WINGS AND PARTS PT1

(Rat's nemesis, Bernando, disgusted by all the attention Rat’s band Scraping Teeth is getting for being voted Worst Band In America, mocks Rats day job as a ramp rat at the airport.) 

Your bags are packed
But you don’t even know if you’re coming back
‘Cause Rat is on the ground
You can fly
But you might start to wonder why
’Cause Rat is on the ground

He’s been up for forty hours
Don’t need plugs
Ignore the tower

Live and shave
Assuming you make it the entire way
’Cause Rat is on the ground
No delays
The skies are clear, not a thing to fear
’cause Rat is on the ground

Boston on the radio
So long hippies
I’ve got a show

Your bags are packed
But you don’t even know if you’re coming back
‘Cause Rat is on the ground

A BOY CALLED RAT

(Rat’s mom worries what will become of her little boy – and wonders what those strange noises are coming from his room.)

Mrs. Falestra: Oh, what future will this poor boy have?
He’s asleep with those headphones on, again

What kind of noises does he seek?
What if the voices start to speak?
What will we call him if he blows?
No one knows

It’s the sound of a thing in pain
It’s the sound of an aero plane
It’s the sound of a…

Rat: I’m just a simple son
I learned my chords, I had my fun
This music’s dead, I’m through with that
Now you can call me Rat

Mrs. Falestra: What kind of songs play in his head?
What are those tapes under his bed?
Is he a Mozart for today?
Who can say?

It’s the sound of a Marshall stack
It’s the sound of a heart attack
It’s the sound of no turning back

Rat: I’m just a simple son
I learned my chords, I had my fun
This hippie shit is dead and gone

I’m just a simple son, I’m just a simple son
I’m just a simple son

I learned my chords, I had my fun
This music’s dead, I’m through with that
I’ll clear the room and won’t look back
Now, you can call me Rat!

 

FRANCIS IS SPECIAL

(Mrs Falestra (Rat’s mom) and Rat’s guardian angel Robert Pollard (of the band Guided By Voices) try to understand what exactly IS going on under that beanie.)

Pollard:  Francis is sleeping
Lives in a dream
Likes to count horses
Mrs. Fallestra and Pollard: Francis was not a mistake

Pollard: He’s got a purpose, a reason for being

Mrs. Fallestra and Pollard:
Since he was small, there was a tiny light
Francis was not afraid
He kept his mouth shut tight
His eyes were alive…

Pollard: Francis is dreaming
Lives on a cloud
Vessels like castles
Head like a velvet sponge

He’s got a purpose, a reason for being

Mrs. Fallestra and Pollard:
Since he was small, there was a tiny light
Francis was not afraid
He kept his mouth shut tight
His eyes were alive…

Now he’s awake -there is a tiny light
Francis is not afraid, no
He keeps his mouth shut tight
His eyes are alive

He is unknown...

TAKE OUT THE KEYS

(Rat has taken all the black keys out of the studio’s Wurlitzer Organ – because “it sounds better that way.")

I’ve broken my piano
I’ve snapped some keys in half
To tune it like Sinatra
I’d take out all the black
There’s a distinct sound you get
When you stick it in a box
And fill it up with paper
Torn from the letters that I got

You can carry your tune over your shoulder
But it’ll never be a cross
You’ve got to drive the good ones crazy
Till the bad ones hit the spot
And all your polish will not save you from the hot, hard rain
Let’s see how you sound when the rust gets to your brain

I’ve broken my piano
But I’d shatter my guitar
To tune it like Sinatra
I’d play half the fucking strings
Yeah, I’ve got intuition
But that’s just asking for a cliff
You’ve got to jump off of curbs in South Beach
Before you’ll ever write a hit

THE WORST BAND IN AMERICA

(Bernando and Miami Herald reporter Rian argue over the merits of being crowned “the worst band in America.")

Bernando: If there was a sound
Made by people you hate
That set your teeth on edge
Could you flip it around?
What if music was war?
Rian: What if they were your friends?

Bernando: Shining, uncontested stands the awful truth
Elected and infected wears the crown
Three horsemen bring apocalypse
Three horsemen ride into your town

Rian: It was decided back in ninety three
A porn lit heir put forth the call
For all the worst, there has to be a first
Someone to bravely take the fall

Rian: If there was a band
Made of people you loved

Bernando: But their music was shit
Would you still remain true?
Would you still come around,
If the joke was on you?

ASLEEP AT THE BOARD

(Aspiring singer/songwriter Rian is trying to lay a song down at Rat’s studio, but the track is very long and Rat is very sleepy…)

Rat takes a nap
And the tape goes on and on
Rat takes a nap
And the take is over
Rat takes a nap
And all I’ve got here is a 12 minute song
And a maniac

Who will stop the tape?
Who will end this take?
Who will stop the tape?

Rat takes a nap
And the bartender stole my guitar
Rat takes a nap
Go visit Antonia
Rat takes a nap
And the chorus just goes on for miles

Who’s going to rewind the tape?
Who will stop the take?
Who will end this take?

Hey Rat!
Hey Rat!!!
Wake the fuck up!


YOU’LL WRITE GOOD COMMERCIALS

(Upon hearing Rian’s attempt at writing a hit, Rat mockingly exclaims: “you’ll sell a lot of cars with that song!”)

You’ll sell a lot of cars
You’ll sell a lot of beer
You’ll captivate the country
With your beat and your veneer
The heart of the heartland
The best of the Midwest
You’ll pull it all in

You’ve got it right kid, You’re gonna be a star
You’ve got it right kid, You’re gonna be a star

You’ll sell a lot of soda
You’ll find fortune and fame
Yeah, you’ll be a darling
You’ll be know by your first name
And at the festival you will upstage
The clown with the balloons
And the baboon

You’ve got it right kid, You’re gonna be a star
You’ve got it right kid, You’re gonna be a star
You’re a winner, you know who you are
You’re gonna be a star
You’ll sell lots of cars

 

OUTSIDE THIS BAR

(Rat has been thrown out of the club during the city’s music festival, but that doesn’t stop him from performing his favorite Mark Eitzel song a cappella and at the top of his lungs.)

Pollard: Outside this bar, there’s a man screaming at the top of his lungs
There’s a man, screaming not to go down this road
Not to do what you’re told

In the bedroom, on the microphone
He’s holding to the lamp post
He’s grabbing on to major chords
And popping all the strings
And you can hear him sing
If you’re outside this bar, on a Friday,
At a festival, he goes…

In a town which all the partiers were thrown off of balconies
Into mediocrity
And pop tunes that kill brain cells
But sell lots of Chevys

Rat: "Outside this bar, there’s no one alive
Outside this bar, how does anyone survive?
Together you and me turn this quiet night into silence
Together we'll turn this love into violence
Outside this bar, outside this bar…”

SQUELCHER

(Rat’s newest creation, the Laundryroom Squelchers, hits the stage for the first time.)

Harmony is drinking with the band
As the noise pours on and on
Wash out your ears, stand on your hands
While the noise goes on and on

Mindy rocks it on stage right
Little Julie fakes a scream
Lucrecia cranking to be heard
Ivy, tuneless and serene

Why did you come here?
Where did you go wrong?
You heard the siren's call
Then you heard the siren's song

Get some girls
Give them guitars
Plug them in
Now, they're fucking stars
Plug them in! Plug them in!

Melody died on stage last night
On a Thursday of an overdose
You're just to blame as anyone else
You just sat there, comatose

Mindy! Julie! Lucrecia! Ivy!

Get some girls
Give them guitars
Plug them in, Now, they're fucking stars
Plug them in! Plug them in!
Plug them in! Plug them in!

Why did you come here?
Where did you go wrong?
You heard the siren's call
And then, you heard the siren's song

ALL YOUR TONE IS WRONG

(Rat schools Rian on his strict rules for being a consummate performer - and not sucking.) 

Face it forward
You won’t ever see them cringe
On your worst day
You just never felt the pinch

Of a pending collision
A Cliff to the tire
You always see net when you’re on the high wire

Every weekday
You just coast down the road
And on your worst day
You don’t feel any notes

Just a sleepwalking song
Without any feel
With a nod towards the end
And the soul that it steals

All your tone is wrong – you’ve got to sing a better song
If you’re to leave this town – you’ve got to move around
Don’t you eat the mic – you must look for fights
Aint no use for rock-n-roll if it don’t last all night

In a speaker, All the truth comes out
You can’t hide it – you can only drown it out

With reverb and feedback and chorus and twine
And claim that the lie was all meant by design

All your tone is wrong – you’ve got to sing a better song
If you’re to leave this town – you’ve got to move around
Don’t you eat the mic – you must look for fights
Aint no use for rock-n-roll if it don’t last all night

All you rejects – all you told to stop
Come out Thursday…let’s just hear what you’ve got

HE'S MY NOTHING

(Rat’s old flame sings about a man who’s hard to love, and even harder to forget.)

He’s on that thing again
He says it sounds like Hendrix
I can’t hear a goddamn thing
He’s not in bed again
I’ll fall asleep alone
But I can dream about a different sound

He tells me that I’m crazy
He can’t hear me when I sing
I’ve got scars that bleed affection
He swears that’s not his thing
Everything I’ve ever had, I’ve gotten for myself
He’s the king of noise, I know
I’m the queen of something else

He’s my nothing, he’s my nothing
He’s my nothing, and that’s everything

We’re flying out again
To see some band from Dayton, O
Then back around again
I’m on my feet again
I’m waiting for my man to come
He’s passed out on the bathroom floor

I think he thinks I’m lazy
I can’t stay awake that long
When his eyes are rolling backwards
His brain still buzzes strong
Everything I could become, I’ve tossed off in the dirt
Just to mend his favorite beanie
And wash his stupid shirts

He’s my nothing…

He tells me that I’m crazy
He can’t hear me when I sing
I’ve got scars that bleed affection
He swears that’s not his thing
Everything I’ve ever had, I’ve gotten for myself
He’s the king, he’s the king, he’s the king!

He’s my nothing, he’s my nothing…
And that’s everything

GLORY HOLE BASTARD GHOST

(Rat’s current girlfriend Charli is sick of hearing about all his old flames – and wants to set the record straight as to who the bastard’s heart belongs to.)

I'm the one who's been here all this time
They've got the glory but some glory should be mine
They've got ringing they should hear the shit that's in my head
All these ghosts just won't stay dead

When the history of this is read
I'm the one who understood him best
Could have plenty but he's mine instead
They're far away but always here
Dead monuments that he holds dear

The ghosts
The ghosts
They follow us
Throughout the scene
And you don't understand
He's nobody's nothing

When the hat comes off and glasses too
I see the things that no one knows I do
All the kindness and the coldness too
And all the ghosts who couldn't cope
You haunt our walls, but I have spoken

When the hat comes off and glasses too
I see the things that no one knows I do
Girls who paint and girls with frozen hearts
Kick them to the curb but it is just a start
Cause I'm the one who's picking up the line
I'm the one who's been here all this time
They got the glory but the glory should be mine
They got the glory, but the bastard he is mine!!
They got the glory but the bastard he is mine!!
He is Mine!!
He is Mine!!!
He is Mine!!!

THAT’S NOT MUSIC

(Bernando proclaims that whatever it is Rat’s doing, it’s not music, and swears that he could “give it soul.")

My mother said
Music comes from your heart
It's in your soul
For some, it's all they know
But mom was wrong
Bless her heart
She couldn't know
And thankfully never had to hear
This noise that’s coming to my ears
There is no kindness in the words
There is no softness to be heard
It's from a place she's never been
 
There is no soul
There is no soul
She didn't know
She didn't know
She didn't know of this
It has no soul
 
And all the cool kids
With their clever, hipster tees
They just follow him Like lemmings, until their ears ring and bleed But for me
It has no soul
It has no soul…
There will be kindness in the words
There will be softness to be heard
There is a sound straight from my dreams
I’ll give it soul
I’ll give it soul
Then they will know
Then they will know
They will hear all of me
I’ll give it soul


BALLAD OF THE RAT

(Rat explains to everyone why he’s the king of the freaks and they all suck.)

Every single one of you is crazy
You’re all just missing it, man
Yeah, you’ve got a guitar but you’re lazy
You know damn well you’re in the wrong band
You know damn well you’re in the wrong band

You’re all just buying the story
Just one hype away from your dreams
But your Gods don’t have any glory
And they stole all their riffs from me
Yeah they stole all their riffs from me

I’ve seen the birthplace of Manson
In a strip mall bar wrist cut scene
And the shock on their faces was classic
But now it’s boring and passé and clean, clean, clean

You commute to a soundtrack of liars
Songs written by robots and thieves
In a world where the oils make ricin
You at least need a chorus that’s mean
You at least need a chorus that’s mean…

You’re a freak, you’re a freak, and you know it
Deep in your brain it is there
And like a seed, if you bury, you’ll grow it
Yeah
You’re a freak, you’re a freak, and you know it
Deep in your brain it is there
And like a seed, if you bury, you’ll grow it
And when it shows,
We’ll record it and stare

WHAT'S OUR GODDAMN PLAN, NOW?

(Rat finally realizes that he cares for Charli and may have taken her for granted, and they both vow to sort it all out at Churchills.)

Rat: All this torturous back and forth
Has brought us here, just like before
To begin again, another round
Your blurry eyes, my wall of sound
So what's our goddamn plan, now?

You're not quite gone, so I try to save you
Another kiss to resuscitate you
You slip away to the other side
This town has so many places to hide
And what's our goddamn plan, now?
What's our goddamn plan now?

Charli: I'll meet you at Churchill's
We'll sort it out at Churchill's
We'll hideaway at Churchill's
I’ll meet you at Churchill’s

Rat: We can get some food beforehand
We can leave the world behind
Charli: We'll sort it out at Churchill's
Rat: We can write a song on the stage
A single note, with words unspoken
Charli: We’ll hideaway at Churchill’s
Rat: You can take a cab home, cause I’m staying if the club is open

 

WINGS AND PARTS II

(The duality of Rat’s life - ramp rat by day, noise star by night - is celebrated, with a little help from Mr Robert Pollard himself.)

Pollard: All that stress from flying
Takes its toll on the design, you know
You've got to take a close look at the wing
Rat: And falling off the cargo hold
My head facing the sky, you know
The tarmac hit my head and made it sing

Pollard: On the ramp it's just a long parade
The planes just come and go
Once you get behind the counter
You can see through people's soul...

Rat: While you take your kids to soccer
And the bills begin to pile
I'll be halfway to Japan
To hear the Voices live
Pollard: While you are watching Idol
And eating corporate tripe
Rat: I'll be dancing in Japan
With Robert Pollards wife

Pollard: All those iffy landings
Take their toll on those big tires, you know
You've got to keep inspecting for a flaw
Rat: And every day, security
Pretends that they don't know me
They shrug and tell me, "Frank, it's just the law."

Pollard: On the ramp it's just a long parade
The planes just come and go
Once you get inside the baggage
You can see through people's soul...

Rat: While you take your kids to soccer
And the bills begin to pile
I'll be halfway to Japan
To hear the Voices live
Pollard: While you are watching Idol
And eating corporate tripe
Rat: I'll be dancing in Japan
Pollard: He’ll be dancing in Japan
Rat: I'll be dancing in Japan
With Robert Pollards wife!

WINGS AND PARTS (REPRISE)

(He’s been up for forty hours, but he’ll STILL service your plane and make your ears bleed, and you can call him RAT!)

Cast: Your bags are packed
But you don’t even know if you’re coming back
‘Cause Rat is on the ground

You can fly
But you might start to wonder why
’Cause Rat is on the ground
We’ve been up for forty hours
Don’t need plugs
Ignore the tower

Your bags are packed
But you don’t even know if you’re coming back
‘Cause Rat is on the ground

Rat: I’m just a simple son
I learned my chords, I had my fun
This hippie shit is dead and gone

I’m just a simple son, I’m just a simple son
I’m just a simple son
I learned my chords, I had my fun
This music’s dead, I’m through with that
I’ll clear the room and won’t look back
Now you can call me Rat

Cast: RAT, RAT!!

 

All songs written by Rob Elba and Brian Franklin except the last 90 seconds of Outside this Bar, which covers a portion of (the amazing) Outside this Bar written by Mark Eitzel.

(c) 2015 Noeta Music BMI