Back-up Vocal~ Yet another Comic inspired by a real-life moment. A friend’s daughter just recently graduated from Cornell. While out with friends at a New York City bar one night not long ago, she called my friend, her mom, to ask if she was familiar with LL Cool J’s “Round The Way Girl”. My friend and I are both old enough to remember when that classic was new, and it remains quite the jam to this day. I was fortunate that she told me her story shortly before I started working on the Comic above, and was really just bandying potential dialogue around in my head. Once the tale had been relayed, I knew it would provide the foundation I needed. With the centerpiece displayed on the table for me, I grabbed it and followed where it led. 

I’m always excited and intrigued when one of Manny’s inventions is deployed for a piece of music. Regardless of the project or genre, our hero just keeps pulling rabbits out of hats when he believes he’s got the perfect homemade Manifold© Brand gizmo to get the job done-whether he’s right or not. It should come as no surprise to learn that the Reba McEntire camp had no use for a digital drum machine since Manny has no interest in the Country music realm, either. He wants to unleash his designs within the snuggly embrace of the “no rules, anything goes” kingdom of Prog. I was extremely pleased to see that Soxx remembered Manny’s beat machine even before Manny did, and wanted to give it new life within the framework of their current doings. I’ve never heard a jingle for an individual class, but if anyone could cook one up it’s my guys.

Even if Manny doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with “The Brass” of Dear, Sweet Splendor U (or the college radio station- see Comic #159) when push comes to shove he’ll still go to work the moment a word or two were needed to promote them hallowed halls. Somehow, I could see LL getting behind music crafted for such a pursuit, as Manny’s machine has now been deployed to create something of a tribute to a timeless track. Plus, rumors have recently taken flight regarding the need for a Splendorland University Commencement Speaker. Soxx has proven he’s got the gift for chatting up famous folk. I nominate him to reach out, turn on the charm and extend the invite to Professor Cool J to address the next Graduating Class. Perhaps he could even be persuaded to perform for the festivities, too. If his schedule won’t allow for it, there is a band captained by Bo’s bassoon player (remember him?), with an album in the works. As of this writing, the only reason the Splendorland University administration would let Manny, the boys and their current configuration play said new album for ANY campus event, is that they would be relegated to the back-up band position for a promising solo frontman. Thus keeping our floppy-eared virtuoso on his best behavior and under strict control by ALL parties concerned.

I think we could be smelling a few of the spices involved in another cauldron of tension between Manny and his alma mater.  Stay tooned.