by Robert Bell
THE SWORD, GYPSYHAWK, EAGLE CLAW
7:30 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $15 adv., $17 day of.
Gary slammed the door shut on his now ex-girlfriend and strode across the parking lot of the fleabag motel they'd been crashing at. He opened the back doors of his purple '71 Ford Econoline and tossed a satchel containing two kilos of pure, uncut Plutonian Nyborg into the hidden compartment he'd cut out of the panel above the back passenger wheel well.
The Nyborg's street value was 20 large. Just gotta boogie out to Albuquerque, hook up with Stash to make the sale and then head down to San Miguel for an extended holiday. Stay down there long enough to sort things out, forget about the last year and get his head straight. With that in mind, he pulled out the jernt he'd tucked into his bandana and fired it up as he was passing the city limits, endless highway stretching out before him. Adios, Wichita. Vaya con Dios.
Some tunes, man — that was what he needed now. He reached into the glove box and rifled around for an 8-track, pulling out one after another. James Gang? Good stuff, but eh, not right now. "Houses of the Holy?" Nah, been playing that one too much lately.
The next one hadn't been opened for some reason. "The Sword," he said aloud, eyeing the outer space warrior chick on the cover. "Huh, don't remember picking this up." He bit into the shrink wrap, tore it off and ka-chunked the tape into the player.
As the sun faded from the sky, Gary cranked the stereo. The Sword's bitchin' riffs and cosmic grooves washed over him. "Yeah man," he thought as the darkness fell around him, "things are gonna be all right."