Scott was a gifted guitar player. And boy, did he know it. Turning up late to rehearsals, turning up late to gigs he didn't want to play, turning up hungover, complaining at every opportunity. There was no courtesy he didn't withhold from from his bandmates. "What an asshole" they thought, and before too long they would inevitably start looking for a replacement. But no matter how many times he got dumped, he could always find another band impressed with his shredding, who would overlook his antics because of his playing. For a little while.
This particular day, he had wandered in to a recording session hours late and thoroughly drunk, to the despair of Matt, an innocent songwriter who had needed a guitarist to help record a solo project.
"Did you learn the part?" asked Matt.
"Nah, had a look at it. It's shit. Made a better one for you." Scott pulled off his sunglasses with an arrogant smile, got out his guitar and sat down.
One hour and ten tracks later, he hadn't succeeded in recording anything to anyone's satisfaction. Matt sighed and pressed the talk button on the desk. "Scotty, you're too early coming in on that drum break. Again."
Scotty rolled his eyes. "The drums are fucked dude, what am I supposed to do? Memorise the mistakes and play along?"
"It's Lochy's first time in a studio, give the kid a break!"
"Whatever. Here, let me have a listen."
Scott pulled open the booth door and wandered over to the mixing desk and computer, and played back what had been done so far. Matt helpfully pointed out his lazy mistakes, and the part where he had accidentally drowned out the bass solo with a solo of his own.
"Look, you'll have to do it again"
Scott sneered. "I'm not doing any more work on this song, not with this shit backing me. You should start again actually. The drums are beyond recovery. The timing's wrong on all the other parts now -" and just like that, he deleted the whole Pro Tools file. Matt was in shock.
"Do...do you know how fucking long I've spent on that? You cunt!"
"Did ya a favour!" Scott just laughed and walked out the door, leaving Matt fuming in his wake.
But with that supreme act of douchery, he had pushed the rock gods too far. That friday night, he spontaneously combusted on stage while playing a Spinal Tap cover.
He awoke in hell, to the grinning face of the devil. Recoiling in horror, he found himself in a beautiful rehearsal room, filled with top-of-the-line amplifiers and recording equipment. Somewhat shocked, he asked "This...is hell? Where's all the fire and brimstone?"
"Come, son!" exclaimed the devil, "don't worry about anything like that! St. Peter felt you had...wasted...your talent, and we will certainly put that right. In fact, we have the greatest album in the history of music ready to be recorded. We need you to play the lead guitar!"
Scott looked at the charts that were handed to him, and gasped, for it was truly the most incredible music he had ever seen. "I get to play that!?"
"Indeed! Let's get started right away"
A helpful demon brought Scott a guitar and a lead, and he sat down and played better than he had ever played. Every note sang, every riff soared. The final chord rang out and slowly sank into silence. It was...well, not quite perfect, but it was damn close!
"How was that!" he asked, turning to look at the devil through the booth window.
"Wonderful, son, wonderful! But not quite perfect, the timing was off a tad in this triplet here. Let's do one more take."
Scott grudgingly admitted that yes, he hadn't quite mastered that triplet. And so he played it again, even better, and nailed that triplet to the millisecond.
"Wonderful! Even better! But there was a bit of a dead note in this riff. I think we need just one more take, just to be sure..."
And so Scott sits in that immaculate studio to this day, howling in frustration. He plays that wonderful song over and over and over for all eternity, but never quite perfectly, never quite to the satisfaction of the grinning devil.