CHAPTER SIX: GETTING OUR FIRST SHOW
The news regarding the Whiskey turned out to be negatory. We were pretty down about that. At least looking on the bright side, we had 12 songs now. That is all you need. 45 minutes. The Whiskey gig didn't matter. We were confident that something was going to happen. Something did happen, and it came in the form of a phone call. On the other end of the phone was a friend of older brother Matthew, named Belinda. Apparently Belinda was cleaning out Matthew's car, and found in the backseat the demo that D and Al and I had made; the one with "So I Fall Again" on it. She told me that she really liked it, and that she might be able to get us a show at the Dragonfly, a 21 and over club in Hollywood. I guess she wanted our permission to try and get the gig. I guess she was also out of her mind..."GO AND GET IT, GODDAMN IT! DON'T ASK ME! OF COURSE I WANT TO PLAY! GO, GO, GO!"
She called me up ten minutes later. "March 5th."
This was it. The real gig. The clubs. The audience. The cigarettes. I told the guys, who in turn went pretty crazy. The weeks that succeeded were filled with practices and meetings with the band at Belinda's house up in the canyons off Crescent Heights. There we talked about the set, the fliers, the music and of course the new band name: Phantom Planet.
The story of the name goes a littel something like this:
Alex's room is notorious. There is no ground, I am convinced. It is just CD cases, shirts, note pads, and Nintendo games. The room should be a landmark as far as I am concerned. The room is also the kind of place where things just magically appear. For instance, one day I was sitting in his room and I just found a pair of Arnet sunglasses on the ground. "I didn't know you had Arnets," I said. "Neither did I," Al replied, as he happened to find a laser pointer pen inside a turkey sandwich he was eating. The story states that one day, while toiling around in his room, Al found a CD called Neil Norman's Science Fiction's Greatest Hits: Volume One. Curious, Al popped the CD in the player and gave it a go. A little more than halfway through the record, a song came blasting on that caught Al's ear. It was a combination of odd times, muted guitars and funky drums. It was a sonic onslaught. Al quickly snatched up the case to see what the song was called. As he counted down the back with his finger, he came to the song, "Theme From Phantom Planet."
That was it. Al liked it so much that he called us all and asked us what we thought. My call went a little something like this: "Hey J, I think I got the band name. Ready?...PHANTOM (beat) PLANET. What do you think?" I liked it. "Phantom: you know, because we're mysterious. Planet: we are kind of universal and futuristic-space-age," he offered. I liked it. I didn't need to be sold on it. Neither did anyone else for that matter. Committing to a name is a hard thing to do. But it worked out.
The preparations were all being made. Sam took an old comic sketch of a phantom, and put the band name in with it. It looked good. Real. We had shirts made up of the same look. Everything was in place. We also thought...
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