“What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Elk?”
That was the exclamation most freshmen were subject to on their first day at Trinity High School.
They were referring to Kyle’s band. I say Kyle’s band because they kept going back and forth on the name. Kyle wanted to call it “Elk Chords,” for reasons so esoteric he couldn’t even remember them himself five years later. Tommy, though, insisted that “Elk Strings” sounded better; it made more sense and it didn’t confuse people into thinking they were some lady-punk band called “Elle Chords”.
They were the only band at school—in fact, to the people at school it almost seemed sometimes like they were the only game in town. But I don’t care how little competition there is: if a band sucked, it would not have been as successful as the Elk.
Kyle was the genius. I’ve said, he brought us all together.
He laid out the foundation that we built on. He had the idea, he wrote the songs. His voice wasn’t great, but it didn’t have to be, ‘cause he was powerful. Charismatic.
I guess you could say Tommy was the marketing guy. He was down-to-Earth. He cared about what people thought of him, not for the sake of ego, but because he knew that’s the only way to make it in this world.
And then there was Mickey. Ah, Mickey. Why’d it have to be this way? Mickey was on drums not ‘cause he was good at it, but because he liked to hit things. He was more of a glorified fan-boy than anything else, even then, but he kept the beat and they never gave him anything too trying.
My sister was in love with them. That’s what she said, at least. Really, it was Kyle she was in love with. Aly always was a sucker for the silent, brooding type, even if he was an intellectual.
“I don’t like ‘em,” Declan declared when Jasper brought them up.
“What do you mean, you don’t like ‘em? You can’t not like ‘em, they’re Elk Chords.”
“They’re Elk Strings,” said Tommy’s little brother,” and they’re over-rated.”
“Look, I’m not saying they’re Acid Monsoon or anything, but I mean, come on.”
“Are you so hung up on the prospect of live music that you’d listen to meaningless shit like that?”
Now, Jasper really was offended. “It’s not meaningless…”
Declan rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Forget it.”
The truth was, Declan had never really listened to his brother’s band.
He hadn’t been allowed to go to any of their shows (“You’re too young to be out that late, sweetie.”)And when he asked to come to practice, Tommy just looked at him and walked away.
It gave Declan a very ill opinion of his brother and anything associated with him. Once he actually heard the Elk, he enjoyed them, mostly for Kyle’s message, but that was a long way off.
(To Be Continued…)
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