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Old 02-08-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 1

I had another name for this. Stuck Together with God's Glue. But I keep listening to Please and I just can't get away from the lyrics. I will be taking a lot of poetic justice with this one. I reserve the right to call other people's music as my own (meaning for the other band in this). I am rewriting a little band and band member history. The start is very rough. It gets better, I promise. Or rather, I hope. The middle gets better, but I have to get us there somehow.

So these people are not mine (well - not the megagroup anyway). Please offer some feedback since I feel fairly exposed with this one. MW had been in my head for so long that it feels like second skin. This one is a pair of trendy jeans that I'm not sure fit.

So you never knew love... until you'd crossed the line of grace
And you never felt wanted... 'til you'd someone slap your face
And you never felt alive... until you'd almost wasted away

You had to win, you couldn't just pass
The smartest ass, at the top of the class
Your flying colors, your family tree
And all your lessons in history

Please... please... please...
Get up off your knees now
Please... please... please...
Leave it out...

So you never knew... how low you'd stoop to make that call
And you never knew... what was on the ground until they made you crawl
So you never knew... that the heaven you keep, you stole

Your catholic blues, your convent shoes
Your stick on tattoos now they're making the news
Your holy war, your northern star
Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car

Please... please... please...
Get up off your knees now
Please... please... please...
Leave it out

'Cause love is big and love is tough
But love is not what you're thinking of

September, streets capsizing
Spilling over down the drains
Shards of glass, splinters like rain
But you could only feel your own pain

October, talk getting nowhere
November... December... remember
Are we just starting again?

Please... please... please...
Get up off your knees now

'Cause love is big, it's bigger than us
But love is not what you're thinking of

It's what lovers deal
It's what lovers steal
You know I've found it hard to receive
'Cause you my love... I could never believe

U2 at the end of the world. That was how the Zoo TV and Zooropa tours ended. Two years of success and excess can change a man and a band. After falling off the edge, Adam traveled to Caribbean Islands to gain his center and found love. After the great Naomi experiment, Jocelyn was a breath of fresh and calm air. On a summer night in Dublin, he got down on bended knee and presented her with an amazing ring. Setting up house with Morleigh was not as easy as Edge expected it to be. The girls didn’t like her putting a strain on the new couple. Morleigh wasn’t ready to give up her life as a dancer to play house in chilly Dublin. They commuted. Luckily the new U2 album kept him from going to an empty house. Larry moved to New York to study drumming. He went to bars to watch jazz musicians and to get a feel for the current music scene. His refusal to commit to Ann wore on the 20 year relationship. She had waited many years for him, and it looked like she would have to wait more. They struggled to hold it together and didn’t want to really think about why they held to each other so tightly. Bono came home from the circus with his head buzzing. It was nearly impossible to turn off the music and be a father and husband again. Ali had not been looking forward to the adjustment period. She ordered him to stay at the Clarence for two weeks to unwind. But this time, it was too much. Too much had happened on the tour. Too many nights, she was alone. She didn’t want Mirrorball Man, Fly or MacPhisto. She wanted someone that could be a real partner in her life. By the end of 1994, Bono was living in Adam’s guest house. By the end of 1995, their marriage was dissolved. Bono felt abandoned. He was angry and bitter with Ali. They said forever back in 1982. With Edge, he spent long hours in the studio crafting the new album to be called Pop and the huge world tour to be called PopMart.

It was a cold January night. The wind whipped around the buildings. Larry led the other three out of the mixing studio for a field trip to a tiny bar on the edge of the Village.

“It’s fecking freezing, Lar,” Bono grumbled. “Why did you think this was a good idea?”

“I told you, I found an opening band,” he called from the backseat of the taxi.

Bono rolled his eyes. The singer of the last Larry found band ended up in rehab a month before the tour began.

“Adam saw them last week. He really liked them,” Larry said.

Bono twisted around in his seat. “Adam?”

Adam nodded. “They were actually pretty good.”

“What are they called?” Edge asked.

“Strict Machine.” Larry pointed to the driver to a dark warehouse.

“That’s the club?” Bono raised an eyebrow. Normally he was adventurous, but tonight he was cold and tired.

“It was a rave last week,” Larry dug into front pocket to pay the driver.

“What kind of music?” Edge asked as they were deposited on the icy sidewalk.

“It’s hard describe. Punk, rock, soul....I just think they are very good and would fit in,” Larry shrugged.

“Please, please tell me they are not grunge,” Bono said. “Grunge is over and dead.”

“They do have guitars, but it’s not grunge,” Adam offered.

Bono huddled against the icy wind. He flipped his dark hood over his head.

Edge smirked. “Doesn’t want to be recognized.”

Larry made a face. “He bleeding shaved his head. He looks nothing like himself.”

Edge shrugged. Larry walked up to a large muscle bound man with a handlebar mustache. He leaned forward to talk in his ear. Occasionally, he pointed to the other three.

“Hurry up, Larry. I’m fecking freezing,” Bono sing-songed as he hopped around to keep warm.

“Okay, come on in,” Larry motioned them forward.

The large doorman nodded as they passed. The club was darker than outside, it that possible. The stench of sweat and stale beer hit Bono’s nose hard. The walls were covered in metal and glass shards of avant garde art colored in bold and ugly colors. They were led up at dark narrow staircase to a second level that overlooked the stage and floor below. The floor was packed solid with people of all types. College kids, ravers, punks, girls with backpacks and platform shoes. Televisions hung over the bars with a heavy chain - each playing the same porn starring little people. Adam frowned. Where has Larry brought them? Larry ushered them to the edge of the balcony to a wobbly table. They order Heinken’s knowing this place would not carry Guinness. Bono was afraid to order a mixed drink knowing a rave took place in the building the week before.

Larry knew that Bono and Edge were glaring at him. He hoped that the band were hot enough tonight to change their minds.

“Will you please take your hood off? You look ridiculous,” Larry moaned.

“I look ridiculous? Have you looked about?” he asked. He did oblige because he was starting to sweat. Pushing up his sleeves, he leaned back in his chair and hoped to God that the show would be short.

Over the speakers, the Carmina Burana boomed. That’s original, Bono thought dryly. A backbeat kicked in. That was a little better. The lights dimmed and the crowd below pushed forward. There was a roar as the band started to take the stage. A male drummer took his seat and began to match the backbeat. A bass player slowly thumbed a similar rhythm. A female guitarist strapped on Fender while the singer sauntered on to the stage. The roar was deafening. The singer, dressed in a short black skirt, red buttoned shirt and motorcycle wrapped the microphone wire around her arm as she moved to the front of the stage. Her short blond was mussed up into an almost fauxhawk. The guitarist ripped into a scorching riff. The singer smiled and opened her mouth. Bono was surprised by the depth and volume of her voice. It was a big voice for a short girl. Clear as bell and full-bodied. He looked over to nod at Edge whose eyes were glued to the guitarist. Her short black hair cut into a blunt bob. Edge watched her fingers dance all over the fretboard with the skill of Jimmy Page. She stepped forward to sing the chorus and her voice blended perfectly with the singers, perhaps a hair thinner.

Bono looked over at Larry. A small spread across his face. Now he understood Larry’s desire to have the band join the tour. He watched the singer with all his undivided attention. She did have charisma. She crouched down to share the mike with some fans in the front row. The crowd knew all the words. It was a fairly large club, and there wasn’t a spot to stand of the floor. Even the balcony was jammed.

“Do they always sell out?” he asked Larry.

“They do. They have two albums they put together themselves. They’re pretty good,” Larry nodded.

Bono tried to visualize this band on the PopMart stage. They had secured Rage Against the Machine and Fun Lovin’ Criminals for most of the North American tour.

The front of the stage broke out in a wave of shoving bodies. A small mosh pit started to form. This was the scourge of the 1990’s, Bono thought. It made him very nervous that they insisted with an ope field seating on this tour. How would U2 and Rage fans handle that?

The singer stepped ot the edge at the end of the song.”I see we’re getting all excited here in the front. That’s fine that you want to express yourself, but please be respectful of those less...” She smiled, “spirited than you. Watch out for each other out there, okay?”

Oddly enough, the crowd calmed and contained their little pit. Adam was afraid that they were looking at a Courtney Love wanna-be. A good portion of the female-led bands carried an ugly chip on their shoulders. That was Adam’s concern. He didn’t feel that PopMart needed a raunchy female rocker with excess attitude and something to prove.

A roadie, most likely a friend, pushed out a battered stand up piano. The singer walked over to sit behind it while the rest of the band slipped off stage for a beer. Her voice filled the warehouse as her fingers danced over the keys.

Larry was enraptured. This was the fifth time he’d seen Strict Machine. Her professionalism never wavered. She attacked the stage on fire each night. Every show, she sounded better to him. Sure, she was very pretty. She took her music serious, but she beamed every moment she was up there. Her band-mates were tight - much better than most bands with big record deals.

After one solo song, the rest of the band rejoined her. Edge tried to put a musical label on their music, but it was undefinable. They rocked hard, but there was a lot of soul deep inside.

A few more songs and the band disappeared backstage.

Larry looked at the others expectantly. “So, what do you think?”

“Well, you know I liked them,” Adam said.

Edge shrugged. “You know that I’ve always trusted your judgement when it comes to support acts.”

“We already have most of support bands lined up,” Bono said. “As far as I know, contracts have been signed....”

“I was thinking of starting them before Rage Against the Machine. See how they do, and then go from there,” Larry suggested.

The lights dimmed and the band took the stage again. With a feline saunter, the singer flashed a smile before unleashing her pain into her microphone. Bono watched the sway of her hips. At least she would be more fun to watch than Zack of Rage.

“I guess we should talk to them, eh?” he asked.

Larry jumped to his feet and disappeared to find the club owner.

“Who set fire to him?” Bono asked.

Faith rubbed a towel over her head. “Great crowd tonight? Little rambunctious, but great.”

“We’ll have to look at bigger places soon,” Ryan grabbed a beer from the cooler. “Maybe an actual tour somewhere.”

The band gathered in the tiny green room. The lights overhead buzzed incessantly. They provided their own cooler for after show refreshments. Considering the size of the club, the dressing room was unreasonably small.

“We’ve been to Boston and Washington. That was kind of a tour,” Alex wiped the back of her neck.

“If we tour, I have to get more time off from work,” Faith said.

“It would be at spring before we should consider it,” Ryan drained the last of his beer. “Remember when we did Buffalo last winter?”

The room groaned at the memory of Sam’s minivan breaking down on the way back from a gig.

Lucy, their stout manager, bustled through the backstage door. She was huffing and coughing.

“Is the building on fire?” Sam teased.

“There’s some guys that want to meet you,” she panted.

“Record guys?” Faith’s eyes lit up.

Lucy shook her head. “ will never believe.”

Alex looked up from wiping down her guitar. “Well, tell us.”

“It’s the guys from U2,” she gushed.

Faith frowned. “The band?”

Lucy nodded numbly.

“Get the fuck out,” she said.

“I am serious. The club owner found me to tell me that they wanted to meet you,” Lucy said.

Faith looked around the trashed dressing room. “Shit, we should clean.”

They scattered and cleared beer bottles and take-out bags from the table. Faith ripped off her sweaty shirt and searched for a fresh t-shirt, at least. Alex carefully laid her Fender in its case. There was a knock on the door and everyone froze.

“Look natural,” Ryan whispered.

Lucy’s hands were so clammy that she had a hard time opening the door. The first thing she saw were Bono’s smiling blue eyes and she nearly fainted. He took her hand and placed a kiss on the back.

“You must be....” he lifted his eyes.

“I’m the Lucy. I m-m-mean, the manager,” she stammered.

His smile melted her to the floor. “Please to meet you.”

The rest of the band filed in behind Bono. The members of Strict Machine shuffled about in shock and awe as the supergroup filled the room. Bono eyes sought out the amazing singer. She leaned against the dressing table, her hair wild. In her perfect little nose, a tiny diamond stud sparkled.

Bono stepped in front of Faith. “Saw the show. You have an amazing voice.”

“Um, thank you. That’s a major compliment,” she took his outstretched hand firmly.

“Ooh, strong grip,” he said over his shoulder to Larry. “And you are?

“Faith. Thats Sam, he plays bass and Ryan, the drummer. And,” she turned around.

“Alex,” the dark haired girl looked up from her curtain of black hair.

“Listen, I won’t waste your time here in this room. Can we take you for drinks somewhere?”

“You mean all us, right?” Faith asked.

“Of course, the whole band,” he wrapped his arm around a trembling Lucy. “And Lucy too.”

“Of course,” Sam blurted.

“Wonderful, do you need to gather your things?” Bono asked.

“We need to help our friends pack our equipment,” Alex said.

“We’ve actually arranged for Buzz to pack up and keep your equipment safe,” Bono said.

Faith frowned. “Buzz?”

“He’s the manager of the club, in charge of booking and bands,” Lucy said.

“I guess you’ve handled everything,” Faith shrugged.

Ryan shot her a glare. He figured one of the biggest bands in the world wasn’t taking them for drinks to congratulate them on a great show. He knew that they used to have their own record label. Plus, they were getting ready to release an album of their own. Album equals tour.

“Actually, I spoke with Buzz to make sure your things were secure,” Larry said softly.

Bono released his grip on Lucy who could finally breathe and slung his arm around Larry. “This guy led us to you. He’s been to a several shows.”

Larry froze as Faith’s eyes turned on him. Suddenly, he felt like a fan. She wasn’t standing on a stage far away. She was a real person and shorter than he imagined. She looked younger this close. Maybe it was just the stage presence that made her seem older.

“You are” she asked incredulously.

He nodded slightly. “I guess you could say that. I saw you a few weeks ago and liked what I heard.” He felt flushed.

“Let’s get out of this tiny room,” Bono said. “To a place where we can sit and talk.”

Bono arranged for a van to bring both bands to bring them a small Irish bar downtown owned by a friend. The bartender looked up as they walked through the door.

“Colm! How are ya?” Larry called.

“Jaysus, you had to come in now? I was getting ready to close up,” the bartender grumbled with a smile.

“We’ll make it worth your while,” Bono winked.

They gathered around a large table oak table. Bono slipped into a seat beside Faith much to Larry’s annoyance. Beers and drinks were ordered. Faith and Alex exchanged puzzled glances.

“What’s this about?” Faith asked.

Bono chuckled. “Straight to the point. Okay, you might know we are going on tour this year. And we are looking for support acts.”

Alex swallowed hard.

“And Larry here thought you would be a great addition to the tour,” Bono slung his arm on the back of Faith’s chair.

She inched away. “You want us to tour with you?”

He nodded. “Why is that hard to believe?”

There was stunned silence at the table. Faith looked to the other four. She looked to Lucy, their manager, to say something - anything. Her eyes were glued to Bono with complete adoration.

“ me out here,” she said lowly.

“I don’t know where to start,” she whispered.

“We know this comes out of nowhere and that it’s a major upheaval in your lives,” Edge offered.

“I’m want us to open for you?” Ryan found his voice.

“Yes,” Bono smiled. “Are you up to the challenge?”

“You realize that we’ve never been on a tour before. At least not on that scale,” Faith said.

“Don’t worry. We’ll walk you through,” Bono grinned.

“We have to quit our jobs,” Sam said.

“How long are you talking? You know we don’t even have an album out,” Faith glared at Lucy. Why wasn’t she even talking?

“You have those two CD’s you sell at your shows,” Larry offered. He blushed slightly. “I bought both. They are quite good.”

Alex didn’t say much. Her mind was reeling. Earlier, she and Faith were pouring coffee at the their local cafe. She looked over at Sam. He gave her a reassuring smile.

“When are we talking?” Faith asked.

“Our tour starts in April in Vegas. That should give everyone time to get things sorted,” Adam said.

Edge stole glances at Alex. There was something in her stillness that caught his attention. On stage, she was immersed in the music. She let Faith do all the moving about the stage. Seated at the table, she kept herself pulled in tight, her eyes darted taking it all in, but not letting anything of herself out. He wanted to compliment her playing, but she never offered him a glance or invited him in.

“So, you are really serious?” Faith asked.

Bono leaned a little closer. “Absolutely. Do you want it?”

Larry rolled his eyes. Bono was making a fool of himself.

“Can we think about it?” she asked.

His pride was stung. What band wouldn’t jump at the chance?

“Faith!” Sam called.

“Can we have a moment to meet about it?” she asked.

“Of course,” Bono motioned the others to the bar.

Sam, Ryan and Lucy moved closer to Alex and Faith.

“I think this is no-brainer,” Sam crossed his arms in front of his chest.

“Yeah, I think we’d be stupid to not to take this offer as well. I wanted to know the feeling was mutual,” Faith said lowly. “This is a big jump.”

“But a huge opportunity,” Ryan offered. “I never imagined this. I figured a Northeast tour, maybe a West Coast tour.”

“We should find out how long they want us too. JUst a few dates to see how we’re received....the whole American tour,” Faith’s heart started to race thinking about performing to not just hundreds but thousands.

The scope of what they would be undertaking was dawning on Alex. “We do have a few month to write some new songs.”

“Lucy, any counsel for us?” There was an edge to Faith’s voice.

“Umm, I totally think we should do it,” she nodded numbly.

“I think we need a lawyer for the contract,” Ryan muttered. Faith nodded in agreement. There was a lot to be excited about, but they had to be smart about it as well.

“Do you think they will actually turn it down?” Adam asked.

Bono smiled, his eyes feasting on Faith. “No, they are definitely on board. They are talking it out as they should. They have jobs to quit and families to leave.”

Faith stood up inviting the members of U2 back to the table.

Bono sidled up. “So? The verdict?”

“We are thrilled to be a part of your tour. And thank you for opportunity,” Faith said. “And when do we sign a contract?”

Larry smirked. “Beauty and brains.”

“We will have our lawyers draw something up,” Adam said. “We will need a contact number.”

“Well, Lucy,” Faith looked over at Lucy who gawked up at Bono. “I’ll give you my number.”

She scrawled her number on a the back of a shopping list. Bono held out his hand for it. She gave it to Adam.

“You are serious about this, right? Don’t toy with me,” Sam asked.

“We think your band would be a good fit,” Edge nodded reassuringly.

“How long? How many dates?” Ryan asked.

Edge looked over at Larry. “Um, I don’t think we got that far.”

“S’okay. Even a weekend would be fine,” Ryan beamed.

“It will be longer than a weekend,” Bono assured.

“I guess we will hear from you soon?” Alex asked. She was afraid to leave that pub without something in writing.

“We’ll set up a more formal meeting tomorrow. We’ll have something signed for you with dates by the end of the week, I promise,” Edge sensed her anxiety. She offered a small smile.

Faith offered Larry her hand, “Thank you so much for coming to see us.”

He blushed. “Ehm, no problem. I’m..we’re glad you want to tour with us.”

Faith offered her hand to Edge and Adam while Sam and Ryan hugged Larry.

Bono stepped before Faith and took her hand into both of his. “Do you need a ride home?”

She smiled sweetly. “I’ll grab a cab.”

“Are you certain? It’s a jungle out there,” he offered his most charming smile. Over Faith’s shoulder, Lucy swooned.

“I know, I live here. I’ll be just fine, thanks,” she said coolly through a fading smile. She had heard that he was a shameless flirt. However, if he thought for a moment that she was going to sleep with him, he was not just a flirt, but delusional.

Larry liked her immediately.

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Old 02-08-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
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I like Faith

This story beginning is exciting. The band you created is intriguing; it'll be interesting to see how their music does with U2. Larry obviously likes it

It's really, really funny how much this has in common with later parts of Out Of Control. Goodness Well, you'll see. But you must have been reading my mind or something, haha.

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Old 02-09-2011, 07:29 AM   #3
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The band interaction? It will get a little more exciting. I know the premise has been done before a few years ago. I wondered what would happen if two people with egos toured and bumped heads.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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Off to a good start. It picked up for me towards the end and I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Yeah, mid tour gets's just getting there. Don't worry, MW is still in the works. I've been doing a little of each.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:38 AM   #6
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Hey, I like Faith a lot. And way to remove the Ali issue right off the bat. I bet that feels freeing after MW! Funny that I'm working on a fic with a bad ass girl musician too- I'm glad I started it before reading this! I may have to delay going on with this so I don't get too influenced. Looks like another fun story!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:25 AM   #7
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I'm intrigued by Alex.

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