In Part One of this episode, Six, the Prodigal Band mirrors the beginnings of the Prodigal Son within the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15, where the prodigal son is given his inheritance and then proceeds to waste the fortune given to him on ‘riotous living,’ which, if one ever read from the celebrity tabloids and popular culture magazines of the 60s through the 90s, mirrored the lifestyles of the most famous and notorious rock stars. Some of these rockers, however, would regret their wasted—and I mean wasted!—drug addictions and such, including the so-called ’27 Club’ of rockers who died or suicided (or, some say, were murdered) legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Brian Jones, and others of whatever age, such as Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington and more. And let’s not forget the recently passed Eddie Van Halen, who had serious health issues likely brought about by his ‘rock star lifestyle’.
Luke 15: 14: “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in the land; and he began to be in want.”
The next two verses say that the prodigal son “joined” himself to a citizen of that country he was in, and was to feed swine in the fields; in the meantime, he craved being about to eat those corn husks he fed as he was given virtually nothing in return.
15:17: “And when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish in hunger!”
The ‘famine’ referenced in verse 14 is spiritual as well as physical but certainly not financial, as the members of the prodigal band are all filthy rich. They have ‘spent’ all of their true actual beings, especially spiritual, on the ‘riotous living’ in verse 13 as stated in part one. They were wasted in every way they could think. Chapter Seven of Battle of the Band features several instances of their ‘wasted’ selves: singer Erik, not being able to get near his baby son, turns to alcoholism; guitarist Jack, in anger over hurting his woman who was pregnant but didn’t let him know that until the 1993 tour was over, turned to drug addiction, as did bassist Keith, who lost his wife over infidelity; drummer Tom lost his lover to another hated man; guitarist Mick was poisoned by a drug laced with poison, blamed on his partner but committed by his ‘friend’ Swami Negran as punishment not not fulfilling their ‘soul-selling oath’ to the satanic figure Corion; synthist Bry suddenly hurt his back on a short vacation that would bring about unintended consequences later. So yes, they were certainly in want!
The next two verses about going to another country and working for someone there feeding pigs and going hungry over it doesn’t really play out in the novel, unless one considers the ‘citizen’ they are ‘working’ for is an evil satanic agenda of debauching the youth as they had been ‘assigned’ to carry out. And they do their best to carry this evil agenda to fruition to the point where they are anything but economically ‘hungry,’ so that this ‘hunger’ is a spiritual one that is having its negative consequences in more ways than one. And no band members feels this hunger more than its front man, singer Erik. In Chapter Nine of Battle of the Band, his wife Ger ‘betrays’ him by being with her personal assistant for sex as well as ‘exercise,’ for she has convinced herself that she is ‘fat’ because the tabloids say she is, which also leads to her serious bout with bulimia (referenced here) that she hid from her man. Angry over it, Erik leaves her and continues his self-pity over it even when she tries to apologize, which he will not accept—and then gets plastered with booze that evening, leading to him (as well as his ‘bro’ bassist Keith) winding up with mild heart attacks in a hospital, having added Bry’s back medication to their drunkenness. And their wanting to end their spiritual ‘hunger’ in the process.