It's a long way to the top...when you want to rock.Two young Lakota Indians leave South Dakota and head for Seattle in search of rock ‘n’ roll fame. Their journey is filled with excitement and adventure. The boys encounter rival rock bands, a terrorist trucker, angry police, cute groupies and a wise old blues musician who tries to prepare them for the hidden danger that lies ahead.
On this particular evening the Dog’s Bottom parking lot was crammed with the usual array of dented sedans and mud-splattered trucks. A red neon light blinked in one window: BEER BEER BEER.
It was dark and smoky inside the bar. The walls were decorated with old license plates, bass fishing trophies and posters advertising various brands of cheap domestic beer. Twangy country music blasted nonstop from the jukebox, a litany of songs about cheating women, lying men, lost coon dogs, broken-down trucks and the rocky road of life. Working stiffs in faded jeans and pit-stained denim shirts studied their drinks with great intensity. The bartender, his teeth a web work of gold fillings and brown decay, washed glasses in the deep sink.
A band was setting up for the evening performance. Ancient instruments and crappy amps were scattered across the stage. The name of the group was crudely stenciled on the drum set: The Rez.
The drummer was Native American and in his early 20s. He wore a Suffer Puppy T-shirt, pants about twelve sizes too big and a serious face.
The guitarist, same age, also Native American, had long braided hair, ripped Levis and a big, optimistic grin.
A song by Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, began playing on the jukebox. The motley lineup at the bar sang along to the words mechanically. When the music stopped, the barflies went silent as though their plug had been pulled.
The guitar player stepped up to the microphone. “Hola,” he said. “I'm Tag Wicasa and that’s Hale Otaktay on drums. We’re from Pine Ridge Reservation—”
A cowboy at the bar cupped his hands around his mouth and made a loud war whoop. Several patrons chuckled.
“Hey,” said Hale. “You’re stereotyping the American Indian.”
“I know,” said the cowboy. He made another war whoop. More laughter from the crowd.
“We’re The Rez,” Tag said, “and we're about to rock your socks off.”
“Shut up and play,” shouted a beefy patron.