In this deleted scene from Chapter 6, Clarice and Kranz interview and hire Wynokoff, Bloody Waters touring manager.
Although it only really serves to introduce a supporting character, this was one of the hardest scenes for me to cut. Firstly, a big influence on the book was Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored, written by Richard Cole, who was Led Zep’s touring manager for twelve years. The book is famously a load of made-up rubbish, but it clued me in to lots of small details and it got me thinking about what kind of tour manager Bloody Waters would have. I also like the way that this scene explicitly talks about how we still expect the players’ roles within a band to be assigned based on their gender.
But most of all, Wynokoff’s grumbling about ‘dancing models’ is the best way that I can think of to put my own deepest criticism of the pop industry: when the biggest stars in the ‘music business’ are dancing models, not musicians, you know that something fundamental has gone wrong.
3. Dancing Models
Kranz and Clarice found about forty candidates for the Tour Manager position in RIYH’s archives. Each one had a fat file containing a resume, an operational history, and a rap sheet. After eliminating those candidates that were presently incarcerated, comatose or deceased, they got the number down to fifteen. Clarice and Kranz negotiated argued amongst themselves until they got it down to five, and then Kranz set up some interviews. They found their man right off the bat.
Terry Wynokoff had been touring for nearly twenty years. He had started out as a roadie for an early eighties punk band that was actually about six bands, if all the lineup and name changes were taken into account. Wynokoff had then moved up to being a fixer and supplier for some third-tier metal bands. By the time Cock Rock ruled the airwaves he was working for a half-dozen of the smaller Hair Metal bands at once. Wynokoff was in Seattle when the grunge scene took off, managing the tours of a talented second-string act. When the band purged their entourage and went to RIYH for new management, Wynokoff was the only one they kept. The company had taken him on as an employee when the band had hit financial trouble, and he’d stayed on the roster long after they’d had finally fallen apart.
Since the grunge scene had died out, Wynokoff had been tour managing for a variety of ephemeral, small-time metal outfits all over the country. RIYH had not had any work for him for more than a year.
Wynokoff threw the door open so hard that the glass in it shook visibly. The man who shambled into the room looked as if he’d only just woken up–having slept in a gutter near a burst sewerage main. After a bar-fight and a car wreck. His t-shirt was grubby, his jeans were faded and fraying, and his combat boots were only laced to the ankles. Wynokoff was six-four and a hundred and twenty kilograms, and most of his scarred-up face was concealed by a massive beard and a mane of tangled brown hair. His eyebrows were bushy as briar. His eyes were grey, bloodshot and sharp.
“Mr. Wynokoff?” said Kranz, when he’d recovered himself from the tour manager’s violent entrance.
Kranz gestured at the empty chair across the desk from him. “Please, have a seat.”
Wynokoff looked at him contemptuously. Looked across at Clarice. Made a noise in his throat and sat down heavily.
Kranz put his hands together and opened his mouth, but Wynokoff spoke first. “So, what kind of band is this?”
“A rock band?” said Kranz.
“A real band?”
“It’s a genuine, true blue rock and roll band,” said Kranz.
“Better be, cuz if it’s a bunch of dancin’ fuckin’ models…”
“I assure you, they’re the genuine article. Now, could you…”
“Who are they?” said Wynokoff.
“They’re called Bloody Waters,” said Kranz. “If you would, I’d like…”
“Never heard of them.”
“They’ve only just been signed, but they’re wonderful. Next Biggest Thing Ever. NimHyde Records is going to be promoting them heavily.”
“Who’s in this band?” said Wynokoff. “They must be good, if NimHyde is spending big dollars.”
“I am,” said Clarice.
Wynokoff turned to look at her. “You sing?”
She shook her head. “Lead guitar.”
“Two girls, two guys.”
Wynokoff nodded slowly.
“Alright, now that we’re properly oriented…” said Kranz. He paused a moment, expecting an interruption. “Wonderful. Now, Mr. Wynokoff, the first thing I want to ask you is–”
“You’re hired,” said Clarice.
“I accept,” said Wynokoff.
“…what do your expect to be your…” Kranz stopped speaking, though his mouth kept flapping.
Clarice stood up and pushed her chair towards the desk. “See that he gets all the paperwork that he needs, would you, Kranz? I want to hit the road as soon as the album is done.”