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Nobody in the band could have predicted such an apocalyptic recording session. They all knew the new songs were going to revolutionize the sound of modern music. They had been told as much by pretty much everybody in the know. It’s just that as soon as they punched the record button, the first plane hit the Twin Towers, then, moments later…


Chapter 11

Eleven

Fever was feeling giddy. The boys were ready. They had had burned through the twenty thousand dollars in cash they had stashed away in his gold Zero Haliburton briefcase.
He loved that thing. “Totally bad ass” he liked to say. The cash came from a friend Whizbang’s girlfriend had recently made, not even a week after arriving in New York.
It was hard to believe they had scored such a loan from such a benefactor. No strings attached, except paying it back of course. She had cash, gold and all sorts of currencies packed away in her apartment closet and just fell in love with the boys and their naive enthusiasm for the dream of rock god stardom.
She also had a ton of connections that would make not paying the loan back a very bad mistake. They needed this deal to work out. For the money but also for the future, for the sake of a legacy, for the sake of rock n’ roll, they thought. Before they got old. They were all 24. Had graduate from high school together, and this was their dream coming true.
Except that now the money was gone. Yes, they had found the sound that would make them famous, but where was the next money going to come from? This album had to be the bomb. Only one week to bang it out. Everybody was waiting: record label, management, producers, engineers, back up singers.
“Boys, boys, where we goin’?” Fever asked. “Twin Towers baby!” Everybody in the car screamed in unison. “And what are we gonna do in those towers mofo’s?” Fever replied. “We’re gonna rock!” soon followed, with yelps and hoots waiving “we’re number one” fingers in the air.
Nobody in the band would have believed that the Twin Towers was where their future would be decided. Working with Jimmy Yorkville was a dream come true. His work was legendary, both as a recording artist and a producer. Now, they were minutes away from entering his secret lair long buried in Tower Two, suite 723, ask for “The Wizard” at the front door buzzer if you want to get in.

“It feels great to be back man. Last time we were here we took over the Top of the World bar, remember that?” Of course they did. They had talked about that night endlessly since it happened, just a few months earlier. It was magical. A perfect moment in time that would foreshadow, they hoped, the superstardom they would soon achieve. Girls dancing, beats pounding, everybody grooving, drinks in hand, all pointing to them the rockers behind the sound, behind the groove, behind the beat.
“Damn, that was a fine night. Now, it’s all about the future”.
They parked the car, got the gear out and hauled ass to 723 to ring the famous buzzer. “What!?” screeched the voice blaring through the intercom. “We’re here to see the wizard”. There was a long pause. Then the door handle shook, as if 5000 volts of electricity was running through it. Johnny Bubbles grabbed it without hesitation and swung the door open. Jimmy was waiting there, laughing his ass of. The screeching voice was a recording Jimmy loved to use, like a fart cushion.
“Come on in guys, the crew is waiting for you. This is the deal. Come in, plug in, and rock. I don’t want to hear a peep from you. This is the way it’s done here. All live, all in the room, all at once, one take. Don’t waste my time.”
Jimmy was not to be messed with. Everybody knew he was cool, but he would not hesitate to literally kick your ass if you didn’t take him seriously. He was there for you, to make you huge, to break the sound barrier as he liked to say.
So the boys all walked in, took their gear out, plugged in and waited for the green light. There were about twenty people in the room. And they all expected you to be top of your game. It was finishing school, and graduation was compulsory so better get your game on.
“Okay guys, just chill and stay in the pocket. Everybody’s hooked into the click track so relax and stay in the zone. This is your temple. Sal, give me a little cow bell. We’re at 86 bpm”.
This was it. Jimmy pushed the record button and Sal, old school Sal, who had drummed for Bowie among others, started whacking the cow bell at a perfect 86 beats per minute, and the entire studio shook.
The second plane had hit. Nobody knew about Tower One and the first plane. The studio was sound proof and isolated from the world, those were the rules. Day became night. Night became day. Who cares when your in session. But this shake rattled everybody. It wasn’t normal. There was an ominous feeling to it.
Whizbang pulled out his cel phone. “America is under attack!” said every outlet. “Turn the TV on”. And there it was. Right before their eyes, watching what just happened to their building on TV as if it was somewhere else, not above their heads, happening to somebody else.
Whizbang asked Fever “What now boss?” Fever replied “How about we get the hell out of here?”

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Thomas Goldman

Canada, Montreal

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