The Ballad of Jericho

Post originally written by Jeff of Cult of the Malformed Fork.

Scene opens, dark stage with a single highchair.  Woman, late 20’s in a smart suit sits, small collection of note cards in her lap that she adjusts casually.

Greets audience, announces program.

“Hello Everybody, I’m Emily Sanderson and welcome to this months’ exclusive opportunity.  In the next hour we’re going to go over a heroic legend and learn about their present.”

Flash WATN? logo.

View returns to stage where Emily is seated with a man, late 30’s, aged and experienced demeanor.

Introduction.

“Welcome back.  I have here Manager, Producer and Agent, Isaac Visson.  Isaac, you’ve been in The Industry for 10 years now?”

“That’s right Emily, I’ve shaken a lot of hands and kissed a lot of ass.”

Courteous laughter from Emily.

“And in this time you’ve worked with legends great and small, isn’t that right?”

“Absolutely.  I opened the door for names like Evans, Zohanali and the Wayneright Twins.”

“Fantastic! We’re happy to have you here tonight to talk about one of those legends you helped onto the stage.  None other than critically acclaimed Jericho.”

Flash introductory imagery of childhood.  [R&D Note: client information missing/destroyed.  Blame IT.]

“Isaac, tell us about Jericho, when you first met her.”

“Well, I was down in Houston, visiting some friends during my yearly vacation.  We were about three beers into a tasty rack of ribs when I heard these delicious tones coming across the street.  When I went to investigate, there I saw the most amazing looking young woman working a Violin like a master.  If I recall correctly, she was engineering a rendition of The King in solo.  It took some begging and not the least, my last rack of ribs but she finally agreed to sign.  I had a contract in her hands the next morning.”

Insert Commercial Break - 30s

Addresses audience first, then turns to Isaac.

“Welcome back everybody.  Next we hope to get some insight into the musical genius behind the name.  Isaac, how was the music when all this began?”

“Surreal.  Words don’t do it justice.  It was like psychedelic vision danced with Norwegian Death Ballad and birthed a Dirge of Questioned Understanding.  Maynard was a strange man who sang of strange topics, but Jericho practically wrote the book on weird.  She called it ‘Transitional Understanding’.  I called it ‘Fucking Weird.’  And yet the fans craved it.  Claimed awakened perceptions and all sorts of Neo-Pagan bullshit I can’t even begin to describe.  Concerts were like cult gatherings, candles, quiet chanting to the tune of the songs.  And that was the beginning.  Before The Beast.”

Emily consults note-cards, contemplative for a moment.

“Yes, tell us of the drummer.. Henrik Fjornsson?”

“Yeah, The Beast.  Man gave me the heebie jeebies.  I swear, I never crapped so good as on days when he actually locked gaze with me.  We parked too close to a junkyard fence once, unloading the gear for a show.  Some mutt snarled up too close to the fence and started giving us shit in that dog way.  Henrik, just leaned in close and stared at the dog.  Poor thing stopped, tucked it’s balls up around it’s ass and crawled away like it’d stared into hell itself.  Henrik was always possessed of a rugged charm the women found alluring.  Jericho swore she’d never touch that and Henrik just kept to himself.  But he was a monster on the drums and could hammer out a beat to the melodies Jericho’d claimed she thought up the night before.”

“And the bassist?  Morgan?”

Isaac looks lost, as though asked about a cousin he never knew he had.

“Who? Shit, which one? We went through Bassists like panties at a ‘Stones concert.  No, Jericho picked ‘em herself, I never actually met any of them.  She liked to feel them out, know who was about to back her up onstage.  Occasionally she’d go it solo, claiming serendipity or some-shit.  We’d drop ‘em a few hundred bucks, they’d part ways and we might see them at the after-party.”

“So Isaac.  The music? Where did she get her inspiration?”

“Everywhere.  And she meant it.  There are days I couldn’t find her til the opening act and she’d claim she was ‘out being inspired’ and then she’d give about five minutes’ prep to The Beast and we’d hope to hell our latest bassist could keep up.  We went through some talented kids in those years.  But she’d pull out these dirges, like she’d just come back from a funeral and her viking uncle himself had fallen in battle and this was the sending off.  Haunting stuff.  The recordings don’t do them justice.”

Isaac pauses.  Wipes a tear from his eye briefly.

Emily turns to Isaac, then the camera.

“Take your time.  We’re going to take a brief break and then we’ll take a look at where she is now.  The Legend.  Jericho.”

Flash WATN? logo
Commercial break, 2m

intro, jericho, where are they now

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