Punk Rock Resurrection

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Punk Rock Resurrection Page 26

by Jenna Galicki

  Alyssa squeezed his hand. “Aren’t we supposed to be posing for photos or signing stuff?”

  “Yeah. I was just taking it all in. I can’t believe I’m here and about to play a show for people in the city I grew up in. It’s still hard to believe sometimes.”

  “You traveled the world, Damien. You just bought a custom-built motorcycle. We have expensive sports cars. A gorgeous apartment. Money. Playing the Barclays Center is what made this all seem real to you?”

  “Yeah. I don’t know why, but it does. It hit home.” A flashbulb popped in his face. It blinded him and annoyed him. One of the paparazzi had broken through the barricade and snapped a photo of him and Alyssa at close range. Security promptly hauled him away.

  Alyssa rubbed the bridge of her nose and blinked, then she turned to face the line of paparazzi. “That was rude. If you want a photo, ask. Don’t shove the camera in my face.”

  They started shouting. “Over here!,” “Damien!,” “Alyssa!,” “Look this way!”

  Damien slung his arm over Alyssa’s shoulder and held her close. He didn’t want the papps to harass her. Flashes of light created a strobe effect, and Damien didn’t know where to look. Spots and white light obscured his vision.

  “How about a smile, Damien?” The paparazzi continued to shout their names. “Let’s see a kiss!”

  They never kissed in public. Displays of affection weren’t for the world to witness. It was private. So, when Alyssa grabbed Damien’s face between her hands and pressed a lingering kiss on his mouth, he was shocked – and a little bit turned on.

  Girls screamed and guys cheered. Flashbulbs went off from every direction. It was probably the first kiss ever caught on camera between the two. Angel, Tommy and Jessi had caused enough headlines to create a media frenzy. It was the stuff scandals were made of, and Jimmy was a paparazzo’s dream with his philandering and all-night partying. Damien and Alyssa were private people. They didn’t like to be the subject of gossip or a talked-about photo, so when the paparazzi perpetuated their kiss on film, it was sure to cause an uproar when it hit the newsstands and appeared on social media sites.

  They signed a few autographs while the flashes continued to snap all around them. Damien never left Alyssa’s side, and he was happy to see her chatting with some fans.

  Marissa, the band’s publicist, hustled everyone inside, but Damien was purposely last to enter the venue. He held the door open for Alyssa, took one final look back at the fans, flashed them a pair of rock and roll horns, and stepped over the threshold. He was inside. In a few hours Immortal Angel would take the stage.

  Everyone had their own private dressing room, with the exception of Angel and Tommy, who shared everything from hotel suites to the back bedroom on the tour bus, but the backstage lounge always served as a central meeting place before the show. With the sound check and meet and greet out of the way, this was where everyone convened, including friends and some of the production crew and road crew.

  Damien spotted Audra and Kira with Angel near the beverage station. Those two girls always held Damien’s affection. After all, they were responsible for Immortal Angel’s record contract. A tiny smile broke through the corner of his mouth, and he shook his head with fond reflection. No one would have ever thought that their father was the head of Falcon Records, one of the most powerful record labels in the country. Hell, no one even knew they were sisters.

  They both worked at the label now. Audra had accompanied Immortal Angel on their European tour, after Jessi stepped down as Marissa’s assistant in order to open her designer boutique. They didn’t get to see Kira much anymore since the band was touring, but she popped in at one or two shows.

  Damien joined Angel and the girls. “Good to see you two, again. We miss you, Kira. How’ve you been?”

  “I’m really excited about the performance tonight.” She was as energetic as ever. “I’ve been working very hard at Falcon Records. She glanced at Audra. We both have. We’re getting promoted.”

  Audra elbowed her sister in the ribs and glared at her.

  “Sorry!” Kira covered her mouth with her hand. “We’re not supposed to say anything yet.”

  Tommy came over and slung his arm around Angel’s waist. “What’s this I hear about a third leg to the World Tour?”

  “Where’d you hear that?” Angel couldn’t keep his fingers out of Tommy’s hair. He was always playing with it or tucking it behind his ear.

  “My wife has connections,” Tommy answered.

  Still contemplating Tommy’s remark about another tour, Angel quirked his eyebrow at his lover. “Is there something you’re not telling me? Are you withholding details?” He gave Tommy an alluring smile. “Because I know exactly how to pry information out of you.”

  Tommy returned a crooked smile. “Maybe you’ll just have to pressure me to find out.”

  Damien knew that Tommy was just toying with Angel about knowing more details, but he wondered if Kira and Audra had more information. “You girls got info on another tour?”

  They exchanged excited glances with one another, but remained silent. Audra checked the time on her phone. “I think by the end of the show we may be able to share some good news.”

  “Let’s go!” Marissa waved her hand toward the door. “I need you guys at the side of the stage. You’re on in fifteen.”

  Damien’s stomach flip-flopped. There was no reason for him to be nervous, other than his dream was about to play out before his eyes. The walk through the corridor that led to the stage was littered with the production crew, stagehands, roadies, and security. Some nodded or offered a greeting, but most were too engrossed in their work to notice anything else. The stage loomed a few feet ahead. Jimmy’s drum kit sat quietly on its riser. Immortal Angel’s winged logo stood proudly on the center bass drum. Angel’s mic waited on its stand for his powerful voice. The heavy rhinestones that covered it twinkled in the overhead lights. Tommy’s rack of guitars sat on the far side of the stage – all except his Les Paul – that never left Tommy’s hands. Damien’s bass guitars were on the rack closest to him, begging for his touch.

  Tommy’s voice was in his ear. “How does it feel? I know you’ve waited for this for a long time.”

  Damien couldn’t avert his eyes from the stage. “It’s like I’m outside my body watching everything happen in front of me. My heart’s beating so fast. I just wanna run on stage and pick up my bass.”

  “That’s exactly how I felt when we played The 02. It was London, and the crowd was full of heavy punk rockers.” Tommy leaned over to look into the audience. They caught a glimpse of his long, blond hair, and the high-pitched screams from the female fans made Damien’s ears ring. Tommy blew a kiss to the audience and laughed. “London had nothing on this crowd.”

  The chant started right after Tommy peeked out from the side of the stage. “IMMOOORTAL! IMMOOORTAL! ANGEL! ANGEL!” Fans stomped their feet on the arena floor to a static beat that reverberated throughout the venue.

  Angel snuck in between Tommy and Damien. “What’s got them so riled up?” He was careful not to let the crowd see him, although his rhinestone-covered jacket could probably be seen from across the street on a pitch-black night.

  “Tommy stuck his head out,” Damien explained.

  Angel’s eyes washed over his lover’s bare chest. “Well, that’ll do it. You’re really going out there without a shirt? How do you possibly expect me to concentrate on the lyrics when those gorgeous pecs are hovering over your guitar?”

  “I don’t. I expect you to concentrate on me when I stalk you on stage.” Tommy shielded his eyes from the glare of Angel’s jacket with a teasing smile. “Are you really going out there with that sparkly jacket?”

  Angel pretended to be insulted. “It’s a Jessi Blade original. A couture piece from her rock star collection, I might add.”

  Jimmy clapped his hands down on Tommy’s shoulders from behind. “Just be thankful she didn’t make him a pair of pants to match.”

>   Everyone, especially Tommy, loved to tease Angel about his over-the-top stage outfits, but in reality, they added flair and drama to the show. Fans, as well as the press, looked forward to critiquing his wardrobe, and he had made several Best Dressed lists.

  The lights went down, and the fans roared. Tommy held up his Les Paul. “It’s show time!” His fingers danced across the guitar strings filling the air with his signature intro, and he rushed out in front of the screaming crowd and slid onto his knees.

  When Damien’s foot hit the stage, everything slowed down. He looked into the sea of fans in front of him. They weren’t a mask of shadows and silhouettes. He saw individual faces. A guy with a mohawk bigger than his own pumped his fist in the air. A girl had her hands cupped around her mouth while she screamed something at the stage. A prism of lights reflected onto their faces from the rhinestones on Angel’s jacket. A large banner hung from the balcony bearing the band’s name and waved like their own personal flag. Signs were everywhere. “Brooklyn Loves Immortal Angel,” “Welcome Home Angel, Tommy, Damien & Jimmy,” and “Immortal Angel Rocks” were a few that he read. Damien took a deep breath and stood taller. He was living his dream.

  Angel’s voice boomed into the microphone and time returned to normal. “Hello, Brooklyn! Are you ready to rock the FUCK out of Barclays Center tonight?”

  A loud, unanimous, “FUCK YEAH!” rose up from the crowd.

  Angel shook his head and took a step closer to the audience. “I’m sorry. What? Let’s try that again, because I want a real hometown Brooklyn welcome. The four of us are from this neighborhood, and we’re gonna crank this shit up louder than anyone else did on this stage!” He pointed his finger out in front of him. “We want to rock it all the way over the bridge and into Manhattan. Because this is Brooklyn! We brought the world Coney Island, Nathan’s hot dogs, Peter Lugers, Prospect Park, and Immortal Angel – and it’s the best fuckin’ city in the world!”

  The crowd went berserk. They screamed louder with each word that came out of Angel’s mouth. They shouted, pumped their fists, stomped their feet, threw paper cups and water bottles in the air and at the stage. It was unreal. Security was pissed off, and it brought a big smile to Damien’s face. He exchanged wide-eyed glances with Tommy and Jimmy. They were both shaking their heads with disbelief at the noise and the reaction of the crowd.

  Angel rolled with laughter and caught Damien’s eye before he turned back to the audience. “Get ready to rock, Brooklyn. This is our new single Hit & Run off our second studio album.” He turned his back to the crowd and pointed at Jimmy. “Light this shit up!”

  Jimmy clacked his sticks together four times, and the room filled with the energetic sound of punk rock. The stage was aglow with colored lights. A single clear spotlight circled Angel and tried to keep up with his strut across the front of the stage. The wail of Tommy’s electric guitar carried through the air, and he whipped his long, blond hair back and forth.

  Once Damien started to play, he didn’t care about anything except the beautiful growl stemming from his fingertips. His bass vibrated against his body. Jimmy’s bass drum boomed from behind and met the deep baritone notes. The sound seeped into Damien’s bloodstream and traveled straight to his heart. He was one with the music. He closed his eyes, tilted his head back, and watched the notes dance behind the blackness as he plucked each string. His heart raced and fueled him with energy. He couldn’t keep his eyes closed. He couldn’t stand still. His foot tapped out the beat and he took a step closer to the crowd. They surged toward him with their hands stretched out in front of them. He jumped on the small platform that raised him a foot above the floor. He was on a natural high. He hadn’t craved a pill or a drink in years. Why would he need alcohol or pills when the stage and the crowd gave him all the adrenaline and power in the world?

  He turned to the side of the stage to find Alyssa. She was always in the corner to support him, just like Jessi was always there to support Tommy. The two bonded like sisters. It seemed fitting, since Damien was on stage with his brothers.

  Tommy zoomed past in a flurry of hair and fingers flying up and down the neck of his Les Paul. He slid across the stage and landed on his knees at Angel’s feet. Angel leaned closer with the mic, and his strong voice pushed Tommy back on his heels with an invisible force. Tommy’s hair fell to the stage, and his intense blue eyes lusted up at Angel. Their eyes locked, and their faces gravitated toward one another until they were an inch apart. Raw sexual energy swarmed around them. Damien knew that an onstage make-out session was imminent. Those two couldn’t tone it down if they were hit with a fire hose, and they got in more trouble than anyone else with their semi-erotic antics on stage.

  There was a break in the lyrics. Angel grabbed Tommy by the back of the neck and placed a hard, passionate kiss on his mouth, then ran his tongue down the neck of Tommy’s guitar. The crowd erupted into a frenzy of shouts and whistles.

  Halfway through the show, Angel had a change in his wardrobe. While Jessi helped him shed his outfit, Damien watched Alyssa. She was laughing hysterically as Angel struggled to remove his leather pants.

  Alyssa caught Damien watching her, and she returned his gaze. They silently stared at one another. He had no idea what she was thinking, but his recollection of their life together ran through his head once again like a movie trailer.

  Their journey together was refreshed in his head during the motorcycle ride home a few weeks ago, and it never left. He accepted his past and learned from it. No matter how fucked up it had been, it made him the man he was today, and he was proud of the accomplishments he achieved in his life. As long as Alyssa was by his side, he could conquer anything the world threw at him. Life may have been a bitch to him once, a long time ago, but now it was heaven. Alyssa threw him a kiss, and he placed his hand over his heart.

  The dancers took the stage. Their intricate, choreographed movements resembled mayhem fueled by chaos. Spiked and colored hair, accompanied by leather-studded clothing designed by Jessi Blade, transformed the four dancers into punk rock rebels. Jimmy beat a furious backdrop to their unconventional dance, while Damien and Tommy toned down their instruments to a low purr.

  Once the dancers fled behind the side apron, they left the sound of Jimmy’s bass drum to dominate the stage. Damien and Tommy both turned toward him. No one knew exactly what Jimmy had prepared after the dancers exited. He played off-the-cuff during rehearsals and always changed his routine slightly, so Damien was anxious to hear Jimmy’s solo. The sound of the guitar and bass trickled away, and Jimmy took over.

  Jimmy’s sticks flew across the toms, over the snare and back again, all while his bass drum pounded a mad beat through the sound system. His arms were a blur of colorful tattoos and moved across the drums so fast it appeared he had four of them. He hit the snare so hard it snapped one of his sticks like a twig. Jimmy seamlessly replaced it and continued his unending assault of his Tama kit. He finished with a dozen simultaneous strikes on the cymbals before he jumped up on his stool with his sticks raised high above his head. He threw them, one at a time, into the crowd. They flew across the stage and into the audience with such velocity Damien thought someone would be impaled. Fans jumped and reached for them. One fell to the floor, the other was caught by a girl who was lifted high above her boyfriend’s shoulders.

  Angel finally strutted back on stage. He wore ripped, black jeans with a black leather sleeveless jacket-type vest that had four inch spikes dangerously protruding from the tops of his shoulders. His black boots coordinated with smaller silver spikes on the toe and heel. Shirts seemed to be optional tonight.

  Immortal Angel started the second half of their set with their first number-one hit, Without You. Midway through the song, Tommy pulled Jessi out from the side of the stage. The fans screamed when they saw her and shouted her name. She lit up like a 1000-watt bulb and waved to them. A stagehand brought a stool out for her, and she sat down. Without You was a song Tommy penned for Angel and Jessi, and he always d
edicated a guitar solo to her. She sat and waited, impatiently tapping her foot.

  Tommy’s fingers ran up and down the neck of the guitar with the speed of light, and the twang of his notes soared through the arena like wings on a bird. Tommy’s heavy metal infused punk rock guitar solos showcased his talent and left everyone – fans and seasoned musicians alike – in a state of awe. He was a guitar god with a fresh new sound.

  Jessi always flushed and melted a little when Tommy played for her. Her fingertips alternated between covering her lips and covering her heart, and her face was so filled with emotion it was hard not to react.

  Damien flashed back to the early days of Immortal Angel when Jimmy’s cousin, Karl, had been on the guitar. It was like night and day. Jimmy’s cousin had stayed in his corner of the stage, quietly playing the guitar, but Tommy bounced all over the place. He jumped on the drum riser, on the amp, and stalked Angel with the neck of the guitar. He even tried to engage Damien, but Damien was usually lost in the lull of his bass.

  Tonight was different. Damien’s blood was pumping. He was restless and didn’t want to stay relegated to his side of the stage. His legs danced underneath him and he jumped on the riser next to Jimmy. The smash of the cymbals and the beat of the drums pounded in Damien’s chest. He followed each beat with the throaty rumble from the magnificent instrument that hung from his shoulder. He felt the notes as his fingertips plucked each string. The music nourished him and gave him vitality. Every nerve ending in his body was twitching with excitement. He jumped off the riser and ran across the front of the stage. Fans cheered and tried to touch him as he flew by. He jumped up on the platform again. Tommy was next to him, extending his hips and his guitar toward Damien. He wanted to battle? Damien was ready. He jumped down and pulled at his strings with an exaggerated pluck of his fingers. The low thump of his bass carried through the audience. Tommy backed up, surprised at Damien’s aggressive playing, but retaliated by holding his guitar high in the air and played a mad series of notes.


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