Guy Noir, June 30, 2012

Koussevitzky Music Shed, Tanglewood Music Festival

Lenox, MA


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Guy Noir

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TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME)

GK: It was late June, and I was working a case at Tanglewood, the music venue and summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts. They had called me a couple years ago about low-flying biplanes (SFX, PLANE MAKING LOW PASS) and I had to grease a few palms, and then last year a motorcycle rally came to Lenox (SFX, BIKES REVVING) and some people had to be paid off, and this year, there was a problem with turkeys.

TR: I'm the grounds manager here and we never had a problem with barnyard fowl before. Listen to this. I recorded last night's piano recital......(TAPE REWIND, STOP) (PIANO, QUIET CHOPIN PASSAGE, COMES TO REST......TURKEY GOBBLE)

GK: Not good, huh.

TR: We got 13,000 people coming for a piano recital tonight. Hotel rooms sold out for miles around. Restaurants busy. Tanglewood is a big engine in our local economy.

GK: So this turkey---- this belongs to the same guy with the motorcycles and the biplane?

TR: Yes, exactly.

GK: He's at it again, huh?

TR: I guess he gets some sort of thrill from it.

GK: Well, I'll go see what he has to say this time. (BRIDGE) (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL, FIFTEEN STEPS. DOG BARKS)

AG: That you, Mr. Noir??

GK: This is me, Mr. DeBris.

AG: I thought probably they'd send you up here again. How you been?

GK: Busy.

AG: Well, that's a good thing, isn't it?

GK: I suppose. Anyway, Mr. DeBris, you are driving your neighbors a little crazy down there at Tanglewood.

AG: Well, this land is my land and that land is your land.
That land is rich land and my land is poor land.
Up here on my land, I don't have to be silent.
This land was made for Mr. DeBris.

GK: What can we do to win your cooperation, Mr. DeBris?

AG: Well, I am trying to run a business here, sir. An outdoor amusement park called Twisted Corners. That turkey is a singing turkey. Those bikers are racing on an indoor track. There is a daredevil wingwalker on that biplane. We are in the entertainment business, just as Tanglewood is.

GK: I'm familiar with it, sir, and Tanglewood has made you a fair offer for your land.

AG: Twisted Corners is not just a piece of land, sir. It is a concept. Years of planning have gone into it. I have an investment here. If Tanglewood wants to get rid of me, they're going to have to compensate me fully and fairly.

GK: Let's take this one day at a time, sir. There's a piano recital tonight. Could you just promise us two hours of quiet starting at 8 o'clock------

AG: Let me take you on a tour of my facility here, Mr. Noir. Come this way. (FOOTSTEPS. DOG GROWLS) Easy, Buster. (FOOTSTEPS) Want you to meet one of the stars of my show, Monsieur Melange.

TR: (FRENCH)

AG: Monsieur Melange is the world's greatest juggler. Look at this----- he can juggle an airhorn (SFX). And a male chicken (ROOSTER). And a chainsaw (START CHAINSAW). All at the same time. Watch this-----

(JUGGLING ROUTINE. CHAINSAW. AIRHORN. ROOSTER. TR SHOUTS AND FINAL BOW)

GK: That's pretty amazing, I agree, but-----

AG: I'm not saying it's equivalent to Chopin, but the man has talent ---- no?

GK: Okay, but for two hours this evening, sir-----

AG: We also fire a soprano out of a cannon. When was the last time you saw that? A lot of people get a peculiar pleasure from seeing a soprano shot from a cannon----- Marcello!!!

TR: (ITALIAN)

AG: Marcello is my cannoneer. And here is the soprano....(SS APPROACHES, DOING VOCAL WARMUPS) ----- and she climbs into the cannon------ (TR ITALIAN, RATCHET). Fire when ready, signore.
(PAUSE. EXPLOSION, FLYING SOPRANO, LONG FLIGHT, BOINGGGGG IN NET)

GK: Beautiful. I take off my hat to you, Mr. DeBris. You have a wonderful circus here, but-----

AG: We have a right to exist, same as Tanglewood. They do Chopin, we do chickens. We've got the finest chicken choir in the country. (CHICKENS ENTER, CLUCKING) Chinese chickens. Highly-trained. Listen. (TAPPING BATON) Ladies----- (CHICKEN SILENCE) AND-------

DIGIS CHICKEN CLUCKING TO:
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!

GK: Look, Mr. DeBris, you have a fine operation going here, I don't take anything away from it ---- but about tonight, sir-----

AG: Tonight we're presenting our horn quintet----- this is my horn man, Dietrich.

TR: (GERMAN)

AG: Five horns from three cars and two pickup trucks. I'll bet you've never heard Bach played just this way before----

FN: JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING ON TRUCK HORNS.

GK: It's wonderful, of course, and it's also completely incompatible with Tanglewood, and Tanglewood was there before you came on the scene, Mr. DeBris------ why are you making trouble here? Why?

AG: I enjoy trouble, that's why. Trouble is what keeps a man young. Trouble is why we have children. Because life is trouble. And you ought to know that. You're in the problem-solving business, Mr. Noir. I am providing you with employment by being a problem.

GK: Let's cut to the chase, Mr. DeBris. What is it you want?

AG: I want to be rich.

GK: You????

AG: I've been poor for years and got all the benefit of being poor and now I am ready for something else. I want to be a major tycoon, just like those venture capitalists and investment bankers who come to Tanglewood.

GK: So you want us to buy you out?

AG: Right, and then this land will be your land and not my land and I will move to the New York island and eat some food from Thailand and I will be smilin'. (BRIDGE)

GK: So that's what happened. Wall Street is up to its neck in cash, and some brokers got together (MANLY MURMURS) and talked it over and they weren't sure and then they heard the choir of turkeys -----(DIGIS: (TURKEY GOBBLES) (HEY JUDE) ---- and they came up with the money, and when I saw him the next day, Mr. DeBris was a very happy man.

AG: Just want to say thank you, Mr. Noir.

GK: My pleasure. Glad we could work it out. That's a very good-looking suit, sir.

AG: Never had a tailored suit before. This is my tailor, Luigi. (TR ITALIAN). My masseur Svend. (TR SWEDISH) My chef, Francois. (TR FRENCH) My I.T. guy, Brent. (TR: Hey. Dude. Totally.)

GK: Looks like you're well taken care of, sir.

AG: I'm launching a new career as a singer-songwriter. There have always been songwriters who protested inequality, but why not a songwriter for the rich and privileged?

(GUITAR STRUMS)

AG (SINGS):
All around the restaurant waiting for my wine
I ordered a French Bordeaux, nineteen forty-nine
I walked up to the maitre'd to light up my cigar
He said, "If you would like to smoke, you must go in the bar."
I looked at him with utter scorn and said, Ha ha ha ha,
A multibillionaire like me does not obey that law.
(YODEL)

I own a ranch in Texas, and a mountain in Vermont
Homes in London and New York and a vineyard in Provence
Everyone seems to love me, though I'm a big tycoon
I use Rupert Murdoch's shoes for my own spittoon
My pocket's full of diamonds and I gargle with champagne
I'm riding down to New Orleans on my private train.
(YODEL)

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

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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