My 99th Page is sort of a turning point. Zorro is in a bar, discovering that rather than imparting "cool" to his girlfriend's daughter, Dawn, he has lost it altogether. Unfortunately, the page starts off with (ugh!) back story. But what can ya do, eh?
After the glory that was Hate you (Gonna Eat Cheese), Willy moved to London and started a solo career. He could have been Elvis great, Morrison great, if he had held off a little longer on the dying part. But as fate would have it, Willy put out his first solo hit and bit the big one all in the same week.
Zorro slurped his third—or maybe fourth—beer in memory of his friend. Willy hadn’t even died of an overdose or in a plane crash or any of the legendary ways. Instead, he got hit by a car in a London suburb. Whenever he thought about the accident, Zorro imagined the picture on the Beatles’ Abbey Road, Willy in the crosswalk behind the Fab Four, creamed by the green Fiat of fate. Even now, he couldn’t bear to look at that album cover… or make of car, for that matter.
If Willy, generous, talented Willy who had been the heart and soul of The MeeMees, the engine behind the musical end of the enterprise, hadn’t been kept back for some higher purpose, who was Zorro to think he actually had?
“Hey,” Ed said, moseying down the bar to collect the latest empty. How about this: Captain Monterey Jack. That’s the ticket, right? Sort of a Billy Joel thing?”
Zorro cringed. There was nothing he could do for Dawn. He thought of those evil little preteens on the library steps. They didn’t see cool when they looked at him. They saw old, has-been, loser. Even with the shades and hair. He was exactly what he’d been before Willy had found him all those years ago. And his songs—all those ridiculous, half-finished songs—could just stay that way.
What did Roger Weitz know of cool?