New Story: “1988 Behind the 9:30 Club,” and an Important Anthology.

Cover art sample from Sean Frasier.
Cover art sample from Sean Frasier.

In November, Despumation Press announced that they’d be putting together a metal-themed anthology, the sales of which would benefit two very nice people who are going through some not so very nice health issues.  Despumation editor, Kriscinda Lee Everitt had this to say about the effort:

As some of you may or may not know, Metal Maniacs co-founder and former editor, Katherine Ludwig, has been battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and dark fiction writer, screenwriter, and metal/hardcore enthusiast, Dustin LaValley, has been struggling with some very serious Crohn’s/IBD issues. These things cost money, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall the last time I had the cash to just throw at some monster threatening your life, trying to bribe it to go away.

Kriscinda wrote that Shawn Macomber (Decibel, Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Shroud, etc.) had approached her with the idea of a benefit anthology and she liked the idea.  I’ve known Shawn for more than a few years as Shroud has published his writing before, and Shawn has been great about keeping in touch and promoting Shroud’s publications. Shawn came to me in October and asked if I’d like to write something for the anthology.  Of course I jumped in.

Over the following month I penned “1988 Behind the 9:30 Club,” which was based on a real life experience I had the venerable rock club in Washington D.C. back in the 80s when I was there for a Fleshtones show. In my story, my characters arrive at the club to find that Fugazi is playing instead of the Fleshtones.

So now the full table of contents is out and I’m pleased and honored to be joining so many tremendous writers in an effort to bring a little financial relief to two people who are bravely battling some serious health problems.  The Healing Monsters anthology is due out in March, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to grab a copy once it’s released.

Here’s a short (unedited) excerpt of “1988 Behind the 9:30 Club:”

I escaped from the sullen cloud that had begun to form around Sully. It was a good crowd — alive, eclectic — and Fugazi cultivated a sound that was difficult to categorize. There were elements of hardcore, but also a rhythm that pulled itself from funk and ska roots. It was Mackaye’s distinct vocal style that did it for me. It was a departure from his rapid-fire lyrical assaults in Minor Threat, but it was still uniquely Mackaye.

And then there were the girls — shaved heads, pierced noses, tattoos, thick black eyeliner. I could only watch, as the music was too loud to try to approach and talk. In the meantime two beers turned into four, then six, then two shots of Wild Turkey, or maybe three. The band was nine songs in before they played “Waiting Room,” and though I’d been psyched to hear it, I needed air, and I needed it bad. I walked out the first door I saw and found myself in an alley behind the club. The air was muggy and stale and I could smell the dumpster and the rotten run-off of whatever greasy spoons spilled out onto the bricks.


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