[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

a
a
T
T
n
n
s
s
F
F
f
f
o
o
D
D
r
r
P
P
m
m
Y
Y
e
e
Y
Y
r
r
B
B
2
2
.
.
B
B
A
A
Click here to buy
Click here to buy
w
w
m
m
w
w
o
o
w
w
c
c
.
.
.
.
A
A
Y
Y
B
B
Y
Y
B
B
r r
Whitehorse swayed, laughed a little wildly.
'"Hunk I'm drunk, don't you?"
"No " began Sam.
"Well, I'm not! Most Indians drink, mister agent Parker. Not 'cause they like this
rot. Not that. They drink 'cause most of what they were was ripped away from
them by the white man's world before they got born. Liquor blurs over all the
empty spaces a little. All those dark wide holes that were once full of beautiful
things. And the worse thing is, Parker, that you don't really know what they were,
those things. Just a big nothingness feeling that they aren't there anymore.
184
Wolfstroker
"No, I'm not drunk, Parker. When I'm drinking I'm sober. I'm only drunk when
I'm playing."
Sam slowed and pulled into the curb. He didn't offer to come up. They weren't in
Beverly Hills. It took the singer three tries to get the door open.
Sara leaned over from the wheel, looking out. "Remember, Willie. The studio
tomorrow. Sure you can find it?"
Whitehorse swayed, turned to face the agent. He held the guitar to him like a
mute child. "I'll find it." It was hard to tell whether he was laughing or crying.
"Man, I'm an Indian! I can find my way to anywhere, don't you know that? Yeah,
I'll get there, if I can make it up the stairs." He put his hand to his mouth, blew
out.
"Woo, woo, w !" The third war whoop expired prematurely, subsumed in
wracking cough. Sam turned away, embarrassed.
"I'll be there. I'll be there."
IV.
Three young men stood in the concrete womb of the studio and stared
impatiently at the white walls, their instruments, and Sam Parker. Sam
transferred his gaze to his innocent watch and tried not to let them see how
worried he was. He'd told Whitehorse ten o'clock. It was now twelve thirty and
the trio was not in good humor.
He couldn't blame them. They were top performers all, maybe the best three
unattached musicians in L.A. just now. He'd spent all night begging, pleading,
offering his unmarketable soul again, to get them to cancel their other plans and
show up here. No, he didn't blame them for being impatient. These guys were
good, damn good, and Sam knew he couldn't expect them to hang around much
longer. The next time he asked for a little more time they would laugh at him.
Meanwhile every half hour in the studio was costing him money, lots of money.
Money he didn't have. The
185
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE ...
only thing that was doing well was his ulcer. He'd been a fool not to drag his
discovery home with him, keep him in sight. Damnfool crazy drunken kid! Might
have done anything. Might've hopped a plane to anywhere, or more likely a
freight.
Every five minutes he'd phoned Whitehorse's apartment, then every ten. The last
call had been forty-five minutes ago. If he was still there he wasn't asleep, he was
a
a
T
T
n
n
s
s
F
F
f
f
o
o
D
D
r
r
P
P
m
m
Y
Y
e
e
Y
Y
r
r
B
B
2
2
.
.
B
B
A
A
Click here to buy
Click here to buy
w
w
m
m
w
w
o
o
w
w
c
c
.
.
.
.
A
A
Y
Y
B
B
Y
Y
B
B
r r
catatonic. Or dead. Sam's hopes and visions were dying just as fast.
Drivin' Jack Cavanack stopped clicking stick on stick and looked up from behind
his drums.
"Hey, man, this hotshot of yours better show up real quicklike, or I'm splitting. I
got a gig in Seattle tonight and I do not, positively do not, feel like gettin' in there
in the dark and cold. Comprende?"
Uccelo plunked his bass for the thousandth time and didn't look up at Parker.
"Right on." Vincente Rivera honked a few funky free notes on his harmonica,
gazed sympathetically at the harried agent.
"Sorry, Sam, but Jack's right. We all of us have got other things to do than wait
around here. This is a favor from me to you, I know. But we been here for too
many hours now, Sam. Offhand, I don't think your wonder boy's gonna show."
He snapped open a small black case with red velvet guts and eased his harmonica
therein.
"Please Vince . . . Jack, Milo. Give me a chance, willya? Hey, another ten minutes,
that's all I ask. Okay? Ten lousy minutes. I'm sure he'll be here. He promised me
he would."
Rivera sighed, snapping the latch on the case. "Sam, I think you've been had."
"He was had when he decided on joining his noble profession," came a thin voice
from the studio door. Sam spread a relieved grin from ear to ear, but inwardly he
was seething.
"Willie!" It came out like a curse. "Knew you'd make it, fella!" Whitehorse walked
past Sam, ignored the preferred palm.
186
Wolfstroker
"Sure, Sam. Promised." The singer looked only slightly less haggard than he had
the previous night.
He found a plug, started to hook himself into the ganglion of his guitar's
mechanical lungs, and talked while he worked:
"You know, Sara, I wasn't going to come."
Parker pretended not to hear as he closed the studio door.
"I was just going to leave you flat, go to Phoenix. Big joke. This whole thing," and
he took in the studio in a half-wave, "doesn't appeal to me. Then I thought
Grandfather, whatever he might think of this, wouldn't like to hear I'd gone back
on my word. So, what the hell," he finished lamely.
Bless all grandfathers, prayed Parker silently. He felt like a man who'd just pulled
an inside straight while hoping for a simple pair.
"What do you want me to do, Sam?" Whitehorse asked.
"Well, Willie, I want to find out if you four are compatible, soundwise. If you are,
I'd like to work you together into a group." Uccelo hit a sour note on his bass and
snorted derisively.
"Willie, that's-Drivin' Jack Cavanack on skins, Milo Uccelo on bass, and Vincente
Rivera on harmonica, organ, Moog, and just about everything else you can
imagine. Boys, Willie Whitehorse."
Sam had seen more instant camaraderie among a group of pallbearers.
"All right, Sam, we all know what we play, man," said Cavanack boredly. "Let's
get this over with, huh? I got a plane to catch."
a
a
T
T
n
n
s
s
F
F
f
f
o
o
D
D
r
r
P
P
m
m
Y
Y
e
e
Y
Y
r
r
B
B
2
2
.
.
B
B
A
A
Click here to buy
Click here to buy
w
w
m
m
w
w
o
o
w
w
c
c
.
.
.
.
A
A
Y
Y
B
B
Y
Y
B
B
r r
"Sure Jack, sure!" smiled Parker hurriedly. Cavanack turned his indifferent gaze
on Whitehorse.
"What you want to play, man?"
"I only play my own stuff," Willie replied with equal indifference. "You can follow
me.if you like."
"Now look here, man . . . !" began Cavanack, rising to his full six-five and
glowering over his cylindrical zoo.
187
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE . ..
"Please, Jack!" Sam pleaded, waving his arms. "It's just for a few minutes. Be the
big man for a few minutes, huh?" He smiled desperately.
"Okay, Sam," Cavanack agreed warningly. "But you ask a lot, man." He sat down.
Willie set his guitar in his arms with that smooth cradling motion.
"Hey, brother," interrupted Uccelo, "don't you want to tune up?"
Eyes of smoked ice fixed on the bass player, just above tight lips. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]