Saint Aggie's '84

The history of a new musical as it comes to be…

Mixed Tapes and Early Ramblings

I know I promised I’d be blogging and I just didn’t do it. Things have been busy. In the past six weeks the show has been rehearsed, had a short SOLD OUT run at the Old Avenue Cycle Building in Edmonton, been rehearsed some more and is now packed up and off to Scotland tomorrow. I leave on Monday.

I’ve just been getting the final script together, putting in all the good cuts (and not putting the bad ones), for people to peruse on the website which is soon to be up. While I was doing this I happened upon some old notes that I had made before I started writing this whole thing back in November.

First are a few things I’d put in HATTIE’s head (then FERGIE – before her renaming). They were never going to be lines (actually I think they are probably quotes from stuff I found on the web). They were just some pieces of information that Hattie might have in there. I think they are quite interesting. I just copied this verbatim from a page in my notes.

There’s a formula for fun: Arm two superpowers to the teeth with thousands of nuclear warheads. Make sure they’re deeply hostile and suspicious of each other. Now cut off diplomatic communication, stir in about 50 smaller countries with their own agenda on each side, and – voilà! – cold war in a jiffy!

Dec. 8, 1983
Four U.S. and four Soviet scientists meeting in Washington issued a statement predicting a nuclear winter that would kill all nuclear war survivors, even if only half the U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons were used.

March 11, 1985
Gorbachev elected General Secretary of the Central Committee by a margin of one vote over Grishin, a hardliner who would probably have escalated the arms race. This election may well prove to have been a critical event in world history.

March 15, 1985
Nuclear winter “that would wipe out all life on earth … is all the more reason to continue President Ronald Reagan’s weapons build-up.” (Richard Perle, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence)”

I know all the dates are actually from after the fall of 1983 but I think I must have just been grabbing at some quick information and also, at the beginning of the whole process, I was considering that HATTIE (then FERGIE) was perhaps going to be able to see the future…and to some extent she still does at the end of the play…she just doesn’t talk about it in any detail.

This next bit is actually where I started writing down anything. It started as a mixed tape list I made just to put the right songs in my head that are correct to the era. I remember I made a first list, but after checking a few dates and such on Wikipedia and the like found that many of the songs I had put in were too late to be around in 1983. I think I must have just edited the list that was there because it would have in been interesting now to see how wrong it was. I remember that “Lost Weekend” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions was on it (it actually was released in 1984), as was “Reptile” by the Church – that was way too late (1987). There were more as well.

The next thing I remember thinking was what if this list was a mixed tape that BEROWNE had made for HATTIE over the summer holidays. I’d always felt that I knew HATTIE (then FERGIE) as a character but I wasn’t too sure about BEROWNE so I thought I’d just write HATTIE (then FERGIE) a letter as BEROWNE to see what she sounded like. Now looking back on it I think she’s remained quite true to this. In any case here it is:

“For Fergie

1 TDK chrome cassette tape. 90 minutes.


“Sorry I Couldn’t Get Into Wuthering Heights”

(Side 1)
She’s In Parties – Bauhaus
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Blue Monday – New Order
99 Luftballons – Nena
Man At C & A – The Specials
Good For Your Soul – Oingo Boingo
Life Goes On – The Damned
A Girl Called Johnny – The Waterboys
Geno – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
I Got You – Split Enz
Prove My Love – The Violent Femmes
Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure
Living Through Another Cuba – XTC

(Side 2)
London Calling – The Clash
Smithers-Jones – The Jam
Melt With You – Modern English
Love My Way – Psychedelic Furs
Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads
Call Me – Blondie
Flying North – Thomas Dolby
Ashes To Ashes – David Bowie
Kiss Me Deadly – Generation X
I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea – Elvis Costello
Like A Song – U2
Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson
Who Killed Mr. Moonlight? – Bauhaus

Hey Fergie:

How’s Germanland? I’m jealous. I bet it’s super exciting with all those spies running around all over the place chasing each other through Berlin trying to get at each other’s little microfishies and surreptitiously talking into their wristwatches. Seattle is boring boring boring. I go out every once in a while when there are breaks in the rain.

I tried reading that Bronte book you suggested but I just can’t get into it. I’m about half way through. I’m going to keep working on it but I’m just not as much of a geek as you I guess. Ha! At least now I know what that Kate Bush song is all about. I named this tape I’m sending you after it. “Wuthering Heights”. Also put on some Bauhaus (I’m in love with Burning From The Inside right now) and Gen X and something from that new U2 album, War. It’s pretty good but not as good as October. Have you heard the new Oingo Boingo album? It’s choice. I went to the concert at the Pacific U Amphitheater the week after I got home from school. It was the best. Danny Elfman jumped into the crowd during the opening song and just about kicked me in the head. He was singing, “Who do you want to be today? Who do you want to be? Who do you want to be today? Do you want to be just like someone on TV?” It was soooooooo good.

Saw S.J. at a couple of parties in June. One at our place. He was looking quite nice. We danced to this lame band that my dad hired for Ginny’s Sweet 16. They were playing crap like Wham and Duran Duran. It was totally making me spew. Ginny climbed up on the stage and started necking with the bass player at one point, much to my parents’ chagrin. Ha! So anyway, S.J. was wearing his school uniform at the party. Hilarious! Then we started dancing. We even slow danced to that Joe Jackson song “Breaking Us In Two”. I’ve always thought it was kinda lame but now I think I like it. It’s on the tape, too! I know…I’m such a dork.

Went and stayed with Dumaine for a couple of days in Vancouver. Her brother and all his dumb hockey player friends were hanging around all the time so it was kind of a drag. But we did have some fun. And I took the train up which was really cool.

Going to see Bowie at the King Dome at the end of August then it’s back to school. I can’t wait. For Bowie AND school. I just want to get out of here. Did I mention it was raining? Well, it’s raining. Again.

I can’t believe we get our own computer! No more getting up early just to book half an hour in the lab. And it’s an Apple II Plus with a two floppy drives! I know you have no idea what that is, but trust me, it’s good.

See you in few weeks,


PS: S.J. = Jam song guy – as if you didn’t know.”

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