17th – The Way


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‘What if we put it online?’ Tom said as he sipped the water and stops in front of Ringo’s table.

Four of them just had their dinner; but Ringo is already busy with his laptop, updating The Stars blog, he raised his head looked at Tom. John counting the cash they had made today before Ringo goes to save it in to their account tomorrow. Meanwhile, Jerry is still busy to clean up their mess on the kitchen.

John raised his head and look at Tom with question look.

‘I’m online now; you wanna put me on the lappy?’ Ringo said randomly.

Tom shoot Ringo with his usual glare and Ringo grinned, rising his left hand into ‘V’ sign.

‘I was thinking the same.’ Jerry joined the conversation. Apparently he had done in cleaning the kitchen.

‘Explain then,’ asked John confusingly.

‘Our CD flying to Okinawa and other cities by now, we have our own blog –’

Ringo seems to understand what Tom’s point is, because his eyes widened and he flips his fingers in excitement.

‘Why I’ve never think about that? Yeah I’ll do it!’ He exclaimed.

All the three heads turn on him at once. Ringo laughed and said he wills taking care about Tom’s idea to make online store for their album which still leaving John in confusion since no one of them explained to him anything.

***

Once again, The Stars surprised Mr. Fong with their movement. On line store is the best way to gather a lot of buyer since The Stars is also quite popular on the internet community.

‘I told you,’ that the only word Mrs. Smith saying about The Stars progress whenever Mr. Fong shared his mind about the young group.

‘You will never regret to take them under your wings, nor are they annoying your pride since they don’t wanna be yours?’

‘They have no idea with entertainment industry.’ Mr. Fong said defensively.

‘Of course they don’t, all they care about is making and playing music then has fun with their fans once they’re on stage. But don’t you see how strong they are? I have no idea why you keep resisting them or do you think there will no company wanna have deal with their idealism?’

Mr. Fong had replied nothing but looking at his best friend who sits next to him.

‘Ahh you’re right, there rare chance for any other company to have deal with them but you’ll lost your diamond once you lost them.’ Mrs. Smith went on saying.

From the business side, The Stars is promising, definitely they are young, each member has their own specialty and role in the band and it seems natural, they  are making their own music and aside of musical ability four of them have a good look as boy, another point to make them stand out among the other.

But with their strong will for not letting anyone to interfere their musical taste, it is something who need to think twice. However, when it comes to business, profit is something who need to count in the first place. All the releases must be profitable and company must have guarantee for that. Does he brave enough to gambling with the unknown composers like The Stars?

Mr. Fong rubbed his fore head. He had lost in making agreement with the young boys as John said, “it was about you take it or we leave”. And without him, The Stars keep on going and grows even bigger beyond his expectation.

‘These boys are special.’ Mr. Fong mumbled.

Mrs. Smith chuckled hearing Mr. Fong mumbling.

***

The Stars is about to prepare heading to Shinjuku station when John’s cell-phone ringing.

John frowned by seeing whose name that appear on his screen.

‘Yes sir,’

Three other member stop on their doing and looking at John instead.

‘Alright, I’ll go right away. Four of us are available right now.’

‘Who is it?’ Tom asked once John hung up the phone.

‘Mr. Fong?’ It was Ringo who asked.

John let out a deep breath and said, ‘it was him, he asked us to come to his office.’

They are looked at each other.

***

They are look more confuse when the new draft of their contract read. It is definitely like what they are requested before.

‘Sir, is that mean… you’re accept our request?’ John asked for reconfirmed it.

‘But there’s a problem with your single.’ Four of The Stars member looking at each other. ‘If you’re about sign then we’ll take over the whole and all of you need is focus on to your music. And,’ Mr. Fong held up his hand to stop John who wanted to speak. ‘We may need a new song and new image.’

‘What did you mean by take over the whole, new song and image? Our music is our image.’ Tom said.

Mr. Fong flips his fingers, ‘that’s it! Show me your image by your song. The Stars is yours and if we’re about to re-release with my company’s name at least I need one new song for re-branding. How do you think?’

No one of The Stars member speak, they drown to their own mind. Mr. Fong challenges them with a great opportunity.

‘Bring me one song and your entire request is yours.’ the MD Corp boss ultimate the boys.

‘Alright, we’re taking the challenge. So when we have to bring the song?’ John nodded and the three other look at him instantly.

The half aged man smiled, these boys are already his.

‘I give you one month but you can call me anytime you’re ready. Then we’ll see where we can be.’ Mr. Fong concluded.

***

‘I already predict his movement, Mr. Fong.’ John said as four of them gather lazily on the second night after their last meeting with the MD Corp boss.

Ringo sighed, and buried himself into the book he read.

‘It’s kind of audition for us, he look over us along these time and we pass his qualification thus far.’ John continues.

‘You mean, this song is our last test?’ Tom asked.

‘Sort of, we gotta remember we’re gone a bit too far with our request. Have you ever thought any of the youngsters in our age do the same with us?’

‘But John, so far we did well with ourselves.’ Ringo said.

Jerry nodded for agreement, ‘Ringo is right.’

‘We did without putting profit on the first place but when it comes to the company things, it’d be different.’

‘Profit will follow our satisfying.’ Tom said quickly.

John shook his head, ‘Profit is depending on the market, and something we satisfied about not always satisfied the market demand. Company has a deal with what market wants and artisan has a deal with company, so… what?’ John asked the three other members who looked at him in strange expression.

‘I think your parents didn’t do something wrong by forcing you entering business college. Didn’t you realize your thought in this matter has shown that you’re both as artisan and businessman?’ Jerry chuckled.

‘What?!’ John looks around and he found the other smiling agreeing what Jerry had said.

‘So, what song we need to make?’ Ringo asked.

Tom shrugged clearly that he has no idea since usually he is the one who excited the most when it comes to the music.

‘But you’ve a lot of song –’

‘You go on discussing, let me know what your decision is, I’ll go to sleep.’ Tom cut Ringo across and leaves the living room, surprising the other.

‘What’s wrong with him?’ Jerry asked.

John and Ringo also as puzzled as Jerry and simply watched Tom who had vanish inside the room next to them.

***

It was 2.00 am in the morning and John still struggle with his song. He does not know where the part that not right but when he listen to his song it seems lacking something. And he trying to figure it out for almost two hours already and he found nothing.

John pushes his chair off and launches himself in to the bed behind. Stretching his both hands and did not even hold his yawn.

‘What wrong with the song,’ he mumbled.

John is about to cover his face with pillow when a head popped up from his room door. It was Jerry.

‘Ah you haven’t sleep yet,’

‘Is there anything?’ John asked weakly.

Jerry sat on the edge of John’s bed and he shoves crumple sketch note paper to his leader who still lying uninterested.

John’s eyes narrowed and read the paper, still uninterested.

‘I think some part was not right or missing but I can’t find where it is.’ Jerry said.

‘Let’s discuss it tomorrow, I’m sleepy now,’ John sighed. ‘I’m struggling too.’

What’s wrong with us? John thought. Before they had never faced such things, the song they made just went as they want. But this time when it is the crucial time for them and they need to have a good song but all they have just crumple sketch.

***

‘What’s wrong with us?’ Ringo grunted once they gather for daily practice.

John sighed and put his guitar aside, ‘what do we do?’

‘Ahh I don’t know, actually John, what song we gotta make?’ Jerry shrugged.

Tom shook his head, ‘I still can’t figure it out what the style we trying to expressed.’

‘What if we do as usual, we don’t need to change our style don’t we?’ Ringo asked.

‘No we don’t.’ Tom replied.

‘Ah anyway, I think Jerry’s song is good but we need to polish it,’ John rummaged his bag to take a crumple sheet and show it off to the other members.

Tom was the one who examining the sketch note first and trying to hum it meanwhile Ringo and Jerry listen carefully, Tom stopped after first verse.

‘I think if the note bit higher it would be better.’ He said.

‘But then, it’ll too high for chorus.’ Oppose John.

‘Yeah, what if we replace it with overtone for the second verse? I think it’ll more balance.’ Suggest Ringo.

Tom does what Ringo suggests instantly, he repeated once again and make a stop awhile, thinking.

‘I think it’s better,’ Tom said at last.

‘And it’d much better if you sing the song.’ John suddenly said.

All three heads facing John by a second in surprise, what does he mean?

‘Try sing proper and completely, this song is for your voice.’ John added.

‘What are you tried to tell to us? You suggest me to sing? Are you out of your mind?’ Tom raised his voice.

‘John, tell us clearly.’ Jerry asked with soft voice trying to drown out the sudden high tense among them.

‘Don’t tell us you wanna quit from this band.’ Ringo said.

‘Who said I wanna quit?’ John rolled his eyes.

‘So?’

‘Wait, how come you guys have an idea that I wanna quit?’

‘Well, Jerry teach us how to read your movement,’ Ringo shrugged.

John turned to Jerry who also shrugged his shoulders, he chuckled. His band mates are really concern to him now.

‘I just think that Tom has good voice too and he used to help me as vocal backing, why didn’t we try to increase the singing part?’

Tom, Ringo and Jerry look at each other. John is true and his suggestion tempted to try.

***

It was another bright Sunday morning when The Stars decided not to have any performance today since today is a kind of special day for them, a demo song for MD Corp is ready to be settled.

Tom giggled at Jerry, who does basic stretching,

‘What are you doing?’

‘Huh?’

‘If you wanna train, go to  gym.’ Tom laughed.

Jerry stood up and grabbing Tom’s hand then placing it directly against his heart.

‘Can you feel it?’ Jerry asked.

‘What?’

‘You know how nervous I’m, my heart beating like crazy.’

Tom’s laugh grew louder.

‘It’s because you did stupid stretching. Fool.’ Tom shook his head as he walks outside to wait for John and Ringo back to take their demo song.

‘I’m serious Tom, don’t you feel nervous too? You gonna sing the song…’

‘I don’t,’ Tom waved his right hand. ‘And I won’t alone, there John who help me up.’

Actually, Tom was tells lies, how come he does not nervous? It will the first time for him to stand side by side with John as vocalist and this song will be release under the company name instead of solely The Stars. But of course Tom will not show what his real feeling is to neither Jerry nor the other two. Just like the day he impressed with Jerry’s song which then four of them agree to record the song as their demo for MD Corp.

***

Four of The Stars member sit nervously while listen to their demo song altogether with Mr.Fong. High tense mirrored in every of their face, everyone waiting for MD Corp’s boss reaction since his face has shows nothing more than seriousness.

Saying the truth, again and all over again The Stars had surprise him. He was never expected that the song he listen will have different color though it still the same style, The Stars style but with Tom and John’s voice combine together, the whole song sounds fresh.

‘Okay,’ Mr. Fong said and The Stars members look even more nervous as though they are waiting for jury to knock up their punishment.

‘I like this song,’ four young boys smiling and looking at each other in relieve. ‘But I’d like to know though, why did you change into double vocal?’

‘We didn’t purposely change into double vocal, when we composed it; we found that Tom’s voice will bring another sound we never have before so we agree to try.’ John explained.

‘You try? This is demo for your contract but you try  something you even never have done it before?’

‘There’s no difference, this is our music and we make what we want, it has nothing to do with demo for contract  or not. We don’t making music purposely to make you satisfied.’ John said firmly.

Mr. Fong quite surprise with John explanation. Seriously he has no idea how to hold them, these boys stay firm and he was very sure it wills not a problem for them if he did not like the song as John had said. But on the other hand he admire and amaze with their, especially John judgment to add another voice. This boy has talent of course.

‘As I said before, your entire request is on your hand. I’m waiting for our team work. So, my assistant will call you once the contract is ready and we’ll provide you a manager who will help arrange your daily schedules.’ Mr. Fong said eventually since he knows he already lose over the young boys.

The Stars

 

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