(The WAITRESS snorts and Phil leaves)
(Lorraine sits at a table covered with a red tablecloth with her attractive, late-30s MOM and DAD. A waiter in a white shirt, black pants a bowtie fills their water glasses. Lorraine looks around the room and rolls her eyes)
LORRAINE: (sighs) Ah, the club. Unmitigated decadence, and the food’s not very
MOM: What have you got on your hands?
(Lorraine looks at her hands and sees purple stains)
MOM: (smiles) It’s just your shade.
LORRAINE: Yes, it is nice, isn’t it?
DAD: So, did you get an early start on solving the world’s problems today?
LORRAINE: As a matter of fact, I did. I think I’ll be having a very big meeting
DAD: I hope you do. But honestly, Lorraine, do you really think a bunch of
LORRAINE: I certainly hope so. If nothing else it will raise people’s awareness
(Mom turns to Dad)
MOM: How did she turn out this way?
DAD: It’s got to be your fault, I’m never home.
MOM: You can say that again.
(Lorraine points at herself)
LORRAINE: I’m my own fault.
MOM: You were such a happy little girl, Lorraine. What happened?
LORRAINE: I developed a social conscience.
MOM: Well it certainly hasn’t made you any happier, I can tell you that. Why don’t
LORRAINE: I live here in America, mom. The problems of America are my problems.
DAD: Your mom’s not kidding, Lorraine. You want to go to Europe for a year, see the
LORRAINE: Oh, Dad, please.
DAD: You were accepted to the University of Florence, weren’t you? You loved Italy
LORRAINE: (sighs wearily) This is such a bore.
(Lorraine’s Mom and Dad look at each other
DAD: So, Lorraine, how many people are you expecting at this rally of yours?
LORRAINE: I don’t know. About a hundred, I’d say.
DAD: Well, how many chairs did you rent?
LORRAINE: Fifty, but there’s twenty or thirty chairs there and I figure some people
DAD: How’re you getting the rented chairs there?
LORRAINE: (exasperated) Dad, please, I’ll work it out.
DAD: Look, you want to be an organizer and organizers bring in the people. If they
LORRAINE: (begrudgingly) Yeah, I suppose.
DAD: OK, how about this? If less than fifty people show up to your meeting, you
LORRAINE: All I did was agree to go to lunch, I’m not here to negotiate any deals.
DAD: Just think about it, OK? That’s all I ask.
LORRAINE: Whatever you say.
(Lorraine sighs deeply. Her hand goes into
(Phil sits on his bed noodling with his guitar. He has the newspaper on the floor and glances at it over the top of the guitar)
PHIL: Folk songs, folk songs . . . Crap! I don’t know any folk songs.
(Phil’s Dad walks past the bedroom door, sees
MR. BUCKLEY: There’s the newspaper. What’s it doing in here?
PHIL: I’m reading it.
MR. BUCKLEY: Great day in the morning, what next? So, what’s up?
MR. BUCKLEY: Y’know, I’ve been meaning to speak to you.
PHIL: (sighs) I’m working at the shoe store. Knockin’ ‘em dead, too.
MR. BUCKLEY: What does that mean?
PHIL: It means, Dad, that working at the shoe store is a bore.
MR. BUCKLEY: You don’t like it? Find another job.
PHIL: (guffaws) Yeah, I wanna be president and get my brains blown out.
MR. BUCKLEY: What’s with you?
MR. BUCKLEY: Now come on, you must care about something?
MR. BUCKLEY: Yeah? Go on.
PHIL: Well, I like playing the guitar.
MR. BUCKLEY: (confused) You took lessons for about three weeks, then dropped
PHIL: (serious) Hey! People can be serious about things in their own ways, can’t
MR. BUCKLEY: (unconvinced) I suppose. Look, Phil, what about college?
PHIL: Yeah, well . . . I’ll probably go to community college in the fall.
MR. BUCKLEY: I meant, a university. What about State? I went to State.
PHIL: Could I have cigarette?
(His Dad shakes a cigarette out of the pack
MR. BUCKLEY: You smoke too much.
PHIL: So do you. I didn’t get into State.
(His Dad lights Phil’s cigarette with a match,
MR. BUCKLEY: If your grades are good at the community college you could get in.
PHIL: Yeah? Well . . .
MR. BUCKLEY: You just don’t care, do you?
PHIL: Not about that.
MR. BUCKLEY: So what do you care about?
PHIL: Hey! Come on, Dad, lay off, will ya?
MR. BUCKLEY: Fine. So what are you doing tonight?
PHIL: I have a date.
(His Dad grabs the wastebasket and uses it
MR. BUCKLEY: Really? Have I met her?
PHIL: Uh-uh. I just met her today at the music store. She’s a cute folkie girl that’s
MR. BUCKLEY: (interested) Really? Like what?
PHIL: (waves his hand) Oh, you know, Negroes and equality and things like that.
MR. BUCKLEY: (impressed) Yeah, things like that. Well, she sounds interesting.
PHIL: Yeah, she is. And cute, too.
MR. BUCKLEY: Maybe you should become a folkie, then you’d be committed to all
PHIL: I’ve been thinking about it.
(The conversation grinds to an uncomfortable
MR. BUCKLEY: Go on, Elvis, play something.
(Phil quickly considers for a moment, then hits
PHIL: Wait a minute.
MR. BUCKLEY: What?
PHIL: I think I’ve got it!
MR. BUCKLEY: What?
PHIL: What song to play.
(Phil opens his beginning guitar book, finds
PHIL: (singing) If I had a hammer
(Phil’s Dad looks at his watch and jumps to
MR. BUCKLEY: —Holy Christ! Look at the time, Jackie Gleason’s on.
(His Dad abruptly exits)
PHIL: —Sisters . . .
(Phil sighs, picks up his cigarette, which has
PHIL: The one, the only, Phil Buckley!
(Phil strums the guitar, adds in the sound of
(The lights come up. Phil steps into the living room all dressed up and ready to go out, his guitar case in hand. His mother, father and brother all sit watching the black and white TV, while eating TV dinners at folding TV tables [Ronald Reagan is pitching “20 Mule Team Borax,” saying, “I’m standing here in a borax mine . . .”]. None of the three can look away from the TV for more than a brief second)
DAN: Where ya goin’
PHIL: None o’ your beeswax, ratfink.
MR. BUCKLEY: Phil’s got a date with a folkie girl.
(This catches his Mother and brother’s
MRS. BUCKLEY: What’s a folkie girl?
DAN: You know, mom, like Mary from Peter, Paul & Mary. She’s hot stuff, too.
MRS. BUCKLEY: Oh, well, she is a lovely girl.
PHIL: Yeah, but I’m not going out with her.
DAN: So, where ya goin’?
PHIL: (hesitantly) To the Purple Onion.
DAN: That’s a folk club, right?
PHIL: (nods) Yeah, what of it?
DAN: So, what’s up? Are you suddenly becoming a folkie like Bob Dylan?
PHIL: (embarrassed) Maybe I am and maybe I’m not!
MRS. BUCKLEY: And you’re performing?
PHIL: (coughs) Yeah.
(All three look at him in astonishment)
DAN: But Phil, you don’t know how to play the guitar.
PHIL: Yeah. What’s that?
DAN: The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
(This gets a laugh from his family as they all
(The lights come up on Phil as he’s steps up to the front of the Purple Onion Club. He finds a whole, big-deal, folk scene going on. There are folkies all over the place. All the men are wearing sport coats and thin ties and the women are wearing skirts and dresses. There are a lot of crew-cuts on the boys, girls with their hair up or wearing babushkas, and many cool hats on both the men and the women. Almost everybody smokes cigarettes. People are playing guitars, someone has bongos, someone else plays a harmonica.
LORRAINE: Please come to this meeting tomorrow, it’s really important. See what
LORRAINE: You made it.
PHIL: I said I would, didn’t I.
(Lorraine gives him a hug and a kiss, which
LORRAINE: Yes, you did. Will you be here tomorrow for the meeting?
PHIL: (nods) Yeah, I think I will.
LORRAINE: You gonna sing a song tonight?
LORRAINE: What song?
PHIL: I’m not telling. What song are you singing?
LORRAINE: “If I Had a Hammer.”
PHIL: (grins painfully) No, no, it’s a great Peter, Paul & Mary song.
LORRAINE: It’s a Weavers song. Peter, Paul & Mary re-did it.
PHIL: (not listening) Yeah, right, the Wheelers. They’re great, too.
TERRY: Hey, Lorraine.
LORRAINE: Hey, Terry. You made it.
TERRY: Said I would.
LORRAINE: This is Phil.
TERRY: Nice to meet you, Phil.
PHIL: Yeah. You, too.
LORRAINE: (to Terry) Are you singing a song?
LORRAINE: (frowning) Really? How come?
TERRY: ‘Cause I don’t want to.
(Phil looks at Terry with sudden respect,
LORRAINE: Make way for the pregnant lady!
(A good-looking couple in their mid-twenties
LORRAINE: Phil, Terry; Debbie and Alvin.
(Everybody shakes hands and says hello. Phil
PHIL: Uh, Lorraine –
(Lorraine is paying attention to Alvin &
LORRAINE: So, are you guys going to sing?
DEBBIE: Yeah, we’re all signed up and everything. All I need is a few drinks first.
LORRAINE: Me, too.
(Lorraine and Debbie both laugh. Phil looks
PHIL: Um . . .
(Lorraine points at Phil)
LORRAINE: Phil’s singing a song, too.
(Alvin slaps Phil on the back)
ALVIN: Good, I thought maybe we were the only ones. Man oh man, we’ve been
DEBBIE: I’ll bet we’ve rehearsed this song a thousand times.
(Phil looks like he’s about to say something
LORRAINE: Let’s get you signed up so you don’t miss your big chance to sing. Phil’s
TERRY: Boy oh boy are you in the wrong place.
PHIL: She means, Dean Martin.
TERRY: I got news for you, Dino wouldn’t be caught dead in this joint.
(Lorraine, Phil and the others enter the Purple Onion, a small dark club with fifteen round tables that are all full. All the tables face a small stage. Lorraine points toward the stage)
LORRAINE: I’ve got the front table staked out with my guitar. We’ll be right there.
(Terry, Alvin and Debbie head to the table)
(Lorraine takes Phil over to the M.C., a 40-year
M.C.: Who’s he?
LORRAINE: A friend.
M.C.: You sure have a lot of friends.
LORRAINE: As a matter of fact I do, what’s it to you?
M.C.: Nothing. Not a thing.
LORRAINE: (nods at Phil) He wants to sing.
M.C.: Then sing out, my friend, sing out. What’s your name?
PHIL: Phil Buckley.
M.C.: OK, Phil there you go.
(The M.C. writes “Phil” at the bottom of the
PHIL: (mumbles to himself) God willing.
LORRAINE: (encouraging) Oh, now. You said you want to be a musician, right?
LORRAINE: Here you go.
(The M.C. steps up to Lorraine and whispers
M.C.: Sure. Uh, Lorraine . . . ?
M.C.: (looks at Phil and shakes his head) Later.
(Lorraine and Phil walk across the club)
LORRAINE: (excited) I’m so glad Terry made it, I really think you two will hit it off.
PHIL: What cause?
LORRAINE: The cause of freedom and equality.
PHIL: (nods) Oh. Right. That.
LORRAINE: (thinks) Well, I really like Bob Dylan’s “Talking Word War 3 Blues.”
PHIL: (shakes his head; sighs) I don’t know that one.
(The guitar is starting to feel like 500 pound
LORRAINE: Bring your guitar tomorrow night to the meeting and we can have our
(That sounds like a fine idea to Phil, who nods
(As they cross the room, Lorraine waves and
(They arrive at the table down near the stage
LORRAINE: At the music store. I think he’s got potential, too. He just needs some guidance.
DEBBIE: From you, perhaps?
LORRAINE: (considers; looks at Phil) . . . Perhaps.
(Phil and Terry look at each other past Lorraine’s
TERRY: (to Phil) What song are you singing?
PHIL: I’m still thinking about it. What are some your favorite folk songs?
TERRY: I don’t like folk songs.
PHIL: (confused) Then what are you doing here?
(Terry glances at Lorraine’s derriere, then up
PHIL: Uh, no. I’m gonna start at SCC in the fall.
TERRY: (grins) Harvard of the highway. It’s like high school with ashtrays. I went
PHIL: At a shoe store. You?
TERRY: I work on the college newspaper.
PHIL: (nods; impressed) Your parents rich?
TERRY: No, not really.
PHIL: (interested) Really? But she seems so . . .
TERRY: . . . Down to Earth?
PHIL: Yeah. Right.
TERRY: It’s the rejection of the money. Very common.
PHIL: (fascinated) It is?
TERRY: Sure, take a look around you. What do you see?
PHIL: (looks around) People. Folkies.
TERRY: Middle-class to upper-middle-class white people, with just a few token
PHIL: (looks around) Huh.
(Across the table, Alvin & Debbie are having
DEBBIE: So, when will you start looking for a new job? You said after the New Year,
ALVIN: But, Deb, I like my job.
DEBBIE: You like your job? Come on.
ALVIN: All right, I don’t hate my job. I’ve had plenty of jobs I’ve hated, too. And then
DEBBIE: But Alvin, dear, you don’t make enough money. We’re going to need
ALVIN: (holds up his hands) Whoa! Slow down, will you. I’m not ready for
(Debbie points at her protruding belly)
DEBBIE: Too late.
LORRAINE: Hey! Come on you guys, you’re out in public, remember.
DEBBIE: There are times when his complacency makes me want to kill him.
LORRAINE: But you’ve decided to have his child instead.
(Terry and Phil continue to talk)
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