by John S
Jimmy found rock and roll fame in the eighties, it didn't last.
|Rock and Roll Part 27
Jimmy Higgins had it all in the eighties. He and his band The Enforcers had taken the entire Rock and Roll world by storm. Turn on your radio, back then, and chances were good you would hear an Enforcer song. They weren’t some made up band put together by some flesh for cash producer. The Enforcers were skilled musicians. Jimmy wrote the songs, sang, and played a great guitar. Scott, Jimmy’s brother, was almost as good on the bass. It took some time and they found a very good second guitarist, Brody. Of course, they had to have a good and crazy drummer, all bands did, so they stole Boris from The Alternates.
They played to sold out audiences from New York to Japan. They lived that rock and roll lifestyle too. The fame, the groupies, and the drugs were all part of the deal. Jimmy could do without all of that stuff as long as he could get the adulation of twenty thousand fans screaming their heads off. He loved every moment of it. The cheering and singing along were better than any drug. He should know he’d tried them all.
The nineties weren’t as good to The Enforcers or Jimmy Higgins. When he was on top Jimmy had made a lot of enemies and burned a lot of bridges. Record company executives and managers wouldn’t let him into the lobbies of their buildings, never mind getting into their offices. Some of the stuff he’d pulled made him a legend and also a pariah. The band wasn’t doing that great either. Boris, the drummer, was doing longer and longer solos and pissing off Jimmy in the process. On a very hot and humid night in Cleveland Jimmy motioned for Boris to end his endless solo. Boris looked straight at Jimmy and kept beating on his drums. Without missing a beat Jimmy unplugged his Stratocaster and threw it at the unsuspecting drummer. It took twenty stitches to close the cut on Boris’s forehead.
The crowds got smaller and smaller. Boris left the band and soon died of a heroin overdose. The new drummer sucked but he worked cheap, and followed Jimmy’s direction. Brodt quit and became a studio musician, he was that good. Groups that were half as talented or popular in the eighties were still filling premo venues while The Enforcers were playing gigs in dive bars at the Jersey shore.
Jimmy hated it but he was forced to get a real job. All the money was gone. Between crooked managers and his rock and roll lifestyle all the millions he’d earned were gone. He got a job selling guitars at one of those giant guitar chain stores. He was good at selling expensive guitars to middle-aged wanna-be Claptons. The guitars would never really be played. But would end up hanging on a wall someplace.
Jimmy also gave guitar lessons on the side. He enjoyed giving lessons to kids. It amazed him how good the kids could get. It took him a while to figure out why they were so good, it was because they were fearless. Most of his students didn’t care what anyone thought of their playing they just loved to play. That attitude touched something deep in Jimmy.
Along the way he met a wonderful woman named Delores. She was the single mother of a twelve-year-old son. She brought her son to Jimmy once a week for a guitar lesson. One thing led to another and soon Jimmy moved in with her and her son. Most evenings found Delores reading on the couch and Jimmy putting together a few chords on his Martin sitting next to her. One-night Delores stopped reading because something Jimmy was playing caught her attention. She worked for a small advertising company and her firm had just signed a new client, “Carl’s Septic Systems”. Delores liked what Jimmy was playing and for the next week they worked on a jingle to go with Jimmy’s chord progression.
Delores’s boss loved it and so did Carl. The public loved it too. It was almost impossible to turn on the radio or TV in their small town without hearing the Carl’s Septic System jingle. The music business had completely changed since Jimmy’s glory days. Instead of records or CDs all the music was online. When Jimmy was informed that his music was going viral, he didn’t have any idea what that was. Word got around that Jimmy Higgins was the genius behind the Septic Service jingle and soon a whole new generation was downloading Enforcers music.
Music companies and managers came back knocking on Jimmy’s door. The screaming crowds would be back and Jimmy loved it. All his trials and tribulations had been worth it. Jimmy started carefully this time. He hired a legit manager. The manager got him a good record deal and set up a tour.
Life was good for Jimmy, maybe too good. He dumped Delores for a silicon infused reality TV star. He fired his brother, Scott, his only real friend. The manager lasted two months and was kicked to the curb.
Jimmy died soon after, as with all rock stars it was either an OD or plane crash, your choice. It didn’t matter there was no-one left to care or mourn. There are no happy endings in rock and roll.