“That was great, Stan. Really something.”
“Yes, well, thank you.” He shifted on the couch and raised a lazy paw to his ear. “I feared I’d grown a bit rusty since my days at the BBC, but it’s nice to see that I’ve still ‘got it,’ as you Yanks like to say.”
“Absolutely. And your singing voice has never sounded better.”
“Cheers.” He rolled over onto his back. “So tell me,” he said, “What’s all this business about raising cash, anyway?”
“Well, we’ve got to get to New York in January to do this album. It’s not free, you know.”
“Yes, but… twenty grand? My lady friend Pasha makes music in her parlor with a computer and a keyboard. I’ve heard it. Takes me straight back to my days at the Berlin Correspondent’s Club. Lovely stuff.”
“I’m sure it’s great. But I have to make music with other people. It’s all about interaction for me. I need a studio, an engineer and excellent musicians..."
"Like this Eubanks fellow," he asserted. "I'm told he plays a drum kit of fine pewter. And Monsieur Schlesinger... those Grammy winners don't just materialize from the ether, do they?"
"No. Plus, we’ll have to get discs manufactured, pay for some promotion, et cetera. When you start adding it up, twenty large isn’t so much money. Not to mention your travel expenses to New York.”
“Which shall be extravagant.”
“What’s this one going to be about then?”
“Well, it’s going to be called ‘Dudes.’ Most of the songs are stories about different guys and their interactions with the world.”
“Bit sexist, isn’t it?” He rolled over and fixed me with an unwavering stare. “The 80’s are over, my boy.”
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of stuff for the ladies, too.”
“Yes, I suppose there will be a generous measure of that embarrassingly high, feminine singing you do.”
“Well… not just that, but there are plenty of women in the stories, you know.”
“Fine then. Just as long as you’ve not forgotten about your base. Ol’ Stanley does like his kibbles and bits… and drinks, you know.” He grinned mischievously. “Speaking of… would you mind?”
I walked to the liquor cabinet and poured him a shot of E&J.
“Fantastic,” he exclaimed, extracting his tongue from the bottom of the shot glass. “So what happens if you don’t raise the money?”
I had considered this possibility. “I’m not sure. It's an all-or-nothing proposition. If we don't raise the twenty K, we don't get anything. ”
Stan stared out the window toward the tree line. “Our forces may be small, but they are powerful. Never underestimate the power of pride and determination, my boy. That’s the old Dunkirk Spirit.”
“Nevermind.” He hopped off the couch. “Fire up the leash and take us for a walk, will you? All of this chatter’s put me in a right mood for a stroll.”
“OK,” I said, following him towards the door. “So, you think we can do this?” I fastened the leash to his collar.
“Not a doubt in my mind, old boy,” he said, wagging his tail vigorously as he yanked me out onto the sidewalk. “Not a doubt in my mind!”
- (58 days)