Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)-The story of Benny Goodmane

by Bandy

Back stories and famous last words

6) Back stories and famous last words

Historical accuracy be damned! Time to go to the old standby of making things up!
Originally a part of the last chapter, I decided last minute to separate the two and give sunnypuppy23 the back story he wanted. Better late than never, I suppose.

"Okay," said Benny. "I want to get to know you better."

"Well, I normally don't swing both ways, but I guess I could give it a shot." replied Gene.

Realizing what he was implying, Benny recoiled. "Oh, no! I just want to know what your credentials are!"

"Ohhhh... Credentials?”

Benny facehoofed. “What experience in music do you have?”

“Oh! Well, I write most of my own music," he gestured to several file cabinets overflowing with parchment. "I got a bassist and a couple horns behind me willing to play, and I'm the best drummer in all of Equestria. Is that good enough?"

"Woah, slow down there. You can't possibly be the best drummer in ALL of Equestria. There's a young kid from Manehatten that's supposed to be amazing. I think his name's Travis B-"

A drumstick, sharpened to a fine point, was levitated an inch away from his face. As Benny recoiled, Gene took a menacing step towards Benny.

"If you say that low brow, creative-as-a-metronome little MULE Travis Bucker even COMPARES to me, I will not hesitate to rebuild that window then throw you out of it!"

Benny stifled a scream. "Okay, okay! Just, put the stick down!"

Benny put on a toothy grin, and threw the stick into the wall behind him. It stuck to the wall with an audible "twang". He turned to face Benny just in time to see him lose consciousness and fall to the floor.

"Hello? Helloooo? You okay there, big guy?""

Gene's face floated back into consciousness above him, deep worry lined creased into his forehead. "Well at least you aren't dead."

Benny let out a laugh, half relief and half anxiety. As his heartbeat slowly relaxed, he noticed Gene slowly stand up and offer him a hoof. Benny grabbed it, and vaulted himself up. Hi head swam at the sudden return of gravity.

"How... How long was I out?"

"Eh, not too long. I thought you were dead for a few minutes, but that's no big deal." He accentuated his point with a wave of his hoof.

Benny stared in awe for a moment. He had never met a pony like HIM before. "You are a piece of work, aren't you?"

Gene, interpreting it as a comment, puffed out his chest with pride. "Yep! No one could possibly match me!"

Benny rolled his eyes at the gesture. “Okay…” he looked for an excuse to leave this pony’s company, hopefully for a long time. “Oh, hey! Look at the time! Better mosey on and-“

"Now wait," said Gene, an apprehensive look on his face, "I've told you pretty much everything there is to know about me, but I barely know anything more than your name!"

Benny mulled over the possibilities of what might happen if he gave personal information to a pony like this. Against his better judgment, he decided to spill. "Okay, I guess. What could possibly go wrong?"

"Famous last words." mumbled Gene.

Ignoring the comment, Benny thought back to his childhood. "Well, I was born up in Canterlot. I lived in a little house right next to the concert hall. Me and my parents would always sit and listen to the orchestras perform. We didn't even need tickets; the sound just flowed right out to us." Memories of warm summer nights and picnics while listening to smooth melodies carried on the wind flowed through him, putting him in a blissful stupor.

"Hello?" Gene's hoof waving next to his eyes brought him back.

"He he, Sorry. Anyway, my parents were big on classical music. My dad played trombone, and my mom played trumpet. They threw every brass instrument they could at me, but none ever stuck. Then, one day, I got a job cleaning the concert hall. That job literally changed my life." Benny chuckled, remembering how he screamed like a schoolfilly upon finding out he got the job. "Anyway, when I got there, a musician who had played there the previous night forgot his clarinet. I picked it up, and... It just felt right. It was... I don't even know how to describe it." Benny thought that sounded cheesy, but he continued none the less. "Just my luck, the musician who owned the clarinet arrived to claim his instrument.”

"Well well well, somepony's playing with another pony's toy."

"Oh! No, I was-I just, uh,"

"No, it's okay! You sound amazing. How long have you been playing?"

"Uh, actually, I never played. I play brass, but this is the first time I tried the clarinet."

"Wow. You got talent. Play some more."

"Well, Uh, I don't really know how."

"Well what were you doing when I walked in?"

"Just... Feeling the instrument, I guess."

"That's how you're supposed to do it, kid! Now do it some more!"

"If you say so..." as he pushed air into the piece and moved his hooves over the keys, assisting himself with short bursts of magic, a smooth stream of notes began to flow melodiously out of the clarinet. The musician sat down in the front row, nodding his head slightly as Benny began to increase his pace. As Benny crescendoed and finished his impromptu performance, the musician rose, and made his way to the stage.

"I'm sorry, I-"

The musician pointed to his flank, a giant grin plastered on his face. Benny noticed a faint magic glow over his flank. He turned just in time to see his cutie mark appear, suppressing an urge to scream like a filly as the image was plastered onto his flank. The musician laughed, laying a hoof on Benny's shoulder.

"Congrats, kid. You got real talent there. Use it." With that, he took his clarinet, twirled it around his hoof, and walked away, his instrument levitating behind him.

“I never even got to know his name…” finished Benny, his mind awash in the memory of that day.

"Wow. That's a real good story, man." Gene had positioned himself on top of a large cardboard box full of receipts. What happened then?"

"Well," Benny continued, "my parents weren't exactly thrilled that my talent wasn't with brass, but they were supportive none the less. They still live up there in Canterlot, but they moved to a rest home a few years ago. I moved to an apartment, and started getting odd jobs around the city to pay for living expenses. I also wrote music on the side. Once I even auditioned to get my music played by the Canterlot Symphony Orchestra in the concert hall."

"Nice! How did that work out?"

Benny hung his head, his mane falling in his face. "They laughed at me. That's why I came here. I am currently the laughing stock of the Canterlot music community. If I show my face around a music hall with any decency, I’ll get thrown out just like that." Benny winced as he said this, reality slapping him in the face with cold, hard truth.

"Nah, it can't be THAT bad. I know what it's like, to get laughed out of auditions like that. It sucks, but eventually it gets better. One door closes on you, a window opens. You get my drift?"

Benny looked up and smiled at the pony's feeble attempt to raise his spirits. "Thanks man." He stood up and looked out the hole that used to contain an opaque sheet of glass. The sun had been lowered considerably since he last checked, and he didn't want to be locked out of the hotel after it shut down for the night. "Hey listen, I gotta go. I'll be in touch."

Gene suppressed a yawn. "Yeah, sure. If you can get here tomorrow, I'll bring the band over so they can meet you."

"Tomorrow sounds good," replied Benny, beginning to feel the first signs of sleep tug at his eyelids. "I'll meet you here. And if I may suggest, you might want to get that fixed." he said, extending a hoof to the window frame devoid of glass.

"Eh, it's a good night. Doesn't look like rain. At least I hope.” A worried look was displayed on his face, which did nothing to ease Benny’s pity for the unicorn.

And with that, Gene ushered Benny to the door. "See ya tomorrow, Benny. Get some sleep; you'll need it when you meet the cats in my band. Benny was poised to counter the statement, but he was lost in the apex of drowsiness, allowing himself to be pushed out of the shop and onto the streets.

"Tomorrow. Cool. What could possibly go wrong?" he reassured himself, trotting off into the pervading darkness.

Postscript- I know, more than one of you are more likely Travis Barker fans. Please, feel free to be as harsh and demeaning to me as possible. Happy Friday, fimfiction.