Private: Barry Delgado
Champion got that chrome horse, daddy
Goin’ 100 past the material planes
He keep the blade of the ancients on his slick hip
You know his path from the flames
And the Universe she’s a bad mama
She strut like the meanest machine
She opening her galactic thighs, baby
Gonna take the eternal champion’s seed
– “Legend Movement: The Universal Seed”, from Forge Cycle Two.
When you’re new at this shit, you got nerves before the show. You pace. You drink too much, sometimes. When you’ve been at this for almost a decade, though?
You chill. Make sure your pants are dutifully gripping and presenting, so you put your best hog forward. Sip a bit of rose wine.
Or, if you’re Solid Gold Rock and Roll, you’re gathered around a whiteboard with a couple of headshots taped to it and the word “MATCH STRATEGY” written on it in bold. Trent Sadikaj is relaxing on a chaise, while Barry Delgado paces in front of the board, his head down in thought. Though you didn’t ask, Boots is in leather and Boogie is in his trademark Canadian tux. The rest of the band are gathered about, some working on things, some ( Rich Savage ) smoking like a Bristol chimney. As Barry paces, he keeps shaking his head in thought. Finally, Samira speaks up, not taking her gaze from drumming on a practice pad.
Iron Sam: So it’s like, what do you know about them? Start there.
Barry stops pacing and places his hands on his hips. In these moments we remember that being a creative and being charming don’t necessarily go hand in hand with any sort of intelligence or acumen. It’s obvious with Trent, but Boogie Barry is just as much of a himbo.
Boogie: Okay, okay, I can do that. Um…okay, Egg Bandits.
Boots: Can we talk on the name? Like the why of it?
Iron Sam: I would, but they don’t have much of a presence on Wikipedia, and that’s about as far deep as I’m willing to dive.
At this, Rich scoffs.
Savage: Still deeper than ‘em, innit?
Boogie: That’s fair. I’m not mad, that’s fair.
Iron Sam: I mean if you really want to look at the meat and potatoes of it, they gotta be strong, right? That one guy, Dean, he’s massive. Hell, I dunno if Boogie could even lift him.
At this, a hush falls over the band. Barry chews his lip, his eyes getting a somewhat uncharacteristic intensity. When he speaks, it’s soft, the whisper of a man trying to keep himself in check.
Boogie: …the fuck did you just say?
Boots: Naw Boogie Baby, she ain’t mean it like that, just that–
Barry holds up a hand in sharp anger, and leans in towards his compatriot in the rhythm section.
Boogie: No, no, hold on Trent. Samira. What. Did you. Just say?
Iron Sam: I said I didn’t know if you could lift Bobby Dean.
He leans closer. She’s still smirking.
Boogie: …say it to my face.
Iron Sam: I just did, knucklehead. You gonna get mad at me or you gonna prove me wrong?
There’s a tense moment here before Barry Delgado cracks a smile at Samira’s smirk. She playfully socks him in his Everest shoulder, as the mood in the room returns to jovial.
Boogie: Well heck, guess I gotta prove you wrong! But back to the issue at hand…look. I think we can beat them. Solid Gold do you think we can beat them?
Savage: Dun see why not.
Iron Sam: Sure.
Long Don: You’ve got my vote, boys.
From a table comes a voice.
Riff Tannen: So long as you can leverage your unique combination of agility and pure powerhouse strength, I don’t see why not. The thing that Doozer and Dean have is a similar one to your inherent advantage: they’re a mixture, a sort of stylistic mishmash, like fusion jazz. What you have to believe in is that your base ingredients are simply better, which I think you know they are. Boots has an extreme reach advantage, and Boogie has a low center of gravity and more brawn than most anyone. So long as you isolate Dean–because Doozer is the real problem in such a confrontation–then you should be tip top and raising your arms after the three count.
He hasn’t even looked up from the work he’s doing–swapping the pickups on his candy-pink Telecaster–so the dumbfounded looks from everyone are lost on him.
Boots:…that’s it. That’s it!
Trent springs into action, executing a spin move, before clapping his hands together. That magazine quality face is lit up like it’s Christmas morning.
Boots: Don’t you get it my babies? When we’re out there, we aren’t just the Stallion and the Stud–we ain’t just Boogie and Boots, ay-yay-yow! We went over there and we went out on that entrance as Solid Gold Rock and Roll, baby. Me and this slab of pure muscle and motor are just the…avatars, the arms, the throbbing meaty flesh of this unit, mama, out there on the stage tearing things up from corner to corner! But that ain’t the all of it! Oh no no no, daddy, I have seen the light of truth, I have seen the clouds break on the golden kiss of Heaven upon my forehead! See we are Solid Gold Rock and Roll. And we are Solid Gold Rock and Roll. You feel what I’m caressing? Us out there ain’t nothing unless we got the us in here humming like a tuned up motor! Sure, I’m beautiful. Sure, I’m fast and agile and I got those skills, baby, you know what the Electric Viceroy is getting at. And Barry here, the Throbbing Pulse himself? We know he’s got the muscle and the bad attitude to crack skulls till the early morning’s light! But we gotta admit our weaknesses, Boogie Man.
Barry nods, resolute.
Boogie: …You’re right, Electric Warrior.
Boots: We are just…
Boogie: We, uh…
Boots: How to say it…
Boogie: How to put it uh, diplomatically…
Boots: …we are just dogshit at the exes and ohs, folks. Solid Gold out there cant survive without the Solid Gold in here. Iron Sam, keeping our heads in the game! Richie Lavish Savage always having our backs! Long Don with the positivity! Riffy Genaro over there just breaking it down in Matrix code, daddy! If we got y’all…we will be unstoppable. You hear that, babies?! You hear that knocking at the door?!
Barry grins and claps his frontman on the shoulder. He addresses the rest of the band with an outstretched arm.
Boogie: We can truly, truly make a run at this if you’ve got our backs like this. Cause before we had this strategy session, I sorta felt like we could beat them Bandits. But now I know we can! So I gotta echo the words…do you hear it? Do you hear the knocking at the door?!
Boots: Who is it? It’s us! But it’s us at full power, fully armed and operational, electric babies will you join me in this revolution?!
To this, Boogie Barry pops his hand in the midst of the band. Savage shrugs and places his hand on Barry’s. Long Don nods and grins a gold-toothed grin, placing his hand in the middle. Riff has finished his mods, and pops on an amp, picking out an agile ascending riff before putting his hand in the middle, letting the sustain of the note continue. Iron Sam actually chuckles and then throws her hand in, unable to escape their enthusiasm. Finally, Trent places his manicured and bejeweled hand in the center.
Boots: Solid Gold, baybee!
Unison: Solid Gold, baybee!!
They raise their hands in a jubilant scream, and Boogie steps to the camera, his energy level hitting peak Boogieman.
Boogie: You hear that, Egg Bandits?! You ain’t just facing Boogie and Boots, the Beauty and the Brawn, the Stallion and the Stud! You’re facing the full might of the Solid Gold enterprise! Six hell raising rockers devoted to just making you pay! Electric Boots sling them notes, baby!
Boots: Mercy, mercy, mer-cy! Dean and Doozer you got another thing coming! That’s what you cats ain’t picked up on yet–this ain’t the same old Solid Gold! Daddy this is New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, This is the hottest thing since pussy first hit the market! Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll! You gonna go down, ah hah, in history, oh yes, you gonna be an important footnote!! The first team to be defeated by the new, the improved, the full power Solid Gold, Rock and Roll will never die!! Be anything you wanna be, Egg Bandits! But you can’t be us, and you can’t be winners come that fateful night!!
With that, the crew embrace, with exception of Tannen, who plays up the festivities with a blues solo lick. The jovial air is infectious, even someone as sardonic about the whole affair as Rich and Sam are both caught up in cheers and proclamations of their upcoming victory. Their road manager enters the frame, and even ole Huw Ollie softens, crossing his arms and smiling. We cant say if the boys have necessarily found the proper balance between their ambitions on the stage and in the ring, but at this moment right now?
They feel unstoppable. They seem unstoppable.