"The Interstellar Ragtime All-American Jazz Band"

by Grant Carrington

    Published in ETERNITY SF Vol. 1 No. 1 (Winter, 1979), edited by Stephen Gregg. $1.75. Illustrations by Al Sirois.
    This was an expansion of "Saint Louis Tickle."

    It couldn't last, of course. It was a good thing while it did last, but eventually someone like The Potomac River Icebreaker had to turn up and Fred Harmon was out in the cold again.
    Here's these four guys, see: they call themselves the Potomac River Ice-Breaker. A drummer, a bass player, and two electric guitarists. Hardboxers, for Christ's sake! But that's where it's at these days, and an old-time blues player like me is out on a stick. The folk music scene is nowhere.
    "What you oughta do, Fred, is join a group," Steve Hughes, the Alley Cat's owner, told me. "Shit man, you got the talent. Playing one of those electric axes is no sweat."
    "I've told you before, Steve, I'm a loner. I can't play with anyone else."
    Steve shrugged. "Well, I'm sorry, Fred. But I've got to make some bread too, you know. I've been running awfully thin lately. If the Ice-Breaker can pack them in for just one week, I'll be running in high black."
    "Skip it, Steve. Thanks for the use of your stage for the past few weeks." I picked up my guitar, hiked my knapsack up on my shoulders, and took one more look at the stage, where the folk-rock group was doing things that Leadbelly never dreamed of in his raunchiest stud days.

Comments? Complaints? . HOME PAGE