The Lives of the Cowboys, June 23, 2012

Ravina Festival Pavilion

Highland Park, IL

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The Lives of the Cowboys

Listen (MP3)

SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you Rocky's All-Natural Cactus Chips (CRUNCH): nothing says "Southwest" like the taste of cactus. And now, The Lives of the Cowboys.


GK: Well, here we are, Dusty. Chicago.

TR: Yep. Sure don't look the same.

GK: Nope. We used to drive cattle in to the Stockyards but they're all gone now. Chicago used to be HOG Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat. Now it's the Hair Stylist for the World, School Teacher, Stacker of DVDs, Player with E-Mail and the Nation's Data Handler, City of the Sore Shoulders,


TR: Didn't there used to be a gorge down there where we camped out last time. But not a gorge, it was a gully. Or a gulch. Actually it was a coulee more than it was a gulch.

GK: Actually, it was a ravine.

TR: A ravine?

GK: That's why they called it Ravinia.

TR: Anyway, it sure isn't a ravine anymore. Looks more like a concert hall.

GK: Several of them, actually. And that's why we're here.

TR: I don't get it.

GK: Philip Glass is giving a concert tonight. See that?

TR: Who's he?

GK: Composer. A holistic composer. He's a favorite with massage therapists.

TR: Famous?

GK: Yeah. So famous there's a joke about him. Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Knock knock.

TR: Who's there?

GK: Philip Glass.

TR: Okay.

GK: Not many composers ever get knock-knock jokes. Just him and John Cage.

TR: What's the John Cage knock-knock joke?


TR: I said, what's the John Cage knock-knock joke?

GK: You interrupted it.

TR: Oh. Okay.

GK: Anyway, my massage therapist Narcissus Sunflower has a booth here at Ravinia and I need her to get this kink out of my back that I got sleeping on the ground. (WIND CHIMES) Oh here she is over here. (WIND CHIMES). Hello? Narcissus? You in here?

SS: Namaste.

GK: Hi there. You remember Dusty.

SS: And a big Namaste to you too.

TR: Thanks.

GK: I figured you'd be here. I just have a twinge in my back, darling.

SS: Well, pain is the beginning of wisdom, that's what I like to say. Lie down on the table. Face down and just put your face in this cradle right here.

GK (MUFFLED): Ahhh. Good.

SS: Right. That's it.

TR (LAUGHS): Doesn't look like a cradle to me. Looks more like a toilet seat.

GK (MUFFLED): Shut up, Dusty.

TR: You've got your face in the toilet. Boy that's rich. (CHUCKLES)

SS: You want the shallow, medium, or the deep massage?

GK (MUFFLED): Whatever you think is right.

SS: Deep. Okay then. Ready? Here we go. One—two--

TR: Oh boy.

SS: Three--


SS: There. Feels good, right?

TR: You okay partner?

SS: Oh boy. We really moved something. Can you sit up?

GK: Wow.

TR: You look different, pardner.

GK: I feel different. (STRUMS GUITAR)

In the attics of my life
Full of cloudy hogs unreal
Full of freight no tongue can know
And tools and wheat and railroads
When my shoulders were small
You made them big

SS: Now make sure to drink a lot of water. We just released a lot of toxins from your muscles.

TR: We don't got any water. All we got is rotgut whiskey. Toxic rotgut. You gonna be okay mister?

GK (WINCE): Yeah. I feel great. I feel loose and young. I feel like I'm 23. Feel like I'm dead and grateful for it.

I have spent my life
Sleeping on the open range
Bent my ear and broke my back
And closed my eyes cause it was dusty
When there was nothing to say
You said nothing to me......(YODEL)

Let's go. Let's ride. (HORSES)

FN: Wait!!! Wait!!!!

GK: Look. I think it's Philip Glass.

FN: Wait!!! Wait!!!

GK: Who's there?

FN: Wait! Wait!

GK: Who's there?

FN: Wait!!! Wait!!!

GK: Who's there?

FN: Wait! Wait!

GK: Who's there?

FN: Wait!!! Wait!!!

GK: It's Philip Glass.

FN: I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.

GK: Yes, sir.

FN: Yodel for me.

GK: Now?

FN: Yes. I want to compose a yodel.


FN: Beautiful. Let me play it. (GLASS PIANO, YODEL EXTENDED) I'll call it Homage to Lefty.

GK: Honored to meet you, Mr. Glass. Happy birthday.

TR: How old is he?

GK: Seventy-five.

TR: Wow. Old, huh.

GK: I used to think so. (GIDDUPS, HORSES AWAY)


SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Rocky's All-Natural Cactus Chips (CRUNCH). Now available in "spiny" and "cool ranch."

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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