Home > One More Chance (Band on the Run #4)

One More Chance (Band on the Run #4)
Author: Samantha Chase

Twenty-One Years Ago...

Tonight’s the night.

Yeah, that had been the same thought that had gone through Mick Tyler’s mind almost every night for almost two damn years. He’d been combing clubs and bars all over L.A. and Hollywood searching for inspiration and it had yet to strike.

He’d left home two years ago in search of pursuing his dream of making it in the music business. Not that he was a musician, but he just wanted to be a part of it in the form of working for a record label or managing a band. So far, nothing had come from either of those quests, but he was hoping tonight would be different.

Hell, he wished that same thing night after night, but eventually, something had to give, right?

It was a little after eleven as he walked into yet another dive. It reeked of stale beer and body odor, and a part of him wanted to turn around and walk right out and go back to his own crappy apartment that smelled only mildly less offensive.

“Tonight,” he murmured to himself. “Tonight is going to be worth the smell.”

Making his way through the crowd, he bypassed the bar and found a spot just to the right of the stage and settled in for a long night. They were always long. Tonight’s lineup had four bands playing and Mick said a small prayer that he’d be leaving here later with his hearing intact and a band worth representing.

An hour later, the first band hit the stage and after fifteen minutes of bad singing, bad guitar playing, and the bassist vomiting, he turned and got himself a beer. Normally he wasn’t a drinker, but ordering a beer didn’t make him feel like a freak. The few times he ordered a bottle of water, the bartender had looked at him like he had ordered meth.

So in the bizarro world of the L.A. music scene, beer was more acceptable.

It took another thirty minutes for the second band to hit the stage and while they weren’t horrible, no matter how Mick looked at them, they weren’t what he was looking for.

Glancing at his watch, he knew there were another two hours to get through. With a sigh, he looked around and managed to find a lone barstool, which he pulled along with him, and sat against the wall in the shadows. It wasn’t comfortable and it was getting hotter the longer the night went on, but he was determined to see it through to the end.

Several people looked at him oddly, but it didn’t even faze him anymore. He had an image he was trying to project; he wasn’t here to hang out or be part of the crowd. He was here as a businessman looking to scope out the talent in hopes of signing them. So instead of jeans and a t-shirt, he was in a pair of black trousers and a polo shirt.

Yeah, he certainly didn’t blend in with the crowd.

The third band was so awful that people started throwing things at the stage and it was almost a relief when they flipped the crowd off and stormed off the stage.

“Just one more,” he grumbled as he started to feel like tonight wasn’t going to be his night either.

Time seemed to drag and it was almost two a.m. when the last band finally took the stage.

“What’s up, L.A?” the lead singer called out from center stage and Mick instantly sat up a little straighter. The kid was good-looking, smiling, had a bit of a cocky swagger, and was clearly sober.

That’s a first...

“We’re Shaughnessy and we know that Angus and everyone here saved the best for last and here we are!”

The crowd went wild and Mick had to wonder why these guys hadn’t been on his radar before. A swarm of girls rushed the stage as they started to play and for a moment, he swore he must have slipped into another dimension because these guys were good.

Really good.

Too good to be playing in a shithole like this.

Sitting up straighter, he felt a smile tug at the corner of his lips.

Tonight will be the night.

At the end of their set, the lead singer did the whole introducing the band thing. “On bass, we’ve got Dylan Anders!” And the girls all screamed excitedly. “On lead guitar, Matty Reed!” More screaming. “And on the drums, Julian Grayson!” This time there was a roar of applause from some of the guys in the audience. “And me? I’m Riley Shaughnessy! And you guys have been great! Good night!”

The guys all moved away from the crowd and began breaking down their equipment and Mick knew this was where he had to swoop in. If he waited until after they were done and had come back inside to have a drink, he’d lose them to the girls. Standing, he straightened, shook out his limbs a bit, and then strode backstage like he owned the place.

He caught up with them in the back alley loading their stuff into a van. It was so cliché it was almost laughable, but...you had to start somewhere, right?

Riley turned and noticed him first.

“That was quite a set you put on out there,” he began before holding out his hand. “Mick Tyler.”

Nodding, Riley shook his hand. “Riley Shaughnessy.”

“I haven’t seen you guys playing anywhere before. Have you been in L.A. long?”

“About three months.” He eyed Mick warily. “Are you some sort of scout or something?”

With a casual shrug, he said, “Or something.”

“Yeah, uh...look, we’ve got to get this crap secured, so...”

“How about I buy you guys a couple of drinks?” Mick suggested, suddenly feeling like the world’s biggest creeper.

And from the look on Riley’s face, that was his opinion too.

“Look, I’d like to know more about your music and curious if anyone’s representing you?”

The bassist, Dylan, walked over, resting his arm on Riley’s shoulder. “Representing us?” he asked with a laugh. “Dude, no one’s coming into bars like this. Although, this is actually a step up from the place we played at last week, so...”

Riley looked a little sheepish. “We figured every couple of weeks we’ll move up until we get to play places like The Whiskey or the Viper Room or even The Roxy.” Then he laughed softly. “At least...we hope that’s how it works.”

“How what works?” Julian, the drummer, asked as he joined them and eyed Mick with a hint a menace.

“Moving up the L.A. ladder,” Dylan said. “We need to pay our dues, but hopefully we can pay them fast."

Matty Reed walked by with an amp and glared at the lot of them. “Yeah, no worries. I got this shit.” He muttered a string of colorful curses before turning back to them. “It would be nice if I didn’t have to do all the heavy lifting, you know.”

This was his opening...

“You shouldn’t have to do any lifting,” Mick said confidently. “You should be playing bigger clubs—like The Whiskey—and have people moving all your equipment for you.” Then he stood a little straighter. “And I can make that happen for you.”

Four pairs of wide eyes stared back at him before Julian snorted and turned away, Matt went back to grab the last of his guitars, and Dylan wandered off.

Only Riley remained.

“You seriously think you can get us into The Whiskey?” he asked cautiously.


His eyes narrowed. “What’s the catch?”

“Honestly? It won’t happen overnight, but together, we can make it happen sooner than you doing it on your own.” Pausing, he considered his next words. “Give me three months, Riley Shaughnessy, and I’ll make you a star.”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)
» The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)