New York City, NY
We are worn from travel, our bags are heavy with electronics, and our arms feel as though they are about to be ripped from their sockets. Our feet feel like dead fish, and our legs also feel like dead fish. We drag our music equipment ten blocks and into the dark underground tunnels of New York City to board the a subway train. The platform smells a lot like the above ground part of the city: like scum and urine. On a subway platform, we wait for the train that will carry us to the rehearsal studio to rehearse the 20 minute epics that we have to play in order to still be considered a progressive rock band. The platform is bathed in a sickly yellow light, and is oddly silent. There is no facial expression in sight other than a frown. An influx of hot, stinky air hits us from deep within the subway tunnel where a distant light can be seen growing larger. A train approaches. Upon arrival, the train doors open, and we board, and sit. We spend the entire ride gazing attentively at advertisements for beer.
The trip finished, we emerge from the deep depths of the city and walk the street to the studio, which is in the heart of manhattan, an island with more buildings than people. Phideaux leads us to a room, where he locks us in for twelve hours and forces us to press buttons. We are only allowed to eat cookies from a bakery down the street, and he chooses which kind. It is pure torture.
The rehearsal is for a show at Summer’s End progressive rock festival in Lydney, England. I am doubtful that such a place exists, but I hold out hope that this strenuous and exhausting labor will, at the end, produce something that in some small way, at the very least, would help one or more people to be slightly happier, and my body will not have been broken in vain. I play keyboards and saxophone in the progressive rock band Phideaux. Thank you.