I’d-a hammer out-a love between
                             My brothers and my sisters
                             All over this land

                                    (Phil does the Chuck Berry duckwalk.  The audience
                                    is sufficiently drunk so that they begin to clap along,
                                    hooting and hollering)
                                               
                             If I had a bell
                             I’d ring-a-ding-ding it in the mornin’
                             I’d ring-a-ding-ding it in the evenin’
                             All over this land

                             I’d ring-a-ding-ding out danger
                             I’d ring-a-ding-ding out warnin’
                             I’d ring-a-ding-ding out love between
                             My brothers and my sisters
                             All over this land

                             If I had a song
                             You can just bet I’d sing it in the mornin’
                             And I’d sing it in the evenin’
                             All over this nutty old land
                             I’d sing out danger
                             I’d sing out warnin’
                             I’d sing out love between
                             My brothers and my sisters
                             All over this land
                                    (gives a big pelvis shake)
                              Ha!

                                    (There is a huge round of applause for Phil. 
                                    He takes a bow, happily surprised at the turn
                                    of events.  The M.C. comes on)

M.C.:  That’s Phil Buckley, not Butler.  Sorry about             that, buddy.  Very funny routine. 
           You ought to be on Ed Sullivan.  Anyway, thanks for coming to the Purple
           Onion’s weekly Hootenany.  And don’t forget about the defense fund meeting
           for the Springfield Five tomorrow.  And thanks for coming.  Last call.
 
                                    (Many people stand up to leave)

                                    (Lorraine looks at Phil in astonishment as he
                                    gulps down a beer.  Terry is grinning and slaps
                                    Phil  on the back)

TERRY:  This guy’s a wild man.

LORRAINE:  (confused) I can’t decide whether that was inspired or just pure nonsense.

PHIL:  Does it matter?

LORRAINE:  I don’t know.

                                    (They all stand to leave.  As everyone files out
                                    we can see numerous yellow flyers strewn hither,
                                    thither and yon.  Lorraine sighs, picking some
                                    of them back up as she exits)

 

Scene Eight

     (In front of the club Phil and Terry are watching Lorraine say goodbye to everyone and give out yellow flyers)

LORRAINE:  Remember the meeting is here tomorrow at eight. 

                                    (Many people say that they’ll be there. 
                                    Finally, the only people left are Lorraine,
                                    Phil and Terry.  Lorraine confronts Phil
                                    and Terry)

LORRAINE:  I can’t believe you missed my songs.

PHIL:  (abashed)  Sorry.

                                    (Lorraine steps up to Phil’s side and takes
                                    his arm)

LORRAINE:  Goodnight Terry. 

PHIL:  Yeah, goodnight Terry.  Nice meeting you.

                                    (Terry sees what’s what)

TERRY:  Yeah, you too.  ‘Night, Lorraine.

                                    (Terry leaves.  Lorraine and Phil look at
                                    each other.  The neon lights on the front
                                    of the building go out, plunging Lorraine
                                    and Phil into semi-darkness)

LORRAINE:  You hurt my feelings.

PHIL:  Sorry.  Did you like my song?

LORRAINE:  Honestly, no.

PHIL:  (hurt)  You didn’t?

LORRAINE:  You faked it.

PHIL:  But they liked it.

 

LORRAINE:  (confused)  Hmmm . . . 
                                    (Phil takes advantage of this moment and
                                    kisses Lorraine.  They stand looking at each
                                    other)
                        I’m not really sure I like you.

PHIL:  (grins)  Me neither.

                                    (He kisses her again.  Just then the M.C. steps
                                    out of the door.  Phil and Lorraine’s lips separate. 
                                    The M.C. sees them lurking There)

M.C.:  Is that you, Lorraine?

LORRAINE:  Yeah, it is.

M.C.:  Still recruiting for the cause?

LORRAINE:  Up yours!
                                               
M.C.:  Goodnight

                                    (He leaves.  Lorraine and Phil kiss again,
                                    longer.  Lorraine steps away from him)

LORRAINE:  See you tomorrow?

PHIL:  Absolutely.

                                    (Lorraine walks away and Phil watches her
                                    go.  Finally, Phil lights a cigarette and walks
                                    off in the other direction; the lights fade slowly
                                    to black)         

 

 

 

ACT THREE:

Scene One

     (The lights come up on Phil lying in bed asleep.  The sound of the lawnmower engine slowly wakes him up.  Phil wipes his face and it’s covered with drool)

PHIL:  (to himself)  I feel like I got hit on the head with a hammer.
(Phil glances over at the side table next to his
bed and sees three folded-up yellow flyers. 
Phil picks them up and a wistful smile crosses
his face
            Sweet Lorraine.
                                    (grins)
            I knocked ‘em dead.  They loved me.
                                   
                                    (the lights go out in Phil’s bedroom)

 

Scene Two

     (We can see the closed door to Phil’s bedroom, and we can hear Phil singing)

PHIL:  (O.S./singing)  If I had a h-h-hammer
                                    I’d hammer a lot
                                    Then I’d h-h-hammer some more
                                    Then I’d hammer on the door
                                    I’d h-h-hammer all the nails
                                    Stickin’ out of the log

                                    Then I’d h-h-hammer all the ants
                                    And I’d hammer all the dogs

                                    (Phil’s mother and his brother meet in the
                                    hallway, stop and listen to Phil for a moment)
                                   
DAN:  What’s with him?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (shrugs)              I guess he had a good time last night.

DAN:  Holy Toledo, I sure hope he doesn’t turn into a folkie.

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (sighs)  It might be good for him.  He’s seemed awfully aimless lately. 
                                 And those folk people do seem to care about things.

DAN:  (skeptical)  Yeah, I guess.  But Ma . . . ?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  Yes?

DAN:  (confused)  Do people just change like that?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (shrugs)              Sometimes, I suppose.

                                    (His mother walks away.  Dan considers her
                                    words for a second, then he too walks away. 
                                    Phil keeps right on singing)

PHIL:  (O.S./singing)  I’d h-h-hammer all the bugs
                                    Then I’d h-h-hammer all the bats
                                    Then I’d h-h-hammer all the cats
                                    Then I’d h-h-hammer all the gnats . . .

 

Scene Three

     (The lights come up on Phil’s bedroom.  Phil stands in front of his mirror with his guitar in hand, posing.  He does his poor Ed Sullivan imitation)

PHIL:  We have a really big shew.  For all of you folk fans that like Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul &             Mary, I now give you the new voice of the nation, Phil Buckley!     
                                    (The crowd cheers wildly.  Phil acts humble
                                    as he raises his guitar)
             Thank you, thank you.

                                    (Black out)

 

 

Scene Four

     (Lights up on Phil’s father is sweeping the garage with a push broom while whistling “The Girl From Ipanema.”  Phil comes walking up)

PHIL:  Here, let me help.

MR. BUCKLEY:  Excuse me?

PHIL:  Let me help.

MR. BUCKLEY:  (amazed)  Huh.  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard you say anything like that
                              before.

PHIL:  (seriously)  Look, dad, if we’re all gonna get by in this world then I guess we’d
            better pitch in and help each other, right?

MR. BUCKLEY:  Right.

(He hands Phil the broom.  Phil shrugs, takes
it and begins to sweep.  His Father watches in
astonishment)

MR. BUCKLEY:  So, how was your date last night?

PHIL:  Good.  Real good.

MR. BUCKLEY:  And you got up and sang?

PHIL:  Yep.  And they liked me, too.

MR. BUCKLEY:  Well, I’ll be damned.  I’m really glad to hear it, Phil.  So you’re going
                               to become a musician now?

PHIL:  Dad, I am a musician.

MR. BUCKLEY:  (shrugs)  OK.  All right.  You sure got your money’s worth out of those
                              two weeks of guitar lessons.

 

PHIL:  (defensive)  It was three weeks, OK?  And I’d’ve kept it up, but my fingers hurt
            really bad, all right?

                                    (His father throws his hands up in
                                    capitulation)

MR. BUCKLEY:  All right, all right.

                                    (Phil throws down the broom and stomps
                                    away; black out)
                                                                                                           

 

Scene Five

     (The lights come up on Phil’s mother at a table making lunch while Phil lectures her)

PHIL:  Is it right for a woman to make less money doing the same job as a man?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  Of course not.

PHIL:  That’s right.  And is it right for Negroes to have to sit at the back of the bus?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  Well, no.

PHIL:  That’s right, no.   It’s time to stand up and let our voices be heard.

                                    (His mother scoops gobs of mayonnaise
                                    into the tuna fish and nods in agreement)

MRS. BUCKLEY:  So you sang a song last night?

PHIL:  Yeah.

MRS. BUCKLEY:  How’d it go?

PHIL:  (casually)  Great.  They loved me.

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (surprised)  Really?  That’s very nice.

                                    (Phil turns and walks away)

PHIL:  Oh yeah, they’re a good crowd.

                                    (Black out)

 

Scene Six

     (Lights up on Phil and Dan playing catch with mitts and a hardball)
                                                           
PHIL:  So then the same guys that stopped rock & roll killed Kennedy.

DAN:  (fascinated)  Really?  How?

PHIL:  It’s very complicated and you probably won’t understand, but it’s what’s called
           a “conspiracy,” which means that a bunch of people were involved.
                                   
DAN:  Yeah?  How many?

PHIL:  I don’t know, but a bunch.  So then, after they stopped rock & roll by sending Elvis
           away to the army, they decided they had to kill Kennedy to keep him quiet.

DAN:  Really?  That’s creepy.  What else did they do?

PHIL:  They set Lee Harvey Oswald up as a patsy, then had Jack Ruby shoot him to shut
            him up.

                                    (Dan is horrified)

DAN:  Do mom and dad know this?

PHIL:  (shrugs helplessly)  Probably not.  They accept anything they’re told.  Just like
            robots.

                                    (Dan looks around in utter paranoia; black
                                    out)     

 

Scene Seven

     (Lorraine and Max, the beatnik, carry folding chairs into the Purple Onion

MAX:  (shakes his head)  Wow!  That’s some car your Dad’s got.  A real Jew canoe.

LORRAINE:  That’s not nice.

MAX:  Lorraine, time to get a sense of humor.  I was kidding.

LORRAINE:  Disparaging remarks about religion aren’t funny.
                                   
MAX:  What’s wrong with you?

LORRAINE:  Where were you last night?

MAX:  I hung out with some buddies, why?

LORRAINE:  You said you were coming to the Purple Onion?

MAX:  I didn’t make it.

LORRAINE:  Then why’d you say you were coming?

MAX:  Lorraine, I don’t owe you anything.  I’m here setting up chairs out of a sense
            of commitment, not out of guilt.

LORRAINE:  I just don’t like it when people say things and don’t do them, that’s all.

MAX:  Yeah.  Well get used to it.

                                    (Max and Lorraine continue to silently set up
                                    chairs.  Both of them throw hurt, reproving
                                    glances at one another; black out)

 

 

 

Scene Eight

     (Phil is getting dressed and rehearsing in front of the mirror)

PHIL:  (to himself)  And I say, the Springfield Five must be freed or none of us is safe. 
            If five Springfield youths can             be put in jail for absolutely no good reason, then I
            say, who’s next?
                                                (turns and yells)
            Mom!

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (offstage)  Yes.

PHIL:  Have I got any clean socks?

MRS. BUCKLEY:  (offstage)  In the laundry room.

PHIL:  Thanks.
                                    (continues)
            So I say, free the Springfield Five, that’s what I say.  And damnit, I mean what I
            say.

                                    (Phil exits his bedroom; black out)

 

Scene Nine

     (The lights come up on Phil’s family in the exact same positions as last night, seated at TV tables watching TV.  Phil steps into the living room once again dressed up and ready to go out, guitar case in hand.  Dan looks at Phil and shakes his head sadly)

DAN:  You’re not going back to the Purple Onion again, are you? 

PHIL:  What if I am?

DAN:  (total disdain)  Nothin’.  Only Ed Sullivan is about to go on now and The Beatles are                    gonna be on show tonight, that’s all. 

                                    (Phil is stricken)

PHIL:  The Beatles.  Uh!  I have to see them!

DAN:  So sit down.

PHIL:  But I told this girl I’d go to her stupid meeting.  She gave me three flyers.

                                    (He pulls out the three yellow flyers.  Dan points
                                    at him and laughs)

DAN:  (grins fiendishlyHa-ha!

                                    (Phil is paralyzed)

MR. BUCKLEY:  Now Phil, you told this girl you’d attend the meeting.

MRS. BUCKLEY:  That’s right, Phil.  And what about the rights of the Negroes and
                                 women?

                                    (Dan looks right at Phil and speaks flatly)

DAN:  The Beatles, Phil.  “She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” “I Wanna Hold Your
            Hand,” “Twist & Shout.”

PHIL:  (immobilizedUh . . .

                                    (Black out)

 

Scene Ten

     (The lights come up as Lorraine comes rushes into the Purple Onion in a fluster, her arms loaded with grocery bags, as well as her guitar.  The M.C. is waiting for her impatiently)

M.C.:  For God’s sake, Lorraine, I’m gonna miss Ed Sullivan.

LORRAINE:  Oh, for goodness’ sake, Ed Sullivan is just an old gossip columnist.

M.C.:  (befuddled)  There are times, Lorraine, when I don’t understand you at all.

 

                                    (He gives her the key to the club and tries for a
                                    kiss.  Lorraine deftly ducks him.  The M.C. rushes
                                    out.   Lorraine takes off her coat and begins to
                                    hurriedly set things up for the meeting.  The 50
                                    folding chairs still need unfolding.  She tacks a
                                    handmade poster up on the wall that reads,
                                    “Free The Springfield Five!”  Black out)
 

Scene Eleven

     (The lights come up on Phil still standing there looking at his family and his family sitting there looking back at him.  The opening title music for “The Ed Sullivan Show” begins and Phil’s guitar case hits the floor.  Phil seats himself on the couch beside his brother.  Blue light flickers on their faces as we hear The Ed Sullivan Show begin

ED SULLIVAN:  (offstage)  Tonight we have a really big shew, with Topo Gigo, the Italian                                      mouse, the St. Petersburg ballet, and for you youngsters out there—
                                    (young girls scream shrilly)
                             —from Liverpool, England, The Beatles
                                    (The screaming girls grow louder still.  Phil
                                    and his family sit mesmerized, their mouths
                                    open, lit in flickering blue)
                             But first stay tuned to a word from our sponsor, Chesterfield cigarettes.

                                    (Black out)

 

Scene Twelve

     (Lorraine is just finishing setting up.  She has all 50 folding chairs unfolded and arranged in rows, piles of flyers lined up on a table, several jugs of cider and paper cups.  She gives every-thing a final inspection, straightening this, turning that.  She sighs, looking around expectantly, glancing down at her watch)

 

 

 

Scene Thirteen

     (Phil and his family stare at the TV.  A piece of classical music ends)
                                               
ED SULLIVAN:  (offstage)  Let’s give a nice warm hand to the St. Petersburg ballet. 
                                    (polite applause is heard
                              I would now like to read a telegram that I received today from Colonel
                              Tom Parker and Elvis Presley.   “Congratulations to The Beatles on their                                       American debut.”
                                    (The girls go crazy screaming again)
                              And now, ladies and gentlemen, from Liverpool, England . . . The
                              Beatles!

                                    (The crowd goes completely insane.  Paul’s first bass note
                                    is heard—)

 

Scene Fourteen

     (—Lorraine sits among 49 empty folding chairs looking down at the yellow flyer announcing the meeting.  Nobody showed up for her meeting.  She crumples up the flyer and throws it away. Lorraine looks very frustrated and lights a cigarette.  Finally, she stands up knocking over her chair.  She goes over to the table, takes all the flyers and throws them in the trash, then a bowl holding five pounds of potato salad, tooLorraine picks up her guitar and exits.  A second later all the lights go off)

 

 

Scene Fifteen

     (Lorraine steps out of the Purple Onion and locks the door.  Just then Phil comes running up, guitar case in hand.  He sees Lorraine and smiles)

PHIL:  Hi.  Am I late?

LORRAINE:  (laughs)  Are you late?

PHIL:  Am I?

LORRAINE:  (flatly)  You missed it.  It’s over.

PHIL:  (casually)  Whoops.  Sorry about that.  Did it go all right?

LORRAINE:  Look around.  You see anyone else?

PHIL:  (looks around)  Uh . . . no.  Break up early?

LORRAINE:  (flatly)  Yeah, it broke up early.

PHIL:  So, you wanna get a cup of coffee?

(Lorraine laughs sardonically)

LORRAINE:  You don’t give a shit at all, do you?

PHIL:  About what?

LORRAINE:  About anything.

PHIL:  (offended)  Hey!  I care about a lotta stuff.

LORRAINE:  Like what?

PHIL:  Well, like music.

LORRAINE:  Ha!  You can’t even play the Goddamn guitar.  I mean, for Christ sake, how
                       are you ever going to be a musician? 

PHIL:  I told ya, it’s possible.

LORRAINE:  So is getting hit by a meteor.  Y’know, you’re what the world is coming to,
                       Phil, and I don’t like it!  Apathy and inability.  It’s a really bad combination.

PHIL:  What’s gotten into you?  I thought we had a really good time last night.

LORRAINE:  (pointingYou didn’t show up to my Goddamn meeting!

PHIL:  I said I was sorry.

LORRAINE:  So what?  Does saying your sorry push the erase button or something?  I just
                       threw out five pounds of potato salad.  Ya know what?

PHIL:  (uncertain)  What?

LORRAINE:  Drop dead!
                                               
                                    (Lorraine turns and walks away)

PHIL:  Where are you going?

LORRAINE:  Italy. 
                                    (she waves)
                       Arivederci, baby!

                                    (Lorraine stomps away, disappearing into
                                    the night.  Phil stands there looking dazed

PHIL:  (to himselfHuh.

                                    (Just then Terry comes running up from the
                                    other direction, also carrying a guitar case

TERRY:  Did I miss the meeting?

PHIL:  We both did.

TERRY:  Did you see The Beatles on Ed Sullivan?

PHIL:  Oh yeah, they were boss!

TERRY:  I’m never cuttin’ my hair again.

PHIL:  Boy oh boy, those girls were really screaming, huh?

TERRY:  Man, they were crying.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 
                                                           
PHIL:  Me neither.

TERRY:  I like John.

PHIL:  Really.  I like George.  He sure can play that             guitar.

                                    (They both looked totally geeked up)

PHIL:  You just missed Lorraine.  She threw a hairy fit at me for missing the meeting.

                                    (Terry waves his hand disdainfully)

TERRY:  The Springfield Five.  I mean, who gives a crap?  Not me.

PHIL:  (chuckles)  Not me, either.

TERRY:  Wanna come over my place?  We could smoke some more reefer, y’know,
                maybe jam a little bit?  What’dya say?

PHIL:  Really?  Cool.

TERRY:  Cool’s out, man.  No one’s saying it anymore.

PHIL:  Really?  No kidding?  What’re they saying instead?

TERRY:  Tuff.  T-U-F-F.  It’s really tuff, y’know.

PHIL:  (nods)  OK.  Cool.  I mean, Tuff.

                                    (They both exit.  We stay on the dark and empty
                                    exterior of the Purple Onion.  We hear the Four
                                    Feathers singing the song “Goodnight Irene”)
                                   
FOUR FEATHERS:  (singing)  Irene Goodnight
                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams

 

 

                                                   Last Saturday night I got married
                                                   Me and my wife settled down
                                                   Now me and my wife are parted
                                                   I’m gonna take another stroll downtown

                                    (The lights on the stage inside the club slowly
                                    come up on the Four Feathers singing and
                                    playing)

                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams

                                                   Sometimes I live in the country
                                                   Sometimes I live in the town
                                                   Sometimes I take a great notion
                                                   To jump in the river and drown

                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams

                                                   You caused me to weep
                                                   You caused me to moan
                                                   You caused to leave my home
                                                   But the very last words that I heard her say
                                                   Were just sing me one more song

                                    (The light slowly fades on the Four Feathers until
                                    they disappear into the darkness)

                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams

                                                   Stop your ramblin’
                                                   Stop your gamblin’
                                                   Stop stayin’ out late at night
                                                   Go home to your wife and your family
                                                   Stay there by your fireside bright

                                    (The lights slowly fade on the Purple Onion.  One of
                                    Lorraine’s yellow flyers blows lazily past)

                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Irene Goodnight
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   Goodnight Irene
                                                   I’ll see you in my dreams . . .

                                    (The stage goes black)

 

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