Johnny and Drake have been estranged since Drake has found out the truth about his heritage. Drake senior is torn, regarding his relationship with Johnny. Angelo learns about his true heritage from his father, but their relationship is rocky. Angelo thinks his father slept with Tony, given that Tony appears in the Russos' latest music video. Angelo arrives for his mother's wedding with his current boyfriend, and catches Tony kissing his father.
This book was previously published.
“We have only been under contract for a week, and already you’re complaining,” Sam Dunkin accused Angelo. “We have to give these songs a chance; we’re not working hard enough.”
“Who’s not working?” Angelo returned. “Shit, I’m here at seven every morning, and we work until six, sometimes seven at night. Give me a break. I still think Alan should give us the opportunity to do our own stuff our way.”
“You’re stubbornly refusing to give your all to those songs because they’re not yours!” Sam grumbled. “And where is all this so-called music of yours anyway?”
“I have some...well…a few songs that I’ve written,” Angelo replied a little hesitantly. “We might try one of them sometime.”
“Well, I’m not wasting my time on any garbage you write,” Sam retorted, picking up his guitar and beginning to tune it. “We’ll stick to the songwriters here who have made hits for rock bands. It’s a tried and true formula. I don’t want to wait until I’m seventy to be famous! I’ll be too damn old to enjoy it.”
Mike chose that moment to walk into the sound studio. He noted the dark expression on Drake’s face as he bent down to check out the synthesizer and looked at Sam. “What have you done now?”
“Nothing. I’m tired of Mr. High and Mighty Drake Russo Junior here bitching about the songs we’re working on all the time, that’s all. He’s shortchanging the songs we’re working on because he’s an egotistical prick and wants everything his own way.”
“Fuck you!” Drake returned. “I’m not any more goddamned egotistical than you!”
“Then stop trying to change the songs. Play them like they’re written.”
Angelo sighed. “They’re boring that way. It’s not our style.”
Mike nodded his head. “You know, I tend to agree with Angelo. Playing these scripted songs takes away all our spontaneity and creativity. It’s not us. I think we should talk to Concord.”
“Another shit disturber,” Sam spat. “Concord doesn’t want to hear your petty little problems. He wants us to make a hit. He wants to see we can make money. Once we make a hit, you can play the Star Spangled Banner for all I give a shit, but now we stick to the songs that have a shot at making the charts.”
“In all fairness, Sam,” Mike volunteered, “we’ve only been at this for a week.”
“Ya...so let’s get to work,” Sam growled.
Angelo glared at him. Mike hid a smile as he climbed up behind his drums. They began to play a song written by two of Concord’s songwriters called ‘Get Over Me.’
Denise Hobbs and Lenard Macintyre, a husband and wife team, had already written six songs that had made it to the charts. Several prominent rock groups had performed their music. These were no amateurs, and Angelo had nothing against the song itself. It was a good song, but it would have been better for someone else. All he could see when he looked at the notes on the score was how he would change it to suit him.
He found it difficult not to improvise as they practised the song. When he did manage to slip in something of his own creation, Mike would follow and sometimes even do a little improvising himself. Sam, however, would stop dead and demand to know what in hell they were doing.
“Improvising. Ever heard of it?” Angelo mocked.
“Ya, I heard of it, but we’re not doing it. It’s not in the music.”
“Can’t you follow by ear, for Christ’s sakes, or do I have to make you a map to let you know exactly where I’m going all the damn time?” Angelo placed his hands on his hips and glared at him.
“Christ, you’re in a bitch of a mood. Missing your little magazine boyfriend back in Ventura? You need to get laid bad.”
Mike stepped down from his drums now and went to stand in front of Angelo. Sam was getting far too personal, and he sensed Angelo was inches away from sending Sam flying across the studio. “Look, let’s take a break, okay?” Mike commented in a light tone. “This is not working. Let’s set up a meeting with Alan Concord and ask his advice.”
When Angelo nodded, Mike turned and looked at Sam. “All right with you there, Sam?”
“Why not?” Sam threw up his hands. “He’s going to view us as malcontents and try to find a way to break our contracts, but that’s fine.” He sneered. “That’s what I get for getting involved with the son of a second-rate rock star!”
Angelo made a lunge for him, and had him around the neck, positioned down under his arm before Mike could do anything. “My father is not a second-rate rock star!” Angelo told him angrily as he tightened his hold around his neck. “You’d be lucky to ever be one-third as talented and successful in your lifetime as my father is, you bastard!”
Sam groaned in protest.
“Angelo, let him go,” Mike urged gently.
Angelo tightened his hold again, almost bending Sam double.
Sam let out a cry of pain.
Angelo looked at Mike, realizing that he could easily break Sam’s neck, and released him.
Sam jumped away from him, clutching his throat. He started cursing.
Mike told him to shut up. “I’m going to go and set up a meeting with Concord. Let’s call it quits for the day. Go home. I’ll let you know later when the meeting is going to be.”
Sam rubbed the back of his neck. “Sure, let’s waste time. We’re supposed to perform this number in front of a committee next week who will vote on whether or not...”
“Well...it’s not,” Angelo snapped. “Even if we practised this song twenty-four hours a day for a goddamned decade, it wouldn’t be ready. We need another song.”