The young man with the greasy brown hair scratched absent-mindedly at a pustule on his nose, and began to play the first faltering notes of Oasis’s Wonderwall. A Goth with dyed black hair and eyeliner at the back of the shop eyeing a Gibson 335 groaned audibly at such a rude arousal from his latest Cramps fantasy, in which he’d been setting about Poison Ivy with it to her wildly enthusiastic delight, and hissed to his chubby girlfriend:
“Oasis? What the fuck?”
“Just be grateful it’s not Hughey Lewis and the News like last week,” she replied angrily, having more than an inkling his attention was as ever, not where it should be.
They were in Gerry’s Guitar Shop and the pimply youth had been annoying all and sundry with his weekly violation of the best guitar in the shop: the black and white Fender Stratocaster, American vintage no less and rumoured to have been played by Hendrix himself. The fact that the rumour had been started by Gerry didn’t detract from its mystique.
The pimpled one looked up and smiled at Mel, the pissed off employee who had drawn the short straw and been charged with making sure the dork didn’t actually do any real damage. The problem was he kept threatening to buy it insisting to anyone who would listen that he was coming into some ‘big money’.
“Twat,” thought Mel fingering his nose-ring absent-mindedly. He had a hot date tonight with the voluptuous Kelly from Greg’s the Bakers two doors down.
“She’s not voluptuous you fuck-wit,” Kev, one of the other Saturday assistants had said, “she’s fat. What do you expect from a chick who works in a fucking bakers, eh? Wait ‘til she’s twenty-two, you’ll be needing a winch and pulley system to get her in and out of that heap of shit car of yours.”
“My name’s Keith,” said the pimpled poseur, “you might have heard of me or my band, Head In The Sand? H I T S, gettit? No? Well you will one day mate. You will one day. Now what’s that Led Zep tune everyone used to play about, like, ninety years ago or something?”
“What?” said Mel, feeling the first twinge of unease. There was something he’d been told about, told not to forget and godammit if he’d gone and done exactly that.
“You know, Led Zepplin dinosaurs of rock and all that. I’m more into the Zappmeister than the Zep myself, but I just wish I could remember what the damn song was-”
“Stairway to Heaven,” said a fresh faced young girl no one in Gerry’s had seen before as she sashayed past in cloud of perfume.
“That’s the one! Now how does it go again…” at that moment Gerry himself came out from the back room, a concerned frown on his perma-tanned face and Mel remembered with a start what he’d been told on no account to forget.
But it was too late. Keith started to play the first notes even managing to get them right for a change and that was going to prove the biggest mistake of his life, although he didn’t know that. Not then.