(Ep 33 - "Rock 'n Roll")
(The Arnold's are watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.)
Seventy-three million people sat in front of their TV sets...and looked into the future. It was wild. It was exciting. We'd never seen anything like it. Of course I was only eight years old at the time...but in those flickering images, I sensed a new era had been born. A seed had been planted. A dream that would someday lead me from John, Paul, George and Ringo...
(Fade to school. Kevin pushes through the double-doors to the outside.)
(Kevin sees a boy sitting on a table, playing the guitar casually.)
The first time I laid eyes on Larry Beeman, I knew I was looking at someone...different.
(Larry notices Kevin.)
Hey, what's happenin'?
Nothin' much. (Smiles.)
Sure, he was weird, but he was also kinda...interesting.
(Mr. Diperna approaches past Kevin and walks slowly toward Larry with his hands in his pockets.)
Not always the best thing to be in junior high school.
What's goin' on here?
(Larry looks up at Mr Diperna.)
What's your name, mister?
Beeman. Larry Beeman.
You're new here.
Just moved...from 'Frisco.
Well, Mr. Beeman...from San Francisco - let me acquaint you with our rules.
Hey, that's cool.
Specifically, pertaining to the playing of...musical instruments...
(Mr. Diperna taps the guitar case with his foot.)
In school. It's not permissible.
(Kevin sighs and frowns.)
Now this was technically none of my business. Crushing individual spirit was the Vice-Principal's job...and he took it seriously. Still...
(Mr. Diperna looks over his shoulder at Kevin.)
Is it permissible to play musical instruments...outside the school?
What are you getting at? (Frowns.)
Well, technically speaking, sir...we are outside. I mean, this is a courtyard.
Anything in the rules about courtyards? (Frowns.)
(Mr. Diperna points his finger at Larry.)
You're new here. Don't let it happen again. (Frowns.)
(Kevin and Larry watch Mr. Diperna walk away.)
Thanks, man. (Nods.) I owe ya one.
(Cut to school hallway. Kevin and Larry approach the camera.)
So, ya really play that thing?
Like in bands, and stuff? (Smiles.)
(They turn the corner.)
Sure. Matter of fact, I'm thinkin' of putting together a band here.
(Larry frowns and looks at Kevin.)
Oh, not exactly.
(Larry turns toward Kevin as they slow up at Larry's locker.)
You oughtta try it. (Nods.)
Yeah...but don't ya have to practice a lot? (Frowns.)
It's rock and roll, man. All ya need to know is like three chords. Tell ya what...I could teach ya. (Nods.)
You could? (Smiles.)
It's great, man. The music...the babes. Nothin' like it. You interested?
Interested? Of course I was interested. Still...
No. I don't think so. (Frowns.)
Think about it...
(Kevin turns away and walks toward the camera.)
But there wasn't much to think about. Not really.
(Fade to the street. Kevin is riding his bike.)
After all, I was a child of the suburbs. I'd grown up on peanut butter, and station-wagons, and Tang. The whole idea of me...
(Loud guitar feed-back is heard.)
Playing rock-and-roll guitar was...well...it just wasn't me.
(Kevin slows up and stops as a loud electric guitar is heard. Kevin glances off and smiles slightly as a dog howls. Fade to Larry's garage. Larry arranges Kevin fingers on the guitar strings.)
Which may be why, the next day...I found myself in Larry's garage.
How's it feel, man? (Smiles.)
(Larry nods and taps Kevin on the shoulder.)
(Larry tucks his hair behind his ears.)
Still, standing there...actually holding that guitar...I knew I'd made a mistake.
(Larry makes adjustments, then straightens up.)
Who was I kidding? I felt...foolish.
Go ahead. (Nods.) Play it.
I felt square. I felt...
(Kevin strums the guitar, and a loud chord plays. The camera pans up as Kevin looks off, slightly surprised.)
I felt forty billion volts of power run through my body.
(Larry makes an adjustment.)
(Kevin strums the guitar and a loud chord plays. Kevin look slightly surprised.)
Six trillion megawatts of pure energy seared my brain.
(Larry gestures and nods slightly.)
Let me turn up the juice. (Smiles.)
(Larry looks at the amp and adjusts it, then turns toward Kevin and smiles.)
Let her go. (Gestures.)
(Kevin strums the guitar and a loud chord plays, accompanied by some "heaven" music.)
In the lingering echos of that wall of sound...I realized a new door had been opened. It was...
Rock and roll, man. Rock and roll. (Gestures.) Whoo!
(Kevin asked his parents if he could get a guitar. Now, he's in the school restroom. Larry leans on a sink and adjusts his hair.)
What do you mean your parents won't let you have a guitar?
I was gonna have to educate Larry about the complexity of interpersonal family dynamics.
(Kevin shrugs slightly.)
My dad said no!
Man, you're hopeless. (Frowns.) You think Jimi Hendrix asked his dad for a guitar?
So what are you saying? (Nods.) Are you saying I should go by myself, and just buy a guitar? (Smiles.)
(Larry slowly turns toward Kevin. Kevin snorts and looks toward the mirror, then at Larry. Larry smiles and nods slightly.)
(Kevin bought a guitar. Now, he's in Larry's garage.)
And so, from the humble beginnings of Larry Beeman's garage...a new musical force was born. And what a band it was. On drums...our foundation, our support...
(A boy plays the drums, bangs the cymbal, then smiles as he twirls the drumstick.)
(On PA): Mark...Bernstein!
(Kevin smiles, then looks at another boy.)
On bass guitar - to know him is to love him...
(The boy plucks a string and slides his hand down the neck of the guitar.)
(On PA): Neal Rhodes.
On lead guitar...
(On PA): Larry Beeman!
And...on rhythm guitar...a man who needs no introduction...
(On PA): Yours truly.
(Kevin plays a chord and smiles.)
OK...we had our equipment, we knew our three chords...it was official.
We...were a rock and roll band.
OK, let's get goin'. Let's play..."Sunshine of Your Love"...
I don't know "Sunshine of Your Love".
That's cool, cool. What do ya know?
No, no. (Gestures.) I don't know "Satisfaction".
How about...(Frowns.) "Louie, Louie"?
How's that go?
OK - so it wasn't an auspicious beginning. But it wasn't gonna stop Larry.
Why don't we just jam?
That's the spirit. Rock and roll. Let it all hang out.
(Larry raises his hand.)
One! Two! Three! Four!
(Kevin begins to strum his guitar as the band begins to jam. They play for a little bit, then wind down as a dog howls.)
So. (Nods.) What are we gonna call ourselves?
(Another day in Larry's garage.)
One! Two! Three! Four!
(They start playing, accompanied by "So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star".)
For the next two weeks...the Electric Shoes practiced day and night. Well, day, anyway. We explored new rhythms. We found our sound. But mostly...we just had fun. And pretty soon...we'd actually gotten better.
(Cut to another day. "So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star" fades as the bands music is heard, then winds down.)
In a manner of speaking. OK...so we were lousy. But who cared? No one had to listen to us...so what difference did it make?
Guys - I meant to tell ya. I got us a gig.
And suddenly, it made a difference.
What'd you say? (Frowns.)
Amy Ermin's birthday party. Friday night. We're booked.
You're kidding, right? (Smiles.) A real party?
(Larry smiles and nods.)
(Larry smiles and nods.)
That we know? (Frowns.)
It's gonna be great, man...(Gestures.)
Larry, we're not ready! (Frowns.)
Hey...(frowns)...we're never gonna know, unless we get out there and do it.
Come on...what are you afraid of? (Frowns.)
What was I afraid of? How about, say...total public humiliation? For starters.
Look, Larry...you've played in bands before...you know we just can't -
(Larry looks off, and rubs his neck.)
(Larry looks off, holding his neck, then looks at Kevin.)
You have played in bands before, haven't you?
(Larry looks down, then shrugs at Kevin.)
What difference does that make?
And then it all came clear. Paul had been right. There was potential for real disaster, here.
Look, Larry - I'm not going to go out there and make a complete fool out of myself! (Frowns.)
(Larry looks down and frowns slightly as he nods faintly, then looks at Kevin.)
It's up to you, man. (Gestures.) We're gonna be there. (Nods.) You're either with us...(frowns)...or you're out.
What could I say? I wanted to be with them...I wanted to take the chance and throw caution to the winds. I wanted to rock and roll! But the fact is...I didn't have the guts.
Sorry, guys. You can count me out. (Frowns.)
And so I quit the Electric Shoes.
Also see "Full Transcript"
Wonder Years Menu