Rock N Roll Universe by Philip Loyd

I’m from the Rock N Roll Universe. Ever heard of it? It’s a place where Nothing Else Matters except the music. Rock N Roll music. One night in the Rock N Roll Universe a woman awoke to her baby crying. “Damn kids!” she cursed. “This is it,” she told her husband, “this is the last time.” But her husband wasn’t there. Where could he be? Maybe he’d had it, too.

It was the third time this week. This week? It was the third time tonight. The baby was crying so loud she could have heard it all the way down the block. She’d tried being nice. She’d tried talking to her neighbors. She’d even tried making a schedule whereby they’d know when she was out and it would be okay to blast their music, yet still they were determined to play their music all night long. This was it: the last straw. So she dialed-up the police, holding her baby in one hand, banging a broomstick against the ceiling with the other.

“They’re at it again,” said the woman. “It’s three in the morning.”

She gave the police her name, address: married, thirty-one years old, originally from Kansas City. “Why do you need to know that?” she said. “Why does it matter where I’m from?

Then, she thought, the policeman asked the oddest question: “Ma’am,” said the cop, “What music are they playing?”

“What music?” she said. “Why does that matter?”

“Ma’am, you leave that to us. Believe me, it matters.”

“Well,” said the woman, “it sounds like the band Kansas. No, Boston. It’s Boston.”

“Good,” said the cop. “Now, can you tell what song exactly is playing?”

“Well,” said the woman, “I believe the name of the song is 'More Than a Feeling.'”

“Thank you, ma’am.” said the cop. “You did good. We’ll be right over.”

She hung up the phone. The music stopped. Finally. Finally, she could get some sleep. She rocked the baby in her arms and it stopped crying. Finally.

Then, all of a sudden, the music started back up again. The baby started crying again. Where the hell were the cops? There was a pounding on the door. Finally, the police had arrived.

“I’m so glad you’re finally here,” said the woman. There were two policemen, one standing in her doorway, the other at the bottom of the stairs talking to two of the young men from upstairs. Then, one of the young men ran upstairs and the music stopped.

“Ma’am,” said the policeman, “I believe you called about the loud music?”

“Yes, sir,” said the woman. “My baby has been up all night crying.”

“In your call, you said the song was 'More Than a Feeling,' by the band Boston.”

“Yes, sir,” she said.

“You also first stated that the band was Kansas?”

“Uh, I might have said that. I don’t remember exactly.”

“I see,” said the policeman. “Well, ma’am, are you aware that it is a felony to confuse the band Boston with the band Kansas?”


“Yes, ma’am. Confusing the band Boston with either Kansas, Foreigner, Yes, Genesis, or Steely Dan is a felony.”

“A felony?” Through all of this, the baby was still crying.

“Yes, ma’am,” said the policeman, “In the mid-seventies, the band Boston singlehandedly saved the world from Disco. Tom Schulz, the band’s leader, and a mechanical engineer, held the fort until the cavalry arrived. It’s a felony to interrupt any song by the band Boston from either of its first two albums.”

The woman didn’t know what to say. “If you don’t stop your baby from crying,” said the policeman, “I am going to have to haul you in.”

“Haul me in?”

“Yes, ma’am,” said the policeman. “Now, you’re just being difficult. This is your last warning.”

All of a sudden, the music started again. It was Boston, 'More Than a Feeling,' the stairway began filling up with people, all of them dancing to the music. The young men started dancing. The other cop started dancing. Even her husband was there. He started dancing, too. And through it all, her baby was still crying.

“That’s it,” said the policeman, “you were warned.”

The policeman then proceeded to pull out his nightstick and bring it down on her on the head. The blow split her skull wide open. On her way to the floor, the policeman grabbed hold of the baby. He then started dancing, baby in tow, to the Boston hit-tune 'Feelin’ Satisfied.' Suddenly, the baby stopped crying, and all was right with the world.

I’m from the Rock N Roll Universe. Ever heard of it? It’s a place where Nothing Else Matters except the music. Rock N Roll music.

In the Rock N Roll Universe, it’s a felony to confuse the band Boston with Kansas. It’s a misdemeanor to confuse Boston with Foghat. And it’s a capital offense, with punishment to be carried out on the spot, to interrupt the song 'More Than a Feeling,' 'Peace of Mind,' 'Rock N Roll Band,' 'Don’t Look Back,' 'Feelin’ Satisfied,' and pretty much any song by the bands Boston, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Rush. Or any other approved rock ‘n roll band from the 1970s.

They partied all night long. Even the baby. Especially the baby, who they renamed Brad in honor of Brad Delp, the deceased lead singer for the band Boston.

Philip loves fat chicks and cheap beer, though not necessarily in that order. His first novel, You Lucky Bastard, is represented by New York literary agent Jan Kardys. Loyd lives in Dumbass, Texas.