“I just think having two guitarists makes sense!” Till sighed, clearly exasperated.
“No! I don’t want to share the spotlight. I want to be the only guitarist.” Richard took a deep drag of his cigarette, eyes flashing stubbornly as Till shook his head.
“You’re acting like a brat, Richard.” The taller man stood, moving to look out of the window.
Schneider and Olli were decidedly quiet right now, and this clearly irritated Richard. “Would you two speak up
?” He demanded, “You don’t want to work with him either, do you?”
“Well..” Schneider began. “He is
difficult to work with. He’s a bit.. y’know.. You get the feeling he doesn’t trust anyone. But.. I guess another guitarist couldn’t hurt.”
Richard, who had been nodding with a smug look up until the last sentence, scowled and crossed his arms. “Why do we have to have him in the band?! He’s so.. so annoying
. Besides, he has feeling b to focus on.”
“If we get him we can get that friend of his too..” Olli suggested, “Might be cool to have a keyboardist in the group.”
“Exactly.” Till turned, raising an eyebrow at Richard, who sat sulking on the couch. “Then we’ll be six, and the band will be complete.”
“Yes to keyboard, no to guitar.” Richard huffed.
“You can’t get one without the other.” Till hoped this would make Richard see sense, but the small guitarist wouldn’t budge.
“Fine.” He said, lips pursed. “We’ll have neither then.”
“My family is really into opera and classical music.” Schneider suddenly piped up. “Even though this is totally different, it’s sort of the same. There’s a fine line to tread between minimalist music and emptiness in a piece. It’s important to have plenty of texture and different layers in music and, at the moment, our music just sounds empty; there aren’t enough melodies and there’s just silence in between the notes. I mean, three instruments, two of which are mostly concerned with the rhythm and tempo, are not enough to make interesting songs.”
This seemed to get through to Richard, so Olli decided to make one last push. “Besides, he might be good for the chemistry of the band.. You know how important that is.”
“It’s the most important thing.” Richard sighed, beginning to look defeated.
“And he’s already pretty well known.” Till added, “Some of the fans might follow him over to us, it’d create a nice bit of buzz for us starting out.”
“Fine.” Richard groaned. “But if this goes wrong you’re
to blame, Till Lindemann.”
“Absolutely.” Till nodded, pleased to have won Richard over but also nervous about the reservations the three men surrounding him held over the guitarist. “Please just, all of you, give him a chance.”
And so it was decided that Paul would be invited into the band.. by Richard.. That night.
Richard kicked a bottle, muttering unhappily under his breath as he headed to the feeling b gig. When he got there the gig was just ending, Aljoscha shouting the words of “Ich such’ die DDR” down the microphone to a cheering audience as Paul beamed foolishly beside him. “Great. He’s drunk.” Richard muttered to no one in particular, his voice lost in the baying crowd.
Soon enough the gig was over and the fans had swarmed home, leaving Richard feeling awkward as he avoided standing too close to a group of girls who had stayed behind, giggling at Paul as he stumbled around, clearing the stage.
Richard headed to the back room, seeing Paul leant against the wall, a yet unlit cigarette in his hand. “Paul.” Richard swallowed his pride, preparing to pop the question.
Paul put the cigarette away as Richard approached, smirking a little. “Hey there, here to ask me if I’ll join your band?”
.” Richard tried not to blush, suddenly feeling incredibly irritated at his motive being guessed.
“Really, now?” Paul smiled, taking a sip of beer. “I guess I’ll go home then..?”
“Don’t just assume that because I’m starting a band I want you in it! You’re not that good.” Richard desperately wanted to put Paul in his place, but he sounded childish even to his own ears.
“So you do want me to join?” Paul looked at Richard, clearly amused and, perhaps, a little hopeful.
don’t want you to join anything!” Richard scowled. “I don’t see the point in having two guitarists, especially when one of them’s you. And, personally, I don’t care if you have a fan base. Soon enough I’ll have a fan base too, and it’ll be bigger than yours!”
“Ooh! Competing over size, eh? What are we compensating for?” Paul chuckled, an irritatingly happy twinkle in his eyes. “Well, I will join your band since you asked so nicely. But only if you say it properly.”
“Say what?” Richard snapped.
“Say ‘Paul, would you join my band please?’ and I’ll sign up.” Paul grinned.
?” Richard whined. Paul simply smiled, waiting patiently as his bandmates carried on celebrating around him. Richard’s heart sunk as he realised he’d have to do this. “Fine.” He hissed between clenched teeth. “Paul, would you please join my band?” It was spoken more like a statement that a question.
Paul grinned with joy, “Yes of course, Richard, I’ve been hoping you’d ask!”
Just then Aljoscha’s voice came from behind them, “Pose Paul! One of our best gigs yet.”
Richard turned, looking irritably at the camera. He could almost feel Paul’s exuberant grin from beside him, and couldn’t help but to raise an eyebrow as he felt the smaller man’s arm swing over his shoulder. The flash went off just before Richard could push it away, and the younger man scowled. “I can tell you’re really, really gonna piss me off.” He murmured.
Paul laughed in response and reached forward to take the photo from Aljoscha’s hand. “Look at us!” He laughed. “The beginning of our band.”In the future.
The four of them sat in Paul’s old living room now, forming a circle on the floor of the empty room.
“What do you think R
P means?” Merlin asked, eyeing the back of his father’s old guitar.
“Dunno..” Emil started, a wicked grin lighting his features. “Richard loves penis?”
Khira rolled her eyes at Emil, looking at the guitar in her brother’s hands. “Probably P is one of his many girlfriends. I mean, this thing is old! Dad probably had this in college, so we’ll most likely never know who she was.”
Erni put the picture back in the shoebox, reaching in to take the next one. “First gig!” he read, “It’s just a shoebox of all their favourite Rammstein memories.”
“Look at how tiny Dad is!” Emil exclaimed, “He looks like a little albino.”
“Our Dad looks really nervous.” Khira noted, “Paul looks fine though.”
“I guess his other band, Feeling B, had already been quite popular.. He must’ve thought playing clubs was pretty easy.”
“Perhaps..” Merlin nodded in agreement, “I think our Dad was probably more emotionally linked to the band too.. he always said it was his baby.”