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  The Supporting Actors
  (4:19) [7/25/99]
  Liner Notes

Fade in:  
I don’t mind it; we really get to ham it up.
The critics are born to snivel-quibble, so I don’t let it get me down.
Still I wonder, don’t you? Sure you do. Unless . . . unless, you’re the Lead.

We in the crowd ----- 10,000, maybe more -----

Admits our guilt: emit some scream indefinitely.

Writhe on!, interpretive Tie-Chi, hold camp

For Geriatric Garcia’s memory.

Simon says, "It’s my honor to bring out Bob Dylan",

Peoples is slip-sliding tie-dyed yawns w/o listening to 1 bar.

How 'bout another rousing round of "Ev'rybody get stoned"

While plowing through the AM streets in our cars?

Michael Wincott, Ian Holm,
Chris Penn, James Gandolfini,
Kurtwood Smith, Keith David,
Bob Gunton, Raymond J Barry,
Armin-Mueller Stahl, Brad Dourif,
Victor Garber, Robert Prosky,
Pee-Wee Love, Dwight Yoakum,
Liev Schreiber, Chazz Palminteri,
Michael Ironside, Jim True,
Scatman Crothers, Harold Ramis,
Tobin Bell, Adrian Dunbar,
Jay O Sanders, George Kennedy,
Denholm Elliot, Jay Mohr,
Charles Fleischer, Brian Doyle-Murray,
Michael Rapaport, Ben Stein,
Andre Braugher, WH Macy,

Indigo bears falled over stone-ass blind;

High-fly tinkerbell, conduct the chorus line

With a smoking grass wand. The high ones Die Die Die,
But not the supporting actors,
Them supporting actors.

Makes love to Patricia Neal,

I’m feeling like I just turned 16:

Pink Pet™ nipples slap hard on lace bras

Puts my faceprint ‘tween her knees for all could seen,

Or maybe dearest Anne with Joan Cusack lips

Like from A Face In the Crowd or Hud she’s my star.

I’m luckless Matthau or Lionel Barryman shivering

Turning air up in the car but we’re not going far.

The seductive sound of she sets down her empty,

Boom!, before she goes to tackle me.

The cops’ll find a bright dead rose under a dryed-up leaf in the front seat
& nod ‘It’s a supporting actor’;

The subject’s supporting actors.

Pruitt Taylor Vince, Zakes Mokae,
Larry Miller, R Lee Ermy,
Ricky Jay, Rick Aviles,
Brion James, William Sadler, Eugene Levy,
Paul Winfield, Randall “Tex” Cobb,
Matt Craven, Paul Giamatti,
Tom Towles, Pete Postlethwaite,
Isaiah Washington, Jake Busey,
Jared Harris, Donald Pleasance,
David Morse, Steve Buschemi,

Michael Wright, Kevin Tighe,
Michael Rooker, Mitchell Ryan,
Jim Broadbent, Stephen Lang,
Dylan Baker, Peter Friedman,
Brad Garrett, William Forsythe,
Gary Farmer, Strother Martin,
Max Perlich, Tom Waits,
Crispin Glover, Ernie Hudson,
Kevin Dunn, Mike Nussbaum,
Jack Warden, Harry Dean Stanton,
Rubén Blades, Martin Balsam,
Daniel Baldwin, Owen Wilson,
Kevin Pollack, Tony Roberts,
Charles Dance, Mykelti Williamson,
Seth Green, Bill Nunn, Courtney B Vance,
Ned Beatty, Paul Gleason,

Harold Perrineau, James Coburn,
John Turturro, Lance Hendriksen,
Martin Landau, Don Ameche,
Paul Sorvino, Charles S Dutton,
Geoffrey Lewis, Stellan Skarsgård,
Delroy Lindo, Viggo Mortensen,

Still I wonder, don’t you? Sure you do. Unless . . . unless, you’re the Lead.
It seems I’m typecast ----- supporting -----. But maybe someday . . . one day;
Headline! Top Billing! The Whole Thing!, The Real Thing! -----

There’s a longing comes straight from this heart

Strong as the sicknin sight

Of you going 90 passed a patrol car

(In your rearview switching on his taillights):

It’s for The Real Thing, I’ll be effortless, my grass will be the greenest,

Dog’s chains’ll snap back 1 inch from my face w/o fear.

I’ll hear the lightning, smell the thunder, all I say's funny

Or brilliant or both. All’s I write: textbook-clear.

Peter MacNicol, Don Cheadle,
Graham Greene, Benicio Del Toro,
William Atherton, Albert Hall,
Peter Greene, Jon Polito,
LQ Jones, EG Marshall,
John Hawkes, James Fox, Yaphet Kotto,
Jeffrey Jones, Vondie Curtis-Hall,
Joe Morton, Danny Trejo,
Tom Sizemore, Noah Emmerich,
Michael Gough, Kevin Anderson,
Steve Railsback, John Cazale,
Victor Argo, David Clennon,
JE Freeman, Todd Field,
Todd Graff, Giancarlo Esposito,
David Straithairn, Michael Lerner,
Ving Rhames, Vincent D’Onofrio,

But for today, it don’t seem

To mind or sweaten my scenes.

Like Simon of Cyrene, O how we dream

Of that big breakthrough role,
As supporting actors,
We’re the supporting actors,
We’re the supporting actors.

Bruce Davidson, Ian Hart,
Adam Goldberg, Anthony LaPaglia,
Jeremy Piven, Hank Azaria,
Steve Hill, George Dzundza,
Jesse Bradford, David Alan Grier,
Jean Reno, Brian Cox,

Ralph Fiennes, Dennis Farina,

Fade out . . .

John Getz, Christopher Lloyd,
Udo Kier, Vincent Schiavelli,
Michael J Pollard, John Savage,
Glenn Plummer, John C Reilly,
Clancy Brown, Elias Koteas,
Jack Nance, Giovanni Ribisi,
John Malkovich, Bruce Greenwood,
Dennis Franz, John C McGinley,
Nick Chinlund, M Emmett Walsh,
Bob Peck, Joe Pantoliano,
Joss Ackland, JT Walsh,
Peter Reigert, James Le Gros,
Hugo Weaving, Robert Patrick,
Mike Starr, Phillip Baker Hall,
Jurgen Prochnow, Ernest Borgnine,
F Murray Abraham, Tim Spall,
Holmes Osbourne, Slim Pickens,
Phil Hartman, Johnny Galecki,
Roshan Seth, Jack Wallace,
Bob Balaban, Xander Berkeley,
James Remar, Richard E Grant,
Peter Boyle, Jaime Kennedy,
Wayne Knight, Christopher McDonald,
Paul Guilfoyle, John Mahoney,

liner notes
Neither lead nor supporting actress exactly, Patricia Neal was the anti-Monroe of her time; her bright, earthy sexuality was brought across largely (like Anne Sexton’s poetry) through suggestion, as brilliantly displayed in A Face In The Crowd, Elia Kazan’s film on the power of image over matter. Despite the Brian DePalma/Sonic Youth themes of “sex=death=confusion” seen here, this is firstly a meditation on the abusive forms that power can take: the three verses cover (respectively) the drugs ‘n’ fame bug, lascivious S&M submissions, & Machiavellian rationalizations. & to think this all started as a tasteless pun on the term “autoerotic asphyxiation” . . .

Megadeth - “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” / Mike Ness - “Crime Don’t Pay” / Yorkville Big Band - “Harlem Nocturne” / The Rolling Stones - “Shake Your Hips” / Michelle Shocked - “God Is A Real Estate Developer”, “Russian Roulette” & “Must Be Luff” / Ray Charles - “(Night Time Is) The Right Time” & “Tell The Truth” / Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - “Stagger Lee”

“And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?”
- Roger Waters, “Wish You Were Here” (1975)

I fear Hell’s hammer-wind. But fear does wane.
Death blossoms grain my hair; I cannot live.
A black joy clashes
joy, in twillight. The Devil said
‘I will deal toward her softly, and her enchanting cries
will fool the horns of Adam.’ Father of lies,
a male great pestle smashes
small women swarming towards the mortar’s rim in vain.

I see the cruel spread Wings black with saints!
Silky my breasts not his, mine, mine, to withhold
or tender, tender.
I am sifting, nervous, and bold.
The light is changing. Surrender this loveliness
you cannot make me do. But I will. Yes.
What horror, down stormy air,
warps towards me? My threatening promise faints -----

torture me, Father, lest not I be thine!
Tribunal terrible & pure, my God,
mercy for him and me.
Faces half-fanged, Christ dries abroad,
and though the crop hopes, Jane is so slipshod
I cry. Evil dissolves, & love, like foam;
that love. Prattle of children powers me home,
my heart claps like the swan’s
under a frenzy of who love me & who shine.”
- John Berryman, “Homage To Mistress Bradstreet” (1953)

“See: behind bullet-proof glass, the ruby slippers sparkle. We do not know the limits of their powers. We suspect that these limits may not exist.

Movie stars are here, among the bidders, bringing their glossy, spangled auras to the saleroom. Movie-star auras, developed in collaboration with masters of Applied Psychics, are platinum, golden, silver, bronze. Certain genre actors specialising in villainous rôles are surrounded by auras of evil ----- livid green, mustard yellow, inky red. When one of us collides with a star’s priceless (and fragile) aura, he or she is instantly knocked to the floor by a security team and hustled out to the waiting paddy-wagons. Such incidents slightly reduce the crush in the Grand Saleroom.

The memorabilia junkies are out in predictable force, and now with a ducking movement of the head one of them applies her desperate lips to the slippers’ transparent cage, setting off the state-of-the-art defense system whose programmers have neglected to teach it about the relative harmlessness of such a gesture of adoration. The system pumps a hundred thousand volts of electricity into the collagen-implanted lips of the glass-kisser, terminating her interest in the proceedings.

It is an unpleasantly wiffy moment, but it fails to deter a second aficionado from the same suicidal act of devotion. When we learn that this moron was the lover of the first fatality, we wonder at the mysteries of love, whilst reaching once again for our perfumed handkerchiefs. . . .

We, the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of taking offence as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground. From the high ground we can shoot down at our enemies and inflict heavy fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates, transcends . . .

The cult of the ruby slippers is at its height.”
- Salman Rushdie, “At The Auction Of The Ruby Slippers” (1994)

“MEL: You know, Harry, the thing you just don’t get about Jack and Catherine is they live for each other. It’s like they have the starring roles in their lives, and you’re just a bit player. Me too. It’s their love story, not yours. You don’t get to kiss the girl in the end, ‘cause it’s somebody else’s girl.”
- Robert Benson & Richard Russo, Twillight (1997)

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