Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: vinyl

Yet Another Episode Of The Dead’s Amazon Show From The Creators Of HBO’s Vinyl

INT: PASTICHE RECORDS – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

EXECUTIVES of the company sit around the TABLE. A large man NAKED EXCEPT FOR A LEATHER BLAZER stands atop the table DOING LINES OFF THE LIGHT FIXTURE.

The president of the company, NOODLES BRAUNSHWEIGER, enters the room. He is played by TIM ALLEN IN A WIG.

NOODLES
We’re losing money!

ANDY WARHOL is there for some reason. He is played by PETER SERAFINOWICZ IN A WIG.

ANDY WARHOL
I hear that the Grateful Dead needs a new record
contract. Maybe you should talk to them.

MACHO is STOPPED DEAD by Warhol’s statement. Then he DOES ANOTHER LINE. Then he is STOPPED DEAD AGAIN.

MACHO
That’s it! Legendary artist Andy Warhol is right! The Dead!
Just let me go have some scenes with my wife and I’ll go sign ’em!

MACHO jumps off the table and LEAVES THE ROOM.

Then he RE-ENTERS THE ROOM and STABS NOODLES and GETS AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE ROCK AND ROLL.

INT: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – NIGHT

MACHO is standing IN THE WINGS as the DEAD PLAYS. There are MANY SHOTS of NOODLE DANCING and people HITTING JOINTS IN SLOW-MOTION. As Macho LOOKS AROUND, he is STOPPED DEAD by the POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL OR SOMETHING.

There is a BALD MAN standing next to Macho.

MACHO
(to the bald man)
Man! That’s some jamming right there! Woo! I can’t
believe they’re playing Dark Star! In MSG!

BALD MAN
Of course they’re playing Dark Star in MSG! They play it
at every show, just like your average viewer would assume.

MACHO
Right, and it’s not like there’s any way to find out what the
Dead played on any particular night.

BALD MAN
Lost to history and easily shuffled to fit the whims of the
narrative.

MACHO
Exactly! Hey, aren’t you Cli–

BALD MAN
NO! No, no: I’m Jive Mavis from Barista Records.

JIVE MAVIS is played by MICK JAGGER’S GARDENER IN A BALD CAP.

JIVE
Are you here to sign the Grateful Dead, too?

MACHO
Looks like I got some competition! Luckily, there’s
nothing more interesting than a white guy with work
problems!

Macho SHOVES HIS HEAD INTO A GARBAGE BAG FULL OF COCAINE, then STABS Jive Davis.

ONSTAGE – CONTINUOUS

The Dead plays.

BOBBY
Jer?

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob?

BOBBY
I thought this show was about the music.

GARCIA
Music, music business. What’s the difference?

BOBBY
Well, you know: quite a bit, Jer.

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob. I was making a point.

BOBBY
Ah.

GARCIA
Bobby, aren’t you producing this?

BOBBY
Yeah, but it turns out I have no idea what a TV producer does

GARCIA
Huh, yeah: me, either.

Behind them, Keith Moon DRIVES A CAR INTO A POOL.

Another Episode Of The Dead’s Amazon Show As Written By The Creators of HBO’s Vinyl

EXT: MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL – DAY

The Summer of Love! (We cannot refer to it as the Summer of Love for legal and financial reasons.)

We FOLLOW a large man through the crowd. His name is MACHO SCUNGILLI and he works for PASTICHE RECORDS. There are many people around him: HIPPIES and BEATNIKS and WHATEVER ELSE THE COSTUME DEPARTMENT CAN FIND.

Macho is wearing BELL BOTTOMS and FLOWERS IN HIS HAIR and a LEATHER BLAZER.

He stops a SKINNY BLACK GUY with a STRATOCASTER as he passes.

MACHO
Hey, lemme borrow that for a second.

Macho grabs the guitar and FLIPS IT OVER, pouring THE MOST COCAINE YOU’VE EVER SEEN onto it, even though it’s 1967.

He SCHNARFS the YAYO.

MACHO
HOOOooooo! That’s good yayo!
(…)
What’s your name, kid?

JIMI HENDRIX
My name’s Jimi Hendrix, mister.

MACHO
Have you met Bob Weir?

JIMI HENDRIX
No, but I have a feeling that when I do meet him,
we’ll be the best of friends.

AUDIO CUE: FOXEY LADY AS COVERED BY THE MILK CARTON KIDS

A TALL MAN with a STUPID HAT walks up.

MACHO
Hey, Papa John Phillips of The Mamas and
the Papas!

JOHN PHILLIPS
Hey, brother. Peace and love.

MACHO
Peace and love.

JIMI HENDRIX
Peace and love.

MACHO
This is what the past was like. Anyway, nice
catching up, but I have to go discover The Who.

EXT: ONSTAGE – NIGHT

Four ACTORS IN BAD WIGS are onstage wearing Who costumes. The GUY PLAYING KEITH MOON clearly does NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE DRUMS. Also, The Who would not permit their songs to be used, it is a COVER of Substitute by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL that sounds ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, EXACTLY UNLIKE THE WHO.

The Who DESTROYS THEIR INSTRUMENTS because THAT’S WHAT THE VIEWERS EXPECT and then leave the stage.

MACHO
Holy shit, guys! That was some authenticity!

PETE TOWNSHEND, who is played by MICK JAGGER’S NEPHEW answers him in a TERRIBLE BRITISH ACCENT.

PETE TOWNSHEND
Thanks, Macho. But I’ve been feeling so constrained by
pop songs. I want to write something bigger. Something grand.

MACHO
You mean like a rock…opera?

PETE TOWNSHEND
A rock opera! That’s it! Once again, the guy from the record
company is the real hero of the story.

Behind him, Keith Moon DRIVES HIS CAR INTO A POOL.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STAGE

JERRY GARCIA and BOB WEIR stand there, HOLDING THE WRONG GUITARS.

BOBBY
Jer?

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob?

BOBBY
I thought this show was about us.

GARCIA
Eh. Hollywood.

BOBBY
Ah.

GARCIA
Hey, who was that black guy you were playing with? That
guy could play, man.

BOBBY
Oh, that was Jimi Hendrix.

GARCIA
Cool.

BOBBY
He’s my new best friend.

GARCIA
Okay, Bob.

Behind them, KEITH MOON DRIVES ANOTHER CAR INTO ANOTHER POOL.

What If The Dead’s Amazon Show Was Written By The Creators Of HBO’s Vinyl?

EXT: “WINTERLAND” – NIGHT

OPEN with a DISTRACTINGLY SHOW-OFFY ESTABLISHING SHOT. There are EXTRAS IN COSTUME everywhere.

People are taking DRUGS, which the camera FETISHIZES.

We find our hero, a MACHO GUY WHO LIVES BY HIS OWN CODE WHOM MARTIN SCORSESE WANTS TO FUCK, doing COCAINE out in open, because he is SO MACHO.

He walks up to TWO STONE-COLD TEEN FOXES with BIG TITS and gives them his business card.

C/U on the CARD. It reads “MACHO SCUNGILLI, PASTICHE RECORDS.”

The foxes are IMPRESSED and show him their TITS because we are on PAY CABLE.

MACHO
Ooh. I do like them titties, girls. But not as much as I love
rock and roll music. And cocaine. And leather blazers. Also, I’m
married, which will be a boring sub-plot.

Macho ENTERS “Winterland” (which is not referred to by name due to rights issues).

INT: “WINTERLAND”

We FOLLOW Macho on the SIGNATURE SCORSESE TRACKING SHOT through “Winterland.”

MUSIC CUE: STUDIO GUYS HALF-ASSING THROUGH A GRATEFUL DEAD SOUND-A-LIKE SONG

On the STAGE is the GRATEFUL DEAD, all of whom are played by MICK JAGGER’S SON.

MACHO
Dig that crazy sound! What these guys need is a
little push from Pastiche Records! They’re jamming
so hard that the place might collapse!

EXT: “WINTERLAND”

The building COLLAPSES.

Macho RISES from the rubble like AMERICAN JESUS and SNORTS ALL THE COCAINE.

MUSIC CUE: SOMETHING BY THE ROLLING STONES.

This Has Nothing At All To Do With HBO’s Series Vinyl, I Can Assure You

IMG_3552

That’s what the asshole from the record company looked like. Not Bobby Cannavale. He wasn’t the hero.

Also: holy shit, Darlene Love.

The Terrence Winter Of Our Discontent

Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Terrence Winter, and a whole bunch of other heavy hitters premiered Vinyl on HBO the other night; I haven’t seen it and don’t intend to (Sound-alike pastiche bands! Terrible fake band names! That Scientologist asshole with the curly hair from That 70’s Show!) but Richard Hell, who was actually in the New York music business in ’73 wrote a great review over at Stereogum about the show. If his paragraphs are too long for you (they are), here’s a sample:

You come to the series looking for music and what do you get? Bulky Italian-American peacocks so crazed by craving for coke that one of them tears the rear-view mirror off his luxury car for a surface to snort from; or two of them excitedly bashing in the head of a vulgar ally before wrapping his corpse in a table cloth and driving it in a car trunk to a dump spot; a prolonged extreme close-up of a fizzingly dynamic cigarette lighter flame against darkness; nonstop soundtrack of rock and roll, soul, funk, blues, punk, and disco pop music. It’s all routine Scorsese shtick, but cheaper. In fact nine tenths of the songs aren’t even the original tracks, but studio imitations. And what’s with the cocaine behavior? I get that coke gives these men the feeling of supremacy they also get from using baseball bats on upstarts and getting blowjobs from showgirls, but it’s just wrong to over and over again show them (usually from above) violently throwing their sweaty heads back grimacing in cross-eyed transport the moment they inhale a flake. Cocaine is not like getting a cattle prod up your butt. Everybody knows that. Cocaine is sweet. A warm smile would suffice.

The ratings weren’t great, either, and I don’t know what this means for the Dead show in development over at Amazon. The new content-delivery services (I didn’t like writing that phrase any more than you liked reading it) such as Netflix or Amazon don’t do ratings–they say–and care more for prestige. They want to have the cool restaurant that people write about, rather than the joint that sells more burgers and clown toys than anyone else.

Who can tell the future? Everything changes, and nothing lasts, but I hope they do a good job: it comes down to the writing. I hope they don’t hire someone who wants a job. They should get an obsessive. Someone who is prepared to start and win arguments about shirts that look fake, and that Actor Garcia isn’t holding his guitar the right way.

I’m not talking about trivia. Or knowing the words to the songs. Or how to spell “Kreutzmann” without looking it up. They need someone who Gets It.

Where would you find him or her, though?

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