Roddy Doyle: The Commitments

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Roddy Doyle The Commitments
  • Название:
    The Commitments
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  • Издательство:
    Vintage
  • Жанр:
    Современная проза / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2009
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabbitte, brilliantly coached by Joey 'The Lips' Fagan their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from the parish hall to immortality on vinyl. But can the Commitments live up to the name?

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Roddy Doyle


The Commitments

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED

TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER

— Honour thy parents, Brothers and Sisters.

They were hip to the groove too once

you know. Parents are soul.

Joey The Lips Fagan

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint previously published material:

ABKCO Music, Inc.: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Chain Gang,” written by Sam Cooke. Copyright © 1960, renewed 1988 by ABKCO Music, Inc. Excerpts from the lyrics to “Good News,” written by Sam Cooke. Copyright © 1964 by ABKCO Music, Inc.

Almo Publications: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Knock on Wood,” lyrics and music by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper. Copyright © 1966, 1973 by East/Memphis Music Corp. Copyright assigned to Irving Music, Inc. (BMI), 1982. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Rights outside the U.S. controlled by Cotillion Music, Inc. Used by permission of Almo Publications and Cotillion Music, Inc.

Jobete Music Co., Inc.: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland Jr. Published by Stone Agate Music. Copyright © August 1966; Excerpts from the lyrics to “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” by James Dean, Paul Riser, and William Weatherspoon. Published by Stone Agate Music. Copyright © March 1966.

Screen Gems — EMI Music, Inc.: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Walking in the Rain” by B. Mann, C. Weil, and P. Spector. Copyright © 1964 by Screen Gems — EMI Music, Inc. Excerpts from the lyrics to “At the Dark End of the Street” by Dan Penn and Chips Moman. Copyright © 1967, 1977 by Screen Gems — EMI Music, Inc.

Silverman, Shulman and Slotnick, P.C.: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Night Train” by Jimmy Forrest, Oscar Washington, and Lewis C. Simpkins. Copyright 1952, © 1980 by Frederick Music Company. Used with the permission of Frederick Music Company.

Tickson Music: Excerpts from the lyrics to “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” by Gene Clarke. Copyright © 1964 by Tickson Music. All rights reserved.

Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.: Excerpts from the lyrics to “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)” by James Brown, Bobby Byrd and Ronald Lenhoff. Copyright © 1970, 1973 by Dynatone Publishing Co., administered by Unichappell Music, Inc. Excerpts from the lyrics to “Super Bad Super Slick” by James Brown. Copyright © 1975 by Dynatone Publishing Co., administered by Unichappell Music, Inc. Excerpts from the lyrics to “Out of Sight” by James Brown. Copyright © 1969 by Dynatone Publishing Co., administered by Unichappell Music, Inc. Excerpts from the lyrics to “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown and Betty Newsome. Copyright © 1966 by Dynatone Publishing Co. and Clamike Records Music. All rights on behalf of Dynatone Publishing Co. administered by Unichappell Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

THE COMMITMENTS

— SOMETIMES I FEEL SO NICE —

GOOD GOD ——

I JUMP BACK —

I WANNA KISS MYSELF ——!

I GOT —

SOU — OU — OUL —

AN’ I’M SUPERBAD ——

James Brown, Superbad

— We’ll ask Jimmy, said Outspan. — Jimmy’ll know.

Jimmy Rabbitte knew his music. He knew his stuff alright. You’d never see Jimmy coming home from town without a new album or a 12-inch or at least a 7-inch single. Jimmy ate Melody Maker and the NME every week and Hot Press every two weeks. He listened to Dave Fanning and John Peel. He even read his sisters’ Jackie when there was no one looking. So Jimmy knew his stuff.

The last time Outspan had flicked through Jimmy’s records he’d seen names like Microdisney, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Otis Redding, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Scraping Foetus off the Wheel (—Foetus, said Outspan. — That’s the little young fella inside the woman, isn’t it?

— Yeah, said Jimmy.

— Aah, that’s fuckin’ horrible, tha’ is.); groups Outspan had never heard of, never mind heard. Jimmy even had albums by Frank Sinatra and The Monkees.

So when Outspan and Derek decided, while Ray was out in the jacks, that their group needed a new direction they both thought of Jimmy. Jimmy knew what was what. Jimmy knew what was new, what was new but wouldn’t be for long and what was going to be new. Jimmy had Relax before anyone had heard of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and he’d started slagging them months before anyone realized that they were no good. Jimmy knew his music.

Outspan, Derek and Ray’s group, And And And, was three days old; Ray on the Casio and his little sister’s glockenspiel, Outspan on his brother’s acoustic guitar, Derek on nothing yet but the bass guitar as soon as he’d the money saved.

— Will we tell Ray? Derek asked.

— Abou’ Jimmy? Outspan asked back.

— Yeah.

— Better not. Yet annyway.

Outspan was trying to work his thumb in under a sticker, This Guitar Kills Fascists, his brother, an awful hippy, had put on it.

— There’s the flush, he said. — He’s comin’ back. We’ll see Jimmy later.

They were in Derek’s bedroom.

Ray came back in.

— I was thinkin’ there, he said. — I think maybe we should have an exclamation mark, yeh know, after the second And in the name.

— Wha’?

— It’d be And And exclamation mark, righ’, And. It’d look deadly on the posters.

Outspan said nothing while he imagined it.

— What’s an explanation mark? said Derek.

— Yeh know, said Ray.

He drew a big one in the air.

— Oh yeah, said Derek. — An’ where d’yeh want to put it again?

— And And,

He drew another one.

— And.

— Is it not supposed to go at the end?

— It should go up his arse, said Outspan, picking away at the sticker.

* * *

Jimmy was already there when Outspan and Derek got to the Pub.

— How’s it goin’, said Jimmy.

— Howyeh, Jim, said Outspan.

— Howayeh, said Derek.

They got stools and formed a little semicircle at the bar.

— Been ridin’ annythin’ since I seen yis last? Jimmy asked them.

— No way, said Outspan. — We’ve been much too busy for tha’ sort o’ thing. Isn’t tha’ righ’?

— Yeah, that’s righ’, said Derek.

— Puttin’ the finishin’ touches to your album? said Jimmy.

— Puttin’ the finishin’ touches to our name, said Outspan.

— Wha’ are yis now?

— And And exclamation mark, righ’? —And, said Derek.

Jimmy grinned a sneer.

— Fuck, fuck, exclamation mark, me. I bet I know who thought o’ tha’.

— There’ll be a little face on the dot, righ’, Outspan explained.

— An’ yeh know the line on the top of it? That’s the dot’s fringe.

— Black an’ whi’e or colour?

— Don’t know.

— It’s been done before, Jimmy was happy to tell them. — Ska. Madness, The Specials. Little black an’ whi’e men. — I told yis, he hasn’t a clue.

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