The band makes it to Skatefest which leads to a new friend and ally.
They broke down somewhere in Connecticut making their way to Skatefest in a place called Worcester Mass., it was located less than fifty miles west of Boston. This is the furthest they ever had to travel for a show most of the others were in Jersey, New York or like the night before in Philly. Last night they played at the Electric Factory with Thursday, who happened to have played their stint at Skatefest the night before.
Gerard smiled as he reminisced about the night before, how Geoff, always the mentor for them, had explained to them how great an experience it was going to be for them. He told them that doing a gig like Skatefest would allow them to meet all sorts of bands. There were going to be local established bands, bands like them, just starting out and even established bands. He started talking about this band from New York that he liked they called themselves Taking Back Sunday. Gerard wondered if they were going to meet a band like that. He was brought back to reality when he heard Matt’s screaming voice.
“Okay Ray, now.”
The frizzied hair guitarist crossed his finger tilted his head and closed his eyes as if in a silent prayer. The last thing they wanted to do was to cancel the gig. He pressed on the gas and slowly turned the ignition, there was a sputter and then the engine turned over. The van erupted in cheers. Ray moved back over to the passenger’s side as Matt closed the hood and got back in.
“Let’s welcome our hero!!” cheered Frank.
Everyone gave him hi-fives then Matt put the van in gear and got back on the highway.
“When do we go on?” asked Mikey.
“In about five hours,” said Ray.
“How long before we get there?” asked Gee.
“We’re about a hundred miles out,” said Ray holding a map, “so another couple of hours.”
Mikey lifted the cover to the cooler next to him and grabbed a beer, “In that case I’m having one of these.”
“Hey we don’t want to be pulled over,” said Matt.
Mikey got off the bench and sat on the floor, “Now no one can see.”
Gerard and Frank followed each with a beer in their hand.
Matt turned to Ray,“I’ll kill them if they get us in trouble.”
“Lighten up, you know if I was the one driving you would be right there with him,” smiled Ray.
Matt looked at Ray and smiled back, “You know you’re right.”
The rest of the ride went smoothly with the trio in the back slowly getting a buzz on.
They arrived in plenty of time to get a quick bite and have a few more beers this time with Ray and Matt joining them. Matt didn’t have as much as he had to drive home. By the time it was their turn on the stage they were slightly drunk.
In the shadows Brian Schecter was watching as they went through their sound check. He noticed, like the last that the band was feeling pretty good and couldn’t help but smile. They started the set with Skylines and Turnstiles and just like a month ago in Jersey, the crowd erupted.
He watched as Gerard was on the edge of the stage and leaned into the crowd to sing but as the crowd gathered around him and the surprise on Gerard’s face as the crowd sang along. Brian couldn’t help but smile as he watched the singer pointed the mike to the crowd to have them sing during Vampires.
After their set, the band was on an unbelievable high.
“That was fucking amazing,” screamed Frank as they started loading their gear into the van.
“Fuck yeah,” screamed Gerard back.
Gerard turned to grab an amp, and there was Brian.
“You guys killed back there.”
Ray turned to the man with the short curly dark brown hair. “You really think so?”
“Yeah you guys rocked out there.”
“Hey didn’t I see you in Jersey?” asked Frank.
“Yeah,” replied Brian.
“Wow, you liked us that much?” exclaimed Mikey all giddy.
“Calm down Mikey, he’s the one I told you about. He’s the guy that wants to manage us.” There was sarcasm in Gee’s voice as he used the word manage.
Ray looked at Brian and shook his head, “We’re not interested man.”
Brian knew that this band was going to be hard to crack they trusted no one. But he wasn’t going to walk away, he just needed them to trust him and the first step he was going to take was forget about being their manager and maybe begin to be their friend.
For he most part Gerard wanted people like Brian to leave them alone, but there was something he liked about the curly haired tattooed man. Besides it was always a good idea to have friends in the business.
“Hey after my band is done playing, why don’t I take you guys to get a bite?”
“With your band?”
“Actually they’re gonna just hang out with another band that’s playing here, so they can live a few hours without me. The probably would prefer it,” laughed Brian.
Ray looked at Gerard and shrugged, Gerard looked at the blue eyed man and spoke “So you’re buying?”
“I think I said I’d take you out.”
“Drinks too?” again asked Gerard, while Matt rolled his eyes.
Gerard smiled at the rest of the band, “I think I like this guy,” then turned to Brian, “just not enough to manage us.”
Brian shook his head and laughed.
The group ended up at a small sports bar, where there was something for everyone. They passed the time talking and finding out that they have a lot in common including their love for horror films. By the end of the night they had exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch.
The drunken group got back to the van, barely. Matt was the only one sober enough to drive as he only had a scotch on the rocks. Soon the five of them were seated in the van watching the highway lights zoom by.
“So he wanted to manage us?” asked Matt.
“Yeah, but we don’t need that. We got that booking agent that wants to sign us up,” smiled Gerard. They had really been a band less than a few months and already they’ve already all sorts of people wanting to run them.
Gerard and Mikey were dropped off around midnight, Mikey went straight to his room exhausted. Gerard went to his basement room and tried to sleep but thoughts of that day’s performance along with his new friendship with Brian was still buzzing in his head. He tried having a smoke to settle him down, but that didn’t work Then he looked over at the table next to his bed and saw a bottle of pills sitting there. He picked the up and read the warning label that stated may cause drowsiness, do not operate heavy machinery. Gee opened the bottle and looked at the pills and figured what the hell he wasn’t going to be operating any heavy machinery anytime soon.
He woke up to light coming through the small window of his room, he got up and stretched before making his way up the stairs. He looked at the clock in the kitchen and had to read it again. It was two o’clock in the afternoon.
He jumped when the phone rang.
“Hello,” Gerard answered mid yawn.
“I’m looking for either Gerard or Mikey Way.”
“Hi I’m Matt Galle. I don’t know if you know me, I’m a booking agent. I saw your band at Skatefest and I really like what I saw, I think I can get you some gigs. Why don’t you and the band come down and we can talk and maybe see what happens.”
“Yeah sure, that sounds great,” said a shocked Gerard.
Mikey and Frank walked in the front door and looked at the expression on the singers face.
“Are you okay Gee?”
Gerard looked at his brother and Frank still shocked. “That was Matt Galle, he wants to talk to us.”
“The Matt Galle from Ellis Industries?”
“Yeah. He saw us at Skatefest and thinks he can get us some gigs.”
Frank pumped his fist in the air, “Fuck yeah!”
“Call Ray and Matt, and let’s see if we can set up an appointment.”
The next day the boys made their way to Ellis Industries in New York. They walked into the building and up to the secretary. Gerard gave the girl behind the counter a shy smile.
“We have an appointment with Matt Galle, we’re My Chemical Romance.”
“Just have a seat and I’ll let him know you’re here.”
The boys sat down and fifteen minutes later they were greeted by a man.
He spoke while shaking everyone’s hand “I’m Matt Galle and I have to say I really like you guys.”
“We like you,” gushed Frank.
After an hour of discussions and where he saw the band going contracts were signed.
They left the building and Gerard turned to his brother, “I hope we made the right decision.”
The next week they hadn’t heard a thing from their new booking agent and made the long trip to Vermont where they played a local rec center.
As they were getting ready to for their show at the Bloomfield Ave Café in Montclair, the phone rang.
“Hello,” said Gerard.
“Hey is this Gerard?” asked the voice on the other end.
“It’s Matt, are you guys ready to go on a tour.”
“Next month I have you booked with a band by the name of Northstar. I also have a couple of other shows before I’m working on. I’ll let you know.”
Gerard turned to his bandmates and screamed. “We’re going on tour!”
A/N: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXkJHjnxP2A FYI video of Northstar if you're curious who they were. Unfortunately I couldn't find any MCR video or pics from that period.