The Reunion Front Cover


Music industry executive Lorenzo (Chocks) Taylor awoke drenched in sweat at 4:30 in the morning. Darkness engulfed the master bedroom suite in his Hollywood Hills home; his neighborhood of winding streets and secluded houses hidden behind high gates and walls was quiet in the hours before dawn in Los Angeles. He sat upright in bed, listening to the silence, his mind racing with thoughts of where his life might be headed in the next few weeks.

It was mid-August 2013 and during the coming weekend, he’d be attending his 20-year high school reunion in San Diego, California. It was an event that Lorenzo was eyeing with a combination of excitement and dread. The former because he’d be seeing his old crew, four guys that he’d known practically all his life, and the latter because Lorenzo realized that this milestone put him just two short years away from the Big 4-0. He’d also tried to find out if his old girlfriend, Tina Davis, was attending but so far, her name wasn’t on the list of those who’d registered. Then there were was tonight.

For the first time in ten years, Lorenzo was looking for a new job. It wasn’t that he wanted a new one per se; generally speaking, he was happy with his current one. And under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t think of leaving the company where he’d spent the past ten years of his very successful career. A career that had brought Lorenzo a long, long way from his days as a free-lance songwriter/producer.

But circumstances were no longer normal at Wilshire Records a year after the company’s sale to a Japanese conglomerate. Lorenzo, used to doing pretty much whatever he wanted when it came to getting his artists’ projects completed, was growing increasingly frustrated with the monetary restrictions imposed by the new owners. And if the rumors he was hearing about even more cost-cutting measures once the current company-wide review was finally finished were true, things were probably going to get worse before they got better.

Three months ago, when he’d asked his lawyer, Phillip Walker, to discreetly look around and see if there were any available jobs at other record companies that he might be interested in pursuing, Lorenzo figured nothing would really interest him. He knew that positions for a senior level executive with his track record were far and few between and seldom came open, especially not on the West Coast. Plus, he wanted to spend more time in the studio, producing 2-3 artists a year, and that would have to be included in any new contract he signed and might be a deal breaker for most companies.

So, when Phillip called three days ago and said that the president of Montclair Records, Sylvia Andrews, wanted to meet with him, Lorenzo was intrigued. Known as a sharp executive, Andrews had the reputation of being a fierce competitor and ruthless operator who felt right at home among her male counterparts in the rough and tumble world of the music business. While he’d never worked with her, Lorenzo had met Sylvia on several occasions such as awards shows and other music industry events and admired her accomplishments. The only real drawback was that even though Montclair had a satellite office in LA, their headquarters was in New York and Lorenzo had no real desire to live there.

As he changed the sweat-soaked sheets and pillowcases on his bed, Lorenzo thought about the meeting he and Phillip were scheduled to have that evening with Sylvia. He figured that she must have something in mind, even though he or Phillip hadn’t been able to find out what it might be. But they were both convinced that she did because Sylvia Andrews wasn’t known to waste her time having a meeting just to have one.

Unable to fall back asleep as dawn approached, Lorenzo decided to go for a run around near-by Lake Hollywood. As the sun came up over the city that had been home to him for the past fifteen years, he ran and listened to Tupac on his iPhone. Exercise always helped Lorenzo put in a good frame of mind and after putting in five miles on the circuitous path around the lake, it was with a much clearer head that he walked home.

As he soaked in his Jacuzzi tub and watched Sports Center on the flat-screen TV mounted on the wall above him, Lorenzo was hit with a sudden, electric thought: what if Sylvia Andrews actually offered him a job tonight?


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