What's in A Name?

An excerpt from the book, No Love Songs, where Myles and Mal talk about their band, The Wide Awakes, and where they got the name. 

Dave sets on his headphones. In an instant, he becomes a different person. His voice ramps up, and he transforms from bald stoner to showman. He stares at Mal from the start, which is fine with me since she’s better with the small talk and the band stuff, at least until glances at me with a big smirk before she tells Dave all about how I want to sellout to Disney.

Dave turns to me with all the “Dude, how could you?” and soon I’m backpedaling, wiping my forehead and trying to explain how that’s not at all my plan. Dave, Mal, and everyone else in the room finds my discomfort hilarious.

“Okay, okay,” Dave says, reeling things in. “First things first. I have to ask. The Wide Awakes. Cool name, what’s that all about?”

Mal looks at me in that Should I tell him or you tell him? Kind of way.

Dave smiles at the camera guy. “What? So is it, like, you guys are woke or something?”

“Well, I mean we are, sure. I’m Egyptian-American, so we can roll with that.”

Dave raises an eyebrow. “But?”

“But,” Mal glances at me. “I guess the real answer isn’t so revolutionary.”

“Okay,” he says, all gimmie hands. “I need the real story on this. That’s why we’re here, isn’t it?”

Mal shifts, wipes a strand of curls from her face. “Okay, fine. So, our first gig was a Saturday morning at the community center.”

“Like at a farmer’s market or something?”

I cut in, happy to turn things onto Mal, laughing because I remember it like it was yesterday. “Yeah. Started at 6:00 A.M. Mal couldn’t stay awake.”

Mal shoots me a death stare. “It was six in the morning. On a Saturday.”

“Right, and you were like a zombie, so I got you that double cappuccino, from that organic lady? Remember her?”

“Yes, and that cappuccino had organic crack in it.”

“I do remember the lady warned me about that.”

“Well, you didn’t warn me, now did you?”

“There was no time. You sucked it down. The next thing I knew they were calling us to the little stage—”

“And I was shaking. Like, my pulse was skyrocketing. I wanted to rip my skin off.”

“You were living in fast forward.”

“Then Noah, our drummer…” Mal grabs my wrist. “Shout out to Noah Connors, the best drummer in the world. We love you, Noah.”

I turn to Dave. “Noah came up with the name.”

Dave takes a minute, watching us with a smile. “You two have quite a rapport. It’s something to watch.”

I look down, Mal states the obvious. “Well, I guess now you can watch us blush.”

Dave nods, still smiling. “Which brings us to the video.”

“The video? What video?”

He turns to me. “She’s good! You’re good. So, I’m sure you guys have kept track of how the vid is doing. This thing is getting massive hits, and um…” he smirks, “…comments.”

Mal shrugs, grins at me. “We hadn’t noticed.”



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