Rock ‘n’ roll playbook – part 4

AND WHEN YOU GO TO YOUR MASTER WITH YOUR OPPONENT NEXT TO YOU, MAKE SURE YOU GET RID OF HIM ON THE WAY THERE SO HE CANNOT TAKE YOU TO A JUDGE WHO CAN TAKE YOU TO A GUARD THAT CAN LOCK YOU AWAY. I TELL YOU: YOU WILL NOT LEAVE THAT PLACE UNTIL YOU PAY EVERY DIME YOU’VE EARNED.

 

Maki noticed me, came to say hi, and asked ‘Hey kid, wanna beer?’

I said, ‘Sure’ in a shy manner.

He got the beer and I felt kind of stupid for everything that had happened. He asked another question: ‘You wanna come and have lunch on Sunday?’

I replied, with little interest, ‘Bro, I got a chick whose place I’m crashing right now. She cooks all the time.’

The gig was nothing special, and the mid-February rain could really be a pain in the ass. Just like Maki when he got drunk. Hugging me, he asked, ‘Are you doing drugs? I’m gonna make you get tested, to give a urine sample. What are you using?’

I just said, ‘I’ll be back. I’m just gonna go to the bar real quick.’

I got away from there and walked to the dorm with fast-paced and nervous steps, tripping that Maki and his crew would come after me. I was wearing All Stars and the road was cold, plus there was some light rain. I got back to the dorm around one and found just what I needed – my man Jole and Milica smoking pot. I stepped into the room and asked for a smoke to chill.

Milica gave me the blunt and laughed. ‘What a change. Must be the rain.’ I went to change my clothes and noticed my guitar standing there in the closet. I turned on the amp, plugged in the guitar, and started jamming Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” When I was done, I had an idea and said, ‘Jole, you take the bass.’

Jole said, ‘Milica will play the drums. She can play a bit.’

Milica said yes right away. She told us that her ex used to play the drums, so she learned a lot from him. She didn’t have any experience with drugs, though, so Jole started to introduce her to that world. The more she fell in love with him, the more time she spent time at his place and the more drugs she did, though in the beginning she only smoked pot. I had an old saying in my mind: Never hook up with your friend’s girlfriend, even if they break up.

I found some of my old songs and they liked them. It was the Barber’s song.

 

Come closer and don’t ask why

I carry the sun which is burning down

This is like a dream you can’t deny

Why don’t you also try

 

What is done – is done

Come and try to catch my flow

This is a lonely night

Cause tomorrow I’ll be gone

 

I am trying to be strong

Sun is burning,

I don’t even understand

So why don’t you just try

 

Don’t turn around

What is done – is done

It is only I

This is a dream you can’t deny

 

Come and try to catch my flow

This is a lonely night

Cause tomorrow I’ll be gone

This is a lonely night.

 

 

This was a moment when she was looking into my eyes and I was looking into hers. And while we were looking into each other’s eyes, we were burning with desire for each other. However, no one can dare cross that line and we just wait who does it anyways. The waiting seemed like forever and we were still burning. It was a small, internal hell that you enjoy but there is no climax – only tension. You can’t tell whether you feel good or bad because you feel both at the same time.

The next day, we were in the studio, planning on playing our songs – no covers. We discussed it because they also wanted to make music. Jole said that was a great way to hook up with hot chicks. Milica said she wanted a red convertible – say, a Ferrari – that she would drive somewhere along the sea in Australia. I simply said that I had to give life to those songs and that this was the only way to do it. We had a deal with the guy who rented it – the studio in exchange for speed.

I asked Nemanja, the owner of the studio, ‘Dude, are you into speed? We’re 200 short, if you wanna split.’

Nemanja said, ‘Sure, why not!’ and gave us a couple of bucks. I had to go get it again.

I called The Uncle, the guy whom Jole recommended. We took some and, around 3 a.m., called him again. The Uncle had a car, so it wasn’t a problem to meet him. He parked near the studio. I had already been waiting for him at the bus station where we arranged to meet. I spotted him and got into the car. I told him, ‘Here’s a hundred. Give me a gram.’

He said, ‘Hey, man. Here’s some but put it in your mouth and swallow it if the cops get you.’

‘No problem, bro.’

‘If the cops ever bust you, tell them you were at a club last weekend and met some old mates. Some guy whose name you don’t remember gave you the merch to treat yourself and didn’t ask for money. You should always tell that to the cops and the judge.’

I soaked in his words and said, ‘Good story, it could work. I gotta run. They’re waiting for me in the studio.’ I got out of the car and was on my way to the studio while he disappeared into the Belgrade streets.

The rehearsal lasted until 8 a.m. Nemanja really liked us, so we had a plan to get him to play the trumpet. That way, we’d get the studio for free. Nemanja’s nickname was Fatty. He had always wanted to play but never had success in keeping a band together so he had started renting out his studio. He just had to stay in the music business. He was a guy with a big smile, a big body, and a pure soul.

He occasionally tattooed people, so he asked me what I would get if I got one. I said, right away, ‘A wall!’

He asked, ‘Pink Floyd, huh?’

I nodded and then explained it further: ‘That would definitely be the theme, but a wall as a tattoo should keep all the good inside me and stop the bad from entering.’

He loved it, so he offered me a free tattoo. I said yes and he started right away. It was a simple, little wall with a couple of lines but with a complex meaning. He placed it on my left arm, between the biceps and the shoulder.

As much as he liked us, we needed $500 to do it right, and the only valuable things we owned were our instruments, which we could not sell. I thought for a long time about where and how we could get the money. I came up with the plan to get more speed next time and resell it so that we could get the money we needed. I wanted to go for it for that reason only, just until we got on our feet and started making money playing our music.

It was incredibly hot that morning and I went to see Jelena all sweaty and high. I was really happy because we had a demo for my song “People in the Night.”

In the day I sleep, in the night I wander by myself,

In my thoughts I go to you and I’m looking for a road,

All along I come across people like me,

In the night I come across people,

People hurt and people looking for a shelter,

In the night you can see them better,

I’m looking for a road to take us in the same direction,

I’m looking for a road where we’ll meet again,

People in the night scared of false smiles,

People in the night seeking kind eyes,

I’m looking for a road to take us in the same direction,

I’m looking for a road where we’ll meet again,

In the day I sleep, in the night I wander by myself,

In my thoughts I go to you,

And I’m looking for a road,

All along I come across people like me,

In the night I come across people hurt and crazy,

Looking for a shelter,

In the night you can see them better,

I’m looking for a road to take us in the same direction,

I’m looking for a road where we’ll meet again,

People in the night scared of false smiles,

People in the night seeking kind eyes.

 

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