Christmas Carols: A Led Zep Fic: Part 7
Jimmy paced nervously across the studio, reflecting on the events of the night. Jimmy KNEW and understood the message the ghosts were trying to give him... but he at same time, he didn't feel as though he had done anything horrible enough to merit the fiery bowels of the underworld... and "ghosts"... that was another thing that troubled him. It had been 28 years since Keith Moon died... fewer for Bonzo and Grant, but still long enough to wonder why, after all this time they'd chosen to arise and harass him.
His eyes fell on the decorated Christmas tree in the far corner of the studio, and the spirits' words echoed again in his mind:
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Jimmy couldn't think straight. His mind was a blur of memories he had tried to lock away for years. Memories. That's all they were. Memories. How could a memory do harm? It couldn't, could it? Not unless one allowed it to.
He got up from the chair and paced back and forth. What the hell just happened? How many more dead drummers were going to come and torment him tonight? Fuck, if only Peter were here. Peter would set him right. He was the best manager ever to walk the earth. Peter would pull him up by the lapels and say, "Jimmy, get over yourself." He smiled a little. "Jimmy, get over yourself. Hop in the car. I'll buy you a drink. You won
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"Keith? Can I ask you something?"
"What does my missing a few Christmases have to do with damnation?" Jimmy swallowed. "That is... I'm not really sure I understand yet."
"Remember what I said back in the music shop, Page?"
"I guess so, yeah. Something about... uh... kindness to your fellow man."
"More importantly than that, Pagey, the significance of one action, and how it can leave behind a wake of influence."
"Yeah, the guitar-teacher to me, me to a billion fans. So what? That's not a bad thing, is it?"
"It works the other way too, Page."
"I suppose that makes sense, yeah, but-"
"Look." Keith pointed forward, and Jimmy loo
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Jimmy was a wreck. The minutes ticked away, and not a sound came in from the streets outside. No cars, no wind... dead silence, and Jimmy had become prisoner of it all. He sat, plastered to the chair, his eyes fixed on the clock.
"Two minutes till one..." he thought, "...still no sign of any ghost." His heart raced with anticipation as he watched the hands on the clock steady edge toward the hour. Had he REALLY just seen Bonzo in the studio?
"Poor old bastard." he thought, "It COULDN'T have been an illusion... could it? I never touched him... I couldn't. But he FELT so REAL." He tried to recollect in his mind the ghost he had seen only an h
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"Last chance?" Jimmy choked. "Bonzo? What? I-"
"Listen, I was allowed to come back here for only one night, Pagey. I'm doing you a fucking favor." Bonzo indicated the chains and the bottles hung around his body. "This represents the misspent hours of my life, Page. The greed, the stupidity... but more than that... all the things I DIDN'T do. The time I wasted."
"Wasted? Bonzo, you came to every studio session! You gave up weekends, holidays... anytime the band needed you, you were there."
"My point..." Bonzo said grimly.
"Sure you had some rough patches... the drinking and all fuck else, but when it came down to it, you were always a good
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They flew over the landscape, the stars above them. The sea below them, and a whole lotta unanswered questions between them.
Jimmy spoke up, as they glided along. "So... just a question, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Yeah?" grunted Peter.
"Don't take this the wrong way, Peter... but how did YOU manage to get into heaven?"
"Why, Pagey? You don't think I'm a good guy?" Grant prodded, not looking at Jimmy.
"Oh, no, you're FANTASTIC, Peter. There's no doubt in my mind about that, but-"
"Then what's the trouble? It takes more than a few dirty words and busted heads to send a man to Hell, Pagey."
"I'm still not convinced..." Jimmy said caut
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December 23rd, 2006...
"That's a wrap." said Robert, putting down his headphones. "Everything's sounding good. I'm heading home."
"Already?" Jimmy muted his guitar with his palm. "It's only 11:00."
"We've been here since noon, Jimmy. I can't pull these all-nighters anymore, and besides..."
"Besides what? I thought you WANTED to do this reunion."
"Well yeah..." Robert sighed, "...but you know... it's Christmas eve tomorrow."
"Oh." Jimmy scowled and began plucking out a tune on the guitar. Robert sat in silence for moment, and then spoke up again.
"I'd really like to start the drive home tonight so I can be h
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The black mist surrounding Jimmy and the spirit dispersed, but although they were no longer in the black abyss, the air around them felt as cold and as desolate as ever.
Three men stood around a table bearing a large bottle of whiskey, shares of which each of the men held in small glasses. It was a bleak, gloomy looking room, but the men were all laughing and drinking in some sort of grim celebration.
"It's a damn shame. Great loss to the music world. Great loss." A mam sighed, taking a swig of whiskey.
"Well yes and no. I'd say the ol' bugger was at the end of his rope anyhow. I don't believe we could have squeezed any new material out of