Found the “lyrics” to this. It’s a fifteen-minute spoken bit off the Rollins Band Album, Get Some, Go Again. Probably some of the truest words I’ve ever read, in my opinion, it reflects pretty accurately the pain I feel when I listen to today’s radio.
Pretty sure the words are right. Italicising and emphasis have been added by me. If you want to hear it, I’m sure I can rustle up an MP3 somewhere along the way.
‘L.A. Money Train’ — Rollins Band
Alright, everybody. We’re here in Los Angeles in the wonderful Cherokee Recording Studios, and tonight we’re gonna vent some steam and talk about this town. And hangin’ out and jammin’ with us tonight is one of the great guitar gods of our time, none other than the brother Wayne Kramer. So, Jason, are you ready? Alright. One! Two! Three! Hit it!
Yeah. I wanna talk about the LA Money Train. Hollywood, California. The place where people come to make it. The train makes many stops on its route. And many try valiantly to get on. Like the rock star from Portland, who works at the office supply store for years getting his hair together, waiting for that train to stop and take him to fame and financial excess. And then there’s the actress from Houston, who’s spent six years preparing for her big screen debut, by dancing naked on a stage, and ends up realizing her celluloid dreams by going straight to video, co-starring in “Ten Miles of Tough Tongue.” Hey, it’s work. You gotta keep working. You gotta keep working it. Some people will do anything to get on. Sounds pretty wild, right? All aboard, y’all.
Yeah. Now what about that new visionary turned big spender, taking all those musical genres and puttin’ ‘em in a blender? The music shake he makes made the critics get up on their little hind legs and exclaim: “Now this is what’s happening!” Ah! It’s just more crap from a culture that’s evaporating. Stealing from here and there. He’s on the cover of every magazine with his deer caught-in-a-primetime-limelight stare. Really cosmic. Pretending to be totally unaware as to what all the fuss is about as the record company moves with ruthless efficiency and lightning speed to attract every last cent from his listenership before they move on to real drugs, sex, and suddenly find his music one hundred percent unnecessary. You know the situation. Feel free to choose one or utilize any combination. You loose your job. You get your ass kicked. Your woman leaves you. You spend a night in county jail. Reality gets all up in your face, and says: “Hey, man, the rent’s due.” And all of a sudden that Offspring record just doesn’t do it for you anymore. Did I just say that? Man! So what if it’s true? Yeah. Money train. Money train. Just get on. Just get on the money train, man.
“But, fellows, you know… You know we got brother Wayne Kramer here. So we gotta get outta the way, so he can step up and get into it. Alright, brother Wayne. You got it, man. Go ahead. Yeah.”
Yeah. Yeah. Alright. I wanna talk about some more people on the train. I wanna talk about some more people ridin’ that money train. You know sometimes failure brings success and I got the proof. I heard about a man, who’s ridin’ on the train right now, who got kicked out of the 5th floor window and landed way up on the roof. Right time, right place, good rap, nice face. We have the same analyst. Lose your integrity, sell your soul, kiss the right (ass) and up you’ll go. From the lofty heights you’re residing in they look like ants and their flesh tastes just like chicken. Boy, if your friends could see you now. The ones back from the old town that you left to come out here to get on the money train. You know what they’d say? They’d say: “Uh, were your teeth always that straight and white?” Forget about it, man. As long as you’re on the A-list you’re in the mix, you’re the man. You got the force, the power, the vision, the intensity, the focus, the drive. You are the master of your destiny. Sure to get what you want. Sure to get on that train. Sure to get on that train. Yeah.
You know, in this town, what you drive up in determines who you’ll be driving home with. How you dress determines who you’ll be undressing. Makes a man wanna get a nice car, cool clothes, and get in touch with his haircare products. On the other hand, you can always go to the video store and see the guy who used to sell millions of records and then snorted, drank and burned his fortunes. All he has left is the dyed hair, eyeliner, and attitude. The receding hairline, gut, and double chin only add to the visual intensity. And from him you can rent a video, and watch his old girlfriend, who’s now your next-door neighbour, do things that are definitely moving too fast for primetime. It’s an option. Yeah.
“Hey, Jim. I don’t wanna leave you out, man. So if you wanna step up and get some, go ahead. Jim Wilson.”
Yeah. I get so tired of all the drama. I get so tired of all the drama. I get so tired of all the fakes jumping up and making it. Hard to see all the people who really believe in the soul power of music, standing on the side and getting run over by those with perk breasts, dyed hair, and wonderful cheek-bones. So tired. At this point all I’d like is the truth. At this point all I’d like is the truth. I get so tired of hearing the stories of people who worked years and years, and their lives are nothing but bitter, burning tears, falling into their shoes as they wait on the boulevard for the bus as the man with no talent drives by in a brand new BMW 540i. Yeah. Disgusting. Disgusting on an epic scale. Disgusting like huge Godzilla-size disgusting. Obscene the way they go to the bank with. Obscene the way they stretch it out. Obscene the way they’re so self-satisfied. As the real soul goes down the drain. As the one triple nine rolls over to the two triple zero. You’ll see that the only heroes left, are the ones who are railing in the dust, punching their fist to the sky, still burning with soul intensity. As the smirking fakes just say: “Whatever, man. It’s cool.” Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
For years I’ve waited. For years I’ve waited for the real thing to come along. For years I’ve waited, for nights I sweated. And in all the small rooms I occupied, I thought to myself: “It can’t last for long. This facade can’t stay up forever. Someone’s gonna come along and knock it down.” Well, many tried and many fell away. Many tried and many left with nothing to say. And they were seen as losers, and they crashed and burned into the sea. Or went up north and vanished or slid back to the midwest. Or were burned and scattered in the south or smashed to bits by the brutality of the east. Yeah. Yeah.
Now I don’t mean to sound like they beat us or anything, but sometimes I think it’s all over. Sometimes I think it’s all over. No more Coltrane. No more Duke. No more Monk, Jimi, Otis, Aretha, J.B., or Sly. And no one seems to stop and wonder why. And I turn on the radio and it makes me wanna cry. Because I know it’s never gonna come around again. And it makes me cry because I know that there’s so many people who’ll never get to hear Mahalia Jackson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightning, Lemon, Curtis, Marvin, and the Reverend Al Green.
The airways are clogged, and it’s not looking good. In fact it’s looking pretty mediocre out there, but I digress…
You hear that saxophone player in the background? Yeah. We brought him in, so you could get a glimpse of my new found maturity, and still get a sense of my street credibility. He’s a session guy. He doesn’t even know my name. He’s no fool, he’s gettin’ that session work. He’s ridin’ the train. Yeah. Good work if you can get it. Just like a stuntman. Just like a pornstar. Oh, wait a minute. He’s an actor. “Hey, man, what was your motivation for that last scene?”
Yeah. Yeah. Money train. Money train. Sometimes I too wanna get on and ride just like you. Sometimes I’m just like you, man. I wanna get on and have a ride. I wanna get on and ride, and take these fakes for every penny they got. Yeah. Yeah.
Oh, and uh, don’t forget to keep it real. You always gotta keep it real. Ah-ha, ha, ha, ha! Ah-ha! Ah-ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Keep it real, man. Yeah. Yeah. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Whoo…