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Axel Wainwright. British rock god. Bad boy.
He sets the crowds on fire with his voice and his words.
Singing backup for him is my dream job.
My big chance to get recognised and become a star.
Music is my life and now it consumes me.
HE consumes me.
But I have my career to think about; I’ve worked years for this.
I need to keep my distance from Axel, or he’ll burn me to ashes.
Except, guess what? The best-laid plans have a habit of going wrong.
My name is Phoenix Johnson, and, like Icarus, I’ve flown too close to the sun.
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British rock band, ChiMera, to resume their world tour five months after the shocking death of backup singer, Ella Wainwright.
By Julia Smith, The Music Mag
Front man Axel Wainwright announced yesterday that British rock band, ChiMera, would be flying to Milan, Italy, to resume their ‘Ghost in the Heart’ world tour at the end of next month. The twenty-seven-year-old singer and bass player, who came out of rehab with his bandmates last week, stated. ‘My sister is irreplaceable, but we owe it to her to resume the tour.’ He went on to confirm that the first round of auditions had already taken place and he would announce the name of the new band member shortly.
The ‘London Lovers’ singer declined to answer questions about a rumored estrangement from his billionaire father, Blake Wainwright, co-founder of the UK property development company, Lombardi & Wainwright, who supposedly has refused to speak to his son since Ella overdosed on heroin after ChiMera’s sell-out concert in Madison Square Garden last September.
Axel, aka ‘the British heartthrob’, and his bandmates Rhys Williams (lead guitarist), Zach Copeland (keyboard player) and Pierce Fox (drummer) checked themselves into the Betty Ford Center in California following Ella’s tragic overdose to get themselves clean of drugs. ‘We won’t go down that road again,’ the bad boy of rock told this reporter. ‘We’ll focus on our music and our record label instead. Ella loved ChiMera. It’s her legacy. If we didn’t resume the tour, we’d be disrespecting her memory. Besides, we owe it to our entire team and all our fans…’
Despite their ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll’ reputations, ChiMera are shrewd businessmen. They set up CM Records with a loan from Lombardi & Wainwright at the start of their rapid trajectory, and within two years, due to their phenomenal early success, were able to repay the debt and start signing other bands and solo artists to the label. Apparently, they carried on running the company even while in rehab…
It is this reporter’s opinion that whoever takes Ella’s place will need to be one special lady, not only to support Axel while he sings those amazing songs, but to maintain a professional stance. All four band members are drop-dead-gorgeous rock gods living the free and easy ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ lifestyle. They are serial daters of beautiful women. How will any woman working in close proximity be able to resist them, I can’t help asking myself? This reporter sure as hell wouldn’t…
I tucked a strand of my long blond hair behind my ear and parked my butt on a plush sofa in the lobby of ChiMera’s headquarters, waiting to be called in for my live audition. Nerves fluttering in my stomach, I reached for my phone and opened Music Mag. An article about the band appeared on the screen, but when I read the words, ‘How will any woman working in close proximity be able to resist them?’ sudden anger flared through me. Disgusted at the insinuation, I decided not to bother reading the comments and began to warm up my voice instead.
I hummed in my throat, then sang Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do in all the major and minor scales, using the tones from my cell’s piano app as staring notes, and thinking about what had led me to this juncture.
Initially, when I’d answered the advert, I had no clue I was auditioning for arguably the best rock band in the world. The groups I’d been singing with hitherto had a habit of breaking up and reforming at the drop of a hat. I needed something more permanent. Correction. Mom’s medical bills needed me to have something more permanent.
At my try-out in downtown LA, I’d sung Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, having the same alto voice range as her, and I’d belted the crap out of it acapella, without any backup sound. After I’d nailed the last note, Jake Stanley, ChiMera’s Creative Director, revealed the audition was for the European leg of the British rock gods’ tour; he said he’d check out the information on my resumé and then he’d be in touch.
I’d walked out of the audition stunned. ChiMera were my idols; I’d loved them since their first album went triple platinum in the States and earned them a Grammy four years ago. Frequently compared with U2, not least for their lead guitarist basing his style on The Edge’s, their moody, atmospheric songs spoke to my heart. Even if the contract would only be short-term, it would be an amazing opportunity, a chance to become recognized and turn into a star.
Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?
While struggling not to get my hopes up for a call-back, I’d resumed my life of rehearsing, performing and coaching sessions, not to mention a crappy part-time job waiting tables at a local diner; I told myself they’d be auditioning hundreds of other girls and might not pick me.