Rock the Boat
49 pages
English

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49 pages
English

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Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
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Description

Webb believes that if you want to reach your dreams, you have to live life loud. Bring the roof down. Rock the boat. Make sure that when you look back, you have no regrets. But when a shady music producer steals one of Webb’s songs, Webb finds out how hard it is for a kid on his own in Nashville to get justice. With the help of an unlikely ally, Webb discovers that he has what it takes to succeed: talent, determination and some good friends.

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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2015
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781459804579
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0070€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

ROCK THE BOAT
Sigmund Brouwer
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS
Copyright © 2015 Sigmund Brouwer
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Brouwer, Sigmund, 1959-, author Rock the boat / Sigmund Brouwer. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. ISBN 978-1-4598-0455-5 (pbk.).— ISBN 978-1-4598-0456-2 (pdf).— ISBN 978-1-4598-0457-9 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights PS 8553. R 68467 R 63 2015 j C 813'.54 C 2014-906600-7 C 2014-906601-5
First published in the United States, 2015 Library of Congress Control Number: 2014951650
Summary: Webb thinks he has what it takes to make it in Nashville, but one shady music producer may have the power to crush Webb’s dreams.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Rachel Page Cover photography by Corbis Images ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS PO B OX 5626, S TN . B Victoria, BC Canada V 8 R 6 S 4 ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS PO B OX 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
www.orcabook.com
18 17 16 15 • 4 3 2 1
To the real Jim Webb—you rock !
Table of Contents
One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Eleven
Twelve
Thirteen
Fourteen
Fifteen
Sixteen
Seventeen
Eighteen
Nineteen
Acknowledgments
One
Webb was desperate to come up with some great lyrics.
The dark air felt like sweet clover.
No.
The dark air tasted like sweet clover.
No. Neither of those images was right. He wasn’t sure why. The verbs maybe? Felt was a useless word. How about The dark air enveloped him like sweet clover ?
Nope. It wasn’t the verb’s fault. Okay, enveloped wasn’t that great, but it was the sweet-clover comparison that hurt the phrase. And maybe it should be dark night air , because dark air by itself didn’t convey the same emotional tone. Get shut in a closet and you’re in dark air. Dark, dry, stale air. Not at all like the still night air that surrounded him as he sat on the deck of the houseboat in a lawn chair with frayed nylon straps that had stretched with age. His butt was only a couple of inches from the deck, but he wasn’t going to write lyrics about that.

So there he was, just before midnight on a Monday night, sitting in a saggy lawn chair in air that was heavy with humidity and may or may not have felt or tasted like sweet clover. He shook his head and rolled his eyes, mocking himself and his cheesy stab at the beginning lyrics of a song.
He reached over to a plate on a nearby lawn chair and grabbed a chunk of watermelon, telling himself to enjoy the moment instead of trying to find a way to express how the moment made him feel.
He had no problem admitting that he felt amazing.
Most nights he sat in the same lawn chair in the same spot in the same solitude, looking through a gap in the rocks that led out to the deep brown waters of the Cumberland River. When it rained, he sat under a big umbrella.
The houseboat was moored in a small harbor cut into the banks of the river. About three miles downstream was downtown Nashville, and when the occasional barge passed by, he thought about the crew’s first view of the city skyline and wondered if the sight of it made them as breathless as it did Webb. Even after being in Nashville for weeks.

Nashville.
Webb thought it would be pretty cool if he could go back in time and visit the kid he was at thirteen—a kid playing the same J-45 Gibson acoustic guitar for the same reasons Webb played it now.
To get lost in the rush of music. To feel the scrape of the pick against nylon and steel, the pressure of callused fingertips against the frets, holding a chord the perfect length of time and letting the note of that chord meld into the next.
The difference was that thirteen-year-old Webb could only dream about Nashville. Seventeen-year-old Webb was there.
Webb bit into the watermelon and didn’t care that juice dribbled down onto his T-shirt. He was thinking about chasing dreams. There was a song in that. But it had been done a million times. So the big question was, could he write a hook excellent enough to justify yet another song about kids who yearn for bigger things?

It wasn’t just the still, scented air that made this moment amazing: it was the moon. Webb had been on the upper deck of the houseboat on dozens of nights, but this was the first time the moon had risen right in the gap in the rocks that led to the river.
It was kind of like Stonehenge, he realized. Mystical.
Warm night air. Chirping crickets. The slap of tiny waves against the houseboat. Slight swaying of the lawn chair as the water cradled the boat. The taste of watermelon juice drying on his lips. The aloneness that was bigger than loneliness. With that big, timeless moon creeping upward from the river, slowly pulling away from its reflection on the water as if even the moon was reluctant to leave Nashville and all that it promised.
Webb watched the moon and knew he’d never forget this feeling.
A swell of river water came from what seemed like nowhere, and the houseboat began to rock. That reminded him of all the times he’d heard the phrase “don’t rock the boat.” Like it was a bad thing to rock the boat. Because everyone wanted the boat to be safe and stable and predictable.

Well, Webb thought, he wouldn’t be here in this moment if he hadn’t been prepared to rock the boat. The moment he was living was one he’d remember when he was an old man. He didn’t want to look back wishing he’d—
Then he had it. Live in the moment .
The whole sweet-clover thing wasn’t working only because the lyrics were bad. The idea behind the song didn’t work. Sometimes you had to try something that didn’t work to find something that did. You had to rock the boat. Live life loud. Bring the roof down. Walk the high wire. Not look back and regret what you didn’t try.
It wasn’t a new concept for a song, but a fresh way of presenting it began to unfold in his head. He scrambled to grab his guitar, because he could already hear the melody to go with the lyrics that tumbled through his brain.
You have to know we’re gonna walk the high wire
Maybe playing with some hot fire
We spell our names like trouble
But you know we’re gonna love it.
Yeah, we’re gonna rock the boat
That’s the only way to know
We’re gonna have to rock the boat
Yeah, that’s the only way to go.
An hour later, long after the moon had climbed to the center of the sky, Webb had finished the entire song. He didn’t need to write it down. He knew every word and every note.
And felt great about it. A feeling that didn’t even last until noon on Tuesday.
Two
Performance-wise, Webb thought he’d killed the new song, but as the last chord echoed into silence in the studio, he did his best to keep a straight face. Webb didn’t like telling other people what to think about his music, even through body language.
He looked across the studio, waiting for a reaction from Gerald Dean, the producer. Gerald sat in a chair behind the mixing board, leaning back, hands locked behind his head. It was a small room, but it didn’t need to be big. Gerald had a couple of Mac Pros, some large computer monitors, and some high-quality speakers mounted on the soundproofed walls.
Webb tried to read what Gerald was thinking. Nashville was known for country music, but it had a strong pop and indie scene too, and Gerald was supposed to be among the better producers.

Gerald wore a dark blue silk shirt, hanging loose over faded jeans. Italian dress shoes, big watch. He was mid-thirties and clean-shaven, with dark hair. He talked in soft tones, never seeming pushy. Webb felt ratty in comparison. His well-worn T-shirt was emblazoned with the black-and-gold logo of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a CFL team. It made Webb feel less homesick.
Finally Gerald gave a so-so shrug, not even lifting his hands away from his head. “Needs lots of work. Lots. You’re not thinking of putting it into production, right?”
This was the reason, Webb thought, that he chose not to make a big deal about something himself. It hurt a lot less and was a lot less embarrassing when someone shot him down. He’d been too excited about “Rock the Boat,” too in love with his own song.
“Got it recorded anywhere?” Gerald asked.
“No,” Webb said. “Like I said, it’s something I wrote last night.”
It was eleven in the morning. Webb had spent a few hours after he woke up practicing the song. Then he’d taken a bus to East Nashville, where Gerald had a studio in a small house in a run-down neighborhood. Lots of music people, especially indie producers, lived in the area. Music Row, close to downtown, was where the big labels took up real estate.

Gerald ga

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