The Wanted (The One Series:Book2)

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Musical Conflicts

Thursday, May 18, 2005

Give it to me (right now)

I need you (right now)

I don’t wanna wait (no more)

Let’s go (right now)

The demo played in the recording booth for UTurn to hear. It was heavy with European-style synthesizers, which was exactly the four founding members wanted. The lyrics were, well, rough. None of the four members wrote this song, but they expected it to be better written since Marcel had hired songwriters. Everyone was less than impressed with the song.

The producer looked at the eight teens for any responses. Derrick said bluntly, “This song sucks.”

The producer sighed as he stopped the song. “Look, this is the sound you wanted.”

“But the lyrics suck.”

Alyson cleared her throat, “What he meant is that we expected these lyrics to be, well, better since none of us wrote this song.”

“I said what I said,” Derrick said flatly.

Alyson ignored him as she continued, “But we do like the sound. It’s just the lyrics…”

“It’s all shit!” Derrick exclaimed as he stood up.

Andrew turned to face him, said sternly, “Sit your ass down, Armstrong.”

Derrick crossed his arms and glared at him. “Why should I? I’m older than you!”

“Don’t matter!”

“You can’t honestly like the song!”

“Enough!” the producer demanded. “Look, your manager wanted this song for you. So today you’re going to record it, after I arrange who sings what!”

Derrick just stood there, glaring at everyone in the room.

Derrick stormed out of the recording studio, with his bandmates right behind him. He turned to face them, and said angrily, “You all cannot possibly like that damn song!”

Alyson said with irritation in her voice, “None of us do!”

“So why are we recording it?”

“Just because we’re recording it doesn’t mean it’ll go on our album!”

He scoffed and rolled his eyes. “I thought you and Hawthorne got some backbone!”

Andrew asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Come on!” Derrick exclaimed. “You two are bullies in school, and yet you both just accept this piece of shit!”

“It’s called being professional!” Alyson retorted.

Andrew added, “Look, we got our songbook. We’ve written a total sixteen songs before we even got signed. I’m sure this crap of a song won’t make our debut album. So just chill, and let’s hope it stays as an unreleased track!”

Derrick huffed as he stormed up to his car. Stacie walked up to Alyson, and said, “You need to kick Derrick out of the band!”

Alyson turned to face everyone, and said plainly, “No.”

“What?!” everyone exclaimed.

“You heard me. Derrick is staying. He just needs someone to give him a piece of their mind.”

Alyson then looked at Amanda. Her eyes widened, and asked, “Why me? Why can’t Andrew bully the crap out of him?”

Alyson replied, “Because we’re trying to make this band work by not beating the crap out of each other!”

Andrew made a short laugh. “I would gladly beat him up.”

“As much as I would like that too,” said Alyson, “we have to talk to each other. Even if that means having to yell at someone’s ear.”

Andrew asked Amanda, “Didn’t you have to tell your old bandmates off before?”

She scoffed, “That was Derrick’s job. Can we go home now? I’m tired of all of this shit.”

Alyson said, “Yeah, but you need to talk to him. Yell in his ear, something!”

“Fine! I’ll do it!”


Amanda grabbed Derrick’s arm, dragging him towards the janitor’s closet. All of this the moment UTurn had arrived at school.

Annoyed, Derrick asked, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Amanda demanded, “I was about to ask you the same thing. Why are you acting like a total dick towards everyone?”

He stared at her as he said, “I hate being in this band. I hate the music we’re doing. All of this fucking sucks!”

Amanda rolled her eyes. “Remember when you told me that continuing The Pushers was your way of keeping your brother’s memory alive?”

“What about it?”

“Well, thanks to you, your brother’s band is gone. But UTurn is keeping that memory alive by absorbing your band. Alyson was even willing to perform one of our songs. Maybe we can write our material with her and Andrew. UTurn may not be The Pushers, but, at least, they’re a way to keep your brother’s memory alive in some form.”

Derrick looked away as she continued, “Look, you need to stop acting like some anarchist who hates everything mainstream. You need to cooperate with everyone. You can speak out about the government on MySpace. But in the meantime, you need to work with everyone. And you know that Alyson won’t ever kick you out of the band, no matter what you do.”

Amanda watched for any response. He needed to say something; his annoyed facial expressions and eye rolling wasn’t enough. She didn’t want him throwing his brother’s dreams away again.

Derrick faced Amanda, and said, “Fine. I’ll work with the band, but I don’t want to give our material to them. You know they’ll hate our stuff.”

“You know Alyson was willing to use one of our songs. If she’s willing to compromise, so can you.”

“Fine. We’ll give them our songs.”

“Well, at least the ones not so dark and political.”


Andrew and Alyson looked through two spiral notebooks with the covers scribbled all over. Derrick and Amanda watched them go through the pages of songs written for The Pushers. They waited to see some of kind of a reaction.

The first person to look up was Andrew. He asked, “So you’re offering your Pushers songs to us?”

Amanda replied, “We might as well. Just don’t try to rewrite them.”

“We only rewrote that 4Gurlz song because it needed to be rewritten. But these songs are, well, interesting.”

Alyson chimed in, “I guess we can use some of the songs. We did once. But we’re not using the political songs. We want to entertain our fans, not make them feel uncomfortable.”

Just as Derrick was about to speak, Amanda stopped him by covering his mouth. She said to the couple, “It’s fine. As long as you have more material besides your own songs, and whatever dumb songs our dumb as fuck songwriters come up with.”

Andrew asked, “Do you have the music to give to our producers?”

“Plenty of tapes and CDs.”

“We’ll listen to the songs and weed the ones we want for our band.”


Amanda looked at Derrick, who was clearly not pleased by all of this. She could tell that for the first time since she has known him, he didn’t have the final say. Instead, everything was being run by two people he despised the most. Amanda knew this, and she knew he needed to get used to this.

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