Starbound 21

Unexpectedly, the entire Bitches team agreed that Sylvia Volkov would front the group. Bernie Cohen went back to the city. Richard Silver, Rachel Horowitz and the three black backup girls stayed at Richard’s house. Rachel created a schedule where most of the recording work would be begun near sundown and would carry on until one in the morning. That meant there was time to wind down, to take it easy and record at the day’s end when everyone has had the day to themselves.

At one o’clock in the morning, after the first recording session everyone went off to bed. The musicians who had come for the session went back to the city. Some of them had engagements for commercial jingles or other studio work and were happy to have the night work while still having their usual recording work.

Bernie eagerly set up a tour for The New Bitches, with Sylvia fronting the group. In city after city, they were a tremendous and profitable hit. After three months on the road Bernie had them return to the studio. The abbreviated tour proved that the revised group still drew the crowds and that Sylvia’s new stage name, Sylvie Voltaire was on lips and magazine covers everywhere. Bernie wisely realized that timing was perfect to record a new DVD and release it when the full year tour began.

Almost as soon as the DVD hit the stores and the tour began in Detroit, there were traffic jams, riots and fights that required the promoters to keep at least a dozen guards on hand to deal with the fans. Sylvia was focused on her performances and accepted Rachel’s capable guidance. For that reason, it was a surprise to Sylvia that there was just one more show to do. She was pleased. Eleven months on the road, living in hotels and on the giant tour bus had worn Sylvia down.

“What city?” said Sylvia. Rachel smiled.

“Bernie arranged this as a special treat before you take a long vacation,” Rachel said. “It’s your old home town.”

“What?” said Sylvia. She was stunned. The last place on the planet she ever wanted to see again.

“What’s the matter, Sweetie,” said Rachel. “You look freaked out.”

“How could you let him do this?” said Sylvia. “You know the whole town hated me. I was shunned, ridiculed and raped by the football team.”

“We thought you’d enjoy getting even, returning an international star and multi-millionaire,” said Rachel.

“What arena are we in?” said Sylvia.

“The arenas were too small for this concert, Sweetie,” said Rachel. “You’re booked into the stadium.”

“The football stadium?” said Sylvia. “That’s where the bastards raped me. It’s their fucking stadium.”

“It’s not Sylvia Volkov they’re coming to see,” said Rachel. “It’s Sylvie Voltaire. You can decide after the concert if you want to tell the media that you’re Sylvia Volkov.”

“They might boo me, throw things,” said Sylvia. “You don’t know how they hated me.

“They were teenagers then,” said Rachel. “They’re young men now, some with families, working guys I mean. It will be different.”

Sylvia was smuggled into the dressing room and she was beside herself with insecurity. Rachel tried everything to make her relax. The show was not until the next night, so there was some time to get Sylvia ready to perform with the explosive talent for which Sylvie Voltaire is known.

That night a crowd gathered to wait for the ticket booth to open. While trying to relax in the comfortable dressing room, Sylvia picked up a program for the concert. The cover was a life size shot of Sylvie Voltaire’s face. Rachel cut out the image and made a mask out of it. Sylvia Volkov then put a mask of Sylvie Voltaire’s face over her own and tentatively went outside and around the corner where she could move amid the crowd that was gathering.

Every comment she heard was enthusiastically positive. They all loved Sylvie Voltaire and felt privileged that she would visit their little city. She even saw two of the guys who had raped her, now young men. They were speaking of how they hoped they could get up close to Voltaire. One of them complemented her on the clever use of the program cover.

Sylvia went to her hotel with Rachel Horowitz and Richard Silver. She was feeling more at ease. Her confidence had been reinforced by the favourable comments she’d heard from many audience members.

The concert was a success as it was expected to be. The performances were outstanding and the crowd loved it. The crew was happy to get back home at last. Richard especially had some exciting developments in mind for the group. There was a new era dawning for music, electronics, and Sylvie Voltaire.

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