Heather Lynn Rigaud
Dedicated to my mom, Grace,
who would have been so
proud, and to Abigail, without
whom this book never would
This book was originally written just for fun, and because I didn’t plan on publishing it, I used popular songs for the music the characters performed. This gave the story another element to enjoy and led to some fun discussions about how the songs fit into the story.
Fast forward to now, I find myself with the rare and wonderful opportunity to publish my little book. This is very exciting, but it means the songs have to go away to avoid violating copyright law.
I’ve now written new songs, so everything you read here is 100 percent my work. But I wanted to include a list of the original inspirations, so readers can enjoy them, too.
In general, you will find that Jane sounds a lot like Michelle Branch, and Lizzy bears a striking resemblance to Sheryl Crow. Slurry most closely resembles Puddle of Mudd.
Here is the list:
Chapter 1: Jane is singing “Everything” by Michelle Branch.
Chapter 2: Slurry’s song is “Breathe” by Seven Channels.
Chapter 3: Lizzy sings “Steve McQueen” by Sheryl Crow, and Slurry plays “Drift & Die” by Puddle of Mudd on TRL.
Chapter 4: Slurry opens its concert with “Crawling in the Dark” by Hoobastank.
Chapter 6: Lizzy plays “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
Chapter 8: Jane plays “Everything” by Michelle Branch to Charles.
Chapter 9: Jane dances to Slurry playing “Control” by Puddle of Mudd.
Chapter 10: Lizzy plays “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow.
Chapter 11: Lizzy’s video was made to “Steve McQueen” by Sheryl Crow.
Chapter 12: Long Borne Suffering and Slurry play “The Game of Love” by Michelle Branch and Carlos Santana.
Chapter 13: Slurry plays “She Hates Me” by Puddle of Mudd.
Chapter 14: LBS plays “Good-bye to You” by Michelle Branch, and Slurry plays “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd.
Chapter 15: Lizzy plays “I Shall Believe” by Sheryl Crow.
Chapters 16 and 17: Darcy’s classical playing sounds very much like John Williams.
Chapter 19: Richard sings “Somewhere Out There” by Our Lady Peace.
Chapter 20: Lizzy sings “I Shall Believe” again by Sheryl Crow.
Chapter 21: Darcy sings “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse.
Narrator: “This week, on Inside the Music: Slurry was the brainchild of enigmatic virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy, but it wasn’t until he teamed up with outgoing front man Charles Bingley that the group began their meteoric rise to fame. Tonight we will learn the story of one of the most successful rock bands on the road today. We will look at the band’s history, at the tragedies that spawned it, and the curious blend of personalities that make up the group.”
Cut to each band member in turn.
Charles Bingley (smiling happily): “This is better than any dream I have ever had. I have a great life. I get to do something I love, every day, and I’m getting paid to do it. It’s incredible.”
Richard Fitzwilliam (looking rumpled, like he just rolled out of bed): “Will’s gonna tell you it is all about the music, and he’s right, on one level. But you know, everyone has a story, and everyone has a song. It takes something more to be interesting, to be a success. I don’t know what it is, but we seem to have it.”
Fitzwilliam Darcy (staring at the camera): “You have this audience of millions of people and you want to ask me questions about my hair?”
Cue theme music.
Narrator: “The story of Slurry begins with the story of Fitzwilliam Darcy.”
Photo of Darcy, looking broody.
“In 1982, world-famous classical guitarist and artist Anne Fitzwilliam married business mogul Walter Darcy.”
Stephen Fitzwilliam, uncle: “When they got married, everyone believed it would never last. There was a general feeling that this relationship was doomed. They came from different worlds. Walter was very serious, very conservative, very committed to his work, and Anne was this wild free spirit and people said that she would never fit in.” He pauses. “And in a sense, she never did, but that didn’t matter to Walter. They loved each other so deeply that they felt the rest of the world, and the world’s opinion, didn’t matter.”
Narrator: “In March of 1983, the couple had their first child.”
Fitzwilliam Darcy (looking thoughtful): “My parents had a relationship of equals. They believed very firmly in this. It was the foundation of their marriage. This belief was so strong that they named me, a product of their joining, by joining their two names, Fitzwilliam and Darcy.”
Narrator: “Fitzwilliam Darcy had a golden childhood. He was raised in the family’s elegant SoHo apartment and was exposed to a wide range of cultures and people. However, not everything was perfect.”
Richard Fitzwilliam: “My aunt was very focused on her career for as long as I knew her. When Will was born, she continued to tour and record, relying on nannies to care for him. And his father, he was always gone. He was very, very committed to his work. I always felt that Will was very lonely as a child. We would spend summers together, he and me and George, but he was always a very solitary person.”
Narrator: “Things changed for the family in 1993, when the Darcys had their second child, a daughter named Georgiana.”
Stephen Fitzwilliam: “When Georgiana was born it was like a new beginning for the family. She was such a beautiful child, and indeed, she has become a beautiful woman, but back then everyone immediately fell in love with her, and Walter and Anne found a new focus. It was like a second marriage with each other.”
George Wickham: “Will has always been devoted to Georgie; we all are. But you can’t deny that it was when she was born that his folks suddenly became much more interested in being parents. I’m sure that hurt Will deeply.” He pauses, shrugging. “But he never blamed Georgie or took it out on her. They were always as close as they could be.”
Narrator: “With the birth of their daughter, the focus of the Darcy household changed. Anne Fitzwilliam drastically cut her touring schedule, and Walter reduced the time he was away from the family.”
Photo of the Darcy family with a baby Georgiana.
“In an effort to reestablish her relationship with her son, Anne began teaching him classical guitar at the age of ten. Darcy proved to have a natural talent for the instrument and quickly became a prodigy.”
Photo of an eleven-year-old Darcy holding a slightly oversized classical guitar.
Richard Fitzwilliam: “Oh, once Will began the guitar, that was it. He played all the time! Hours! Every day! That was all he wanted to do.”
Narrator: “Anne was extremely proud of her son’s talent, and the bond between them became closer through their music.”
Clip of Anne and a gawky thirteen-year-old Darcy in formal dress playing at a concert in 1996. Fitzwilliam has a huge smile on his face, as his mother embraces him. Freeze on that image.
Narrator: “Then, in the spring of 1997, tragedy stuck. Anne Fitzwilliam was diagnosed with cancer, which ravished her body and left her dead just seven weeks after it was discovered.”
Stephen Fitzwilliam: “The cancer, it was just devastating. It was so quick, it just stole her away.” He shakes his head, clearly still stricken. “That was thirteen years ago, but I can still remember it perfectly. It was like we got the diagnosis and the next day she was gone. It was that fast, and we were all, all devastated.”
Richard Fitzwilliam: “When Aunt Anne died, it destroyed Will. It was the one thing he could just not handle, and he retreated into himself.”
Narrator: “Darcy put his guitar away and entered the prestigious and demanding Phillips Academy Prep School. He channeled his grief over the loss of his mother into his studies, graduating at the top of his class in 2001.”
George Wickham: “Will retreated into himself and really cut himself off from his family. He would come home for holidays and summer, of course, but emotionally, he was never really there. I think he was still grieving over his mother.”
Narrator: “During the summer of ’01, Walter Darcy decided to focus on his children to try to improve his relationship with them. He took a leave of absence from his professional duties and took his family on a tour of Europe. The trip was a success. It was during that time that the Darcys were able to overcome their lingering grief and grow closer.”
Photo of a teenage Darcy with his family on a ship.
Richard Fitzwilliam: “Europe changed everything. That was the first time that I think my uncle and Will ever had a good relationship. When Will was a boy, his father was always working, and then, when my aunt died, they were both so depressed. It took them that long to really find each other and develop a relationship.”
Fitzwilliam Darcy (remembering, his face softening slightly): “That summer was critical to me and my development as a person. I am grateful I had that chance to really get to know my father as a person, not just a parent. That trip gave me some of my best memories, ever.”
Narrator: “Recharged from the trip abroad and secure in his improved family relationship, Darcy entered Brown University in the fall of 2001, immediately going to the top of his class. Along the way, he made an important friend: Charles Bingley.”
High school graduation picture of Charles Bingley.
“Bingley was studying business a year behind Darcy. The two soon became fast friends, despite their differences.
“Charles Bingley was born in 1984 to a prosperous family. He lived a carefree childhood in California, dividing his time between the sun and the shore.”
Pictures of Bingley rock climbing and surfing.
“While Darcy thrived on the academic challenge of Brown, Bingley faltered, eventually transferring to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he graduated with a degree in graphic arts. Despite being at different schools, Darcy and Bingley maintained their friendship.
“Then in November of 2004 tragedy struck again. Walter Darcy suffered a massive heart attack and died hours later. Darcy was once again devastated.”
George Wickham: “Oh man! That was a nightmare. I remember getting the phone call from my mom, and I just couldn’t believe it. It was impossible for me to accept it. Mr. Darcy had always been so strong and vital a person and just like that”—makes a gesture with his hand—“he was gone.” Shakes his head and looks away.
Richard Fitzwilliam: “I thought that was it for Will. I really didn’t think he would survive that. He had just found his father, had just connected with him, and then he lost him. It was his mother all over again.
“I really think it was Georgiana that kept him alive. I think if he hadn’t had the responsibility of caring for her, he would have been gone.”
Narrator: “With the loss of his father, Darcy threatened to once again retreat into depression. However, his twelve-year-old sister needed him, and he rallied for her.”
Photo of Darcy and Georgiana, both looking haunted.
“He focused himself on his remaining time at Brown, graduating in May of 2005 with dual degrees in business and literature. While he was completing his studies, Darcy turned back to the guitar that his mother had left him to try to express the grief he was feeling.”
Fitzwilliam Darcy (introspective): “I attempted to play the classical music my mother had taught me, but it wasn’t enough. I was hurting and angry and I needed to release that somehow. Then George suggested I let go of my mother’s music and try writing my own.”
Narrator: “That was the key. Unlike the sophisticated, elegant style of Anne Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s own music was anguished hard rock. In the spring of 2005, Darcy gathered together his childhood friend, George Wickham, and his cousin Richard Fitzwilliam to form a band he called Slurry.”