Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

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Chapter 8 Summary

In New York, the Coyote Springs band sets up in the studio of Cavalry Records, ready to impress the CEO, Mr. Armstrong. George Wright and Phil Sheridan, the two men who drove out to the Spokane Reservation to find the band, are sitting with the sound engineers, waiting for Mr. Armstrong to appear. Wright and Sheridan are as nervous as the band members are. They worry about Mr. Armstrong’s liking the music the Coyote Springs produces. They talk between themselves and discuss the music industry; they say it does not matter nowadays whether the musicians have talent. The only thing the executives of the recording industry want to know is if the band can make money. When Armstrong arrives, the band is given the signal to start. It is not until then that Thomas asks the other members what they think they should play.

At first, the band sounds as good as they normally do, but then Victor runs into trouble. His fingers cannot make contact with the strings and his hands slip off the frets. Victor stops and asks the engineer if they can start again. They count down the beat and start the song again. This time Checkers cannot remember what she was supposed to do. She looks to her sister for help, but Chess’s hands are motionless above her keyboard.

Sheridan yells at them. He wants to know what the problem is. The engineer guesses they are just nervous. But Armstrong has no patience for them. He gets out of his chair and proclaims that Coyote Springs does not have what it takes to be professionals. After Armstrong leaves, Sheridan and Wright walk into the studio and tell Coyote Springs that the band needs to go back to Washington. Maybe in a month or so, Armstrong might want to take another look at them. But nothing more can be done right now. When Sheridan sees how angry Victor is, he pulls out bills from his wallet and tells them to enjoy a fun night in New York.

After they leave the music studio, Victor and Junior leave the others behind and visit several bars in the city. They are both amazed at how many beautiful women live in New York. They are eventually kicked out of most of the bars they stop at either because they are not...

(The entire section is 593 words.)