Rock of Ageless
“Thank you, New York City!”
Len Wyld, the lead singer of the band Dungeoness waved his sore hands in the air in worship of the tireless crowd in front of him.
“We’ve got just one more song for you before we close the book on this crazy ride.” He said.
The crowd responded with a mixture of cheers and defeated jeers. Dungeoness, after releasing 17 studio albums, a few greatest hits compilations, and now their tenth world tour, it felt like time for the band to take a final bow.
The lights lowered. A hush fell over the audience with the exception of one exuberant young woman who exclaimed, “Woo!” Peter Garamond, the keyboardist, slowly opened up their final song. It was their first number one record, but tonight it would be their fifth encore. The song was Until the World Stands Still. Len co-wrote the ballad with the lead guitarist. Born Steven Michael Rosenblum, the lead guitarist was known to the rock world as The Blitz. Len and The Blitz stood in the darkness as Peter built up the song’s intro.
The crowd remained silent. They were unable to process if they were silent out of sadness, out of reverence, or simply because they were all overwhelmed with emotion. Many of the people in the intimate concert hall grew up with Dungeoness. On their worst nights, they came home and listened to Dungeoness. On their best nights, their stories always involved being somewhere that they heard their favorite Dungeoness song. It was an emotion that was strangely tangible in this crowd. A room full of 2,000 complete strangers felt so united.
THUMP, TICK-TICK, THUMP
Reggie Seager, the drummer (at least since Dave Jenks left in ’02, who had been there since Craig Setter died from an overdose in ’88), began his time keeping duties. The crowd erupted at the sound of the snare drum.
Len stepped up to the microphone, his bass guitar hanging at his side. He only played the bass for their biggest songs.
“New York!” He started, “Are you still ready to rock?”
“Yeah!” They returned.
“New York? New York City? Is that all that you got?”
An even mix of cheers and shouts filled the concert hall.
“That’s better. Now I want to hear you sing this one with me!” Len demanded.
Len spun his bass guitar back in his arms.
DO, DO DO, DO DO
The drums, the keys, and the bass seemed to resonate perfectly. The crowd stood hypnotized by the rhythm. As they drifted into a sense of security, The Blitz strummed the first chord of the song and let it resonate through the crowd.
The band performed their hit for what was likely the thousandth time in their illustrious career.
The crowd sang as along as if they needed their voices to be left in the walls of the concert hall.
As the keyboardist played the final notes, the crowd erupted in applause. Nearly 45 years of performing came to a close.
Len gave his final thanks to the crowd and handed his guitar to a person in the front row.
“Cheers!” He shouted to the audience kissing his hands in appreciation.
The fans filed out with bittersweet emotions; many weeping at the thought of never seeing the band perform again, but all with smiles on their faces.
In the following months, the band adjusted to normal life before coming to the stark realization that the music never came from them, but rather it was always inside them. Each went off on their separate paths, exploring new music closer to their hearts.
Ten years later, Dungeoness announced their final farewell tour.
At the end of that tour, Len gave his thanks to the crowd and slowly walked off stage.
Five years following their final farewell tour, Dungeoness announced their absolute final farewell tour.
Due to his failing state, Reggie Seager was replaced with a fill-in drummer that referred to himself as “Stickman.”
Peter Garamond performed keyboard live via satellite from his Malibu home. The concert was only stopped twice for interference from his cat jumping on the monitor.
Len Wyld tried to start a side band called Wyld and the Dungies, but contractual restrictions prevented him from playing any Dungeoness songs.
Three years later, Len attempted yet another farewell tour but unfortunately Peter Garamond had since passed away, as did Reggie Seager. The Blitz was last reported somewhere in the Caribbean.
Len took ill not long after. On his deathbed, Len told those closest to him, that should there be an afterlife, then he guaranteed them at least one more totally absolute final farewell tour.