Guy Noir, June 29, 2013

Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood

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.


GK: It was the end of June and I was at Tanglewood in the Berkshires, home of the Boston Symphony, and the story of how I got there, it goes like this. I was low on cash, and I'd taken on the job of dogcatcher. It's not hard. You put on a squirrel suit, you locate the dog, you go WOO WOO WOO and you run away and the dog chases you.

SS: I need you to catch my Snookums. I'm taking him in for surgery tomorrow.

GK: Oh? What's wrong?

SS: He's just going to have a little work done.

GK: Have a little work done?

SS: A chin lift. Get those jowls taken away.

GK: Ma'am, he's a bulldog. Bulldogs always have jowls like that.

SS: Well, he'd be more attractive without them.

GK: Attractive to whom? Not to other bulldogs.

SS: Well, I'm having him neutered too.

GK: Probably a good idea if he gets a chin lift. (BRIDGE) Anyway, I got the job of dogcatcher at Tanglewood. It was a brief phone call from their general manager, Dean Rhodes.

TR (RICO): We got a situation here, Noir. A dog who is a big pain in the wazoo. How soon can you come out?

GK: You're the manager of Tanglewood, Mr. Rhodes?

TR (RICO): It's not Mister Rhodes. It's Dean Rhodes. I'm the dean of the music school here and the general manager.

GK: Okay, I just thought that----

TR (RICO): You thought I had the wrong accent for an artsy place like Tanglewood.

GK: Yeah, something like that.

TR (RICO): You thought I should talk like someone in public radio. (SUAVE, VAGUELY BRIT) Hello, I'm the general manager of Tanglewood Music Center. Top of the morning to you. (RICO) Well, if I talked like that, Tanglewood wouldn't be pulling in the dough like it is.

GK: I'm on my way, sir. (BRIDGE) I flew out to Tanglewood on a very inexpensive airline called Songwriter Air which is run by people who are trying to get a start in the music business.


SS: Hello, my name is Stephanie and I will be your flight attendant today. (STRUMS) (SINGS)

And maybe I can also be your friend,
Cause we're all on a journey and it doesn't end,
This destination is only a station,
And we all have to keep on keeping on
Until all the fuel is gone.

(SPOKEN) Thank you for listening to my music. And here is your pilot, Buzz. (BING, BONG)

Does this plane work? Shur.
We're headed for the Berkshires.

GK: I arrived at Tanglewood and Dean Rhodes was there.

TR (RICO): The dog's name is Koussevitsky. It's a Russian wolfhound who used to belong to a violin teacher and the dog developed a pretty good ear and when he hears a musician make mistakes, he comes out of the woods and attacks him.

GK: And you've got quite a few student musicians here.

TR (RICO): It isn't the student musicians who he goes after. It's the old veterans.

GK: Really.

TR: People your age. They've been around forever and they get sloppy and they don't practice and everyone else tolerates them but the dog doesn't.

GK: Sounds like he's trying to make a contribution.

TR (RICO): The musicians' union has threatened to go on strike if we don't get rid of him.

GK: So it's serious.

TR (RICH): If the dog doesn't shut up, we'll have to turn Tanglewood into a rocknroll venue. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: I encountered the dog Koussevitsky at a violin recital. (VIOLIN, PIANO) The violinist was Russian and he had big hair and he was very dramatic but even I could tell that his intonation was shaky and when he hit a passage that was rather sharp (VIOLIN GOING SHARP) ---- the dog got unhappy (DOG SNORTS, GROWLS, GROANS) and then the violinist got nervous and started rushing (VIOLIN RUSHING) (DOG LISTENS, THEN SNARLS) and he saw the dog and it shook him (VIOLIN TOO MUCH VIBRATO) (DOG GROANS AND WOOFS) and then the dog headed for the stage and the violinist went to pieces (VIOLIN SCRATCHING, DOG BARKING, TR RUSSIAN PANIC, RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) and the dog chased him off the stage and into the woods. In the genteel world of classical music it was quite dramatic. (PIANO) The pianist tried to finish the piece solo but he was aware of the dog watching him and he hit some clinkers (PIANO) and the dog was after him (DOG BARKING, RD: HEY!, PIANO CLUNK, CHASE) and chased him into the woods. And then the dog climbed up on the piano bench and (BACH TWO-PART INVENTION, SLOW) he performed a pretty good (for a dog) version of a ---- of a piece by ---- uh----- (FN DOG: BACH!!!) Johann Sebastian Bach and (RACH PIANO, SLOW, CAREFUL) then he played another rather familiar piece by a composer whose name I was certain I knew but it didn't come to mind right away---- (FN DOG: RACHMANINOFF) Sergei Rachmaninoff. And once again, for music played with no fingers as such, only toenails, it was pretty good. (BRIDGE)

GK: I put on my squirrel suit and I went WOO-WOO-WOO and the dog looked at me and he said:

FN (DOG): That looks stupid on you.

GK: Well, if you'd quit pestering musicians, I wouldn't be wearing it. (BRIDGE) And then I heard a voice in the woods—

Fly me to the moon and let me swing among the stars
Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand.

GK: Why aren't you going after her?

FN (DOG): It's my girlfriend Natasha.

GK: I would guess you're under some sort of curse.

HM: That's what people tell me. Am I a little flat?

GK: A double curse— Natasha---- what can we do to help?

HM: A soothsayer told me that one day a large man in a squirrel suit would come and kiss me and set me free.

GK: She said that?

HM: Yes.

GK: A reputable soothsayer?

HM: She had an MS degree.

GK: In soothsaying?

HM: She said so. She was from the Sooth. Sooth Carolina.

GK: Some soothsayers are certified and others are just so-so.

HM: Her name was Susie.

GK: So did she say some sooth or just suggest it?

HM: She spoke it. Several sooths.

GK: And that's the truth?

HM: Only one way to find out. (PAUSE. SMACKER)
In other words, kiss me.

GK: I just did.

HM: It's gone. The curse is lifted I can sing!

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore.

GK: In a lot of stories, she would have fallen in love with me, and we would've married and settled down in a little village somewhere and been happy ever after, but I don't care for villages or non-stop happiness. In fact someone had wrote a song about that (BARK) ----- what's wrong? (BARKS) "Had wrote"----- what should I have said? (SNARL, RIP OF CLOTHING) Hey! (BRIDGE) Anyway Dean Rhodes told me I had saved Tanglewood and if so, that's not bad for a day's work. (BRIDGE) I was going to head home on Songwriter Airlines but the FAA had grounded them so I took Elder Air instead. (BING BONG)

FN (OLD): I think we're just about ready to push away from the ---- from the ----- you know ----- from B6 ---- just as soon as I familiarize myself with this computer nonsense and the navigation system and meanwhile please fasten your ----- fasten your----- you know, you've got one in your lap----- the---- uh----- (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. (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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