Preface: In case you are just dropping in for the first time, this is the second part in a short story. Part One was posted yesterday (December 7th).
THE BUZZ – PART TWO
Sami was crushed. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand as she headed out for her broken down Renault. She got mascara all over her hand. She looked like a raccoon with pink-eye. It was her first and last interview with a casting agent. After that, she had given up on acting. She concentrated on being a singer-songwriter, figuring that the age/looks bias was less of an issue in that arena. It was around that time that MTV was born. Live and learn.
She had knocked around Hollywood as long as she could stand it, sitting at beer-soaked pianos with half their keys missing, doing her best to bring across her heartfelt lyrics as sensitively as possible while trying to drown out the drone of the noisy and largely uninterested audiences. She played at restaurants during cocktail hours, but they only wanted “covers” of the “top forty” tunes and “standards”. This made her sick, but it paid. She played at the “clubs” that graciously allowed her to play original tunes, but of course, she lost money on these. Finally, she had stopped playing altogether for nearly ten years. She had found a job as a secretary. At last, all that manual dexterity was going to pay off.
David was another story. He had begun his career as a musician at seventeen and had never stopped. He had started playing in the Marines, and since he had been stationed in Southern California, he had begun to make a living as a professional guitar player with an early surf band and somehow, had just kept on going. Of course, he was one of those people who was legitimately gifted. His playing was strong and clean, tasteful. He had enjoyed a reputation as one of the “heavy” studio players for many years. Then he’d simply gotten bored with the success that had come relatively easily to him. He gave up playing to have his own studio. Again, he had been quite successful. Again, he had gotten bored with that, too, and decided to give up the studio to concentrate on simply writing and producing. This is the stage where Sami Applebaum and David Jorgensen met.
If it was love at first sight, it was a different kind of love than either had expected. It was more as if they had recognized each other right away; as if when they came together for the first time, each had found their other half, and they hadn’t known up to that moment that there was another half.
When they had been seeing each other for several months, Sami had gathered up her courage and presented David with a home-made cassette of some of her tunes. She had been much too shy to play anything for him on the piano. She was somewhat awed by his great experience and success in the music business. Besides, she felt that showing her songs would be like giving him instant access to all the secrets of her soul – the ones she had so desperately and futilely tried to conceal in the first blush of courtship. The songs were extremely intimate, delicate. Folksy in their style and delivery. “Not hip”, she knew. What if he didn’t like what he heard?
David had listened to her self-conscious little tape and realized that, although it was very rough and she obviously hadn’t sung much in some time, there was something endearing and genuine about the overall quality of her songs. He loved her more for it.
In exchange, he had given her a copy of his solo album which he had produced himself. He hadn’t gotten a deal on it yet, but it was polished, professional, avant-garde, fully fleshed out, mostly with synthesizers, and of course, guitars. He had done everything himself. She was struck dumb by his obvious talent. She was also a little frightened. Who was this person? Nothing at all like the quiet, gentle boy-like man she had been dating for the past three months. Each looked at the other with new eyes.
After a year of dating, they decided to live together. After a year of living together, Sami brought up marriage. David was reluctant at first, but he warmed to the idea enough not to cancel the rabbi on the morning of the wedding. Sami’s mother worried that it was a “mixed marriage”, but she was wrong. They shared a common religion—music. The rabbi was a drummer from one of David’s bands. The ceremony was scheduled for eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning by the swimming pool in back of the house. At nine o’clock the bride and groom were taking their last walk around the neighborhood as an unmarried couple. Sami stopped in her tracks:
“Are you sure, David? We can call this off right now. Really.”
“Yeah. I’m sure. Let’s do it.”
To Sami, this was the most romantic speech she had ever
So, here it was. They had been married now for three years. They had written and recorded at least an album’s worth of material that they both felt wonderful about. All the while, they had kept themselves going financially with their “day gigs”. David had begun a mail order business for bulk recording tape. Sami had been doing secretarial work out of their home. They lived together and worked together. They were in love and happy. There was only one thing missing. It was the next logical step in their relationship. The next phase in their development as human beings. The cornerstone of their maturity and commitment: A record deal.