As file sharing sites made music an ever less lucrative field, artists struggled to make a living from their song craft. One of the only reliable ways left to make money was by playing live, so musicians were almost always on the road. Even then, however, it was difficult, particularly for musicians who hired a backup band to tour with them.
Timothy was one such musician. Though a critical darling, he was not quite popular enough for upscale coffee houses to include his recordings among the four or five CDs that they sold at the counter. Consequently, he just made enough on his small venue appearances to pay for his backup band, his rent, and his groceries, which consisted mostly of tuna tins and ramen noodles.
Then Timothy saw a news story about a scientist who had successfully frozen a mouse and thawed it out days later with no ill effects. The news story celebrated the event, because doctors could now freeze people with a fatal disease, and then thaw them out later when someone developed a cure. Timothy, on the other hand, saw a way to dramatically increase his earnings.
Soon, Timothy was freezing his band, and thawing them out for practices and live appearances. He used a parcel delivery service to ship them to each venue, which saved him money on airfare. Once there, he kept them in preservation chambers that the scientist who had developed the cryogenic process had lent him, floating gently in a vat of liquid nitrogen. This, too, saved him money, as the hotel agreed to store the chambers for a nominal fee, far less that what it would have cost Timothy to provide the backup band with food and lodging.
Soon, cryogenic music centers opened across the country, allowing backup musicians to keep themselves in cold storage. They no longer needed houses or apartments, as the centers stored them in a freezer in exchange for a small percentage of their earnings. Once frozen, they hung from straps, like shirts in a dry cleaner, and when the music center technicians thawed them out, they gave the musicians an intravenous nutrient supplement so that they were never hungry.
The music center provided menus from which artists could select their backup musicians as if they were ordering takeout food at a Chinese restaurant. They also provided travel storage chambers, so that the musicians could pack their accompanists away with the rest of their gear. The accompanists, meanwhile, practiced, played music, and, when frozen, dreamed of audiences applauding for them.
Every so often, the backup musicians would take a break from the process, and play on their own, using the money they’d earned to sleep in hotel beds and eat real food. Some in fact, became headlining acts, hiring their own frozen backup musicians. In other cases, bands came into being when a group of backup musicians met while thawing out at a music center, and some even earned enough to spend the rest of their lives at room temperature.