Author: TigerLily98 PM
A ragtag group of men start to change the world through their interpretation of popular tunes and old favorites, accapella.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Family - Words: 2,358 - Published: 07-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3043203
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Synopsis: A mixed acapella group makes it big with their interpretation of song and variety of music. They are also talented in dance and one of the members makes a mean quiche.
Donald 'Don' McGreggor: (tenor)
Barry Stubbs: (baritone)
Nico Malone: (basso profundo)
Tyrone 'Ty' Reed: (baritone 2)
Ricardo Vasquez: (tenor 2)
Sonny 'Sapphire' Patel: (bass)
Scene 1-Getting The Group Together
Don: (up on stage with the Merry Men to a sold out crowd of cheering fans, everyone chanting 'Merry Men' loudly, whistling, clapping, and waiting eagerly for the barbershop quintet to sing) It really seemed like a long shot in the beginning. Honestly, I never thought we would make it this far. It's an uncanny tale in how I met the other five in our rag-tag group, but like all good endings, an equally trying beginning usually exists.
(As they sing 'Never Gonna Give You Up' in many different ways, a flash back ensues)
Don: (narrating) It may seem that everything presently is harmonious. I can guarantee you it wasn't when we first met. I had been in a number of musicals when I wasn't at work crunching numbers, and every Sunday I went to church. I never once dreamed I would meet Merry Men's first two members there.
Barry: (anxiously coming up to the altar, his hands shaking slightly) I know I haven't been singing much recently since the death of my elder brother, Bartholomew, but now I feel that I must use this gift to glorify my Father in Heaven. My old buddy Tyrone who has been with me through thick and thin since kindergarten helped me overcome quite a few things, even drinking. I no longer worship that putrid fire water. Ty made me realize God and friendship, along with living a healthy life, are the most marvelous things there are in the world.
Tyrone: So for that reason we're singing 'What A Wonderful World'.
Don: When those two baritones sang a jazzier version of the original, I was practically dumbfounded. Both Ty and Barry had exceptional voices. I had been longing to create an accapella group for so long as I had remembered. Ever since I saw the premier of Glee on TV, it became a dream of mine. Many people supported me although they warned me it wouldn't be lucrative and that 'nothing would come of us'. There were even haters that proclaimed we would be as forgotten as the Plaids had been. If that was the case, then I thought their so-called curse was actually a blessing. Had the Plaids actually been 'forgotten' people wouldn't have remembered them.
(Everyone in the church applauds their performance and after church is over, Don gathers them together)
Don: Hey, Barry. Ty.
Tyrone: Hey, yourself, Don ! Why haven't you been at church recently ?
Don: Projects at work have been keeping me really busy. They've been having me work on Sundays and I can't avoid it due to the fact that the utilties need to be paid and my son DJ is heading into a rather expensive college.
Barry: You look too young to be a dad, man ! (laughing)
Don: I need to talk to you both, but I'd rather talk to you over some food.
How does Steak n' Shake sound ?
Barry: I'm in. I could go for a strawberry banana shake.
Ty: I'm more of a dark chocolate man myself.
Don: Come on then, my inquiries can't wait.
(A few minutes later appears on screen.)
Barry: What's your question then, Don ?
Ty: Yeah, why are you buttering us up at our favorite greasy spoon ?
Don: I was formulating an idea. You know Glee ?
Ty: The TV show ? Yeah, both of us are fans. Have been ever since the first episode.
Don: What if I proposed an acapella group. I have the perfect name for it. Merry Men.
Barry: Exceptional name, but...There will only be 3 of us. Shouldn't there be more ?
Don: We'll all be working on that. It'd cost a little bit out of my weekly pension to put an add in the newspaper, but maybe you two could do some active recruiting.
Ty: Actually, and it may sound a little unusual, I know of a guy at the local convienence store. He always sings Bollywood tunes but he has an amazing voice.
Don: (getting excited) Go and ask him sometime then.
Ty: Sonny seems a bit shy, but he has a very helpful attitude.
Don: Humor him a little.
Barry: It could take a while though. What's our time-frame ?
Don: (stumped momentarily) You know what ? I never really thought of that.
Barry: (slaps his palm into his face) You're joking. Please tell me that you are joking.
Don: I'm not ! Why are you shaking your head like that ? It's not like it's the end of the world.
Barry: This might take ages...(face falls on the table) Here I was thinking a little meal here would pick me up. Now I am feeling even more depressed.
Ty: Things like this take time, Barry. Don't be such a pessimist.
Don: I like the way you think Ty. Thanks for being on (a bit puffed up) my side. (narrating) It was rather easy convincing Sonny. Ricardo and Nico, however, were another matter entirely.
Chapter 2-Coming At Loggerheads
(At a local fair, two guys in a local band are getting ticked off by singing 'Moonlit Bay'. Nico wants to sing 'Besame Mucho' to a cute young thing he's seen in the audience, and Ricardo tries to turn his focus back on singing the song the band is performing. No matter what he does though, he still sings and the band begins to lose their cool.)
Lead Guitarist: Nico, man...This is so not cool. We can't go off on tangents all the time ! Just because you see some hot babe in the audience, we can't afford to be led by your whims !
Nico: Besame is far better than Moonlit Bay any day.
Ricardo: I think we should sing 'Stronger'. Haven't we all become closer since our collective tragedies ?
Bass Guitarist: Ricky's right. We can't let a little thing like Nico's dancing to a different drummer pull us apart.
Ricardo: Nico, I think you should be the lead. You've suffered more than all of us combined this year.
Nico: Ricky, you're the closest thing to a brother to me. Thanks for believing and supporting me. (hugs him and pats him on the back) Alright, this is one for everyone, including ourselves.
(They sing 'Stronger' together and Don notices them, as well as their talent.)
Don: (narrating) I had no intention of breaking up a band, but what I wasn't aware of was the fact that this group was undergoing a transition. They were avid to rid themselves of Ricky and Nico, but I really had no reason as to why. I was just enraptured by the sound the two had together. Now all I had to do was get the repitoire down, and I already had that in mind. It would include some standards, such as 'Three Coins In the Fountain, 'Perfidio', 'Heart', and 'Lida Rose'. I even wanted to pay tribute to barbershop in the classic 'Baby On Board' which was featured on the episode of the Simpsons parodying the Plaids. Yet, the best laid plans of itinerary writers and free spirits are often rended asunder...Man...I was about to find that out the hard way.
(at Don's garage, they are all performing 'O What a Night (1963)' and Nico goes into his interpretation of Volare.)
Sonny: What is up with this guy ?
Ricky: That's what I keep asking him, Sapphire. He just goes off on his own, does his own thing and likes to be 'different'. If you ask me, he hates authority and likes to cause dissention and trouble.
Nico: (Looking directly at him, face to face) At least I have a streak of risk in my blood. I don't have to do every little thing according to protocol.
Ricky: I have standards, Nico.
Nico: See ! See ! This is what I have to deal with. Can't we at least sing some songs of our homeland ?
Sonny: (a bit meekly) Actually it wouldn't be such a bad idea.
Ricky: Sapphire, I thought you were in agreement with me ! Mutiny. Mutiny I tells you.
Barry: Guys, come on. We really need to practice. Our first gig in front of a live audience is next weekend. Don's list is infallible. We can pick and chose our own songs for solos (with ensemble in the background) if they can be fit on the program. Don't bicker like this...We don't have the time for that.
Ty: Barry's right. We have to work together. We are, after all, Merry Men.
Not 'Murderous' Men.
Nico: Forgive me. I'm just so used to being the leader that I've forgotten how to work in a group.
Don: I'll give you all your chance to bogart the limelight. Don't fret about that.
Sonny: (snapping the guys back into focus, a bit sternly, more of a rebuke, reproving) Less talk, more practice !
Ricky: (as an aside) Yeesh, thought your people were more peaceful.
Nico: (stifling a laugh)
(Scene shift to 'opening night' and only a spartan crowd attends our boys' chorale.)
Scene 3-Zero to Hero
Don: (narrating) Sonny, or 'Sapphire' as he was dubbed due to his love of royal blue, had a way of getting us on task. Before we knew it, we were giving our first concert. It was slightly disheartening because only a handful of attenders appeared. This didn't depress us entirely. I had a dream the following night, and I knew it would cost a bit extra to make ourselves known in the music realm. Sonny, our resident tech expert, had other plans that were more economical and would catapult us to near worldwide status overnight. First things first. Nico, our 'details' guy, wanted us to get a van that we could use as a tour bus. With our respective jobs and backgrounds, we all pitched in what we earned into a kitty and this soon became what would be known as the heralded 'Guiled Steed'. She was called 'Guilda' for short.
(The next morning.)
Barry: Guys, guys ! You won't believe this. Sonny set up a Youtube video of our last concert and it recieved over 20,000 hits ! Do you know what that means ?
Ty: Means we have serious watchers, and maybe even attendees !
Sonny: Precisely, plus the fliers we all pitched in to place all around the city. That's sure to grab the attention of a few possible fans.
Don: I think you're a genius to have thought of that. I should'nt have gone to the trouble of making the fliers though...
Ricky: Nah, they're awesome, Don. The print and wording are dynamic and bright, reflecting who we are to the core.
Nico: With adequate time and practice, of course.
All (except Nico, who is laughing a little): Don't remind us.
Ty: We should really get set for tonight's benefit then. It's something I am partial to; children's leukemia. Yvonne is free of the dread disease, thank goodness.
Barry: It was pretty scary to see her go through it too.
Don: I remember. She's such a lively little thing now, and certainly Luke keeps her busy. How old is he now, Barry ?
Barry: He's about 7. Yvonne's 11, and growing more every day. Pretty soon she'll be a teenager and I'll have to use a Louisville slugger to keep all the roues and cads away from our doorstep. (he chuckles)
Sonny: This could be our biggest concert to date. Let's all start warming up to prepare.
Don: (narrating) We would do our own interpretation of 'Go the Distance', 'Brand New Feeling (It's a New Day'), 'I See You Fading', and the quintiscential celebration song, 'Party Rock'. Of course, just like at every other concert, we took requests and we brought the house down. My favorite was a version of the Aquabats Supershow Theme. Of course, we had to ask for some of the royalties to be paid to their respective writers unless they were already within the public domain.
(There's a montage done to the band's version of 'Zero to Hero' until we find ourselves at where we entered. They are singing 'Don't Stop Believing', followed by their own tribute songs, 'Livin' On a Prayer', 'Rockin' In the USA', 'Nessun Dorma', 'Amor Prohibido', 'My Father's Eyes', 'Chariots of Fire' and as a finale, they join together in one of their favorite songs, 'What a Wonderful World'.)
Don: (narrating) And to think it took us months of practice, night after night. There were times when we couldn't agree on anything to perform and moments where we all wanted to strangle each other until reason spoke and steered everyone back on the right track. We're still earning money for worthy causes. Every night, we would have someone come and sing with us, not really caring if they had a good voice or talent or not. Just to have them feel recognized and loved by someone gave us even more fuel to continue our entertainment for the evening. We typically finish on a high note, singing inspirational music to spur everyone on to a better day or even a better week or month. All I know, is that when the Merry Men recieve fanmail and videos from all around the world from those who support our cause to encourage, motivate and help others live better lives, then we have done our civil service. We may not be popular forever but it's not popularity that counts, its the people behind us, singing along, dancing with us on the stage, and the millions we help wherever Guilda may roll.
('Thank You For the Music' is sung by the Merry Men as the credits roll. Blooper reel is run as well as acknowledgements, ad libs, and etc.)