Saturday, January 29, 2011

So, you wanna be a rock 'n' star? Read this library book

It's 1979 and Ripley Plumedust is a rock star.

He lives with his Nana and plays the piano late into the night, disturbing her sleep.

Ripley's mother died earlier in the week, but he didn't tell Nana. He had his mother cremated and then poured her ashes into his piano.

It has never sounded better.

"Ripleeeeeey," Nana wheezes from the backroom, where he keeps her. "It's three a.m.. I really need to sleep."

"You can sleep when you're dead," Ripley mutters to himself and continues writing a song about the Son of Sam.

"Yeah, your ad in the Santa Monica Sodomite says you're a hermaphrodite with cannibalism fantasies . . . ? Cool! Are you free at around two o'clock this afternoon?"

It's 1979 in Ripley's world, but that doesn't stop him from showing off his 32K laptop with the 16 baud modem.

He shows his keyboardist, Trinka, some ASCII porn on the ARPANET.

There are only three sites on the ARPANET.

The band loads their gear into bandmate Dino's conversion van, where they'll record some music today.

Dino's conversion van is quite spacious inside, with 14 different grades of carpeting on the floor, walls and ceiling, to optimize the band's sound.

Ripley stores his guitar in a case filled with mustard. It doesn't make the instrument sound any better, but Ripley enjoys the feeling of it slowly soaking through his pants as he plays the guitar.

The ARPANET ASCII porn made Trinka feel weird, but sexual harassment laws haven't been created yet, so she must grin and bear her hellish job as keyboardist in Ripley Plumedust's band, Ragged Orgy.

Drummer, Stove Handel, sets up his drums.

He's tired today because he's been performing with his avant garde theatre troupe in a re-imagined version of the play Short Eyes in which Stove plays a sexual predator who is, himself, preyed upon in prison when his fellow inmates learn of his crimes.

Bassist, Bruce Registero, is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

Never say "Vietnam" within his hearing.


Graphic artist, Ian Landry, shows Ripley the completed cover art for Ripley's new album, which Ripley approved the day before.

"I fucking hate it!" Ripley screams, knocking the sample from Ian's hands.

"What? What?" Ian says, flustered. "You approved it yesterday! You said you loved it!"

"That was yesterday," Ripley sneers. "Yesterday's in the past. I want tomorrow's cover art today!"

Ripley turns to leave, but quickly pinions back and punches Ian in the bag.

The album cover art lies on the floor as Ian moans, "Ripleeeeeey... whyyyy?..."

"You spelled my fucking name wrong!" Ripley screams from the door.

Ripley shares with Trinka his application to join the Church of Scientology.

Trinka is a former member of Peoples Temple, though she didn't move with the church to Guyana, thus avoiding the horror of Jonestown. She works now -- on the side -- for the Cult Awareness Network.

She has a photographic memory.

She is memorizing Ripley's application so that she can later sell the story to The National Enquirer.

Bruce, indicated by the red arrow, is waiting for someone to say "Vietnam" in his presence.

Ripley is going over the song Bruce wrote the night before about his experiences in the war, called "Travels With Charlie," referring to the nickname American soldiers gave to their enemy, the Viet Cong.

The band runs through their latest song, "I Can't Believe I'm Fighting Uncle Sam's Unjust War in South East Asia."

Bruce is ready to pounce.

The Santa Monica Sodomite hermaphrodite shows up at 2 p.m., but Ripley is not ready for him.

He tells the hermaphrodite to go into another room with Bruce and talk about "Vietnam."

In Dino's conversion van, the band commences tuning the carpeting.

Dino demonstrates how to use the van's new toaster oven.

The carpeting is almost ready to go. Ripley gets ready to feed his guitar to the Central Mound of Carpeting as a sacrifice to please the deities of 1979 Los Angeles.

There is not God.

After the carpeting eats the mustard-covered guitar, the band celebrates by drinking a heated potion made from a previous bandmate's glandular juices.

Everyone struggles not to mention "Vietnam."

Ripley, being a control freak, has to try out the van's toaster oven before Dino has fully explained how to use it.

On the way out of Dino's conversion van after the recording/sacrifice session, Trinka talks politics with Bruce.

Sensing the word "Vietnam" will soon be mentioned, Ripley hurries away.

It turns out that the short open-air walkway was actually part of Dino's conversion van.

Ripley and the band hopelessly search for a way out of the vehicle, which seems more like the Winchester Mansion than a recording studio. They find their way to a staircase within the vehicle, which takes them down into Dino's limestone gun range.

Doesn't matter -- while the band was lost, Dino drove them to their gig: at Scientology's Celebrity Center in Beverly Hills.

Ripley and the band coif-up in the conversion van's john before bursting out the back door and running into the Celebrity Center.

Ripley is met by Scientologist Vic Harmon who gives Ripley an on-the-spot eMeter reading.

Ripley doesn't say so, but he secretly resents being asked personal questions.

Luckily for him, his resentment measures well on the eMeter and Vic seems pleased.

Ripley is blown away by the oppulence of the Celebrity Center.

He spends the entire sound-check doing bird calls.

To alleviate any nervousness before the gig, Ripley goes through his usual playful routine of threatening his bandmates with bodily harm if any of them fucks up his performance.

"Whose glandular juices will we be drinking tomorrow?" Ripley asks, not rhetorically.

Ripley introduces the first song of the set: "I'd like to do an homage to Jimmy Cliff and perform our interpretation of his song 'Vietnam'."

Do you feel like I do?

Walks into the darkness to discover the Heart of Saturday Night.

The Zodiac Killer awaits him.

Ripley Plumedust is buried in Cimetière du Père-Lachaise.

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