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.
GK: It was July, and we were in the midst of a heat wave. A high of 100 degrees, with a heat index of about 150. I was feeling like an entrée, some sort of pork roasting in its own juices, when I got the call from Interlochen.
TR: Noir, it's me. Franco.
GK: Franco Capellini, the 28-year-old child prodigy.
GK: What's wrong now?
TR: I stole a Guarneri violin.
GK: Oh boy.
TR: I couldn't help myself.
GK: So give it back.
TR: I can't.
GK: Why not?
TR: I lost it. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I flew up to northern Michigan on Hemingway Airline. (FN ON P.A.: This is your pilot speaking. I'm in the cockpit. I'm looking out the windshield and it's raining out there. Planes fly in the rain just as they fly in the sunshine. I've done it many times. I noticed a woman come aboard, tall, with reddish hair. Jeans, black t-shirt. Welcome aboard. And the rest of you too. But especially her. Let's go.) (OLD ENGINE, PROPELLER STARTING. BACKFIRES. REV.) (BRIDGE)
GK: We got to Traverse City and I got out to Interlochen, deep in the woods, and Sgt. Julie Giamatti, Campus Police.
SS: The Guarneri is priceless, Mr. Noir. It wasn't owned by Interlochen, it was owned by an old blind hermit who lives in a hut in the woods. (BRIDGE)
GK: She took me out to the woods and we found the old man's hut.
(VIOLIN, NOT GOOD RENDITION OF SPRING SONG, MENDELSSOHN)
GK: What was such a lousy musician doing with a million dollar instrument?
SS: The good thing is that he's such a lousy musician he wouldn't know the difference between a Guarneri and a bowl of guacamole. So he doesn't really miss it.
GK: So he doesn't know that Franco Capellini stole the Guarneri?
SS: Franco Capellini didn't steal the Guarneri.
GK: He said he did.
SS: Franco has trouble paying attention. We hired him to teach bowing (boe) and he's teaching bowing (bow-wow).
GK: So the violin that he stole----
SS: ----is actually a viola.
GK: Which was put there by----
SS: ----the man who stole the Guarneri.
GK: Who is----
SS: The hunchback.
GK: You have a hunchback?
SS: He works for the old blind hermit.
GK: I see.
SS: They live in the hut out near the cannibal village.
GK: In the woods of Interlochen----
SS: Out where the harmless lunatic walks around moaning his weird gibberish.
GK: Uh huh. And why does Interlochen have all this---- the cannibals, the hunchback, the lunatic in the woods?
SS: It tends to keep the students close to campus. (BRIDGE)
GK: So Sgt. Giamatti and I went to find the hunchback who had stolen the Guarneri. Not hard to find him. Guy with a big hump and wearing a doublet and cape and pointy shoes and a cap with bells.
FN (IGOR): I see you are looking at me, sir.
GK: Yes. I see by your outfit that you are a hunchback.
FN (IGOR): You got it.
GK: They say you stole your master's Guarneri violin.
FN (IGOR): I took it into protective custody. I hid it in a cave deep in the woods.
GK: You left a Guarneri violin in a cave?
FN (IGOR): It is the cave of my friend, the harmless lunatic. The one who lives near the cannibal village just north of the vampire grounds and the old zombie river.
GK: Oh boy. So you left a lunatic to guard the Guarneri.
FN (IGOR): What can I say? It was dumb. So I'm a hunchback. I've got a lot going on. (BRIDGE)
GK: So we headed out into the woods in search of a harmless lunatic who lived in a cave near the old blind hermit. And then there he was (FN BABBLING) ---- Sorry, I don't speak Babble ----- never been to Babylon ----- (FN URGENT BABBLING) ----- you're gesturing for me to follow you------ aha------ I see the cave ---- is the violin there, sir? (FN CONFUSION) Violin----- (GK HUMS SPRING SONG) (FN RECOGNITION) ----- yes------ uh, sir------ those people over there with the big pot of water boiling on the fire and their bodies painted with red and yellow markings----- are those cannibals?
FN (LUNATIC): Yes.
GK: I was afraid of that. Could we go in the cave. (FOOTSTEPS, BIG DOOR SHUTS) That's better. Now, sir----- the violin. (HE HUMS SPRING SONG)
FN: (LUNATIC GIBBERISH. BEAUTIFUL VIOLIN SOLO.)
GK: Amazing. A lunatic playing beautiful violin. I never heard that before.
SS: Actually you have. You just didn't know it because we don't let the violinists speak to the audience.
GK: You play an instrument, Sgt. Giamatti?
SS: Viola, of course. It's like a violin except when you play the viola, you can hear other people as well as yourself.
(TR OGRE ROAR)
GK: Oh boy. Just when you think there can't be more, you get an ogre.
(TR OGRE ROAR)
GK: Would you mind not roaring? We've got a heat wave, it's miserably hot, I just really don't need roaring.
TR (OGRE): Sorry. How about this? (SMALL ROAR)
GK: Better. But how come your body is covered with blood and gore?
TR (OGRE): That's what I do. That's my work. Ravaging.
GK: Well, go ravage somewhere else.
TR (OGRE): This is my cave.
GK: I thought this was the lunatic's cave.
TR (OGRE): They're connected.
GK: Okay, then this is us, leaving your cave. (FOOTSTEPS, BIG DOOR OPEN, SHUT)
GK: Oh boy, now we've got to deal with cannibals.
SS: They're vegan cannibals. They'd only eat your hair and fingernails.
GK: Ah. Well, that's a different matter. HEY----
GK: Where's the lunatic? And the Guarneri?
SS: He was here a minute ago.
(FN OFF LUNATIC SHOUT)
GK: The lunatic took off running, and I followed him into a ravine (SFX), and he grabbed a vine, and swung on it (TARZAN CRY), and he took off running through the woods (LUNATIC, FOOTSTEPS) and I was right behind him as he ran past a moose (SFX), and a pheasant flew up from the grass (SFX), and he bumped into a beehive (SFX) and ran right through a big thistle bush (SFX), and he tripped on a root and went down (SFX) and I jumped on top of him with all my weight. (LANDING, BIG WOOD CRUNCH, A BEAT). Uh oh. ----It was under his shirt. The Guarneri. Crushed. (STING) Except it wasn't the Guarneri. It was a violin with a sticker on it with a red bullseye and it said Target. (BRIDGE)
GK: The Guarneri was in the cabin of a drama student. He thought it was a prop from Fiddler on the Roof.
FN (ACTOR): I hung it on the wall. I used it as a cutting board, and a cheese slicer. Why, is that wrong?
GK: So it went back to the old blind hermit in his hut and he played it (VIOLIN, NOT GOOD SPRING SONG) about as well as before and it was Sgt. Giamatti who figured out the problem.
SS: Look. He's playing it left-handed. It's a right-handed Guarneri.
GK: I guess a blind guy wouldn't see that.
SS: Hey----- you----- (VIOLIN STOPS)
TR (DEEP): Huh?
SS: Not that way. This way. (TURNS VIOLIN) There.
(VIOLIN PLAYS BEAUTIFUL SPRING SONG)
TR (DEEP): Music. Good.
GK: So I headed back home on Hemingway Airline. (FN ON P.A.: It's dark. Straight ahead is the woods and that radio tower with the flashing red light. You people rely on me to get you up and into the air. Either you trust me or you don't. It's up to you. Here we go. (REV ENGINE, TAXI)
SS (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.
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).