Guy Noir, May 2, 2009
Music City
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Guy Noir

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(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME UP AND FADE)

GK: It was April and spring had come to the frozen tundra, or so I heard. I was in Nashville, looking at the Country Music Hall of Fame where there was an interesting exhibit, “On The Road Again,” about Willie Nelson's world tour that took him to France (TR WILLIE SINGS IN FRENCH) and to Sweden (WILLIE SINGS SWEDISH) and to Germany (WILLIE SINGS GERMAN) and Japan (WILLIE SINGS JAPANESE) and finally my cellphone rang (SFX) and it was the woman who had hired me to come to Nashville.

SS (PHONE): Mr. Noir, it's Louise Lewis from Premier All-Star Productions and Celebrity Cruises?

GK: Yes, ma'am. Good to hear from you.

SS (PHONE): Listen, we're rehearsing with Brad Paisley over at the ballpark. Can you come over?

GK: I'll be right there. (BRIDGE, VOICES OF CREW, COMMOTION, FORKLIFT, AS GK WALKS THROUGH STAGING AREA) Louise was producing a new road show for Brad Paisley. A big arena show with fog machines and pyrotechnics and live animals. They were going all out. —

SS: Mr. Noir— I'm Louise. You know Brad Paisley—

GK: Yes, of course.

SS: Top star in Nashville for years — and then he suddenly comes out with an 8-CD boxed set called Rocks--

GK: Rocks.

SS: And it's all songs about geology. Tectonic plates. Volcanoes. Geysers. Shore erosion.

GK: Interesting.

SS: Not really. A half-million copies of those CDs are in landfill in New Jersey. And now— we have to relaunch Brad as the exciting performer that he used to be before he got fascinated by soil.

GK: And what's my job?

SS: Keep him indoors.

GK: Okay.

SS: You let him outside and right away he's picking up rocks off the ground.

GK: Gotcha. (STING, BRIDGE. CREW, WINCH, HORSE WHINNY. DOG) I walked into the arena and they were rehearsing the opening of the show, in which Brad enters on a horse— (WHINNY)

TR (DIRECTOR): Okay. Quiet, everybody— Quiet, please. (CHICKEN) Quiet! (CHICKEN) Will somebody stifle that chicken? (CHICKEN FLURRY, MUFFLED) Thank you. — Okay— Brad—

BP: Yes, sir.

TR (DIRECTOR): Let me walk you through this opening sequence. We dim the lights and there's a drum roll, okay? And the audience is very quiet. And then we hear the opening theme from 2001 played on the bagpipes — cue the bagpipes — (BAGPIPES, 2001 OPEN) —

BP: Sir?

TR: Yes, Brad—

BP: Why bagpipes?

TR: It's a concept. Okay? Good. And then the spotlight hits the cannon and the cannon shoots the lady wrapped in the flag the length of the arena as she sings your name, and she lands on the trampoline and the chicken flies up in the air and starts dancing and we see that on the big screen, the dancing chicken—

BP: Sir?

TR: Yes.

BP: Why a chicken?

TR: It's a total concept, Brad. Okay? Just go along with me here, okay? and as the chicken dances, you come out riding on the horse, singing “La Bamba” — okay? It's excitement, it's motion, movement, lights, surprises— it's show business, okay? Just go with it, sweetheart.

BP: I was thinking I could just walk out with a wheelbarrow and I could sing,

There's two feet of topsoil
A little bit of bedrock, limestone in between
A fossilized dinosaur
A little patch of crude oil
A thousand feet of granite underneath
Then there's me.

TR: Let's go with the plan, okay, sweetheart? Just give it a shot. Give it your best shot. Okay— cue the cannon. (OFF SERIES OF REPEATS: Cue the cannon. Cannon ready. Etc) Cue the lady. (AS OFF: Ready.) Got the flag wrapped around you? (AS: What?) Wrap the flag around you. (AS: All set.) Okay, Brad, you're on the horse over there. (WHINNY) Cue the chicken. (REPEAT COMMAND, AND CHICKEN FLURRY) Okay. I think we're all set. And— action.

(DRUM ROLL)

(BAGPIPE FIRST NOTES OF 2001 THEME)

(CANNON)

(AS FLYING, SINGING: Brad Paisley—— (TRAMPOLINE)

(HORSE WHINNY, GALLOPING HOOVES. BAND RHYTHM)

BP (SINGS):
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
se necesita una poca de gracia

Una poca de gracia y otra cosita

Y arriba y arriba

TR: CUT! CUT! CUT! —(WHINNY, BAND DIES OUT, HOOVES AS HORSE CIRCLES. CREW VOICES) — Okay, where was the chicken? The dancing chicken?

FN: You want the chicken right then?

TR: The chicken is supposed to be on the trampoline when the lady lands with the flag when she's shot out of the chicken—

FN: You want the chicken to dance right then—

TR: Right when the lady lands on the trampoline, the chicken is on the trampoline and the lady landing on the trampoline bounces the chicken up in the air and it starts dancing—

FN: Okay. Sorry. I got it now.

TR: Okay. Places everybody. (COMMOTION OF CREW, HORSE. CHICKEN, WINCHES, ETC.)

TR: Okay— all set? Let's dim the lights. And— action. (PAUSE) I said— action! (PAUSE) You ready?

FN (OFF, DOPER): You talking to me, man?

TR: You the drummer?

FN (OFF, DOPER): Totally.

TR: When I say, action. That means you.

FN (OFF): Like, okay. Cool.

TR: And— action.

(PAUSE)

FN (OFF): Now?

TR: Now.

(DRUM ROLL)

(BAGPIPE FIRST NOTES OF 2001 THEME)

(CANNON)

(AS FLYING, SINGING: Brad Paisley—— (TRAMPOLINE)

(HORSE WHINNY, GALLOPING HOOVES. BAND RHYTHM, CHICKEN DANCING)

BP (SINGS):
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
se necesita una poca de gracia

Una poca de gracia y otra cosita

(ROCKETS)

Y arriba y arriba
Y arriba y arriba y arriba ire

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, por ti sere,
Por ti sere, por ti sere.

Bamba, bamba, bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba.

TR: CUT! CUT! CUT! (SINGING STOPS, BAND DIES. HORSE WHINNY, EXCITED HOOVES. WHOAS. CREW VOICES) — You were early on the rockets. Sir? The pyrotechnician?

FN: What?

TR: YOU WERE TOO EARLY ON THE ROCKETS.

FN: Can't hear you—

TR: TAKE THE HEADPHONES OFF!

FN: Oh. (BRIDGE)

GK: They took a lunch break and Louise Lewis and I headed off to talk to Brad. (FOOTSTEPS, VOICES IN PASSING) Hey— here's the lady who got shot out of the cannon.

AS: Hi. How was it?

GK: It was great. You really flew.

AS: Yeah. It felt good.

GK: You a circus performer?

AS: No, songwriter.

GK: Oh.

AS: I'm just doing this hoping to get noticed. You know.

GK: Right. What sort of songs you write?

AS: Well, they're country and they're love songs but they're also about products — there's brand names— it's kind of surrealistic, but I also sell ad space —

GK: In the songs.

AS: Right. It's hard to explain. You want to hear one?

GK: No.

AS: Okay. Maybe later.

GK: Right. (BRIDGE) Brad was in his trailer, watching a video about volcanoes. (AUDIO UNDER)

BP: This is a volcanic hot spot in Hawaii. It's for a TV special I'm writing a soundtrack for. I just can't explain how the sight of red hot lava bubbling up from the ground — I just find it moving— the earth reforming itself.....continents shifting......earthquakes......I want to learn more and more about geology— have you ever read John McPhee's book, Rising From The Plains?

GK: Yes, I've been reading it for ten years every night just before I fall asleep.

BP: I just find the science of geology so exciting....so fulfilling— I don't want to sing about love anymore. I want to sing about the earth.

TR (GORE): Brad, I'm Al Gore, and I want to congratulate you on your interest in geology and earth sciences. I admire your ambition to use country music as an educational tool and I myself have written a number of songs on this subject—

SS: Mr. Vice-President, I'm sorry, but we have a show to rehearse—

TR (SINGS):
Let other people hang out in bars.
I lie on the rocks and look up at the stars. (BRIDGE)

GK: We went back to rehearse the opening sequence of the Brad Paisley arena show, instead of the chicken they found a dancing dolphin, and Brad instead of riding the horse was now going to be lowered from the ceiling into the tank where the dolphin danced — (CREW VOICES, DOLPHIN) — and meanwhile Brad was on the verge of quitting—

BP: Listen. This is my show, I should be able to do it the way I want to do it.

SS: Brad. Sweetheart. Listen to me—

BP: Don't call me sweetheart.

SS: Okay. Brad— dumbhead— listen to me—

BP: On second thought, I don't mind sweetheart.

SS: Brad, sweetheart— it's like this. You do songs about geology, you're going to lose the house in Nashville and the pickup truck and you're going to wind up living in a small apartment in Burbank next to the auto salvage yard and listen to the car crusher all day. Okay? Your choice.

BP: I lose my pickup truck?

SS: It's gone. People who try to make a career singing about geology don't own nice big black pickup trucks. Okay?

BP: Okay.

SS: You can't just write songs about rocks.

BP: How about “Rocky Top”?

SS: That's the exception that proves the rule.

BP: Huh?

GK: Just do what the lady says. (BRIDGE) So he did. And it was a nice scene. They got it down perfect. Almost perfect.

(DRUM ROLL)
(SITAR, TABLE, OF 2001 THEME)

(CANNON)

(AS FLYING, SINGING: Brad Paisley—— (TRAMPOLINE)

(BAND RHYTHM, WINCH ENGINE LOWERING)

BP (SINGS):
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
se necesita una poca de gracia

Una poca de gracia y otra cosita

(DOLPHIN DANCING)

Y arriba y arriba
Y arriba y arriba y arriba ire

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, por ti sere,
Por ti sere, por ti sere.

Bamba, bamba, bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba.

(ROCKETS)

(BRIDGE)

GK: It went very smoothly and I collected my check and I met the flag lady afterward at a cocktail lounge. (PIANO OFF)

AS: Hi. I brought my iPod if you'd like to listen to my songs. I've got a couple hundred of them.

GK: I'd love to. Later. Care for a drink?

AS: Sure.

GK: How about a glass of Madeira?

AS: What's that?

GK: Let's find out.

(THEME)

SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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