Their rock star dreams, once blazing, were snuffed out.
Jimi Hendrix was the real thing. The music that flowed through this man’s feet was unearthly. “The Goddess sang that riff to me in a dream last night,” Jimi said to the young band members sharing his trailer. “She told me to play my guitar with my feet — despite my acute bromodosis.”
* * * *
You would think that Johnny’s band would have been inspired by Jimi’s talent.
Instead, when the boys left the trailer on their way toward the stage, they walked slowly as if they were going to their own funeral. They simply wanted to go home. The Nuclear Threat did not feel like a threat any longer.
“Since we no longer give a fuck,” Johnny stated, “I’m going to change the name of the band when we get on that stage. I like Walt’s suggestion. Let’s go up there and announce ourselves as The Love Muscle.”
Johnny’s band members nodded and, almost laughing at Walt’s suggestive name, headed toward the stage with their guitars in hand. Still, they were feeling unworthy to ever pick up their instruments again. They might as well have been climbing a gallows instead of the honored stairway that led to the stage of the most important rock festival in Los Angeles’ history. Heads down, ignoring the crowd of thousands at their feet, facing their amps, they plugged in.
* * * *
“You’re on, kids!”
The rain began to fall when Johnny quietly introduced his band under their new we-don’t-give-a-fuck name, The Love Muscle. The audience waited to see what this ‘new’ band with its naughty name was all about. Plugged in, the members of The Love Muscle (snicker, snicker) secretly prayed to ‘load jeebus’ for a lethal electrical explosion. There was none.
Still alive, they would have to perform.
After a disastrous opening number entitled “Who Wants to Go for Tacos?” they were already, embarrassingly, out of tune. During their second song, “Double-Chili-Cheeseburger,” one by one, the amps started to sputter and blow speakers. The limp ‘Muscle’ then played a brief, distorted, instrumental number apparently titled “Annoying Feedback with Group Tourette’s Syndrome,” which nearly ended their set, until Steve Miller and his band quickly set them up with new amplifiers, thus extending their nightmare.
The Love Muscle’s set was almost over.
Johnny started to sing Walt’s original song “My Dirty Hairy Smelly Hippie Chick.” Walt dedicated the new tune to his girlfriend Susie, who sat in front of the stage a few yards from Johnny’s girl, Rebel. After the first performance of Walt’s song, the band was greeted by such an air of doom that even the swarms of flies around the swarms of hippies stopped buzzing.
A stunned silence.
Johnny and his group felt devastated, embarrassed in front of the crowd which now numbered over fifteen thousand. Convinced that they should have burned their guitars after hearing Jimi warm up in the trailer, they turned their backs to the audience. Ready to end their pain, they began to unplug their “crappy guitars,” and the “shitty Farfisa organ.”
If they hurried home, there was still time to enlist before the Vietnam War ended.
A fly buzzed.
Other flies joined in. The buzzing got louder.
After what seemed like decades, one person began to clap. Then the clapping grew into thunder. The band turned around to see the audience rising to its feet stomping and demanding an encore. Though it was still morning, cigarette lighters swayed. Underwear began to land at the band’s feet. Bloomers! Boxers! And briefs, Oh my! Johnny’s childhood dream!
There were “no bras allowed” at this hippie love-in in 1967.
As a rainbow of panties flooded the stage, Johnny’s eyes became misty. Memories of childhood in his parents’ lingerie store came rushing back to him.
Johnny looked out to the crowd and spotted Rebel and her long legs a few yards away, smiling and winking.
Walt, the singer, resumed singing and playing his tune, ‘Dirty, Hairy, Smelly, Hippie Chick.’ Even though Susie was kinda insulted, she was kinda flattered and screamed and applauded with the rest of the crowd. Of course, that didn’t stop her from running off with an even dirtier, hairier, smellier hippie dude, named Sasquatch, when the set was over.
Go ahead. Go with that bum, Susie. Take everyone home with you, Walt was thinking.
As Susie walked away with Sasquatch, Walt stepped up to the mic and calmly announced, “ Hey,Susie! You &$%@# B!#8%!!! You’ve got enough crab lice for the entire city, you — ——F%^$*ing ——— o#@%£§~!!!!