With a Little Help from My Friends

[scripty]PAMIE
Hello?

STEPH
What are you guys doing tonight?

Trick question. Means you have to either have a lie up front, or fess up that you don’t have plans, and therefore you must do whatever possibly horrible thing they want you to do with them.

PAMIE
Um, we’re not sure. Why? What are you doing?

STEPH
We have tickets to Ringo Starr!

PAMIE
Oh. Aren’t you lucky?

STEPH
But so are you. We just scored two more tickets. Want to go?

PAMIE
Huh. Well, it is a Beatle.

STEPH
It is, technically. That’s what I was thinking. That’s why I’m going.

PAMIE
Yeah. But it’s Ringo. What’s he going to sing?

STEPH
It’s free.

PAMIE
Where?

STEPH
The Universal Ampitheatre. City Walk, Baybee!

PAMIE
I’ve never been there before.

STEPH
Well, you are in for a shitty treat, my friend.
[/scripty]

The Universal City Walk is like Vegas without any fun.

We arrived late, because there was no need to hurry and no opening act. As the doors opened, we were hit with the opening notes to Yellow Submarine. We took our seats, second from the back of the building, and proceeded to geek the hell out.

“Ringo! We love you!”

stee noted that 68% of the attendees were wearing fanny packs. Another 15% were furious teenagers, bored out of their minds, text-messaging into their cell phones: “PARNTZ KIDNAPD ME! SEND HLP. WATCHING OLD GUY WITH OLD BAND SING SONGS FROM THE MONKEEZ.”

Ringo is holding up quite well, I must say. Now, I was more dressed up than he was, but he seemed to be in a good mood, like when you catch the aqua show at Six Flags on the day the two leads just hooked up the night before.

Ringo then introduced his All-Starr band. And this is when the show became “an unexpected treat.”

[scripty]PAMIE
Did he just say Tom Waits?

STEE
John Waite.

PAMIE
Oh. Who’s that?

FRANK
I think he was in Crowded House.

PAMIE
He’s boring me. Boo! Bring back Ringo!

FRANK
Now, why is everyone but Ringo singing ‘Here Comes the Sun?’

STEE
So Ringo doesn’t have to pay Yoko any royalties.

PAMIE
“Don’t Pass Me By” is my favorite Ringo song! Woo!

STEE
You dropped your fanny pack.

PAMIE
Wait, oh, my God! The piano player’s from Squeeze! Woo!

STEPH
So?

PAMIE
So? He’s going to play “Tempted”!

STEPH
I don’t know that song.

PAMIE
Yes, you do. “Tempted by the fruit of another!”

STEPH
That’s the song from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

PAMIE
No, Reality Bites.

STEPH
And Four Weddings and a Funeral. I have the soundtrack. I’d never buy the soundtrack to Reality Bites. I hate that movie. Ethan Hawke sucks.

PAMIE
I know.

STEPH
Isn’t it funny how all four of us have “Ethan Hawke sucks” stories?

PAMIEB
“Tempted by the fruit of another!”

STEE
Was John Waite in Crowded House?

FRANK
I think so.

PAMIE
Wait! He sang “Missing You”!

STEE
Is that what he’s singing now?

PAMIE
No, this is his other “hit”, which goes “When I See You Smile!” But he’s not singing it at the right tempo.

STEE
I don’t remember this song.

FRANK
Is this “Missing You”? It sounds just like it.

PAMIE
I lived in Jackson when it came out and they played it all the time, for some reason. “OOOOHH-ohh!”

STEE
You know all the words.

STEE
Go, John Waits!

STEE
Waite.

PAMIE
Why? What’s wrong?

STEE
Forget it.

EVERYBODY
OH, MY GOD, THAT’S SHIELA E!
[/scripty]

We then geeked out hardcore to “Glamourous Life.” In a way that fanny packers were turning around to glare and give us a curious eyebrow. “Why do the kids like Ringo’s backup drummer?”

[scripty]PAMIE
Shiela E’s gonna do another song?

STEE
How can she?

PAMIE
She doesn’t have another song.

STEE
Maybe she’ll do the theme from the Magic Johnson Show.

PAMIE
“You! Commercials.”

STEE
She’s still got it.

STEPH
Shiela E’s got a really good figure.

PAMIE
Yay! “I Wanna Be Your Man!”

STEE
What’s this?

PAMIE
A Beatles song! Woo!

STEE
Are you wearing tie-dye?

PAMIE
I’m feeling the love and loving the freedom, baby!

FRANK
Oh, wait a minute, look at this…

PAMIE
It’s “Missing You!” Woo!

EVERYBODY
Woo! Woooooooo!

STEE
And suddenly it’s 1986.

PAMIE
I know. And nobody’s dancing with me in the gym.

FRANK
Was the piano player from Squeeze, are you sure? Was the guitarist the one talking? The one in the middle?

PAMIE
No, I think it was the piano player.

FRANK
But what’s he singing now?

PAMIE
Oh, my God! He’s also from Mike + the Mechanics!

STEE
You don’t have to say the plus sign.

PAMIE
Yes, I do! Woo! Woo! WOOOOO!

FRANK
I do not know this song.

PAMIE
“The Living Years.”

STEE
This is a terrible song.

PAMIE
Yes. It’s one of my least favorite songs ever.

STEE
It has children singing. I hate the sound of children singing.

STEPH
Who doesn’t?

PAMIE
So, he’s from both Squeeze and Mike + the Mechanics, but he is neither the main people of Squeeze, nor is he Mike. In fact, he didn’t write either song, but was in the room when they were written. Much like Ringo, who was genius adjacent.

STEE
I kind of feel bad for Ringo. He doesn’t have enough songs to play a concert, so he has to have a band of one-hit wonders backing him up singing their one song.

PAMIE
Ringo’s gotta make a living, and the only thing he’s ever done in his life is be Ringo. I don’t feel bad for him.

STEE
But is he a musician?

PAMIE
If he was a bigger dick, he might have kept John and Paul from writing such wonderful music. I think that takes talent, being able to keep your mouth shut and doing what you’re told. And maybe he did add a few notes that we love to songs.

STEE
I guess.

FRANK
So if the drummer’s Shiela E, the guitarist is John Waite, the piano guy is from Squeeze, then who’s the guy playing guitar in the middle?

STEPH
And why are there two drummers, two pianists, and three guitarists?

RINGO
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Colin Hay!

PAMIE
Holy Shit! MEN AT WORK! IT’S MEN AT WORK! OH, MY GOD! WOOOOOOO! WOOOOOO! MEN AT WORK! WOOOOOO!

And then he played “Who Can It Be Now” and we danced our asses off. The women behind us gave each other a “If you can’t beat ’em, join em” head nod to each other, and began dancing, too.

Colin Hay sounds exactly the same! And his eyes are still very scary.

FRANK
So is he going to play “Down Under”? Is it time for “Down Under?”PAMIE
I like “Who Can It Be Now” more.

FRANK
No, you’re wrong.

PAMIE
“Down Under” is a very silly song.

STEE
Don’t compare the videos, compare the songs.

PAMIE
I am. I like paranoia songs, like Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

STEPH
I hope Rockwell’s another guitarist.

PAMIE
Wait! It’s over! No! It’s over!

FRANK
No “Down Under!”

GUY IN FRONT OF US
You missed “Down Under.” He played it earlier.
[/scripty]

He then proceeded to turn around and hand us the set list, which he had downloaded. And yes, he pulled it out of his fanny pack.

Later on that night:

[scripty]FRANK
What is this you two are dancing to right now?

PAMIE
This is Nelly.

STEE
“Hot in Herre.”

FRANK
See, I start to recognize it around the chorus, but you guys seem to know every word.

PAMIE
Because it’s on all the time.

FRANK
I’ve never heard it.

PAMIE
You must walk around like this:

[puts hands over eyes, sticking fingertips into her ears.]

FRANK
I don’t have cable and I don’t listen to the radio.

STEE
Nelly.

FRANK
I need you guys to burn me a CD of all the rap I should know. Not even stuff like this, like contemporary, but the old stuff that I thought I didn’t like, but now I’m starting to like.

STEE
Like Mystikal?

FRANK
If they’re good.

PAMIE
You actually know that song because it’s in About a Boy. “Shake Ya Ass! Watch Yaself! Shake That Ass! Show me what you’re workin’ with!”

FRANK
I only know it from the little boy singing it, though.

STEE
That’s Mystikal.

FRANK
What else do they do? Do they do the song about Atlanta?

STEE
It’s a he, and no.

PAMIE
You want shit like Ludacris and Mystikal?

FRANK
You know, like “Baby Got Back.” Or “Bust A Move.”

PAMIE
Oh.

FRANK
“Walk This Way.” Uh, uh, the Irish song.

STEE
“Jump Around.”

PAMIE
I’ll burn my Millennium Hip-Hop CD for you. You’ll love it.

FRANK
Thanks. As long as you guys don’t burn that “Puppet Head” song for me. I hate that song and it’s on every time I go to your guys’ place.

STEE
“Puppet Head?”

PAMIE
A rap song about a “Puppet Head?”

FRANK
Yeah, it’s like, “I’m gonna duh-nuh-na-na-nah. Pup-pet HEAD! Pup-pet head.”

[pamie and stee are open-mouthed and silent from laughter, frozen and unable to breathe.]

FRANK
What’s wrong? Pup-pet HEAD! Pup-pet head.

STEE
Hee! Stop… doing… that! Hee!

PAMIE
It’s “Up in Here.”

STEE
“Puppet Head!”

PAMIE
Oh, my god. I can’t breathe!

FRANK
I hate it so much! “Pup-pet Head! Pup-pet head.”

PAMIE
Oh, man.

STEE
That’s the best.

FRANK
Who is that guy? Because I hate him.

PAMIE
DMX.

FRANK
Well, he sucks.

STEE
That song doesn’t suck.

FRANK
It does. Whatever it’s called.

PAMIE
Well, from now on it’s called the Puppet Head Song.
[/scripty]

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