Across the Music Verse

Without marvelous renditions of The Beatles tunes, the tale recounted in Across the Universe probably would have taken about fifteen minutes and been a lot less engaging. It's a great idea though, taking a selection of a band's songs and crafting them into a cohesive musical. Pink Floyd: The Wall is probably the closest similar experience I've had, though Across the Universe is for the most part a brighter romance, with a few dips into darkness and drug-induced hallucinations. But it was mainly those classic songs and ballads that won me over.

Okay, some of the trippy stuff won me over too, like that Bono rendition of I Am the Walrus. It did get me thinking what tales could be found in other group's repertoires.

A Pearl Jam musical would no doubt follow the tragic life of a young boy named ”Jeremy”, with a stunning opening in which he takes his life in front of his whole class. We'd then be privy to a final fantasy captured in a split second between life and death, as he imagines a world in which he's still ”Alive”, knowing there are still ”Oceans” to cross. He might go through a ”Wishlist” of things he wanted in life, might crave ”Immortality”, but ultimately realize he's reached his ”Last Exit”.

Metallica's musical would follow ”One” war veteran, not quite right in the head from his experiences, lying in a ”Sanitarium”. Once released, he'd sing ”Wherever I May Roam” as a celebration of his freedom to go where he pleased, so long as he got enough ”Fuel”. In coming to terms with his past, he'd dub some people ”Unforgiven” as ”The Memory Remains”. Only when he forgives them can he find peace and sleep without nightmares. ”Enter Sandman”.

Bon Jovi perhaps has the best assortment of songs for such a treatment. Imagine the story of young Tommy and Gina, he working on the docks while she works in a diner all day. They'd just be ”Livin' On a Prayer”, but their love would keep them going. A tragic accident would introduce conflict when Tommy is nearly shot through the heart, and Gina is to blame. Recovering from surgery, he'd drive her away by telling her, ”You Give Love a Bad Name”. His survival is nothing short of miraculous, though in the aftermath he struggles with addiction to ”Bad Medicine”. Gine, after a mournful solo plea to ”Never Say Goodbye” becomes a bit of a ”Runaway”. She finds work in a ”Dry County”, while Tommy struggles with the ”Edge of a Broken Heart”. Ultimately he tracks her down, realizing his mistake, and serenades her with ”Born to Be My Baby”. The pair reconcile, recognizing that they need to ”Keep the Faith”, and the film closes with a montage of their wedding and subsequent journey to a honeymoon suite, where he lays her down in a ”Bed of Roses” as the doors close to give them privacy as the credits roll.

I can probably think of more, but something tells me I need to get some sleep so I can keep my day job. Maybe I'll revisit this theme someday, and certainly feel free to add your own modern musical ideas.


Blogger SPM said...

Brilliant title... nice execution... definitely one of your better posts.

5/23/2008 12:51 AM  
Blogger b13 said...

Please tell me you have seen "Johnny Got His Gun"... If not, que it. Great post! I enjoyed this read very much.

5/23/2008 2:16 AM  
Anonymous MCF said...

That's the movie they sampled for the extended cut of One, right? I've only seen the bits in the Metallica video; I'll have to queue up the original.

5/23/2008 9:20 AM  

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