Gerard is introduced to the lead singer of another band Pencey Prep
“Hey guys, I have this song maybe we can write the other parts to it. It’s called ‘Bring More Knives’.”
“Let’s hear some of it?”
Ray played some for them.
Gerard smiled, “That was kick ass.”
“Do you think you can put words to it?”
The three practiced until all hours of the night until they got the song right.
They practiced once a week and each week there seemed to be a new song.
“Hey look at this,” said Gerard showing them a new song. “It’s about when I worked at The Cartoon Network and they had us in cubicles.”
Another all night session and another song completed.
“These songs are pretty decent how bout next time we try making a demo?”
“Sure,” said Matt.
“Sounds great,” said Ray.
The next rehearsal there was a cheap beat up sixteen track tape recorder and some crappy microphones. When they tried to record the vocals just didn’t sound right.
“Hey Gerard this sounds crazy but why don’t you try recording your parts in my bathroom?” said Matt.
“I think the acoustics are better in there.”
Ray and Matt laid down their tracks from the attic, while Gerard sang from the bathroom one floor below. If anyone were to walk in at that point they might have tripped over the wires that led to the bathroom.
After they recorded their three songs they listened to the demo. It was messy and out of tune but it was also different and aggressive.
The question remained who were they going to play it for.
Later that week Gerard’s brother Mikey, who was taller, thinner and had light brown hair, he had the same shape eyes but his were hidden behind glasses, noticed he was holding something.
“You’re really doing it this time?” asked Mikey.
“I think so.”
“Let me hear it.”
After hearing it all Mikey could say was, “Fuck,”
“You like it?”
“I want in.”
“I don’t know Mikey,” said Gerard.
Mikey took his bass and the recording and locked himself in his room. He only came out to go to school, work or eat. Also what Mikey didn’t tell his brother or the band is that he took the demo to Alex Saavedra of Eyeball records where Mikey was interning at the time. A week later Mikey went to Matt’s house put on the demo and played along with it perfectly.
Gerard smiled at his little brother, “Wow.” He went up to him and gave him a hug. “That was great.”
“So am I in?” asked Mikey.
The three said all together “Yes.”
“So do we have a name?” asked Mikey.
“Well Mikey I was thinking,” said Gerard with a grin.
“Oh no not that name.”
“C’mon don’t you want to be in a band with that name. Why think it up if you’re not going to use it?” batting his long black eyelashes with a knowing smile across his face. He knew his little brother was going to give in.
Matt and Ray just looked at the two curiously.
And he did, “Fine tell them the name of our band.”
Gerard yelled into the mic “We are My Chemical Romance.”
Ray and Matt looked at each other totally blown away by the name.
“By the way I gave Alex a copy of the demo.”
“And?” asked Ray.
“He loved it!!”
“So he’s going to sign us?” asked Ray again.
“No, he has a strict policy of not signing friends. He did say he would help us though.”
They knew Alex was always true to his word.
What they didn’t know is that the demo was copied and was distributed to certain other bands on Eyeball records. One of those bands was Pencey Prep. The band fell in love with the demo. Another band that also liked the demo was Thursday. Lead singer Geoff Rickly smiled when he heard that Mikey’s older brother Gerard was in the band. He liked Gerard, and thought he was a great artist. He even had him do some artwork for their T-shirts.
One night at one of the many parties that Alex was having at his house the whole band decided to go. Mikey was a permanent fixture there while Ray, Matt and Gerard have gone only to a few of the parties. That night Pencey Prep was there and they were talking about the demo. Geoff couldn’t help overhearing his former tour mates conversation.
“So you like that demo?” asked Goeff.
“Yeah who are they?” asked the lead singer and guitarist.
“You know Mikey Way.”
“Everyone knows Mikey,” said the lead singer.
“Well the singer is his older brother Gerard, guitar is Ray Toro and the drummer is Matt Pelissier.”
“Gerard is kind of creepy isn’t he?”
“Not once you get to know him.”
“He just sits there and draws.”
“I can introduce you if you want.”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s not like he’ll bite you.”
Sitting in a corner was a guy with a mop of black hair, smoking and drawing Spiderman.
“Hey Gerard,” Gerard looked up at Geoff “I want you to meet someone.”
“Gerard meet Frank Iero, lead singer and guitarist of Pencey Prep.”
Gerard shook his hand and said, “Nice to meet you.”
“I love your band.”
“Yeah I got a copy of your demo and me and my band listen to it on the way to and from shows.”
“Right now you’re my favorite band. Well after Bouncing Souls.”
“Thanks,” Gerard said quietly then he took a swig of his beer and a drag off his cigarette.
“Cool drawing. Though personally I think Spiderman is whiney.”
Gerard laughed, “I like the edginess of X-Men myself.”
“Yeah I like X-Men too.”
Geoff left the two shaking his head and thinking, ‘comic geeks’.
The two spent the next two hours talking about everything.
“So where do you practice?”
“Nah, you need to practice in a studio.”
“We can’t fucking afford that.”
“Share one with us and Thursday. It’s definitely cheaper splitting it three ways.”
“I don’t know.”
“C’mon it will be fun.”
“I’ll talk to the other guys.”
“Where’s your next show I’ll come.”
Gerard looked down, “We don’t have any shows booked.”
“My cousin does bookings, I’ll see what he can get you.”
“You’ll do that for us?”
“Sure, that’s what it’s all about, helping each other out. Besides I love your band.”
“Your band is pretty cool too!!”
Just then Gerard noticed that Mikey could barely stand, “I think I need to get him outta her, my mom’s going to fucking kill me.”
“Hey it was great meeting you, I’ll give you a call and let you know what my cousin comes up with.”
A few days later as promised Frank called the Way home.
“Hey who’s this?” asked Frank.
“My cousin got you a gig.”
“You’re fucking kidding me.”
“Nope. It’s at a VFW Hall in Ewing, opening for my band. ”
“Wow. I gotta tell everyone.”
Gerard called Matt and then Ray, who said that they would have to start practicing immediately.
Though there were songs written and perfected this was different playing for a live crowd. None of which had heard of My Chemical Romance.
They were practicing with Pencey Prep when Frank noticed something off with the band.
“What’s the matter?”
“I guess we’re just getting nervous about things.”
“How you guys going to get your instruments there?” asked John McGuire better known as Hambone. He was the bassist for Pencey Prep.
“Otter has a van. I just hope it doesn’t break down.”
The night of the show they got to the VFW and started to set-up. The first thing Frankie noticed was Gerard’s t-shirt.
“What’s that mean, Thank You for the Venom?”
“I think it will be a real cool name for a song, I already have something sorta in my head.”
“That’s fucking awesome.”
After they set up it hit them they were going to perform for the first time as a band. They suddenly became nervous.
“What’s the matter?” asked Frank.
“I guess we’re really nervous about playing tonight.”
“We have some beers in the back of our van, lets go pound a few.”
It ended being more than a few beers and by the time it they were to go on stage they were drunk, especially Mikey.
But once on the stage they seemed to sober up. The band played the opening intro to “Skylines and Turnstiles”, and the kids started tapping their feet, but once Gerard started singing they went crazy, especially the chorus. They took to it immediately. Gerard looked at Ray and they knew they had something special.
During the set Frank got on a chair cheering them on. They rocked the house. Frank realized he was in love with this band it was definitely his favorite band.
They finished their set feeling exhilarated. After they brokedown everything and put it in the van. They went back and listened to the rest of Pencey Preps set. While they were sitting there some kids came up and started talking to them. Things like how do they know each other? How the band started, likes and dislikes. The band loved sitting there just chatting with them. Before they knew it the show was over and it was time to go home. The four looked at each other and smiled it was a good night.
A few states over at the House of Blues in Chicago, Pressure 4-5 had just finished their set. The lead singer Adam Rich made his way to where the sound booth was.
“Hey thanks for making us sound great,” said Adam.
“It’s my job,” said the big man with the blonde crew cut and beard.
“Well you do it great.”
“We were thinking of hiring a sound guy for our tour. You interested?”
“Well here’s my card. Call if you are. What was your name again?”
“Hope to hear from you,” Adam shook his hand.
Bob looked at the card and thought, ‘Well it’s half of what I always wanted to do.’