SOMEONE is the story of a rock star who gained worldwide acclaim while performing anonymously under a pseudonym and at the height of his fame vanished mysteriously during the middle of a concert series, never to be heard from again. Eighteen years later a former fan, now a journalist, tries to uncover who was Someone and whatever happened to him.
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According to urban legend, popular rock musicianSomeone’s grandfather bought him a guitar on his eighth birthday. It wasn’t a particularly expensive guitar, and it took a while for the boy and the instrument to truly bond, but once they’d connected, there was no looking back.
As a quiet, sensitive teenager, Someonedidn’t like to boast to others of his growing prowess with the guitar, or that he was quickly learning the art of song writing. Occasionally people would overhear the music he played and ask him who had written it. Embarrassed to take public ownership for something so personal, he usually attributed his songs to bands they didn’t know.
At school, he was academically able but blended into the background where he was happiest. He socialised with others but kept his musical talent to himself. Some children had bullied him when he was younger, but as a teenager, he grew strong and less of an easy target for those of a mind to seek out the weak and vulnerable. He was generally content with his life but at sixteen, he faced a dilemma.
It had been three years since Someone had written his first song and in that time, his skills had substantially improved. His initial efforts had been inspired by the popular rock and roll sound of the early Sixties, and he took particular pride when one day his grandmother asked whether one track was something written by the Beatles. Soon though, his guitar work and his music took off onto a spiralling, intricate, and beautiful path all of its own. As his voice matured, it developed into a strong, distinctive baritone that perfectly complemented the music. The result was magical. This left him feeling confused.
He played, wrote and sang to his music for himself. He had no need to share it with others, but should he? His parents thought it might be good for him to seek a part-time job and encouraged him to look for opportunities to play his music. He thought about it, and although he was ambivalent about money, he realised it could be useful to be paid to do something he enjoyed.
So, Someone took an afternoon job on the weekends playing backup guitar to a middle-aged male singer in a local hotel bar. It was pleasant enough work, and although he was nervous to have people watch him perform, he could take comfort in the knowledge that the focus of the audience’s attention was the singer, not him.
One Sunday afternoon, the music teacher from Someone’s High School came to the hotel and saw him play. It surprised the teacher to see Someone on stage. It seemed out of character for the quiet loner she knew from school, but she was immediately struck by the fluency of his guitar work and the clear sound he generated. She resolved to include him in the next school music production.
When Someone later heard he was on the list of performers for a school concert, he was horrified but it was not something from which he could easily retreat. For years he had managed to stay in the background, remain anonymous, and avoid the popular high school teens who now considered him odd. He knew he would have to play, but to use the adult singer from his weekend job as the focus of his act wouldn’t fit the school concert. Without anyone he knew who could sing in time and in tune to his music, Someone would have to perform it himself.
When the day of the concert arrived, he waited for his turn to perform. He was so nervous he could barely hold his guitar. When the announcer finally called his name, he felt excitement and enthusiastically determined to perform his favourite composition for the crowd.
All the popular kids from school had assembled at the front of the audience and were nudging each other, obviously amused to see him take centre stage for once. So he played. He played with an intensity and purity of sound he had rarely achieved in practice and lost himself in the moment. Someone closed his eyes as he sang for the first time in front of people. Before he knew it, he finished.
He opened his eyes, sweating from nervous exhaustion after completing his composition to the best of his ability, and looked out at the audience of students from his school. He made a move to bow, but as he did so, one of the boys at the front threw a tomato at him. It hit Someone in the chest. Surprise and horror engulfed him. The tomato squashed across his clean tee shirt, and the impact knocked him backwards. He stumbled into an amplifier. This sent the audience into raptures of laughter. Other equipment crashed to the ground as he tried to avoid falling. He eventually righted himself amongst a backdrop of mockery. A tear rolled down his cheek when he thought he saw the music teacher chuckling at his expense from the side of the stage. His humiliation was complete.
Someone swore to himself there and then to become the biggest rock star the world had ever seen but never to play in front of an audience and never to reveal his identity for further humiliation.
Anyway, that’s how the popular story of Someone goes. No one truly knows if these early events are strictly accurate, but he did go on to achieve his ambition as a rock star, only to disappear without trace at the pinnacle of his career. Whatever happened to him remains a mystery. It was my intention as a journalist to find out.