Special cameo appearance by KEEF RICHARDS as HIMSELF

Written, directed, and produced by David Meadows

(It's a small, dark room, lit only by candles. Seated round a small circular table are JON, ROGER, IAN, BIG IAN, and THE VILLAIN IN BLACK (TVIB). They are all holding hands.)

JON: I'm really not sure about this, Rich.

ROGER: It seems wrong, messing with dark forces.

BIG IAN: You're going too far this time, Rich.

IAN: I just don't like holding hands.

TVIB: Quiet, all of you! If we can summon the spirits of great musicians past, we can enlist their aid to finish this album!

JON: It sure will be a relief to get the album out of the way.

IAN: The Rolling Stones' studio costs a fortune!

BIG IAN: Yeah, I guess it's worth it if we can get the inspiration, without too much perspiration. So if you've got the inclination, Rich...

ROGER: Hey, write that down!

BIG IAN: Let go of my hand then.


TVIB: Shh! I sense the spirits now!

BIG IAN: *burp*. Sorry, I just had a tipple before we started...

TVIB: No! I mean I feel the presence of history's great musicians closing in on us!

(The candle flickers. From out of the darkness comes a pale, gaunt figure. It draws closer. It's... KEEF RICHARDS!)

KEEF: 'Ello chaps!

JON, IAN, BIG IAN, and ROGER: Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TVIB: Sod off, you're not really dead!

KEEF: Aw, sorry. My mistake. Ya got a boozer in this hotel?

BIG IAN: There's some scotch in the kitchen.

KEEF: Cheers, mate!

(KEEF shambles off.)

TVIB: Hear me, O spirits! Come to me now and impart your knowledge!

(The candles suddenly flicker and everybody shivers. They look round nervously. A shadowy figure, dressed in 18th Century clothing, glides forwards. It's... THE GHOST OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH!)

GHOST OF JSB: Who dares summon me from my slumber?

JON (suddenly excited): Wow, it's Bach's ghost!

TVIB: Bah! I was hoping for a rock musician.

JON: Shhh, Rich! Tell us, oh revered master, how great music should be made.

TVIB (sneering): Oh yes, go on, "oh master", tell us how to finish "Highway Star". If you can!

GHOST OF JSB: You should be looking for a relatively long and complex song which winds its way among several different keys, with both guitar and organ taking extended solos. The organ solo will begin over a descending chromatic bass line, reminiscent of the bass patterns favoured by seventeenth-century composers such as Henry Purcell. Much of the soloing can be made up of series of arpeggios, in the style of Vivaldi or myself. You should abstract and adapt a particular set of classical features: repetitious melodic patterns (such as arpeggios), square phrase structures, virtuosic soloing, and characteristic harmonic progression, such as descending through a tetrachord by half steps or cycling through the circle of fifths. The harmonic progressions should be typically Baroque, as will be the flashy sixteenth-note patterns organised symmetrically through repetition and balanced phrases. This will construct a new and effective style of rock virtuosity! The guitar solo will begin with blues-derived licks and bring in the Baroque materials climactically at the end, where you can overdub a matching harmony part in thirds, with figuration that recalls Vivaldi's energetic articulation of harmonic progressions in his Violin Concerto in D Minor, first movement, bars 87-97. As in Vivaldi, a regular and predictable (though dynamic) harmonic sequence can provide the backdrop for exhilarating figuration. The harmonic cycles will set up rational articulation of time and direction, enabling us to predict what will come next, and the guitar solo will energise these patterns with virtuosic exhibitionism. As in the concerto grosso, the soloist will provide the dynamic individual element, in contrast to the stable collectivity of the rhythm section.*

(Long silence.)

TVIB: Utter claptrap!

GHOST OF JSB: Young fool! Great music is eternal. If you do not learn this lesson, then one day you will be gone and forgotten while I... I'll be Bach!

(Say the last bit with the accent... it works better!)

TVIB (mimicking the accent): Hasta la vista, Bach-baby!

(The ghostly image breaks up in a swirl of special effects.)

TVIB: The day I play mediaeval drivel will be the day that hell freezes over!

(An icy wind blows through the room. Everybody shivers and the candles flicker.)

TVIB: Will no REAL musical genius of the past heed my call?

(Another creepy, ghostly special effect, as the candle light swirls into a twisting, psychedelic kaleidoscope of colour, which slowly settles into the shape of... THE GHOST OF JIMI HENDRIX!)

GHOST OF JIMI: Hey, man, what's goin' down here?

TVIB (excited): Oh great legend of the guitar, impart to me the secret of why you always win all the polls!

GHOST OF JIMI: Hey, man, it's about being unique and different and making your statement.

TVIB: And how might I do that, great one?

GHOST OF JIMI: Well, ya gotta be LOUD!

TVIB: Loud. Ok.

GHOST OF JIMI: And smash up your guitar a few times.

TVIB: Smash. Cool.

GHOST OF JIMI: And lighter fluid, of course. Plenty of lighter fluid.

TVIB: Plenty?

GHOST OF JIMI: Yuh-huh. Hey you can never have too much lighter fluid, man. Go to town. Blow something up! Hey, man, gotta go now. Partying with Janis and Jim tonight. See ya around, guys.

(The ghostly image is blown away on the wind. There is another long silence. Finally, TVIB stands up.)

TVIB: Well I think I learned all I need to know. Lighter fluid. Muh-hahahahahaaa



* Bach's analysis of "Highway Star" is adapted from Running With The Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music by Robert Walser (ISBN 0-8195-6260-2).

Episode 12