Volume 7 / Chapter 230
Kyung Min Ho woke up early in the morning, walked around near the house, looked at the exotic Pacific Ocean, and really felt like he is in Hawaii. He went down to the basement before the others got up, and started warming up on the drums.
The 3 people woke up after noon, and gathered in the studio while waiting for their bodies to wake up.
“You know that this show is different from that of an average band, right? It’s a joint performance with the Seoul Symphony. It means we can’t perform according to how we’re feeling during the concert.”
Jun Hyuk gave Colin and Kyung Min Ho the score.
“Jun, what about mine?”
“Alvin, do you need one? You can just sing along to the accompaniment. It’s actually us who need to avoid being overpowered by your singing.”
Kyung Min Ho started by worrying because it is his first time performing with an orchestra.
“Jun Hyuk, but what about the orchestra’s performance? Don’t we need to start matching our tempos now?”
“It’s prepared. We recorded the orchestra part on the piano, so play while keeping balance in mind.”
“Then shall we get started?”
Alvin Lee cleared his throat a few times and stood in front of the microphone.
When a hoarse, thick, and low voice came out from the amp, the 3 young men also made quiet sounds. Kyung Min Ho in particular was in such awe that he let go of his drum sticks. A heavy voice incomparable to that of Alvin Lee when he was in his 20s. A vocal that is much more mature with a feeling of depth.
Kyung Min Ho felt like he could cry while he was playing the drums. It was not the image he had always seen through videos. He is looking not at his front, but his dependable back. The drummer is the only person who can see the vocalist’s back.
Kyung Min Ho filled his eyes with Alvin Lee’s back and could really feel that he is Alvin Lee’s drummer.
When the first song was over, Lee looked at Kyung Min Ho and spoke,
“Jun, tell the drummer to loosen up a bit. He’s too stiff.”
“It’s okay since he’s just nervous because of you, Alvin. With a little time, his true self will come through. Once he explodes, you’ll be able to hear a thunderous sound that doesn’t stop.”
“Jun, what do you think of this?”
As bassist, Colin could pick up on the drummer’s problem quickest.
“Let’s go without the piano so the drummer can relax. He’s too conscious of the piano’s tempo.”
Jun Hyuk nodded at Colin’s suggestion. Kyung Min Ho has never played with an orchestra. They need to slowly get him accustomed to it.
“Min Ho, let’s try it again without the piano part. And don’t look at my score now, just find the tempo yourself. Relax a little.”
“Oh, sorry. It’s as though I was playing soccer on a neighborhood field and am suddenly playing for the English premiere league…..”
“He he. Looking at your skill alone, you have plenty right to be here. And let’s start with the 4th track. It’ll help you release tension since it’s heavy metal.”
Kyung Min Ho quickly thought of all of the songs on Jun Hyuk’s album. Of a total of 10 songs, there is 1 piano solo, 1 heavy metal, and 3 songs without guitars. The orchestra will play a great role in the songs without guitar in particular. He paid more attention with the thought that unless he hurries up and gets used to an orchestral accompaniment, he could be the reason why their performance is ruined. It is not a time for him to just be in awe.
“Alright then. Let’s start with the 4th track. Alvin, the original song is heavy metal. Shall we get the mood up?”
Alvin Lee did not look back, put up his finger, and signaled his okay.
Kyung Min Ho sent the start signal with his drumsticks, and played the drums. When Colin’s fast bass fingering increased and Jun Hyuk’s guitar riff began, Alvin Lee’s rough and husky voice started going up.
While playing the guitar, Jun Hyuk listened to the harmony between Colin’s bass and Kyung Min Ho’s drums. As the peal grew, he could tell how much Kyung Min Ho’s sense of rhythm had advanced. It seems that playing sessions for all different genres was the driving force.
When the much freer drum performance ended, Alvin Lee turned and clapped lightly.
“Great. Just keep playing the drums like this. Your sense of rhythm is good and the hits are exact.”
When Jun Hyuk translated, Kyung Min Ho blushed and bowed his head. With more confidence, his drumming gradually showed its true manifestation. Even with the orchestral piano accompaniment, his drumming did not waver and their preparation for the concert went on favorably.
Isaac, who disappeared after the first night they arrived in Hawaii, appeared again after exactly 1 week. He must have been lying around on the beach for a really long time because he has clear tan lines.
“I’m sure you’re all ready to go? Shall we go to Korea now?”
“Rock n’ roll!”
The 4 people facing President Stern look like a complete rock band. They got on a limousine to the airport and boarded Stern’s private plane.
When the private plane was flying over Korea, Tara quietly called Jun Hyuk.
“Jun. There are a lot of people gathered at the airport right now. We’re going to go to the hotel after a little photo time. You’ll do your interview at the hotel, so just know that’s happening.
And change into this.”
Tara had been meticulous enough to pack a shirt and suit, loafers, and neck tie.
“A suit? Why all of a sudden? Everyone’s dressed casually. I’ll stick out too much.”
“In a broad spectrum, it’s part of creating your image. You’re building your image as a modern maestro. The details are from sponsors. You especially need to wear the watch. When you wave to people at the airport, do it with your left hand so the watch stands out.”
“What is this? We’re doing all this stuff we normally don’t do. Are the suit and shoes advertising too?”
Tara laughed and nodded.
“We need to accept it when the conditions are good. The amount of money we got to have you wear that watch while in Korea is more than the amount you’d make for selling 100,000 copies of your album. That’s something we need to do.”
“You’re slowly using me as a billboard.”
“Don’t worry. Do you know how many proposals you’ve gotten as an advertisement model from Korea? Each of the model fees match up to the guarantee for the Seoul concert.
We turned all of those down.”
Jun Hyuk stopped buttoning the shirt and smiled.
“If it’s that much, let’s shoot a few while we’re in Korea. Is there need to turn them down?”
“Hang on. You need to take care of your image until the real big shot comes in. There’s no reason to shoot an advertisement for some Korean press agency and miss out on something bigger.”
“What on earth is the bigger thing? Tell me in more detail.”
“We’re working on Aston Martin and Bugatti right now. We’re looking into an exclusive contract with one of the two. Beethoven’s car! It’s bigger than all of the Korean ads combined.”
Jun Hyuk realized that President Stern had not been joking entirely when he said that he would be working Jun Hyuk hard. He was working him appropriately and expensively.
When the door for the arrivals gate opened, there was tremendous cheering from the people greeting the 4 men. Beyond the reporters’ camera flashes, there were people waving signs of various colors with Jun Hyuk’s name written on them.
“Jun. Don’t forget to wave with your left hand.”
Tara whispered to Jun Hyuk and he smiled brightly, waving his left hand. Then he turned to Kyung Min Ho beside him,
“Min Ho. There’s something you didn’t tell me.”
“What? What didn’t I tell you?”
“That I have a lot more male fans.”
More than half of the fans cheering for him in the airport are males.
“The guys aren’t here to see you. Men aren’t fans of good looking men. They’re all here to see Alvin Lee.”
“What are you talking about? News about Alvin Lee’s participation hasn’t been revealed yet.”
“You need to get on social media. There’s no such thing as a secret. The whole world already knows about Alvin Lee joining the concert.”
They got out of the arrival point and went to a temporary wall with the Seoul airport and sponsor logos to smile and wave. Alvin Lee whispered among the endless camera flashing,
“Jun, am I famous in Korea? Are those guys really my fans?”
“Not as much as Nirvana, but you have a lot of followers. Smile for them a bit.”
Jun Hyuk and his party took photos for a while and then left for the hotel. There were a lot of fans waiting at the hotel as well.
“Jun. I didn’t know you were such a star in Korea.”
“I didn’t know either. I’m sure it’s the power of the press.”
Jun Hyuk’s group waved to the fans again and went up to the hotel’s royal suite.
Yoon Kwang Hun and Lawyer Baek Seung Ho were waiting for Jun Hyuk in the royal suite. Fortunately, the two men did not make a fuss after seeing Alvin Lee. Alvin Lee was born too late to be one of their heroes. Yoon Kwang Hun and Baek Seung Ho’s heroes are the already old Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Ronnie James Dio who had already passed away.
Baek Seung Ho was pleased to see Jun Hyuk for the first time in a while, and handed him a couple papers after catching up.
“This is a statement regarding the income you’ve brought in in Korea until now. Look over it carefully.”
“I’m sure you took good care of it.”
Baek Seung Hun handed the papers to Jun Hyuk again when he did not even look at them.
“Jun Hyuk. At least check the quarterly financial statements yourself. It’s not a difficult account book. I’m telling you to take a look at how much you made, how much you spent, and how much you paid in taxes at the least. Even if your management agency takes good care of you, make sure you do a final check. All adults do it.”
Jun Hyuk listened to Baek Seung Ho. He looked over 4 sheets filled with numbers and realized one thing.
“I thought I used money freely, but I was actually saving a lot.”
“Hey. You spend a lot! You just earn more. He he.”
He could tell that Jun Hyuk had not just skimmed through it without paying attention from the way he talked about his spending. Baek Seung Ho laughed wholeheartedly and kept giving Yoon Kwang Hun a weird look.
“Jun Hyuk. I’m going to talk to Tara for a second, so learn how to spend from Lawyer
Baek. You need to know how to save, too.”
Yoon Kwang Hun gave a pat to Jun Hyuk on the shoulder and left the room to look for Tara. He called Tara out quietly and she went pale after talking for a while.
“It’s my mistake. I didn’t check on the situation in Korea at all. I was forgetting that it’s
Jun’s motherland. What do I do?”
“I’m telling you in advance because I thought that would be the case. Just wait for now,
I’ll talk to Jun. It’s something he needed to go through at least once.” “I’ll start by canceling the interview.”
When Tara was about to walk away, Yoon Kwang Hun stopped her.
“Tara. There’s no way for Jun to avoid it while he’s in Korea. He’ll know as soon as a reporter puts a microphone to him and asks a question. It could be better to just have him face it head on.”
Yoon Kwang Hun calmed Tara down, took a deep breath, and went back to Jun Hyuk.
“Did you learn a little on how to spend your money?”
“I know the easiest way. You just don’t.”
Jun Hyuk laughed as he spoke, but he had felt that something was weird between the two men.
“What’s going on? Do I need to keep looking at these documents? If there’s something you need to say, hurry up and say it like an adult!”
Yoon Kwang Hun looked at Jun Hyuk and cautiously spoke,
“You have 2 interviews today, right? One joint press conference with all 4 people and one by yourself.”
“An uncomfortable question might come out in that solo conference.”
“Sir. Don’t go in circles, and just say it. What’s the problem?”
Baek Seung Ho spoke quickly when Jun Hyuk looked frustrated. It is easier to reveal these things quickly. It just becomes harder to say if they keep dragging it out.
“It actually began when you started being treated like a hero in Korea… but it came out when this concert became news and there was talk about your guarantee amount and money.”
“So what is that?”
Jun Hyuk’s voice rose in frustration.
“There are a lot of people coming out to say that they’re your biological parents. There’s no better gossip, so the press is pouring out articles like this too.” Yoon Kwang Hun spoke calmly in a low voice.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll ask about it during the press conference. Are you going to meet the people who claim to be your biological parents or if you’re going to do a DNA test…..”
Baek Seung Ho could not say anymore. Jun Hyuk’s body was frozen and his expression had not changed at all, and he was just looking at the document on top of the table.
Yoon Kwang Hun gave Baek Seung Ho a look at got up. His thinking is that it is better to let him be alone in such a time. When they came out of the hotel room, Baek Seung Ho looked at Yoon Kwang Hun in worry.
“Do you think he’ll be okay? I think the shock is big.”
“Of course it was a big shock. Let’s leave him alone. He’s not a kid anymore. He’ll cope with it well. I’m sure he’ll say something once he’s done thinking. Let’s wait until then.” Tara came to them. Her face did not look good either.
“Mr. Yoon. Did you tell him?”
“How is he?”
“It’ll be a huge shock. I thought it’d be best to let him be alone for now.”
“I’m sure. I’m sorry, it’s my mistake. I should have known if something like this was going on… First for the press conference… I had it pushed back due to exhaustion from the flight.”
“That’s good. And Jun needs to know about this anyway. Jun needs to make the decision himself when it comes to matters regarding his biological parents. And you can leave him to us to take care of him.”
Tara bowed her head and turned around.
“This won’t do. I’ll have them proceed with the joint press conference without Jun. The reporters will understand as well because Jun has his press conference.”
“Then you can do that.”
Tara needed to get moving busily.