The Paul Anka Transcript June 9, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
Way back in the mists of blogging time I
transcriptedtranscribed (fershlugginer Michael!) some of the Paul Anka rant for Mrs. Peel. Several years later I completed the transcript at Ace’s request, and posted it at my site. Since my site is dormant now, I thought I’d repost it here so that future generations of bloggers can continue to enjoy the extemporaneous magic of Mr. Paul Anka.
[Original post from February 2010] This is a transcript of the famous “guys get shirts” tirade that is so beloved by the AoSHQ gang. Let me know if I screwed any of it up (thanks to Ace for filling in a couple of gaps that I couldn’t figure out, and to Floyd and Michael in the comments for several corrections):
Mr. Anka: First order of business. No t-shirts on stage. Y’understand that? See the shirts that everybody’s wearing? Everybody pr… Where’s the, where’s the guy at the end, the new trombone player, who’s missing?
Someone: He weren’t wearing a t-shirt.
Mr. Anka: Yeah, I know. The other guy on the end had the t-shirt. T-shirts! Didn’t I say shirts?
John: I thought he was covered.
Mr. Anka: You thought, you thought.. you thought, you thought 8 things tonight. You’re on fuckin’ notice, John. I gave you a list, ya got half the list that I gave you – with cues and everything on it. OK? The guys get shirts. Don’t make a fuckin’ maniac out of me. The guys get shirts. D’ya understand? We’re not going to be as strong as our weakest link! The guys get shirts. Y’understand that? This is like football, baseball, like anything else. The guys get shirts.
That’s Just. The Fucking. Way. It Is!
Your first start was getting your goddamned list correct. So there’s no confusion. When I write something down it gets exactly that. Now what are we going to do about these cutoffs?
John: Uh, the “My Way” cutoffs? I’m kind of waiting for you, I usually . . .
Mr. Anka: What did we discuss at the last meeting? I was going to take “I’m not Anyone.” Is that correct? I was going to do that one, you’re gonna hold the chord and cut it. Is that right?
Mr. Anka: All right, now what are we going to do about “My Way?” ‘Cuz I’m walking around, waitin’ and waitin’, and then you finally give it, and where was everybody cutting off with you?
John: I don’t know. Evidently they were watching you when they should have been watching me.
Mr. Anka: Wha..but you were doing it!
John: I did it.
Mr. Anka: What’s it going to be guys. Who’re you watchin’?
John: I’d suggest they watch me, I’ll watch you.
Mr. Anka: But you were the only one to watch!
Mr. Anka: Let me ask you this. A pilot is in a plane when he’s landing, he not only looks at his instruments, but he looks at the fuckin’ runway to make sure it’s there. What do you look at? Who’re you watching? Where were you guys on the end of “My Way?” Graham, what happened?
Graham: I was late because I usually watch you on that . . . and John . . .and, uh…I…
Mr. Anka: If I’m not doin’, if I’m not doing anything, and he throws… Do you remember the last meeting where I said a bow I’ll do to take it, to end it, except for “I’m Not Anyone,” I’ll give “I’m Not Anyone.” Do you remember that? If my arms aren’t up and he’s the only one why wouldn’t you take it from him? What is the confusion on these endings?
I don’t get it. I don’t get it. D’ya understand that?
What’s it going to be, guys? You want fucking Vinny Falcone in front? Do you want me to go up and get a conductor that’ll sit and ride your asses? Is that what you want? D’ya want your jobs? Where’s Joe?
I tell ya I want the band. D’ya understand that? I want the fuckin’ band. OK? There is a lot of loose shit going on and I’m telling you you guys are on thin ice. All right? I’m telling you right now. And when I fuckin’ move I slice like a fuckin’ hammer. You’ve seen it and I’ll do it again. When I tell you the band you better look and make sure everybody’s here when you walk in this room. I will not put up with this shit. D’ya understand that?
That’s Just. The Fucking. Way. It Is!
Every one of your fuckin’ checks cash with the amount on it. Do any of your checks bounce? Do you all get full value on your money? I want full value on your fuckin’ service. Do you hear me? D’ya understand that?
You guys have three fuckin’ days to get it together. All of you head of your departments. OK? The light on “Times of your Life” – what is that blue doing over there on all the way to the middle and then you shut it off. What is that all about?
Light Guy: That was a fuckup.
Mr. Anka: That was a fuckup. I, I see that again, you’re gone with the rest of them. Is that clear?
Light Guy: Mmm Hmm.
Mr. Anka: That’s just the way it is around here. D’ya understand that? That’s how fuckin’ crucial this is. You have nothing to do but watch to see if one special is on and the, if the film is on, correct? You have nothing else to worry about with those lights. That whole thing was washing out that film.
You will straighten out this goddamn cutoffs John.
Mr. Anka: D’ya understand? You will get it straight.
I’m the only important one on that stage.
John: I know it.
Mr. Anka: Do you guys have any to add to this, can you help him out? You guys have, can you add to this, the confusion? Can you give us some intelligent input here? What is your problem?
I’m warning you, I’m the only important one on that stage. D’ya understand that?
Do you want him to lose his job? Do you? Then put me some fuckin’ knowledge in here! Tell me what’s wrong! He’s the only one with his hands up and he cuts off. Now give me some intelligent fuckin’ answers. Who’re you watching? Go ahead.
Someone: Well I have an idea.
Mr. Anka: I don’t want an idea, I want to know what went wrong and I wanta know how to fix it.
Graham: Well that was on me. [blah blah] From now on I’ll definitely take it from John. It won’t happen again. Absolutely.
Mr. Anka: Where’s Joe?
Now guys I’m giving you all one week to get this together. OK? I’m giving you one week. To play that music the way it’s supposed to be played. I’m giving everybody one week. Everybody’s got one week to do it right. ‘Cuz I’m in my form right now. If you guys are not going to come up and support me with the enthusiasm I’ve got for it, it ain’t gonna work. I’m the only important one on that stage…and you are letting me down. D’ya understand that?
I don’t get it. I don’t get it. D’ya understand that? And the only satisfaction I’m going to get is to ream your fucking asses like the coach of a ball team or any goddamn business till you get it. D’ya understand that? Because if you don’t feel embarrassed about it, then you have no conscious, you got no heart you got no integrity. D’ya understand that? Then all you do is you take the fuckin’ money and you’ve got no substance, remember that. People of substance and character care about what the fuck they do and they fix it. OK? And I think that you’re working with me because I think that’s the way you are. And I don’t pull any punches with you guys. I am telling you that his job is on thin ice. And you know how fast I move.
I don’t care if you’re a light man, a production manager, an agent or a theater owner like last night – you understand? I have a new philosophy. I don’t care if it’s Jesus Christ. I’m the only important one on that stage. If you don’t do it my way, then it’s the highway. Things go the way they’re supposed to, properly with integrity, or no one is fucking dispensable and you all fucking can go.
I’m the only important one on that stage. You understand that? It’s just the kick that I’m on, the mood that I’m on. I don’t care if the promoter is the theater, I don’t care if it’s C. J. Powell.
Is that fair enough? I’m warning you. Is that good enough, for all of you? I’m on that kind of an integrity kick. If you really don’t care step forward. You’ll finish up the rest of the tour and then you’re gone.
Now we’re all important in the totality. You don’t care like I care, I don’t need you guys to take my money. Just like that guy last night, that fucked up my crew and we’re short labor – I lost out 20 or 30 fuckin’ thousand dollars because my crew got fucked. D’ya understand? You understand where I’m coming from with integrity?
You guys better have the same thing. Because you’re all replaceable. D’you all like your jobs? D’you want your jobs? Do you?
Now you better protect this(?), so that happens again, he does not have that job again. You understand? You better make it right.
If you don’t do the job, you’re gone. And that goes for everybody. And that’s Just. The fucking. Way. It is!!
Because you got it too good!! And as long as you got it good, you gotta make it good. Get it fuckin’ right. That’s just the way it is around here.
D’you hear me? D’you understand that?
Don’t make a fuckin’ maniac out of me!!