My friend Ray asked me to create music for an Annoyance show he's putting up in December.
It's called The Day The Music Got Killed.
Here was his pitch:
The Big Bopper has run out of money and new ideas for novelty songs and his agent who is sick of listening to his horrible ideas and his wife set him up on a musical tour to get him out of town so the agent can screw the Bopper's wife. The Bopper meets Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens who immediately hate him. They all sing some songs and wind up on an airplane with a pilot high out of his mind on benzadrine. The Bopper drives everybody increasingly nuts with his terrible ideas for how to add the same three novelty ideas (ie, the witch doctor, the purple people eater and the man from mars) into endless redundant scenarios. At some point Ritchie Valens can't take it anymore and he grabs the control stick and makes the plane crash. But they don't die right away, horribly mangled and dying in the snow the Bopper refuses to die and has to fight off a dying Ritchie Valens who has a piece of metal stuck through his torso. Buddy Holly grabs a pistol from the dead pilot's jacket and shoots the Bopper in the head, then drops dead. This was the day the music got killed.
He asked me why I was taking shelter in the parking lot when I was already so wet.
He was trying to tell me that I was stupid.
I hate people.
I hate feeling socially obligated to explain my actions to ignorant strangers with preconceived ideas.
"I'm picking up a vehicle," I said with my mouth.
"You nosy fucking idiot," I said with my eyes.
"Oh," he said and quickly turned away.
"Sigh," I said with my sigh.
The rain and my hatred of people really did a number on my look today.
In the rear view mirror my haircut resembled Hitler's.
Somebody purchase my art!
I drove the dream van to the Chinese American Museum.
Jerzy and I assembled and arranged the lights.
A Joker and a Kino.
I was gripping!
The sound guy handed me a slate.
"Do you want to slate?"
"Sure," I said.
A young guy in a fedora stepped in.
"Actually, that's my job."
"Don't take food out of his mouth," Jerzy said to me loudly and admonishingly.
A presumably Chinese woman stood in front of the camera and repeated things the director wanted her to say.
"I am Chicago."
"I am not running for mayor."
"I am a living -"
She wasn't comfortable saying the last one, but the director coaxed her into it.
"I am a living doll."
Her coworkers laughed.
Next stop was a recording studio.
While Jerzy and I set up C-stands and wrangled stingers, he ragged on graduates of Columbia College.
"I hate Columbia kids."
A majority of the crew was comprised of Columbia kids.
He complained about Columbia kids to the VTR girl, who was clearly a graduate of Columbia.
Jerzy was getting on my nerves, but was teaching me a lot.
A large black man in a zoot suit relaxed in front of the camera.
"I am Chicago."
"I am not running for mayor."
"I am the soul of Chicago."
They shot some footage of him singing along to his smooth jazz R&B CD single.
Adam the DP described it as "waiting room" music.
Despite this, he had a firm handshake.
Look At Me, I'm Trying
Meanwhile, city hall told us we could not film there tomorrow.
I gave a list of possible alternatives to Chaz the location scout.
The Monadnock Building, The Cultural Center, The Marquette Building, The Rookery Building...
He said they were already looking into the Cultural Center, but that the Rookery was a good idea.
Veruca the producer ordered deep dish pizza for lunch.
Over the meal I tried to tell her about snout-to-tail dining at London's St. John.
Y'know, 'cuz she's from London and I've been to London and I'm not just some directionless PA I'm a smart talented person and a perhaps decent writer and maybe the funniest person in this room but no one will ever know that and...
She didn't care.
I was trying too hard.
I hate when I still do that.
After pizza, we were all too fat to go to the third location.
Instead a small crew was dispatched to film the gaunt homeless girl they had seen earlier by the expressway.
They brought our left over pizza as a payment.
But the gaunt girl had vanished.
So the other homeless folks by the expressway enjoyed deep dish pizza.
The jeweler suggested I bring in some of her rings.
"Do you know on which fingers she wears these rings?"
That vain void.
That waste of time.
That stupid stupid thing.
But hold on.
I've booked shows using Facebook.
I've promoted myself using Facebook.
I've learned things while using Facebook.
And I've shared completely useless information.
...saw a taping of The Price Is Right in 1994. The sliding doors that reveal the big prizes were really loud. I wore a Blues Explosion T-shirt. My then-girlfriend would soon shave her head, disappear to New Mexico for a shaman, and release me from our relationship in a letter. The woman in line behind us won a brand new car.
Dumb Ads vs. Small Town News
And from today:
...found a staple in his mouth from snacking.
Why do I do this?
But as easy as it is to hate Facebook, it does serve a purpose.
Today I looked at over 200 of Lauren's Facebook photos.
About nine of them featured her fingers with rings.
I was able to identify the rings I would be taking in to the jeweler.