The Railway Hotel, Wealdstone, UK 1964.

You gotta dance just to keep from cryin’oh yeah

Because now you’ve got it and tomorrow it’s gone, and the distance between the two is less than the wink of her eye; a glance and a smile and you’re lost forever to the slim brunette with the cheekbones and the beauty spot, the headband and the mini-skirt and the hips that gyrate just so

For you and you alone

You fancy, dare to dream, plied with Dutch courage, sea legs wade across a sticky dancefloor

Every step an imagined kiss

Up on the low stage four young white men: suited, booted, coiffed and preened

The singer, a veneer of too cool for school thinly painted over a pulsebeat of backstreet menace; one misplaced word, one broken bottle, one brick through the plate glass window of Woolworths removed from Reform School, the Firm and a life in and out of Wormwood Scrubs

The guitarist, birdlike intensity, a flickering flame that will erupt at any moment in incandescent fury, creation and destruction yinged and yanged, building in twitches towards an explosion of destruction no Gibson or Gretsch or Rickenbakker can withstand; the muse dies shrieking in a splintered feedback howl

The drummer, prettiest of them all but pretty drummers never last, gleam and spark of true insanity lurking behind puppydog eyes, for now contained by love of the rhythm, those crazy rhythms so wrong they’re right – ptish pash baby boom pash crash yeah

The bassist – did anyone notice him?

The pretty young things do the flop, do the bird, do the twist and crawl

As if Saturday Night will never turn into Sunday Morning; as if Monday won’t come round again, and they’ll be typing, clerking, sorting, driving

Driving Britain towards the White Heat of a new Industrial Revolution; building a New Jerusalem here, on these dark satanic hills, as

Two hundred and fifty unfulfilled dreams coagulate with cigarette smoke, beer, sweat and Chanel No. 5

As

Our lives unwind on the sticky dancefloor

You gotta dance just to keep from cryin’oh yeah

Stereo Story #666

Terry Holland grew up in England and lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He has been published by Almond Press (Scotland), the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology (UK), Stukah! magazine (Netherlands), Full House Literary (online, UK) and Free Flash Fiction (online) and is scheduled for publication by Pure Slush (Australia).