Press Conference, Plaza Hotel, New York City
November 2002, 3:45 p.m.
Sam Stein, attorney and owner of Stein Talent Ltd., looked around his suite at the Plaza. Half of his personnel came over from his office on East 73rd to handle the crisis. A press conference scheduled for four p.m. put the media in a feeding frenzy. Rumor and speculation had run thick and heavy for ten days. Sam took the statements of the three remaining members of the group Shattered Glass now sequestered in adjoining suites. The fourth went AWOL. None of the band saw or heard from Liam O’Shea in the past ten days. Rumors circulated, but even Sam’s best investigator, J.B. Saunders, hadn’t
He yelled over to his assistant. “Margot, has J.B. filed a report on Liam?”
“Not yet, I’m working on it. You have ten minutes to get downstairs.”
Sam picked up his statement and headed out of the suite to the press room. None of the principals would say much more than the basic facts. Bart made a pass at Milo, and Liam walked. Sam begged Milo Stamis, group leader and Sam’s best friend, to tell him what happened.
Milo exploded in an angry tirade against Liam. “If I could find the little bastard, I’d choke him. He’s been carrying on with that fucking roadie, Danny, behind my back for years. Bart kept trying to warn me and I wouldn’t listen. Leave it alone, Sam. I’ve called everywhere to try to locate him. He’s probably sunning himself with his new lover somewhere in the Caribbean. Fuck if I care.”
Sam shook his head. “I wouldn’t believe Bart Hedge if he told me the sky was blue.”
“Damn it, you hired the bastard. If you’d stayed with the band, on the drums where you belonged, this wouldn’t have happened. Now get the hell out of my room.”
Sam left thinking that the dark circles under Milo’s red eyes told more of the story than his temper.
Sam’s brother, Rick, the bass guitarist, didn’t help. He told Sam, “Bart sidled up to Milo during
rehearsal the day after Milo threw Liam out of the house. Liam hauled off and punched Bart and gave
him a black eye. I went to the back to check the drums, so I didn’t see it happen. Anyway, what the
fuck do I know? I get little respect and less information.” Rick shrugged with assumed indifference.
When Sam phoned to ask Bart what happened the day after the original “incident” occurred, Bart refused to comment.” After some coaxing on Sam’s part, he would only say Milo kicked him out of the band and that he refused to finish the tour even if asked back. As far as the “incident” went, in Sam’s opinion, somehow, Bart was at the root of this whole fiasco.
The guys were better off without that sleazy bastard anyway. I’ll have to talk Milo into
replacing Bart for the remainder of the tour. He’s replaceable. Liam is not. How could I have missed all
of the tension of the last few years?
That’s easy, his conscience replied. You let the band slide because you let your business consume you. But Milo refused to go near Bart, so Sam would be forced to assume his former role and play in the band to finish the tour.
As for Liam, none of the band or the crew laid eyes on either him or Danny Hobbs, the roadie in
question, for ten days.
When Sam arrived downstairs, networks, cable news, the legitimate music magazines, newspapers, and stringers from every supermarket rag that ran covers of alien invasions and three-headed cows packed the Plaza’s press room, all of them ready to take a bite out of Sam’s hide. Margot preceded him through the door and announced his entrance. The room burst into a cacophony of voices, all shouting questions he could not or would not be able to answer. Sam began to sweat in his Armani suit, but soldiered on to the podium. He faced the crowd as they settled into an expectant silence.
“Good afternoon. I have a prepared statement and will take no questions afterward. Liam O’Shea, Shattered Glass’ composer, lead guitarist and singer, has left the band due to creative differences. Milo Stamis informed me today that Liam will be replaced for rest of the tour by solo artist, Johnny Borchoi, who graciously agreed to interrupt his sabbatical to fill in for Liam.”
The media exploded in protest as Sam prepared to leave the podium. Margot whispered, “Sam, you need to answer a few questions or they’ll bombard the office. We won’t be able to work.”
Looking over the rabble, Sam agreed with Margot’s assessment. He returned to the podium and braced himself for what he knew would come.
“I will go ahead and take a couple of questions after all.”
Hands flew into the air. Sam pointed at random. The reporter jumped up. “Rolling Stone. Mr. Stein, didn’t you once play the drums for Shattered Glass, and isn’t bass guitarist Rick Stein your brother?”
“Yes. Next question, over there in the corner.”
“Billboard. There are rumors of an altercation at a rehearsal. It’s said that Liam attacked Bart
“No comment. Second row, third from the left.”
“Dex Arthur, Entertainment Tonight. Doesn’t Liam owe his fans an explanation?”
“Liam’s music speaks for itself,” Sam growled. “I’ll take one last question.”
A stringer for one of the grocery rags stood up and shouted a question that silenced the room. ”Sam, were Milo and Liam lovers?”
“No comment.” Sam abruptly left the podium and disappeared behind the curtain, heading to the private exit.
Their public relations representative pulled Sam aside as he attempted to exit the room. “Come on, Sam. At least tell me the truth off the record. Are Milo and Liam lovers? Rumors abound of a blowup at the rehearsal, and a physical altercation.”
The PR rep left. Sam stood, shoulders slumped. He shook his head. The truth was more complicated than anyone could imagine.
Shattered Glass is available from Captiva Press at www.captivapress.com. Additional information about my books is available from my website at www.ackatt.com. The following is a list of my blogs for your convenience: www.ackattsjournal.blogspot.com, www.ackattspolitics.blogspot.com, www.ackatt.livejournal.com, www.ackatt.weebly.com, and a new Ning fan network at www.ackattonning, which you are welcome to check out and join.
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