“Once he met her, it was and always would be Lyla.”
They were the gentlemen bad boys of rock. Forming in a garage in a small town in Indiana. Taking their licks on the road. Going balls to the wall until they made their big break.
And then Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters redefined rock and roll.
Guided by their tortured lead singer and songwriter, the Roadmasters changed the face of music in the 80s and 90s. And on their journey to becoming one of the most enduring bands in history—dogged by rumors and myth and fueled by drugs and booze—the Roadmasters had one touchstone.
Preacher’s muse, the love of his life, and the band’s moral compass, from the beginning, Lyla is along for the ride.
But with fame and acclaim in their grasp, they’ve entered the fast lane.
And they didn’t know it, but they were headed for a crash.
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They’d tease him, in the beginning, you know?
No, I don’t know.
Her name was Lyla. Dave and even Tim would tease him.
[Another long pause]
They learned not to tease him, though.
I didn’t understand. Not in the beginning.
Not his scene.
Straight up, he didn’t seem to be hers, either.
Nothing seemed to be her scene.
We hooked up with her and her friends at the bar where we’d played, and she was not into it.
I mean, her friends and her, chalk and freakin’ cheese.
She wasn’t into the bar, the music, the band.
Tight with her friends, you could tell, but us and everything around us?
She didn’t even dress like them. Like a rocker-groupie girl.
She didn’t even dress eighties, Madonna teased out hair and rubber bracelets and lotsa lace. Or neon. Or whatever the fuck.
No, you know, that isn’t right.
Shirt falling off her shoulder. Jeans. White Nike classics. Cortez. If I remember, with a blue swoop.
First time we saw Lyla, she was in Nikes.
Preach was an equal opportunity, benevolent almost-rock god.
I remember seeing him with his jeans bunched up to his knees, sitting on the side of the pool, his feet and calves in the water, her friends barely clothed in the water, wet and hanging off his legs and his every word, and he’d glance over at her.
When he was in the mood to spread his love, everyone was invited.
We all were nailing serious tail, but I don’t think anybody but Dave had had a threesome.
But that was not unusual for Preach.
Or more, you know?
That night, I had one girl, he had two, three were in with Tim and Dave, tripping, and Tommy was fucking another one in what we would find out later was one of the girls’ dad’s waterbed.
And looking back, I knew Preacher was more into her than the two he had.
I also got why.
Now, again, it was the eighties. We’re talkin’ Jane Fonda workout videos and Jamie Lee Curtis in that movie Perfect and one-pieces making a comeback because the legs were cut so far up the hips, a girl had to shave.
And Lyla was not…
I mean, there was a reason anorexia became prevalent during that decade and didn’t let go. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t good, but it was the way it was.
But Lyla was not that way.
Tits and ass.
And, from what I could tell that night, bad attitude.
But fuck, the longer the night wore on, Preacher couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
She’d do a lap to clean up ashtrays or beer bottles or whatever the fuck, and honest to Christ, he didn’t miss a step.
Not that first step.
She had what they now politically correctly, but also, it’s gotta be said, just plain correctly call curves.
Freddie Mercury called them fat-bottomed girls.
But man, she was pretty.
You know, and a way about her.
It was part that attitude.
Part the mystery.
You know, tell a man, “don’t touch, you’ll get burned,” he’ll become obsessed with the fire. It’s just how it is.
She screamed don’t touch.
And Preacher, man…
Preacher could be obsessive.
In a big way.
But it was the eyes.
I gotta believe, and this would prove true, in a way, if it wasn’t Preach, it would be somebody. Another rock star. A photographer. A painter. Someone would fall in the muse of Lyla’s eyes.
But as you know, it was Preacher.