29. Tell the Moon Dog, Tell the March Hare

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I made myself some lunch when I woke up again at one, and started looking through the phone book. It took me a few phone calls, but I eventually talked to a lawyer about changing my name. She told me that it was a much simpler legal procedure to give myself an additional name than it was to get the old one taken away. She tried to convince me that for $250 per hour she could handle the more complicated procedure. I decided to add the new name and bury the old one my own way, and to worry about paying someone to finish the job someday when I had money to spend on it. I took the bus down to city hall, and filled out some papers. The clerk gave me shit about not having a driver's license, and I told him it'd be pretty stupid for them to give a license to someone who couldn't drive. He didn't find that funny, but I filled out the papers and he didn't tear them up or have me arrested. At least I accomplished one of the things I had told Bart I'd do. I called him and told him to meet me at the coffee house, and blow off the studio tonight. I left Roger a note telling him we weren't recording. 

The Copa was a coffeehouse on the corner of Angell Street two blocks from where Roger and I lived. One of these places with ceiling fans turning all the time, summer or winter, all kinds of coffee and baked goods and even pretty cheap sandwiches, people's stuff dumped all around the edges of the place, the windowsill full of backpacks and bookbags and the cases of the more cavalier violinists. There were seats for about forty. Me and Bart played an acoustic set there every third Thursday night under the name the Right-Ass Brothers (don't ask), and on the other nights we often hung around and listened to whoever they had. I arrived early and sat at a table against the wall. 

Bart threw the classified ads down on the table.  

"What's this for?" I moved my coffee to the side to get a better look at the paper.

"For us. To start looking for a 'Lead Vocalist' ad or 'Musicians Wanted.'" He sat down with a muffin on a saucer. "Got a pen?"


"Well, here..." He held out a pen. "Take it."

"No," I said again, trying to kickstart my sentence. "I mean, no, I'm not looking at any ads." 

"Why not?" 

I slurped the coffee. I'd put so much sugar in most of it was piled in the bottom of the cup, undissolved. "I'm not interested in joining someone else's band, I want someone to join my band." 

"What's the difference?"

"There's a big difference!" I looked at him. "And those Lead Vocalist types are going to give us the same prima donna shit Roger's giving us."

"Yeah, but we've got to do something." His frustration echoed my own. "Maybe we should take out our own ad. It might be better than nothing. And that way you can make it clear it's your band." 

"No." I snorted. "It's the principle of the thing. I don't want to meet my next bandmember through the ads anymore than I want to meet my future wife through the personals." That sounded so weird as I said it. "I mean, we're talking about a deep, meaningful, lifelong relationship, and these ads are like the Dating Service for Unemployed Musicians." I picked up the paper and began reading from the 'Musicians Wanted' column. "'Working Band seeks male vocalist, have gigs and rehearsal space, bring your own tux.'"

"Wedding band." 

"'Keyboards and drums seeks singer influenced by Cure, REM, Siouxsie, New Order, better to look like Robert Smith than sound like him.' Ugh. Or how about this one, 'Hard-working guitar band needs front man for covers and originals, long hair and transportation a must. No drugs, No egos.'" I dropped the paper. "This is bullshit. We've got to ask around ourselves, see who we know." 

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