He was born Trevor Hammersmith to wealthy parents living in Birmingham, an affluent paradise in the neon pink shadow of Detroit. Far away from the lascivious lifestyle of the big city, decent, God-fearing Americans could shame their children into being good and espouse the virtues of family values. It was a lie Trevor saw through at an early age. As far back as he could remember, he could hear the call of Detroit. The sights and sounds caught his eyes and ears at every opportunity. While he was too far away to hear the music, he could feel the subtle vibrations from the drums that rocked the Motor City from dusk until dawn.
Trevor’s parents had plans for their only child. Eleanor, his mother had always hoped Trevor would find his way into an unfulfilling job and marriage to produce her a handful of grandchildren. She also wanted to remain the only woman that ever really understood her special little boy. His father, a renowned phlebotomist, wanted Trevor to attend medical school and one day take over the family’s blood business. Fortunately, the world had grander designs in mind for young Trevor.
Soon after puberty, he began to shed his suburban inhibitions. On more than one occasion, teachers caught him sneaking off and listening to songs that had not received approval by the Parental Academy for Music Approval—music that openly promoted dancing, fornication and expressing one’s inner turmoil. They believed taking away Trevor’s Walkman would prevent him from listening to his beloved “Heathen music.” Instead, it helped facilitate the emergence of his true self.
Without music, Trevor began to exhibit the traits of a junkie. His body was being denied to smooth grooves and funky beats that fueled his engine. Sharp pains and spasms would force him to curl into the fetal position. At first doctors believed he was suffering from seizures, but the involuntary movements were something that couldn’t be explained with modern medical science. What ailed Trevor was the music inside him, and it was fighting to get out. His entire young life had been dedicated to concepts of control and suppression, mind over matter, engaging the spirit and denying the flesh.
Trevor’s parents were hellbent on finding a solution. Restraints and straps weren’t enough to stop his wild, uninhibited gyrations. Music conversion therapy also yielded no positive results. Doctor Hammersmith even tried chemical castration as a way of keeping his son free from the influence of the “Dirty Funk” that possessed him. There was nothing on Earth that could keep the music in Trevor from being released.
Eventually, all his parents could do was set him free before his muscular spasms ended up shaking the entire cul-de-sac into oblivion. Free of restraint, bad music and chemicals preventing his erotic thoughts and feelings, Trevor finally released his body over to the music being composed within him. It was only then that Trevor Hammersmith ceased to be and a new, ice-cold life form emerged. The lackluster chain-store clothes melted away from his body like cheap cheese substitute. From his mother’s closet he grabbed a pair of pitch-black shapewear, a full-length faux fur and walked to the door as he prepared to follow the micro tremors below his feet to the city that had been beckoning him since his balls dropped.
“Wait” said his mother, walking toward the only person in the world she truly loved. “Don’t leave.”
Trevor turned and hugged her one last time. She was the only one that loved him unconditionally. A pin-prick of light in the dark, drab suburban existence where mediocrity was grown and shaped like the well-coiffed homeowner’s association approved lawns. He could feel her heart breaking as they embraced, like a cheap piece of drink ware shattering in a shopping bag.
“I have to,” Trevor replied. “I’ll never find my rhythm here.”
The tears streamed down his mother’s face with a trail of mascara left in their wake. She knew where he was headed—where he was always destined to be.
It was the capital of the new world, the granite foundation of a new music-infused utopia, where rock ‘n’ roll met rhythm and blues in a fissionable explosion that powered the entire city. They make two things in Detroit: cars and stars.
Almost every machine citizens rode in and every major music star they listened to came from Detroit. It’s where people went when they wanted to realize their dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom—or get a decent-paying manufacturing job.
The city had been shaped by music and motors. There were miles of roads ascending into the heavens, giving people places to pull off sweet jackknifes and donuts, while skyscrapers began to take on outrageous dimensions and shapes after the city planner tried ayahuasca for the first time. Modern-day Detroit looked like an orgy of concrete, steel and laser lights. There was an irresponsibly high number of amphitheaters and very little consideration of public parking.
Though reasonably priced housing was null in Detroit, damn good music blazed from every corner. Trevor followed the beat, which cut through the ambient noise of the city streets and took him to an abandoned asylum, which closed due to a lack of funding after the mayor became hooked on slutty heavy metal and a hallucinogenic produced from the dirty oil pans of a Chevy roadster that locals called “BrainGasm.” Within six months of arriving in Detroit, Trevor would turn this old, poorly regulated mental-health facility into the hottest club in the city: Full Frontal Lobotomy. A dulcet destination, it afforded cutting-edge artists the opportunity to create sounds the universe wasn’t ready for. Musical students of contrasting modalities stepped away from the safety of their acoustic disciplines to explore new sonic territory. A room was set up where people could discretely engage in group sex. It wasn’t long before all metaphorical roads led to Full Frontal Lobotomy and its cultural conductor, while actual roads still would usually lead to the airport.
Though the fledgling nation inspired by music abhorred function and bureaucracy, it still required leadership. So it would be Trevor Hammersmith chosen to be its first elected official. He embraced a leadership style that combined elements of Plato’s philosopher king and a musical meritocracy. The most talented and successful musicians would have a hand in making decisions that shaped their smooth, sovereign society.
Trevor reigned over his musical metropolis for over a decade before facing his most crucial crisis: a million-man mosh pit that would challenge his convictions, beliefs and attention span. There were no plans for something like this—a twisted taffy of terrifying torso, targeting the very nerve center of this new nirvana.
After a 24-hour meditation session and coffee enema, Trevor put out a call to reunite the most powerful musical icons the world had ever seen.
“Ivy,” he said as he emerged from a bathtub, draped in the finest silk kimonos. “You need to get everyone.”
“Including him?” she asked.
“Especially him. We need Eddie Inferno.”
Anghus is encore’s 2020 fact or fiction writer, featuring the serialized piece, “Burning Sensation.” Read the prologue and previous chapters here.