Grunion heard the soundcheck by three-fourths of the original REO Speedwagon at a distance, and thought about his father.
Walt “Moss” Bunker wouldn’t have approved of the bill for the City of Largo’s 7th Annual Rockin’ Ribz. Too many power ballads, too few yellowing spousal abuse reports, too little facial hair. If Charlie Daniels wasn’t playin’, he wasn’t stayin’. The King wouldn’t have approved of the liquid morning heat, either; five a.m. would’ve seen him checking his wood and racks, threatening his second with the old balls-in-a-vice, perhaps a free trip to a world-of-hurt, or maybe even some regret-for-having-ever-been-born, and storming back to his trailer, the scant remaining inches of liquor dancing as the bottle banged against his hip.
Grunion had sunglasses and Wellbutrin and a mental state that could only be described as the opposite of hangover, so he checked his prep list again. REO Speedwagon unplugged their stuff. A drawled entreaty for the members of Steelheart to report to the stage went out over the P.A.
“Mornin’, Stick.” He put the clipboard aside, checked the temperature of the thermometer jutting from the sauce vat, and generally attempted to ignore the presence of Arnold Strick, a man so thin you couldn’t credit him with a shadow.