Thursday, March 5, 2009
Orbison (The Opera)
If it were a movie, it would open with a montage, the white stripes of the highway, Phoenix, where you abruptly leave 1987, enter a time warp and get lost in the Fifties one night in a cinder block motel, buy a box of .38 Special cartridges the next morning and stop on the highway between Phoenix and L.A. to shoot half the box up, wondering if the highway patrol is going to make something of it. The music, which has been low in the background, begins to climb when you hit the L.A. freeway, a two-car convoy, staying together in the bumper to bumper traffic at 70 m.p.h. by flashing lights and slowing the lead car down when anyone gets between you, on up to Santa Barbara that night, then to Oregon the next day. You spend the night on the Oregon border. In the morning, you slide down ice-covered roads into Oregon and on into Washington until you hit the Emerald City on one of those early September afternoons that make you wonder why anyone would live anywhere else, and you can hear the voice now, not his voice, but the voice, like Bono says, not his exactly, but accompanying him somehow. You follow the voice. You walk down the hill a couple of blocks and wander into the mob at the Center, following the voice through the crowd and into the coliseum, trying to figure out what's going on, looking for a place to stand where you can see, and, all at once, he's right in front of you, maybe ten feet away. You're so close to the voice that you think you've done something wrong. You expect someone to pull you back, tell you you can't stand there. But they never do.
Let's make an opera. I'll work on the libretto. Working title: The 4th Octave