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Re: (TV) Partial transcript of Verlaine's & Hell 's interviews in Robert P almer's PBS Rock 'n Roll PBS Documentary/"So thirsty they were for reali ty"
Thanks a million for doing this.
> From: "Casey, Leo J" <CaseyL@volpe.dot.gov>
> Reply-To: email@example.com
> Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 20:37:42 -0500
> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
> Subject: (TV) Partial transcript of Verlaine's & Hell 's interviews in Robert
> P almer's PBS Rock 'n Roll PBS Documentary/"So thirsty they were for reali
> Marque Mooners,
> Back in late October, I promised to type up the transcript of Verlaine's and
> Hell's short interviews given during Part 9 of the 12-hour documentary "Rock
> 'n Roll" (in 1997?) by Robert Palmer and shown on the Public Broadcasting
> System in the U.S. Here it is ---better late than never, I guess.
> What follows is a partial transcript but it has the complete separate
> interviews (albeit very brief)with Hell and Verlaine. For those of you who
> don't want to slog through the whole thing I have marked the places where Hell
> and Verlaine speak in bold.
> Narrator voice over: By the mid 70's, 20 years after its birth, rock music
> had begun to take itself very seriously. [ Shots of Emerson Lake and Palmer
> doing sound check at large football stadium in U.S.] In Britain the
> predominant trend was 'Progressive Rock' performed in vast stadiums and
> released as concept albums. If it wasn't at least 20 minutes long, it wasn't
> worth listening to.
> In America many of the successful musicians of the 60s had by now settled into
> comfortable Beverly Hills lifestyles playing for the all powerful FM radio. [
> On Television screen are shots of LA and on soundtrack the beginning strains
> of The Eagles' "Hotel California"] Typical of such groups were The Eagles, who
> came to epitomize the radio-friendly California rock sound.
> At it's most powerful rock and roll appeared to offer a way of life; yet, the
> lavish trappings of mid-70s rock culture suggested it was in danger of
> becoming just another leisure industry. It needed an injection of energy. [Sex
> Pistols guitar begins on soundtrack] ----and it got it.
> Part 9: Punk -- Rock reinvents itself by returning to its roots. An
> alienated generation finds it's voice.
> [Shots of Jonathan Richman walking through a city park]
> Narrator voice over: The first stirrings of a new direction came from a young
> Boston guitar player, who wrote short direct songs about love and suburbia.
> (an interview/music segment of 5-7 minutes follows with Jonathan about The
> Modern Lovers, and songs on appear on the documentary soundtrack,
> "Roadrunner" I'm Straight", and Girlfriend")
> Narrator voice over: Too eccentric ever to achieve commercial success, The
> Modern Lovers first album ---recorded in 1973---was enormously influential
> when it reached New York. Songs like "Roadrunner" reminded people of the
> Garage bands of 1960s.
> (A very short segment on 60's Garage bands like The Kingmen) and [concert
> footage of them playing their hit "Louie Louie" segues right into a shot of
> Lenny Kaye sitting on a stool lightly strumming his guitar]
> Narrator voice: A New York rock musician and critic decided to not only
> reissue some of the 60's Garage bands' songs, but also to start playing some
> of them himself. [The opening bars of Question Mark and The Mysterians begins
> on soundtrack]
> Joining Lenny Kaye to play these songs was poet, Patti Smith. (then follows a
> 8-10 minute segment/interview music club footage on The Patti Smith Group and
> songs "Jesus Died"(?), "Gloria", and "Horses".)
> (After 8 minutes on Smith) Narrator voice over: Smith's lyrics--often
> improvised--drew on the increasing toughness of New York City life. Other
> groups would soon do the same.
> [A long shot of Richard Hell, walking from a dilapidated pier on the East
> River, towards the camera where used tires are stacked up near a crumbling
> building, the opening chords of "Blank Generation" begin] The live Hell on
> screen 'talks' not sings the lyrics:
> "I was saying let me out of here before I was even born.
> It's such a gamble when you get a face.
> I belong to the ....blank.. generation.
> And I can take it or leave it each time."
> [ Close-up of Hell standing, television screen has the words Richard Hell --
> Television ; The Voidoids under his image]
> Hell: The Hippie culture was what we wanted to replace. It had failed; it
> was pathetic. All these left-over people, who were trying to pretend that
> handing out flowers was going to defeat Nixon. chuckle, chuckle, ha, ha,
> [Cut to interior close-up shot of Tom Verlaine sitting and smoking in a
> recording studio, television screen has the words Tom Verlaine -- Television ]
> Verlaine: The New York Dolls and those sorts of glamour groups had long hair.
> We decided to forget all that----and the costumes and all that, we hated all
> that stuff. It seemed like not even pretense to us. So, we just wore street
> clothes ---which also just happened to have in some cases - safety pins.
> [Cut to Hell again, still standing near pier ]
> Hell: We sure didn't look like any other band in the world, and we were the
> only band who had short hair - probably in the world. Ha , chuckle, chuckle.
> (Now serious and intense, speaking slowly and deliberately) And everybody
> worshipped us for it. They'd crawl into CBGBs; they were stacked up like....
> like these tires. So thirsty were they for reality. [end of song "Blank
> Generation " on soundtrack" "weeeeee oohhh"]
> Narrator voice over: At first the only clubs that would let Television and
> the Patti Smith Group play was at the sleazy end of the Bowery. Another band
> joined them there... [ Ramones count off "1, 2, 3, 4" next follows a 10 minute
> or so segment/interview with members of The Ramones and CBGB footage/music of
> The Ramones --several of their songs, e.g., "I Don't Want To Get Involved With
> You", in interview Joey Ramone describes their music "...as sick Bubble Gum
> music." Then, interview and CBGB footage of Blondie's members, about 5
> minutes; then 12-15 minutes of interviews with and CBGB footage of The Talking
> Verlaine: (again sitting in same recording studio and still smoking!) Voiced
> with a thinly veiled mixture of contempt and virulence: [Punk music] to most
> people in radio it didn't sound as good as The Eagles or Linda Ronstadt so it
> didn't get played.
> Narrator voice over: It seemed that the punk scene was destined to
> obscurity---to remain in the privileged possession of musicians in New York
> and of the odd journalist---an almost private pleasure. Middle America was
> too affluent too comfortable for punk's aggressive sound. [ The beginning
> strains of The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" starts up at a low volume,
> but then grows louder and louder] But in recession plagued Britain it found a
> very receptive audience. (Next folows a 15 minute segment of interviews and
> old club/concert footage of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McClaren, a shirtles
> Steve Jones standing in front of a large swimming pool and house in the hills
> of LA; and interviews with John Lydon. Then a short segment and concert
> footage of Souxie and the Banshees; a Reggae/Ska (The Wailers influence on
> English/American punk, e.g., The Police, and The Pretenders), a
> musical/interview segment on The Clash. Finally, back to The Sex Pistols.
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