherwise, is the ‘buffoon’ known as Falstaff, who appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays about various kings named Richard. Then there is Romeo and Juliet, which has inspired any number of spinoffs, one of my favorites being Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, where an Israeli special ops agent takes on his main rival, The Phantom, a Palestinian “terrorist” leader with Hezbollah ties. But Zohan gets tired of that job and wants to be a hair-dresser. So he secretly moves to the US (after failing to take down Phantom) and becomes a hair-dresser. At a salon owned by Palestinian Dahlia, who turns out to be sister to the Phantom! They fall in love and marry–the Israeli-Palestinian “Romeo and Juliet”!

The greatest tragedy? When Hamlet ponders his existence using the immortal line, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” And then the rest of the soliloquy.

And speaking of “being” or not, the only snippets I will bring up here with tragedy happen in Chapter Nine of Battle of the Band. This snippet involves Sound Unltd singer Erik who has a conversation with a friendly rival rocker named Denny Spradlin of a rival band, Wolfin, that is on the wane at the time, in January, 1996. Denny claims that after a couple of years of laziness the group is returning to work on song tracks;  since Wolfin did not get a video deal other groups got, the message was to get back to work. But Erik had his doubts.


January 8, 1996

 

Frigid winds driving walls of rain barraged a chauffeured 1938 luxury model which slowly took a daydreaming Erik to the warehouse, now set up to film and produce the MusiCom videos. He’d been back to South Hold to pick up belongings. First he made sure Ger was gone.

As he listened to some traditional flute-and-guitar music, as he took a match to light a joint, the corner of his eye caught the shine of unmoving car headlights up ahead. In passing the disabled vehicle, he saw the dangling gold chain on Denny’s luxury sedan hood ornament.

“Stop the car, eh?” he ordered the driver. “That’s Denny’s car in trouble. Let’s go out and help him.”

While Erik’s driver assisted Denny’s, the singer opened the back door to visit. He hadn’t seen Denny since the party.

“I thought that was you passing by,” Denny said with a stoned grin as Erik plopped himself on the leather seat, his sopping wet pea coat soaking up the aroma of Colombian herb. “Take your coat off and stay awhile, eh? Share a j with me.”

“Definitely, man. So where you heading home from?”

“The recording studio, Erik. We’re trying again. Trying to get back into the fast track. New album. Art’s been trying to get me and Blake into the studio for months. We finally put up or shut up.” But the white-blond singer’s voice failed to convince.

“That’s super, Den. Glad to hear you people working again. Too bad about your car, though.”

Denny toked. “Just a fan belt. Yeah, we’re gonna try one last comeback.” Spradlin sounded tired. “Last three albums were all the same—sentimental bluesy metal. This time, we’re more deliberate. More now. Got some good songs coming.”

While Erik toked, Denny sang a few bars of one.

The other tried to appear encouraging. I’d better nod and smile and be enthused. But, shit, Den, your style went out with the hippies. More now? Who you fooling? I’m sorry, Den, but Wolfin’ll never make it back. “Sounds boffo, man. I can dig it.”

Denny toked. “Yeah, we’ll make it back. So, what you doing out on a night like this, ol’ man?”

“We leased a warehouse on the Thames for shooting those videos. LoveLace Media’s providing the video camera crew and computer technicians. Some of our roadies’ve been building our sets since November. One is a life-sized replica of Stonehenge. The authorities wouldn’t let us film any footage at the real Stonehenge. Said the loud music could disturb the monoliths. Do you believe that? So, we’re programming images of Salisbury Plain into a video mix with the replica props that form our set. We’re shooting the video for Where Do We Come From? You want to watch?”

“Thank you much, man, but no. I’m a wee bit in the mood to just hang out at home.”

The second snippet concluded the conversation.


“Listen, Den. Whether you make it back or not, Sound Unltd will always acknowledge our debt to Wolfin.”

“Right,” Denny snickered. “Everyone knows Wolfin opened the door for Sound Unltd.”

“No. Wolfin means more than just a footnote in history.”

“Quite all right.” Spradlin lit the next joint. “How many people get to be footnotes in history? I feel privileged to be your usher.” He cackled while Erik toked uneasily.

Denny then switched the subject. “So, how’s Ger?”

The other turned morbid. “Fine. Her show’s very big time. She loves it. I hardly ever see her.” True. “I really can’t say much about her right now. Kids’re fine, too.”

“Well, super ol’ man.” Denny knew when to drop a sore subject.

They engaged in more small talk, then Denny said, “Listen, Erik. I want you to have this.” Spradlin took off his razor-blade earring and gave it to the flabbergasted singer.

“Shit, Den, this is your favorite earring! One of your prize possessions.”

“I won’t need it anymore. Tired of it, eh? Put it on.”

Erik wore two left earrings—one, the band’s insignia, black on silver; the other was a diamond Ger gave him for Christmas, 1995. He removed the diamond and put the razor-blade in its place. Then he threw the diamond into the ashtray. “And I won’t need that one anymore, eh? You’re a damned good friend, eh Den? I’m really honored you’d give me this.”

While Erik toked a long drag, it occurred to him Denny must be changing his life to give up his trademark so easily. Or—maybe—ending his life? No, he’s still got too much to live for, doesn’t he? He handed Denny the joint while looking straight at him, eyes boring into Spradlin’s soul. “You’re not gonna kill yourself, are you, Den? I mean, you’re giving me part of your being.”

With stony eyes and smile, the Wolfin singer laughed, “I got a nicer one. Do you think I’d kill meself and not be buried with me favorite earring? Don’t be silly, ol’ man.”

At the warehouse, Erik learned that Denny had given Jack his platinum record of Wolfin’s best album, Serious Confusion, and Keith got Denny’s crystal nose spoon.

Then again, Denny said he wasn’t committing suicide.

The final snippet, which begins with Erik still dealing with anger issues over his wife Ger’s ‘betrayal’ of their relationship–she never told him that she, a supermodel, was bulimic, plus she had a sex-relationship with a toy boy as well–ends with an emotional crash. Note: bulimia is an eating disorder that is supposedly common with fashion models whereby to keep weight down, they will eat food and then vomit it.


Two nights later in the flat, Erik lay on a fluffy cushioned rattan couch, unable to concentrate on the nightly news program, unable to release Ger from her guilt.

I want to forgive you for betraying my trust, Ger. I want to go back to you and say, ‘I love you, I was just upset at the time.’ I want to tell you it’s okay if you snack on Gunther. I understand why you’re bulimic. Your modeling makes you do that. I want to say it’s okay, you don’t have to be perfect. I’m sure not. Why would I expect you to be? But dammit! You worked at appearing perfect! You loved it! You tricked me, Ger! You worked at convincing me you had something no one else had. Or did I take it the wrong way, and it’s all a misunderstanding? You shoulda just told me what was going on, Ger. It woulda been hard for you, but you shoulda given me credit for some compassion. I would’ve accepted you having fault, eventually. You shoulda had faith, babe. I coulda helped you. I coulda—

The TV news announcer cut into Erik’s consciousness at 10:42 p.m., February 3: “A coroner’s report from an hour ago would indicate that rock singer Denny Spradlin died at his Wistview residence from an accidental overdose of skuz. He was known to be a heavy user.”

CRASH!

Having lost his love and his friend in the same instant of boundless time, Erik stared at the TV screen through moistened eyes, through a barren soul of self-pity.

I knew he would kill himself! I shoulda stopped him! Why didn’t I stop him? Too damned wrapped up in my own problems.

Rocking back and forth, he cried. I’m so sorry, Den. Forgive me.

Spoiler alert: At the present time I am working on a “spin-off” of this ‘suicide’ tragedy narrated by The Prodigal Band narrator, pop culture pundit Lloyd Denholm.

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.

Breaking News: Posts on Home Page Reformated for Easier Reading

If you scroll through the OmegaBooksNet Home Page you may notice the “continue reading” link at the end of the reformated posts. This link takes you to the entire article, where you will see where the article continues. So having read the introductory part of the post, simply continue reading from there.

Why did I do this? Simple. The Home Page posts were too long. Why post the entire article on the Home Page when the exact same article is on the article page linked from the Home Page?

This is especially true with the “snippet” posts.

Thus, one can easily scroll through the Home Page to find any post one feels like reading and not have to do heavy scrolling. Of course, one can also check the “archive” list…

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Suspense

Suspense is defined as a play on anxiety, and when reading a book or watching a show or movie, “suspense” leaves one “on tenterhooks” as if one is holding one’s breath waiting for some event to happen. Mystery novels and horror novels and crime novels are loaded with suspense, and likely all novels have some suspense attached to them.

There is plenty of suspense in The Prodigal Band Trilogy, but in only a few instances is the suspense of truly “being on tenterhooks” level exists in this three-books-in-one trilogy. Below I will “snippet” perhaps the most suspenseful part of the book, which takes place in Chapter Twelve of The Prodigal Band.

Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Suspense”

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Spiritual

Gee, Hallowe’en is almost here! Time for spiritual snippets! After all, I’ve already done horror, paranormal, fantasy, and two occult snippets, part 1 and part 2…or should I have left the occult snippets for Hallowe’en? But anyway….

These snippets involve actual (fictional) duals between the good and evil spiritual forces as well as communication between the Evil and its human minions. I could mention many instances here, but three snippets should be enough, and they are shorter than usual; some of my snippets have been quite long!

Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Spiritual”

Just in CASE! Beware of Copyright Trolls

Well, the House of Representatives by a huge majority passed the CASE Act which sets up a separate court system to hear cases of copyright infringement. As an author I am staunchly opposed to copyright infringement! That is one reason I post the copyright on this site and on my ‘Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy‘ posts. That is the reason I made my Prodigal Band Trilogy cover from a photo I took in 2009 at SeaWorld in San Antonio on July 4. The bursts in the background are firecrackers.

That is also why my Prodigal Band cover is a copyright-free and royalty-free photo downloaded from pexels.com.

But what if a copyright troll can falsely claim that photo is his or hers, and will sue me for using ‘their’ photo? Because that is what copyright trolls do–take a photo (or steal a photo), send it to pexels.com and claim no copyright, then, when there is moolah to be made, claim the copyright!

And with this CASE Act, there is lots and lots of moolah to be made–up to $30,000!

And, just in case some copyright troll ‘finds’ a photo he or she ‘took’ and has a ‘copyright claim’ to it but still uploaded to a copyright-free site like pexels.com, I have taken down the three or four pexels photos I had used. If necessary, I will change the cover for The Prodigal Band as well. Because I don’t have $30,000 to throw away!

Read more about the CASE Act here.

And do not think because you are some obscure self-publishing or indie author the trolls won’t go after you. These days, it’s all personal…if you ‘offend’ someone he or she might decide to ‘troll’ you if you know what I mean. And they don’t have to be SJWs, either. And it isn’t just about photos. The CASE Act also applies to videos, music, and website posts as well. If one is going to quote a snippet of a post on another website, make sure that one has the right to: “…feel free to post…” permission from the site owner.

And just to let any possible copyright troll that comes here to try to sue me for whatever bogus reason, those Google Ad Campaign ad postings to begin my snippets are, according to Lulu’s Google Ad Campaign associate that handled my case, “for” my “personal use.”

Best idea? Link to the post you’d like to quote, and then express your opinion. It might be a good idea to take down any videos you have posted to a blog or site. I’ve already done that months ago when I heard about this CASE Act.

Because in these times of dwindling incomes and jobs, especially for US citizens, and in this time of folks living paycheck to paycheck, copyright trolls, and future copyright trolls, will be drooling over this CASE Act. Yes, it will better protect copyright owners including authors like me. But I really don’t think Congress has understood the negative ramifications of the passing of this act. And don’t think the Senate won’t pass it either. Methinks the Supreme Court will have several cases over this soon enough. Because this law WILL be abused, and it will be us indie folks who will be abused by it–by copyright trolls.

Not trying to ‘scare’ anyone, but folks, we need to be prepared for anything. The copyright trolls are prepared. Are you?

Copyright © 2019 Deborah Lagarde.

 

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Satire

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.

Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Satire”

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Romance

I have read few Romance novels, and I have seen few Romance movies that I have any affection for (but Romance Adventure movies like High Road to China, Jewel of the Nile, and Romancing the Stone are outstanding, IMHO). But one thing I know about the Romance genre–all Romance-themed novels or movies have this in common: sexual tension. It is not tension during the act of sex, but tension between the sexes involved with the romance relationship.

For instance: in High Road to China–one of my fave movies ever–the Bess Armstrong character and the Tom Selleck character (named O’Malley), in between hugging and kissing and bedding with each other, are constantly arguing, yelling at each other, her screaming, “O’Malley!” every few seconds or so, and O’Malley all pissed off because she demanded to fly her own plane and later crashed his plane named Dorothy in Nepal, as they headed to China to find her father, who was being screwed out of millions by his crooked business partner. In the end, of course, they decide to build a good relationship upon leaving western China where her dad is leading a rebellion against some overlord in the 1920s. All novels, Romance genre or not, that build some sexual tension, always have that tension relieved at the end, when love abounds.

And there is plenty of sexual tension in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. I have already discussed this marriage tension between the bassist Keith and his wife Jarris, in the Drama snippet.. In fact there is sexual tension between each band member and his woman throughout the three-books-in-one trilogy that get resolved at some point.

But the key “romance-sexual tension” partnership within the band and their women is between keyboard-synthist Bryan and his wife, Mo, who marry early and then things begin to go awry as they bring forth children. Prior to having kids, the relationship is as good as it could be; having children become the linchpin for what develops into a rocky relationship, as I will describe below in three snippets.

Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Romance”