Cody did not only leave a family behind; he left his friends behind, as well. Never a popular kid in school, Cody managed to keep a small clutch of friends that held him together during his most difficult times at home. They did this through music. Cody had played in bands since he was fourteen, and the steadiest fixture in those bands was his best friend Huey. Huey and Cody had essentially learned to play rock and roll together, and from their first band, worked as a unit. Cody was the natural talent who wrote the most songs, but Huey could write accompaniment pieces along Cody’s songs with little effort. The two guitarists understood each other musically, emotionally, and psychically. Once they picked-up their guitars, they knew exactly what to play and how to make the songs come to life.
Cody gave Huey his nickname. Born Matthew Guinness, most kids called him Matt. Cody decided that there were too many Matts in the world anyway, and that the name was a lazy cop-out. Why only say the first half of the name, anyway? Why not the second half of the name? So, Matthew became Matt, which Cody morphed into Hew, and then Huey. Besides his own mom, no one called him Matt anymore.
Cody and Huey did not only discover their musical talents together, but they also discovered all the vices available to teenaged boys who sought out escape from tough home lives. They both started smoking cigarettes, and then weed, at the same time. Huey’s mom blamed Cody for making Huey smoke cigarettes, but Huey was never coerced. Eventually, they found ways to score other drugs, and eventually girls, and thrived on their bad-boy reputation. They always figured that if they were going to be outcasts, that they might as well be seen as the worst of the worst. They eventually quit high school at the same time, as well. By then, all they really cared about was the music and the parties.
With Huey by his side, their bands changed personnel constantly, but the members always consisted of close friends—no outsiders. Second and third degree friends would be invited to jam, but they rarely stayed for a third practice. Randall Carey was the most consistent drummer of the band, but he liked to play with a number of bands, and so his tenure was never guaranteed. Jamil Hejleh was another drummer who lived far on the other side of Sacramento County and only made it to practice on occasion, but never missed a gig. Allan Beard, Huey’s oldest friend, played guitar and made it to practices when he wasn’t in trouble with his parents. And even though Cody played guitar and wrote all the songs, he always played bass guitar since they could never find anyone else within their circle to play it. Similarly, Cody became the default singer; not because he had the best voice, but because he was the only one who could sing and play an instrument at the same time.
His friends and his bands were his salvation throughout his tumultuous teenaged years. He could escape Big Francis in his songwriting, and daydreams of being a successful rock star. His friends listened to his ranting against his home life, and shared in his visions for the future of the band. His friends shared in Cody’s penchant for cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, and even tried to get him laid once in a while.
But his friends’ dreams stayed in the small suburban community of Fair Oaks, just outside of Sacramento, California. When Cody finally decided to act on his dreams and goals, even Huey was too uncertain to run so far away. It was one thing to talk about one’s dreams, but quite another matter to act on them. Fair Oaks provided a comfort zone for Cody’s inner circle. Generations of their families grew up there, and almost no one left.
When Cody decided to go to New York City to find his place in the music world—and to escape Francis—he begged Huey to come along. But in the end, Cody was alone in his journey. Alone in his dream.