Indy placed him hands on the enamel sink and tapped his fingers. He stretched out his back and slowly raised his head until he was looking at himself in the mirror. He didn’t like what he saw. His forehead looked like he had used it as a board for punitive lines, ‘I will not steal others people’s music.’ Hiding out in the bathroom was currently the best plan he could think of. The sound of a stall door opening jolted Indy from his misery and he spun to the hand towel before he had to make contact with whoever had just finished their business.
‘I liked what you did with my song you know.’
Indy froze his hand about to yank down the towel to replace the used section with fresh cotton. It couldn’t be. Indy slowly turned and saw before him the ageless rock god Harry Palmer. Covered in Black with a multi coloured silk scarf, he stood with a childish smirk. Indy stammered, ‘You, liked it?’
‘Yeah, I did as it goes. Love Punch was due a spice up, you know mix it up a bit.’ Indy felt like he was on a boat in a storm reaching for a hand rail. ‘But, you’re suing me.’ Palmer brushed his evergreen hair parting with his fingers.
‘Not me son, the record label. For what its worth I rang them and told them not to go ahead with the lawsuit. When I signed the contract all those many moons ago, I signed over the loyalty rights to the bastards. I didn’t know what I was signing at the time, I was totally pissed.’ It felt like so long since Indy had cause to smile that his muscles ached with the unfamiliar act. ‘In fact, I am pretty sure I was pissed for the whole of the seventies, eighties too probably.’ He winked at Indy and there genuinely seemed to be a twinkle there, Indy wondered if he was dreaming. Palmer moved across and began to wash his hands. Indy wasn’t sure what to do. So he just stood still listening to the sound of the water running from the tap. Palmer half turned ‘Did you make any money from using the sample?’
‘Nah, it was a free download.’ Palmer nodded sadly, and then moved past Indy to the hand towel. Somehow the towel seemed to replenish without much effort. He turned his head towards Indy while drying his hands. ‘Why didn’t you take the song down?’ George turned and looked at Indy and the two men stood facing each other. ‘I got kicked out of the flat I was living in. So I never received the cease and desist order, or the other warnings.’ George looked at him carefully for what seemed like an age.
‘Well we’d better get out of the toilets I suppose, it’ll only start rumours an ageing rocker like me.’ Palmer tapped his nose, and Indy nodded unsure of how to respond. ‘You go ahead son,’ Palmer stood to mock attention and in a more serious voice said, ‘I’ll see you in court.’ He winked and Indy - flushed from his crevice - had no choice but to leave his somewhat sanitary sanctuary and go and face the music.
Indy felt like a man on death row. He had no money, he was trying to keep his head above water and it felt like the levy was going to break. He had stammered through his answers when on the stand. Yes, he knew it was wrong, but he hadn’t made any money out of the song, didn’t that make a difference? His lawyer’s oratory skills would have seen him selected as fifth wise man in infancy. His defence seemed vague and it gave Indy little sustenance. Indy turned and looked around the courtroom seeking out ‘Harry Palmer’ when he couldn’t spot him, he bowed his head and gave up hope.
‘Your honour if I may speak on this issue.’ The Judge a woman not to be flustered or intimated cocked her head in interest at the unexpected development.
‘I don’t see why not? The court recognises Mr Palmer, go ahead Sir.’ Palmer nodded towards the bench and then stood up straight.
‘I liked the song, I think this young man did something creative. Yes, he took something which existed, but he took that and made it into something new and a piece of art which I believe stands on its own. I have asked the lawyers from my record label to not pursue making any money from this young man. However, legally it is their affair. I would only ask you to to take my feelings into consideration and be lenient. Also if there is a fine, I will be paying it.’ The ensuing shouting, posturing and objecting took much more than a gavel to silence.
As they walked outside of the courthouse Indy and Palmer passed a busker skilfully reciting ‘All you need is love’ on his beaten up guitar. When he saw Harry Palmer without skipping a beat he neatly switched to ‘Love Punch.’ Harry smiled, dropped a twenty pound note into the buskers hat, put his arm around Indy ‘See,’ he said, ‘everyones bloody doing it.’