Dave stared into the abyss.
The emptiness of the room gazed into his soul
Tore through his chest and took a shit in his heart.
The promoter held back tears like a brave soldier
And the sound guy kept checking his watch out of spite.
They packed the gear away.
The van spluttered in embarrassment onwards
And trapped inside, nobody spoke or met each other’s tearful eyes.
Dave arrived home.
He still believed in the dream, and went online
As he usually did to update the band’s necessary Facebook status.
“Great gig” He lied.
He could not bear to look at himself in the mirror
And felt a small bubble of bile and vomit clog his throat.
Rock ‘n’ roll nearly died.
The ghosts of Elvis and Cobain were silent
They did not even bother to criticise this miscarriage to music.
But then, Dave noticed something.
An advert online for something called Awesome…
Awesome Merchandise for bands and artists alike.
Click. Click. Click.
The shopping cart was brimming like a packed venue
And the packages flying faster than a crowd-surfing singer.
Rock ‘n’ roll did not die.
Dave’s band never slowed down after that fateful night
And their fans were innumerable and armed with badges and t-shirts.
Their logo was omnipresent.
Upon lighters, bags, banners, coasters, hats, plecrums and mugs
Dave’s face was everywhere and automatically dubbed Awesome.
Eventually Dave would die.
Drugs and easy women took their predictable course
And greatly affected his musical abilities to the level of a small child.
They would find him dead.
Alone, in a pool of fluids, pen and paper in hand, with a half-written song
Which even his most loyal fans admitted was pretty naff.
But no one once blamed his merch.
His Awesome Merchandise.