Our chief characters, Paul and rock star Rory, have just met out on the lawn of the Universal/Decca record plant in Upstate New York. To read the start of the novel, go here.
“My name’s Rory. Rory Cocksure. Made up name,” he said, reading me. “You don’t know my stuff, do you?”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
“Not into music?”
“Um, no, I like it. I listen to Casey Kasem every Sunday morning,” I said, sheepishly, thinking this might not be the answer this person was anticipating.
But Rory laughed. “Yeah, the music world’s a weird one. Just no telling where things will turn up. I still haven’t cracked the top 40. But some of the stiffs down at the record company asked me if I could write a hit ballad so it might one day run as a ‘long-distance dedication.’ Jeesh. Anyway, look me up later so I can give you my albums once the crew gets here with all the boxes and stuff. I may not be as popular as T. Rex and Steely Dan, but I’m influenced by them a little bit and you may like my stuff. What’s your name?”
“Paul, it’s nice to meet you. And thanks again for making this area look real nice. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass. And those trees will make a great background. I think my manager is going to film my set, so you should get some kind of billing in the video credits. How about lawn supervisor?”
“Ah. Ummm …”
“Great. It’s a deal then. I’ve gotta run back to the hotel to grab some stuff in a bit. But first, I’m going to sit over there on that rock and meditate and breathe for a little while. So don’t mind me.”
“Uh, no problem. And thanks for the albums and the film credit,” I said lamely.
“Not a thing. I’ve got a good feeling about you, Paul. Oh, and call me Rory.”