While devouring his cheese-steak sandwich and having a moment of solitude, Blake’s road manager envisioned what actual dangers could possibly present themselves during the course of that night’s concert.
Extensive security covered all the bases concerning unwanted, exuberant or crazy individuals from accessing the stage, except on the main extension going out into the crowd, where the three additional men were strategically placed for that exact purpose.
The mechanical and structural devices were all properly in place and functioning safely. With the recent mass-murders by unyielding gunmen, remaining fixed in Charlie’s memory, he considered the chances of that occurring was next to none; as everyone was searched upon entry into the venue.
Overexertion on the part of his boss, making an exorbitant attempt of recapturing his roisterous youth on stage; miscalculating the actual extent of his own fervently conceived, everlasting immortality; or the unimaginable potential for unforeseen atrocities due to pure chance, were the only distinctive variables in the impending equation for uncertain disaster; convincing Charlie he’d better keep a close eye on his compadre. His benevolent employer was the only weak link in the chain for insuring the rock star’s personal safety.
When finished his brief repast, Charlie took a walk out into the arena to survey the crowd, noticing nothing peculiar; only the standard array of wildly excited, supportive fans were accumulated vastly on the arena floor, singing along to the band’s familiar standards, moshing and dancing to the sensational outpouring of rock, rhythm and blues emanating loudly from the stage.
Those situated in the reserved seats also were on their feet and bogeying for as far as the eye could see. The house was packed. Blake had been selling out every one of his shows: virtual rock-and-roll revivals to the nth-degree, attracting his tremendous multitude of faithful followers for a passion-filled soiree of soul-bearing, heart-wrenching, masterful renditions of tunes taken from a catalog of music that spanned over forty years, including his latest record album for which the present tour was supporting.
The singer had already had taken control of the masses, preaching to them like a prophet, extolling the virtues of young love, hard work, the eternal struggle between good and evil, where only the strong will survive; all while having one hell of a good time. The main vibe was happiness; the whole joint was shouting “Halleluiah” in Blake’s own inimitable style.
After going backstage to assure himself that everything was running smoothly, the tour official took his usual spot: offstage left, which had a clear vantage of the entire performance area, and where the crowd met the platforms. Video surveillance of the concert activity was provided by the onstage cameras, available for his perusal, as the producer’s stacks of monitors were set up in that section as well.
The band’s extensive cavalcade of rock-and-roll chestnuts had progressed well into the third-and-last hour of this final performance, capping the first leg of a hugely successful tour. Blake hung out exclusively on the center-stage extension during his final curtain call, hobnobbing with the audience on all sides of it, like he normally did at the end of each show.
Having left his guitar onstage, the music legend was now up close and personable, intimately singing his signature, rock-and-roll anthem about traveling along life’s highway, born to cruise, being wild and free; shaking hands and accepting gifts from his disciples who were within arms’ distance below the shoulder-high platform, behind waist-high barriers that were being slowly pushed closer to the ramp by the rambunctious crowd surrounding the protrusion.
An instantaneous, massive surge by the ravenous, frenzied fans, dozens deep on the open-arena floor, thrust forward in unison like a stampeding herd of cattle, moving each of the barriers three feet forward, immobilizing all six security guards at their posts, pinning them against the structural framing on the three-sided ramp.
The band had abruptly stopped playing. Charlie was now on his feet, rushing toward the front of the stage, calling for backup while helplessly watching his boss being man-handle by a flash mob of overwhelmed enthusiasts who evidently wanted to grab any piece of this rock god’s body.
More participants jumped up on stage, engulfing Blake and tearing off scraps of his clothing, wrestling with the singer, hugging, tugging whatever body part the crowd could hold onto; pulling out clumps of the celebrity’s thinning hair until a pile of delirious well-wishers, sandwiching the singer in between them, rolled off the platform and began body-surfing en masse over the now uncontrollable throng of concertgoers on the arena floor.
Five of the pinned security guards were able to break free from the restraining barricades against the platform’s framing, crawling under the ramp in between the trusses, attempting to make their way to the front where one of their crew members was still pinned between the metal barrier and the ramp, suspended unconsciously, his head dangling with blood flowing profusely from his mouth, eyes and ears, as if a pulmonary artery had been severed.
In the meantime, Blake floated bodily above hundreds of manic fanatics; his disheveled frame, being held up by the horde of raucous revelers, rolled, tossed, twisted and turned over on top of the legions of lunatics, flapping like a fish out of water, losing more shards of clothing as the wanton mass of crazies continued to pass him about as if he was a play toy.
The resulting melee attracted others from the seating area to join in, blocking any possible access to the stage-left section of the arena, preventing the police and security re-enforcements from making their way forward to quell the ensuing pandemonium.
The singer held on to his microphone with a death grip, pleading into it for his captors to set him back onto the stage, when the entertainer’s sudden, brutally hair-raising scream was heard loud and clear throughout the entire building.
His rigid, tumbling body now lay limp and lifeless, half-naked atop the maddening multitude of temporarily insane maniacs, who quickly came to their senses and transported the blood-covered victim back to the platform, where Charlie, the band members, police and emergency personnel had gathered.
The rock star was whisked away 0n a stretcher after the medics applied a tourniquet to the gaping gash in the center of his torso, hooking him up to an IV, and placing an oxygen mask over his bleeding mouth. The road manager and band mates were told he was still alive, and it looked as if whatever pierced his body, missed the heart but did extensive damage to other vital organs.
Mayhem prevailed still on the arena floor. Fights had broken out and more body-surfing took place. Ongoing sexual assaults terrorized a few woman caught up in the riot. The rampaging masses were finally quelled when the fire department relentlessly responded and hosed down the crowd with high-pressure streams of cold water.
Police investigators held the deviant bunch at bay with rifles, processing everybody and arresting at least one hundred people, transporting them off the premises. One of the first to leave in handcuffs was a man who was wearing a Prussian helmet with a blood-stained spike atop the center of it.
The arrested individual later admitted to being in the crowd when Blake Surrentino inadvertently rolled over directly on top of him, impaling the singer with the point of his helmet.
The assailant said he immediately dropped to his knees, thus removing the spike from the rock star’s belly; after which the impaler attempted to flee when he realized what had happen, but got caught up in a brawl and couldn’t get away.
Charlie, upon learning about this, couldn’t believe the front-door security personnel let the perpetrator into the center while wearing that monstrosity to begin with. Administrative heads were going to roll over this incident, especially since a member of their own security staff was killed as a result, troubling the road manager ever since.
Blake fortunately made it; however, part of his stomach, intestinal tract and colon had to be removed due to the intensive damages incurred by the unusual stabbing. One of his kidneys was punctured and destroyed as well, leaving the singer with just one to sustain him; and a colostomy bag took over the function of his devastated digestive organs.
The remainder of the tour was canceled while the rock star recuperated. He never regained his exceptional strength and vitality, causing him to rethink his career and decide to hang up his touring rock-‘n’-roll shoes.
The music icon retired, returning back to his seaside hometown where he would do an occasional benefit concert for local charities, and managed recently to cut another record album. No talk of a supporting tour was mentioned due to his fragile and deteriorating health.
An English touring band hired Charlie. The group had recently fired their road manager for pilfering funds on behalf of the latter’s own wretched devises: a cocaine addiction for which he was able to hide his dastardly affliction.
Jimmy continued on as his boss’s faithful assistant, traveling to England with him for their new employer’s third leg of a phenomenal tour.
The man with the Prussian helmet was convicted of third degree assault with a deadly weapon and served one year in the county jail. The arena’s general manager resigned from his position while public outcry and scrutiny of the tragic event mounted, pressuring the head of security and crowd control to follow suit.
Blake’s band mates got into their own solo projects and have been finding work as session musicians for other outstanding performers, needing their expertise.
Hopefully, a lesson can be learned from this tragic anomaly, or at least taken as a heart-felt warning to any trusting performer, to stay away from crowd-surfing and uncontrollable instances, where personal injury can occur no matter how safe they feel the situation is, and how loving they consider their fans to be.
Unforeseen accidents do occur often. Some are deadly while others are unfortunate; but most can be prevented by using common sense.
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