He didn’t deserve to be a rock star.
Trevor Jameson leaned a hip against the bar and observed his friends and band members as they downed shots of whiskey and finished them off with loud cheers. His chest filled with warmth even as a deep restlessness claimed his body. He was edgy, off-center. His band deserved this. They’d worked themselves to exhaustion to get this far — endless hours on the road opening for bigger bands, even more, countless hours writing and recording music, promoting, booking gigs and finding time to sleep. They were all on their last leg. Maybe that was his problem: he was tired, spent, and too depleted to join in the jubilation of going on their first national tour as a front-runner band.
He pulled out a folded flyer from his front pocket. It was their official tour banner.
Infinity Prism- Hot Summer Nights USA Tour
Featuring frontman, Trevor Jameson
Roman Janovik - Drums
Lucas Smith- Guitar
Colton Adams- Bass
Asher Paulson- Keyboard / Backup vocals
Tour kick off Chicago, IL
He had folded and unfolded the flyer so much; it was nearly worn through at the creases. They were on their way. They weren’t just the warm-up band for the big guy's people paid big money to come see. They WERE the big guys. Now someone else would be opening for them, lubricating the crowd for the moment Infinity Prism, the band he had started ten years ago in an abandoned brewery, burst onto the stage in an explosion of lights and smoke and rocked a full house while making hand-over-fist cash for each minute he spent doing what he loved.
His band called for another round. They were celebrating the one-week countdown until their tour kicked off, and damn if Trevor didn’t wish he was in the mood to join in. Trevor turned away from the crowd and crossed his arms on the bar. The cover band rocking this dive was pretty good, would be better if he downed a few to get in the mood like his bandmates. But the thought of alcohol made his stomach churn. Memories played in the shadows of his mind. Some days, the memories were bad, really bad and usually popped up when he was supposed to be happy. Maybe that was the problem. He didn’t deserve to be happy, not after the things he had done. The Universe wasn’t shy about letting him know he was a piece of shit.
Or, used to be.
“Come on, man. Have a drink with me.”
Trevor turned to his best friend and band drummer Roman Janovik who gripped him on the shoulder and gave a squeeze.
“I’m good,” Trevor shrugged his friend off. “Yesterday’s hangover is still hanging around.”
“So.” Roman signaled to the bartender for a round. “We both know hard liquor is the cure for everything.”
Not true. Nothing took the shadows away.
“I said, I’m good.”
“Fine.” Roman grabbed an empty glass from the counter and thrust it into Trevor’s hand. “Then pretend. We wouldn’t be here without you and I can’t in good conscious get black-out drunk without one clink of the glass with you.”
Roman waited expectantly, trying to be serious but his boyish grin ruined it. He didn’t have a severe bone in his body which is why they had started the band together and managed to grow it so well. People talked about ying and yang, how friends could be opposites yet perfectly balance each other. That was them. Where Trevor was aloof and intense most of the time, Roman was light-hearted and easy-going, his calm manner acting as Trevor’s saving grace more than he could count.
“In that case.” He plucked the shot of whiskey from Roman’s hand, traded it for the empty glass and clinked the glasses together before tossing back the shot.
Roman frowned. “You shit.”
“Get over it.” Trevor signaled the bartender and ordered another whiskey for his friend.
His phone buzzed in his back pocket. He let the call go, turning instead to the crowd. The place was utterly packed now. He and the band had kept to themselves in a private back room, enjoying the atmosphere in anonymity. Not that they’d be mobbed probably. They weren’t that famous.
His phone rang again. He pulled it from his pocket and hit answer without looking, annoyed that he couldn’t settle his mind for a few minutes.
“This is Trevor.”
“It’s Burt. We’ve got a problem.”
“We always have a problem.”
“Not this big.”
Avoiding Roman’s questioning gaze, he turned and headed back to the private room, shutting the door slightly to block out some of the noise.
“What is it?”
“The sound company we hired for the tour just filed Chapter 11. They’re out.”
“Tell me you’re kidding.”
The disgruntled sound on the other end of the line said this wasn’t a joke. Trevor clenched his fingers and took a hard breath. “We go on tour in one week, Burt. Fix this.”
They’d worked too hard to have a snag of this enormity right now. The flash of an SUV skidding across the road played in his mind like a little taunt. He held back the memory.
“I’m on it, Trev. I’ve got in a couple of calls and will feel out the options. I spoke to a Grant Pierce from Shark Productions today who said he knows you. Did some work for you a few years back. Ring a bell?”
“Not really, no.” He had worked with so many people over the years, none of them long-term aside from his band. “What’s his deal?”
“Reputable sound guy. Has some impressive references. Said he produced a show for you about five years ago in Los Angeles and he got in a fight with your drummer and you booted him out.”
Trevor groaned and looked to the ceiling. He remembered now. It hadn’t been just a fight; it had been an all-out blood-bath over a woman.
“Yeah, I remember. Arrogant guy, bad temper, can’t hold his liquor or take a punch to save his life.”
“That’d be him. I’m going to be straight with you. He might be all we can get on such short notice, and he wanted to be upfront about what happened in the past so no one would be blind-sided. He does good work, so we need to take that into consideration.”
“Fuck,” Trevor ground. Shadows closed in around him, his band, no doubt pulled in by the tension in his voice. Roman mouthed, ‘what’s up?’ but Trevor waved him off.
“He’s going to stop by the studio tomorrow at three. All of you be there, without your grudges.”
“Understood. We’re moving forward, not backward. No matter what.”
Burt clicked off without another word. Aware all eyes were on him, Trevor slid his cell into his back pocket and kept it cool.
“So, what’s going on?” Roman crossed his arms.
Trevor gave a short shake of his head and slapped his friend on the shoulder. A memory tried to squeeze into his mind’s eye, but he clamped it off hard. There wasn’t any more time for the past or this damn guilt that followed him around everywhere. They had a dream to fulfill, a future to crush.
“Nothing, boys. Everything’s fine. Nothing’s going to stand in our way. I promise you that.”