There’s demons in the attic
I can hear them
Over the static
There demons in the attic
I can see them
They are my vatic
The Prophet Has Died M.S. 1994
Whether I should have been scared of the man sitting beside me in the pub while the band played or not I didn’t know, but I also didn’t care, he was a nobody to me. As I said previous I could tell he wasn’t a cop, because he hadn’t arrested me for being under age, but I was kind of treating him like one and saying as little as possible.
As well as wearing a coating of bad aftershave and a beer mouthwash the man sitting beside me was probably a good ten years older than me, he was wearing a dark coloured suit with a yellow tie that seemed out of place with the suit. He was probably overweight but not super fat, his hair was thinning where his stomach wasn’t and he seemed like he was confident in himself. Well confident enough that he saw no reason not to approach me and start talking to me.
“You know, you remind me a lot of me when I was your age.” the man said to me and when I didn’t respond he tried again. “Not a talker hey? Well are you a listener?” He waited a second and when he got no response he started again. I quickly found myself wishing that the band was even louder than they were. “This industry is not the place for a young lad not without the right adult representation and protection. The industry will eat you alive if you let it. I can stop it eating you up.”
Even with such a speech I still had no intention of responding to the man in the suit and the more he spoke the more I was interesting in the band and not him.
“Fuck off and leave him alone Cannons. He doesn’t need to listen to your bullshit.” I heard right at quiet moment between songs.
The voice belonged to Steve and he was standing in front of the man he’d just referred to as Cannons and was staring him down.
“What is it to you what the boy and I am talking about?” Cannons said.
“He works for Power and he’s not interested in anything you’ve got to sell him. Now get the fuck out of here.” Steve replied.
“What are you going to do? Call the cops? The kid’s under age. You’ll have this place shut down quicker than I can fart. How many jobs do you think Power will get when it comes out that the cops are following you everywhere?”
Steve didn’t even hesitate with a response. “He’s an employee, he’s not drinking and he’s behind the stage, at least he will be by the time the cops get here. So fuck off with your threats. Fuck off with your promises and fuck off with that fat arse of yours. If I see you talking to him again I’ll have the bouncers remove you to the back alley where not even the cops will be interested in what happens.”
Steve’s threat scared me and I wasn’t even sure what he meant by it all. Although Cannons tried to act like he wasn’t scared I could see that he was at least concerned enough to vacate his seat and walk away.
Looking at me the big man said. “You need to watch whose arse you’re kissing kid, because one of these days the arsehole you kiss will shit in your face!” Cannons said as he walked away.
“Ignore that cunt.” Steve said to me, he wasn’t angry but I could tell there was something more going on than had just happened. “Come back stage. Don’t want to give him and reason to make a scene.”
I was a bit annoyed at not getting to see the end of the set but I understood Steve’s words were not a suggestion. Back stage and behind the wall of sound where we could hear each other talk easier I asked him about Cannons.
As it turned out Cannons, his name was Tucker Cannon, was a gig promoter. He didn’t work exclusively with any one band that were busting their arses in the local scene but that didn’t stop him from pushing hard to work with them. His methods were often underhanded, word through the industry was he didn’t mind ripping bands off, either by not paying them their dues or promising them things he couldn’t deliver to get them to sign with him. He’d been lurking in the background of the Adelaide music scene for nearly ten years, screwing bands while at the same time helping himself to hefty pay days and building up his wealth. When I asked Steve how it was that bands got involved with him if the stories were making the rounds his response was simple. “Too many musicians are blinded by offers of fame and fortune.”
“So what did he want with me? Pretty obvious I’m not with the band.” I said to Steve.
“All he’d have seen was someone he could manipulate. Probably figured if you were here you were a friend of the band. If you’re friends of the band you could get him in the back door.” Steve replied.
“Sounds like a long shot to me.”
“Yeah but he’s desperate and not afraid to take the long road. He’s the definition of scumbag. He’d offer you a large sum of money, get you to do some jobs for more money, then after a few jobs he’d say you owe him and that if you didn’t get him in with the band he’d have you arrested because one of the jobs you did was illegal. Honestly the prick acts like the Godfather of Adelaide.”
I hadn’t seen the movie Steve was talking about but of course I knew about the Godfather movies enough to understand that Tucker Cannons was a person I wanted nothing to do with. If only I remember that later in life.