Bad News: Written by Adrian Edmonson
room. The four members of Bad News are lying upside-down on a bed, legs in the
we go, rock 'n' roll! Two, three, four...
evening! We are Bad News, and we bring you More Bad News!
Cut to the
band on a TV show, playing "Bad News". The music plays on in the background as
we cut to Sally Freeman, standing in a pub.
Sally: Hi. My name's Sally Freeman, so-called "rock journalist" extraordinaire, and self-confessed
rock 'n' roll addict. Five years ago I took to the road with a bunch of rock
amateurs. Six months on the road later they'd matured into an outfit as tight
as a facelift. And then, suddenly, inexplicably, and very publicly, they split
to the TV show. Caption: "BAD NEWS on the Tube 24.1.83".
Cut to Colin
in his flat with his bass guitar.
was just too much sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. (Tries to play a dramatic
note on his bass but hurts his finger in the process.)
to the show. Colin is too concerned about his hair to bother miming his bass
part any more. Vim is reading the lyrics from a piece of paper stuck to the microphone
Colin was behaving like a complete prat, Den could only string two chords together, and Spider was out of his head on drugs
all the time.
Cut to close-up
Apparently it was all Colin's fault. I don't know what happened really, I mean,
one day we're getting along fine, you know, looking forward to the gig in Stockport, the next morning I woke up and they'd
all buggered off! (Laughs)
TV show. Vim puts his guitar down and swings a punch at Colin. Colin backs off, brushing back his hair.
Cut to Colin
in his flat again.
blame myself in part, you know, I mean, I was always the Keith Moon of the group. You
know, I was always getting drunk. I was really funny when I was drunk! (Laughs)
TV show. The music plays on, but only Den is making any effort to mime to it. He looks round at the others, confused.
Cut to Den
in a kitchen.
er, then I hurt my finger, and I couldn't play guitar properly. And it went septic,
so I couldn't play properly for about... three months. And it was my important
finger. Look. (Shows finger to camera.)
TV studio. Vim is being interviewed by Jools Holland. The rest of the band are wandering around behind.
Jools: You're a very visual band indeed, er...
still want to do an interview?
Jools: Yes. Yes please, yes.
want... (turns round to others) I think it's probably just me.
no, we can have all the band in... Er, whatever.
Cut to Vim
in his house.
Vim: I just
wasn't getting my own way enough of the time. Erm... well, you can only be reasonable
for so long, can't you?
the interview. Vim and Colin are having a furious argument.
you, thank you...
Shut up! This is heavy metal!
Jools) We are a live band, basically, but, er... I don't think anybody guessed that we were miming.
Just shut up, for a moment, everybody shut up!
while the argument continues in the background) Well, that was four years ago. But
what happens to those dreams of stardom? What happens to the boys who are sure
they've got it right, the boys who think "hey, we're gonna make it"?
reason we were miming is that some people aren't quite good enough at playing the bass.
that supposed to mean?
means that you couldn't actually play it well enough!
that supposed to mean, Vim Fuego? What kind of name is that?
to Sally in the pub.
thought we'd find out by arranging a reunion gig for them, here at their old stomping ground, the Flying Horse, where they
used to deliver the excitement and escapism that so few bands do these days, where they violated with voltage and volume,
outraged parents, and erected rock dreams against the world. (She starts to walk
across the room. Vim comes into shot.)
Hi. Vim Fuego, you were the creator and driving force behind the legend
that was Bad News, and as such, have carried the burden of dreams - stroke - nightmares - stroke - whatever. (Vim starts turning to the camera, grinning.) The reunion
of a band who split so acrimoniously must be must be packed with conflicting emotions of joy, guilt, anger, anxiety, despair,
hope, excitement even. How do you feel?
thanks. How are you? (Turns to camera
and grins again.)
now you're getting the band back together again?
But where oh where can they be? (Laughs.)
was the last time that you saw them?
well, the only one I've seen recently is, er... (makes vulgar gesture)
Cut to a
shot of Colin walking down the street, filmed secretly from behind. He is wearing
a grey suit and has a sensible haircut.
After the band split up he went straight back to college. Studied land management
for three years, then failed his exams! Ended up working as a clerk in a bank!
on some dog dirt. The cameraman hides behind a tree. Disgusted, Colin looks around, takes his shoe off, starts to walk on and straight away slips in the same
dog dirt with the same foot.
What do I think of him? I think he's a banker!
follows Colin up a path to a house. Colin wipes his shoe and sock on the lawn.
God! (Goes to front door, unlocks it, and hops inside.) Mummy? Mummy!
closes. Sally goes up to the door and knocks.
Colin opens the door.
Colin, it's Sally Freeman, remember?
at Sally, looks around at the film crew outside his house, and whimpers.) C...
Colin: No. No, er... I'm not Colin, I'm... I'm... (lowers his voice by a few semitones) I'm Trevor. I'm Trevor, Colin's twin
brother. If... if you want Colin, he'll probably be round at his pad... because
he's frightfully... groovy. Groovier than me, anyway. (Slams door.) Mummy!
Cut to a
shot of Colin in his "flat". He now has long hair and is wearing a Marillion
T-shirt (still with his grey suit trousers), and is playing his bass guitar. Badly.
Colin on his sofa.
did you stay on at college?
no! I, er... I just quit the band and dropped out of college at the same time. I just... I felt like I really wanted
to find myself, you know? God, I had an amazing time. I mean, I just went wild! I was... I was like a crazed man! (Laughs.) I mean, I, I, I, er... I shacked up with punks, dyed my hair,
all sorts of exotic colours (fixes his wig back into place), I, er... almost
had a drugs overdose... I mean, I just generally tried to experience as much
as I could.
wow, that's really amazing. Erm...
what do you do now?
pause) Er... I... I can't remember. (quietly) Look, you said you weren't
going to ask me that question.
Cut to Vim's
house. The camera pans round his room, showing a table with an ashtray on it,
a chair, some old hi-fi equipment, piles of records on the floor, an old television and a huge mound of empty beer cans, eventually
coming to rest on Vim and Sally squatting on the sofa, drinking cans of beer.
me about Den, Vim.
I haven't got a clue there, I'm afraid. I haven't seen or heard nothing about
him since the band split up. Er, you know... I've tried getting in touch with
his spirits, but I haven't been able to pick up his vibe.
yeah, I forgot to tell you! Since the last time we met, I've become... well... metaphysical, I suppose you'd call it. You know, I've
discovered I've got this power to, like, talk to people from beyond the grave. In
fact, I've been talking to some pretty interesting people from recent rock history, actually.
I mean, they never give me any whole songs or nothing like that. The nearest
I ever came to that was one that John gave me a lot of help with... John Lennon. One called, er, "Imogen".
no, "Imogen". It's a girl's name. The
title's just a really, sort of, strange coincidence, really. I'll play it to
you if you like! I've got my studio in the cellar. D'you wanna have a listen?
get up from the sofa.
camera) Come on, let's go down the studio! (The camera follows them out of the
room.) It's this way!
a knock at the door.
on, there's somebody at the door.
follows Vim as he goes to answer the door. He opens the door just long enough
to see Den standing outside dressed in painter's overalls, and slams the door shut again.
Vim turns round, sees that the camera is behind him, and opens the door again.
hell, Den, it's... it's you!
who did you think it was gonna be?
Vim: Well... this is a surprise!
past Vim into the hallway) What's going on here?
you turning up now, at this precise moment!
I finished the job in Corsica Street, I told you it'd only take half a day.
Shut up, shut up.
past Vim) Here, that's the film crew, innit? (Steps inside.) Hey, you're that bloke who was the cameraman on that, er... that documentary we done, aren't ya? Nice to see ya! (Shakes the cameraman's hand.) What is it, Oliver, innit? That's right, yeah! (To Vim.) What's going on, Vim?
his hand over camera lens) Can we cut it there?
Cut to Vim
and Sally in the cellar. Vim stands behind a cheap keyboard on a table.
power on. (Switches on keyboard; it starts playing a jaunty tune. Vim starts pressing buttons but is unable to stop the tune. Sally
leans over to press a button; Vim pushes her hand away and starts hitting all the buttons.
The tune continues until Vim switches the keyboard off.) I'll turn it
off... Start again. (Switches it
on again; no tune.) A-ha! Er...
choose rhythm... (He presses a button, a bossa nova rhythm starts to play.) Change rhythm, don't want bossa nova... (Presses
another button, the same rhythm starts again. Presses more buttons, each time
the same rhythm plays.) See, it's a new machine, you see. (Presses more buttons with the same result each time. Sally
points to a button.) Yeah, alright, we'll go with that. Right, synchro start... synchro start flashing... okay. (Clears throat.) Two, three, four! (He plays a vague approximation of the chords to "Imagine", completely out of time
with the rhythm, and sings loudly.) Imogen, all the people, Imogen, if you can! Imogen, all the people, Imogen, if you can!
(Stops rhythm.) Yeah, well... it sounds better without a bossa nova, you
Cut to Vim
and Sally in a field, walking towards a farm house.
Spider, the wild man who could throw up exactly half a pint into a half-pint pot with no spillage, had to marry this strange
hippy woman, 'cause, er... he got her pregnant. She's really tamed him. A lot.
into the house. A woman is playing an acoustic guitar and singing "Skip To My
Lou" to two children, while Spider accompanies her on drums. The house has no
ceiling, few walls, and hay on the floor.
(Sees Vim; stops drumming.) Hey, Vim, man, long time no see! Let's pop some pills, get completely out of control! (Starts
playing a rock drum solo.)
I don't know whether we'll get him back in the band or not, 'cause he's under the thumb, you know? Dunno if she'll let him go.
his drum kit over and goes to shake hands with Vim.
can't play the drums, then!
Cut to Vim,
Spider and Mrs Webb at the dinner table. They are all smoking something.
So we'll have to discuss it with her, you know, and... well, just hope for the best.
I've gotta go.
(shrugs) Well, if you've got to.
Yeah, well... I've got to, really.
(shrugs) Well, alright then.
around, laughs) Well, that was a pretty good discussion, wasn't it?
Cut to Vim
and Spider walking back through the field. They pause and turn round.
Rock 'n' roll, here we come!
and walk on.
Cut to the
inside of an Indian restaurant. Vim and Spider enter and make their way to the
table where Den and Colin are already seated.
Hey, look who's here!
Den, me old mate! (They shake hands.)
one! Good to see ya!
Spider: How you doing?
alright! How are you?
Den: Yeah! Nice!
(looks up) Colin, you old tosser! (They laugh and shake hands.) Hey, how you doing?
very cool, thank you, very cool indeed. (Turns to Vim.) Hello, Vim!
approaches the table and starts to hand out menus.
Would you like to see the menu, sir?
I think we'd like to order some drinks first, eh?
er, four pints of lager please.
let's have eight pints!
no... sixteen. (Laughs)
er... six... er.... thirty-two.
No, bugger it, we're a rock band, make it a hundred! (They all laugh.)
How many pints would you like?
Be serious, sir.
No, I'm being serious, we'd like a hundred pints of lager, please.
A hundred pints of lager?
you heard what he said, didn't you? We want a hundred pints of lager!
come on, Channel 4 are paying, aren't they?
All laugh. The waiter walks off.
Oh, and four poppadoms! (Throws menu over his shoulder.) That'll do for starters!
We're gonna get really pissed!
scene, some time later. There are a hundred pint glasses on the table, some full
of beer, some empty. Spider reaches over for another pint. The band are all very much the worse for drink.
the time... not... rested for a second, you know...
you never stopped playing then, Vim?
I couldn't stop playing, 'cause it's in my blood, right, you know, I mean, if... if
I stopped playing... it'd be like... something really important stopping.
'cause you've been playing that wine bar, Sunday lunchtime, haven't you?
he's been playing Mary Hopkins numbers on acoustic guitar.
Those were the days, my friend...we thought they'd never end...
up... Den, just shut up! (Kicks the table; Den falls face down into his beer
Did you hear that, Spider? Vim Fuego, the great heavy metal guitarist has been
playing Mary Hopkins numbers in a wine bar!
been playing... music...
you can call Mary Hopkins music, Vim, you have been playing it!
I've kept on playing, right? I've kept on gigging, I've... I've kept on hawking our bloody old demo tape around, haven't I?
Those were the days, my friend...
what have... what have you been doing, Colin? What have you been doing? Working in a bank! (Colin abruptly stops
singing.) That's what you've been doing, isn't it?
promised you wouldn't mention that. You promised!
look, while we're on the subject of things we promised we wouldn't mention, maybe we should ask everyone to ask you why you're
not gonna play this reunion gig on Saturday.
Den is still
singing "Those Were The Days" in the background.
well maybe I don't see what's so important about playing a one-off gig at the Flying Horse, of all places. These people from Channel 4 will still give us the money even if we don't do the gig, won't you?
Oh, you don't see what's so great about playing a one-off gig. I suppose you
want a record contract or something like that, do you?
maybe I do want a record contract. What's wrong with wanting a record contract?
then, alright... (Reaches for a piece of paper which he throws on the table.) Have a look at that.
up the paper.) What is it?
is a record contract. That's what you get if you don't turn traitor on your music
and start working in a bank, Colin! And... and... while we're talking quite frankly,
I might as well just say that the idea of playing with you makes me bloody sick, right, and if it wasn't for the record company
insisting on the original line-up, you would not be in this f***ing band!
singing) Here, how many pints have I had?
Den: Right. I think it's time to be sick. (Attempts
to get up, but collapses.)
Cut to an
office. Colin is seated at a table, discussing a contract with a woman in dark
glasses. As the camera moves round the table, Den's head briefly appears in shot,
staring at the camera. He is gently guided out of shot.
last point on my list is this, er... this "cosmic clause" thing. "Rights to exploitation
on any planet now, or yet to be, known to man."
what does that mean?
Oh, that's just a little bit of nonsense. I mean, all it means is, when we land
on Mars and find lots of little Martians there who, let's face it, are bound to be into Bad News, we can sell your records
Colin: Oh. (Laughs.) Okay, okay. Right, so to sum up the main points again... The contract
lasts five years, but you don't have to put out any records if you don't want to, although if you don't want to, we're still
under contract to you, and we're not allowed to make any records for anybody else. And
we get four and three-quarter percent of ninety percent of a hundred, minus fifteen percent of retail, but there's no advance,
which means absolutely no cash whatsoever for us upfront.
Yeah, that's about right, yeah.
Colin: Mm. (Inhales thoughtfully, sticks his pen in his mouth, thinks for a second, looks at
Rachel, smiles and nods.) Well, alright, I'll sign that. (Signs the contract.)
Cut to the
band entering a recording studio.
Vim: (grinning) Hey! Where's all the groupies?
where's all the groupies? (Laughs.)
Where's all the drugs?
talk to the camera.
Colin: Hey! Look out world, you're about to witness rock 'n' roll history!
Vim: Yeah! The only trouble with creating rock 'n' roll history is that it always takes six hours
to set the drums up! Why is that, Spider?
Well, this time it's 'cause I left my drums at home. (Vim and Colin laugh.) No, I'm serious. (Laughs nervously.) I thought this lot were gonna pick 'em up for me.
Cut to Den,
coming out of the gents' lavatory.
this is really great. Just imagine, I could have just dumped in the same bog
as Eric Clapton! Mick Jagger! Lemmy! Ozzy Osbourne! (To someone off camera.) Who has been here? (Mumbled reply; Den
looks disappointed.) Bananarama.
In the control
room with Vim, Rachel and the producer. Vim suddenly spots something.
hell, whose are all those lagers?
Oh, I brought them in, they're for afterwards.
over to a huge pile of cans of lager and helps himself) Knockout thinking, Rachel! (Shouts.) Hey lads! There's a stack of lager in here!
Colin burst into the control room, run over to the lager and grab a can each.
Oh no, come on, I said they were for after!
Well, alright, you can have one now, but just one, okay?
this lot shouldn't take long!
Cut to Vim
and Den in the studio. Den is trying to tune his guitar to Vim's.
down. There, there! You missed it! That's it, leave it. (Den continues to
tune.) Leave it, leave it, leave it! (Vim
plays some notes; Den plays the same notes, but they sound awful. Vim puts his
hand on Den's guitar to stop the noise.) Den, Den, that amp is pathetic. You couldn't amplify a fart through that.
well... Gail's kid's gerbil's been using it for a toilet the last three years.
you can't play through that, can you? (Turns to engineer in background who is
moving equipment about.) Look, mate, have you got a spare amp we could borrow
Cut to Colin
in the control room. He picks up a can of lager, shakes it and attempts to spray
the camera with beer. Unfortunately the ring pull snaps before the can is opened. Colin looks sheepish.
the studio. The engineer pushes in a huge Marshall amplifier.
hell, Vim, look, it's a Marshall! (Unplugs from his old amp and plugs into the
Vim: Hey! Er.. listen, mate, have you got any more of these?
Nope, that's it. (Walks off.)
Den, er... maybe I should play through the Marshall, right, and you can play through my stack...
defensively in front of the amp) No way, this one's mine now!
let me just have a... (Vim tries to get to the amp, Den fights him off. Their
guitars rub together and make a hideous racket.) Den! Den, stop being childish! Den!
Cut to outside. We see a taxi pull up at the side of the road.
As the camera gets closer we see that Spider has his full drum kit set up inside the taxi, and is playing.
(stops playing) It's alright mate, I'm all set up, just drive straight in. (Resumes playing.)
the studio. Den picks up a four-pack of beer, opens one can and drinks from it,
without detaching the other three.
Vim: (laughs) Nice one, Den!
in the studio and finishes setting up his drum kit. Colin is asking the engineer
to adjust the volume of his bass.
Colin: (Plays a few notes.) Can you turn it
up a bit? (Plays a few more notes.) Just
take me up a bit. (More notes.) Yeah... (More notes.) Up a bit more. (More notes, still with no obvious increase in volume.) Just
a touch more. (More notes; Spider starts hitting his drums.) Shut up! (More notes.)
It can go up a little bit higher, can't it? I know. (More notes, still no obvious difference.) Alright, just another
two or three notches. (More notes.) Good. Yes... well, just a little bit more. (More
notes.) Okay. Up a touch, just a
touch... (More notes.) Lovely. Okay, we'll try it there.
attempts to start playing, there is a horrible screeching noise in his headphones. He
whimpers and removes the headphones.
Colin: Ah! Ow!
Owww! (Gasps, then regains his composure.)
Hee hee - joke. (He laughs at the engineer and puts on his headphones
again. As he does so, Spider starts hitting the drums furiously. Colin whimpers again and removes the headphones, clutching his ears in pain.)
the pile of beer cans. Vim is sitting on top of the pile, Spider is leaning on
it, Den is slumped on the floor in front of it. Rachel looks on, disgusted.
Rachel: Come on.
Vim: Hey, hey! Keep your knickers on!
Den: (drunkenly) Yeah! Don't get your hair in a twist!
Vim: We've been playing this number on and off for six years! We could play it with our hands tied behind our backs!
Rachel: Yeah, well get on with it then!
Vim: Yeah, alright, alright! Shall we give
it a go, then?
Spider: Hang on, I've set your hair on fire, Den. (Reaches
down to put out Den's hair, which has caught light from his cigarette. Den cheers,
Vim: Alright then - let's tie our hands behind our backs!
Spider laugh. Den, who has just taken a mouthful of beer, splutters, sprays it
everywhere, then laughs.
the studio. The band are ready to play "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan".
All: (together) We are the four horsemen of
the rock apocalypse! Leaders and saviours of the wild ride to oblivion and ecstasy!
Vim: One, two, three, four!
to play. 45 seconds into the track, Den plays the wrong chord.
Vim: (stops playing) Stop! Stop! STOOOP!!!! (They
stop. Vim is furious.) Look, I just
don't see why you can't play a bloody G, for God's sake, Den!
Den: (stunned) I was playing a G!
Vim: You weren't!
Den: I was.
Vim: You weren't! I was watching you!
Den: I was! I was playing a G!
Vim: You weren't! You were playing this! (Plays chord.) What's that? What is it, eh?
Den: Errrr.... (Struggles to find chord, and plays it.)
Er, that's a D.
Vim: Yeah! That's a D, and that's what you
Den: No I wasn't, I was playing a G!
Vim: If you were playing a G, then I'm a queer!
Spider: We've always had our doubts about you, Vim.
(Opens another beer.)
Den: Yeah, well, maybe you are bloody queer!
Cut to inside
the control room. The engineer opens the door and allows Colin and Spider in. They walk over to where Vim is sitting, sulking.
Colin: What's wrong, Vim?
Vim: You know perfectly well what's wrong.
Colin: What, that... that you might be a queer?
Vim: Don't be so f***ing stupid! It's the
band! I mean, what is it with this band?
Six years we've been playing that number! We finally get the chance to
put it down on vinyl, and what happens? Nothing!
Now, why is that?
Colin: (quietly) Well, secretly, I'm rather
pleased that Phil's left. Because, quite frankly, I don't think he's that hot. I just can't get a decent balance in my cans!
It's the same thing that happened the last time we tried to record something, we didn't have the right people. And we don't have them now. We need a
producer, we need a good engineer...
Vim: We need a proper bass player.
Colin: ...we need a proper ba... Right, that
is it. I'm off. I mean it Vim, I'm
off, you just can't say that sort of thing about me in front of the camera. I've
seen you sneaking off and badmouthing me behind my back. Well, it doesn't matter
what you say now, I'm going, I've had enough!
Spider: Bye then!
Colin: It's just exactly what always used to happen, isn't it? And here you are doing it all over again. Well it's not going
to work this time, because I'm going. Now.
(Vim does not respond.) Right now.
And don't try and stop me, I'm going now. There's no argument. I refuse to argue with you. (Still no response.) Look, I'm refusing to argue with you. Goodbye. (He leaves.)
Vim: One, two, three, four!
start to play the track again, this time without Colin, and with Vim on bass.
Cut to the
control room. Vim, Spider and Den are listening to the playback of the track,
grinning and drinking beer. Suddenly Colin walks in and turns the volume down.
Colin: (tearfully) I don't care what any of
you say, I signed the contract too and I refuse to be thrown out of the band just when we're on the brink of success. Do you hear me, Vim? I refuse to leave!
Vim: Stop crying.
Colin: I'm not crying... (Sniffs.)
Vim: (to engineer) Turn the track up, mate. (The volume increases.)
Colin: Yes. (Starts to nod his head to the music,
then realises what he is listening to, and turns the volume right down again.) Who's
that playing bass? Who is it?
Cut to the
inside of a huge warehouse - the set of the video for "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan". There
are spotlights, cameras and various people standing about.
(through a megaphone) Playback! ("Warriors
Of Ghengis Khan" starts to play.) Action!
members run across the set, which consists mainly of piles of burning wood. Colin
and Den are carrying large red flags. Colin attempts to jump across a gap, misses,
and falls into a hole. The other three stop at the edge and point down at him,
stops. We see Colin writhing about, clutching his leg. Sally helps him out of the hole.
I'm not fucking alright.
continue to laugh, jeer and point.
later. Spider and a young woman in a red rubber dress are sitting on a motorbike
at the back of the set, while the director talks to Den at the front of the set.
Now, when I've set off Spider, all you have to do when I cue you is turn into camera and look mean. Okay? (Den looks totally blank.) Right, let's go. Roll playback! (Music starts.) Action, Spider!
Cut to the
view from the camera making the promo video. Spider drives the bike across the
back of the set.
up and walks out of shot towards the camera making the documentary.
Director: Cut. Cut. CUT! (Music stops.) What happened there?
(Sees promo camera.) Oh, sorry, I got confused, I thought you meant that camera. I didn't see that camera!
Cut to Vim
Vim: "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan" is actually a political song. (Grins, takes a drag of his cigarette.)
the set. Spider drives across the set again.
Director: Action, Den. (Nothing happens.) Action, Den! (Still nothing.) Den! Action!
Den: (looking into camera) Oh, sorry. Sorry, I was watching Spider on the bike.
Vim and Sally.
Sally: In what way is it a political song, then?
Vim: (long pause) Well, it's in the lyrics,
the set. Spider goes again.
Director: Action, Den.
into camera and grins stupidly.
Director: No, no, you have got to look mean!
Den: Oh, right. Sorry. (Looks totally blank.)
Vim and Sally. Sally has acquired a copy of the single.
Sally: Right, here we are then. "Burning, looting,
raping, shooting. Repeat."
Cut to footage
of the promo video for "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan". This involves the band miming
to the song and performing various stunts on the burning set.
Vim: (sings) Burning, looting, raping, shooting!
Burning, looting, raping, shooting!
I'm burning, looting, raping and-a shooting!
I'm burning, looting, raping and-a shooting!
All this I do, I'd kill for you!
Oh come on pretty baby, won't you take my hand?
Oh come and fuck the singer in a rock 'n' roll band!
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby!
I wanna see your blood all over the land!
All this I do, I'd kill for you!
'Cause I'm a warrior (warrior!) of Ghengis Khan!
I'm a warrior (warrior!) of Ghengis Khan!
I'm a warrior (warrior!), the blood won't wash away!
I'm a warrior, I'll kill myself one day!
Vim and Sally.
Sally: And that's political in intent, is it?
Vim: Well, er... maybe it's more poetical-political, you know... I dunno.
in behind Vim.
Sally: It doesn't simply, sort of, indulge the macho male ego's preoccupying and overriding
obsession with dominating women and orgiastic blood letting for the sake of it, then?
Den: Yeah, that's the bits I like.
shop. The band walk in and approach the counter.
Vim: "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan" by Bad News.
on counter to impress assistant) And, er... we're Bad News. (Waggles his tongue.)
(unimpressed) Are you really? (They
laugh.) What was it called, sorry?
Colin: "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan".
Assistant: Oh. Sounds sensitive. (Briefly disappears behind the counter, then returns.) No,
we haven't got it, sorry.
Vim: No, it... it's new out this week.
Assistant: What label's it on?
quietly, hiding mouth behind hand) Frilly...Frilly Pink.
quietly) Frilly Pink.
Assistant: Frilly.... Frilly Pink? That's that new label just for gays, is it? Hang on. (Disappears behind counter again.)
Den: Shall I smash his face in?
(returns) No, sorry, it's not in... girls.
over counter to punch the assistant. The others grab him and pull him back.
record shop. They approach the counter.
There is a life-size cardboard cut-out of Barry Manilow in the background.
on counter) 'Scuse me!
Vim: We'd like "Warriors Of Ghengis Khan" by Bad News, please.
Assistant: Is that a new one?
Vim: Yeah, it's new out this week.
Assistant: D'you know what label it's on?
Den: It's on Frilly Pink! D'you wanna make
something of it or what?
disappears. Den turns round, sees the cardboard Barry Manilow, and punches it,
knocking its head clean off.
Den: I hate Barry Manilow.
(to camera) Well, that is a surprise!
(returning with a 7" single) Here we are.
Vim: Oh no, we want more than one.
Assistant: Well, how many d'you want?
Vim: How many do we want, Colin?
practising his tongue waggling to camera and pulls a piece of paper from his pocket)
Three hundred and forty-seven.
Vim: Yeah, three hundred and forty-seven, please.
start pulling loose change from their pockets and piling it up on the counter.
the video set. Colin comes running to the others, dragging Rachel by the hand.
Colin: Guys! Listen to this! (to Rachel) Tell them what you just told me.
Rachel: (sighs) Look, it's no secret, it was
in the contract.
Vim: What was?
Colin: Go on, tell them!
Rachel: Well, it's just that the video and the single come out of your royalties. It is standard practice!
Colin: I've worked it out, do you know how much it comes to?
I was talking to the guy who runs the canteen van. He says he charges
£17.50 a head! I mean, with a crew this size, the canteen bill alone is going
to come to something like eight hundred pounds! That meal over there is costing
us two hundred pounds! Each!
Spider run off. Den and Colin follow. We
see them at the canteen van with plates piled high with food, eating as quickly as possible.
Colin: Eat! Eat!
Eat as much as you can!
members attempt to get to the food, but are pushed away by the band.
Vim: (through a mouthful of food) Grmmph! Get off! We have paid for that food!
Spider: Get off!
Den: We've paid for that!
Rachel: Look, look, at the moment you're in debt to the tune of about fifteen grand, but we'll
get it back for you, don't worry.
Vim: What's the single doing?
Rachel: Bad news on that front, I'm afraid... Hey
- bad news! Get it? (laughs)
Spider: We must be somewhere in the charts, even if it's only 376.
Rachel: We've been disqualified from the charts.
attempts to remove some food and is met with a torrent of abuse.
Den: (indistinctly) That's our food. We've paid for that.
Director: (standing around with the film crew) Where
are the bozos? Come on, somebody!
Rachel: Apparently some twat went into a chart shop and bought three hundred and fifty copies. (They all look nervous.) Of course, when
that happens they think it's being hyped and it gets disqualified from the charts for a couple of weeks. But don't worry, we'll re-release it on the back of this programme, that's when it'll do the business. Should make some money at Castle Donnington as well.
Cut to Rachel's
Rachel: I have booked you, Bad News, to play the Monsters Of Rock festival, Castle Donnington.
round to show Den, Spider and Colin on a couch. They slowly sit up, amazed.
Cut to Colin
in bed, apparently having just woken up. He sits up and yawns.
Colin: Another heavy metal day. No sleep 'til
Castle Donnington. Better have some vibes!
behind him, turns on a lamp, then turns on his record player, which plays a very loud heavy metal song. He lights a cigarette.
Vim: (voice-over) Donnington, I mean, it's
just unbelievable! I mean, it's like... it's the centre of the heavy metal universe,
and Bad News are gonna be there!
room suddenly goes dark and the record slows down and stops. Puzzled, he gets
out of bed, pulls his T-shirt down to hide his underpants, and runs out of the room.
Vim: (voice-over) I mean, the biggest gig
we've played so far is, er... 87, I think, at the Kingston poly!
Colin: (muffled, from outside the room) Daddy,
please put the power back on. Okay, I'll turn it down! (He comes back into the room; the light and record player come back on.)
Huh! Meter ran out. (Goes
back to bed, turning record player volume right down as he does so.)
Vim: (voice-over) I mean, this is big league,
right, and all we've gotta do now is blow Ozzy off the stage!
a knock on the door. Colin looks terrified, puts the cigarette out and waves
his hands in an attempt to clear the smoke. A woman enters carrying a cup of
tea on a tray.
Mrs Grigson: I thought if you were going to play this "getting up in the morning" scene, I'd bring
you a cup of tea like I normally do.
Colin: (embarrassed but trying to be cool) Oh,
great, tea, yeah, great, thanks Mrs Grigson, just put it down on the side, that'll be all.
Mrs Grigson: (putting the tray down) There's no need
to be so formal, Colin, I am your mother! (Colin looks sheepishly at the camera.) Oh, I'm sorry about that. (She sits down
on the bed and adjusts his hair.) But your father has got a point, you know. When you've got a place of your own you can make as much noise as you like.
Cut to Spider
standing outside a garage.
Spider: I've got something a bit special for you, ladies and gentlemen. It's very big, it's very bad, it's called The Beast!
the doors and Vim drives a white van out of the garage. It has a large, hand
painted sign on the side which says "The Beast". He drives the van into the back
of another vehicle, causing the sign to fall off.
Vim: The bloody brakes don't work! (Laughs)
Spider: (reading the side of the van which was previously obscured by the sign) Alan Metcalfe...
Vim: Shut up! (Getting out of the van.) Shut up, don't say about...
Spider: ...painter and decorator, telephone number 01 678 5397.
Vim: Can we stop filming now, please?
Spider stick the sign back on the van.
Spider: This isn't supposed to happen. Sorry
Vim: That's about it, really.
to Colin in bed.
Colin: Yeah, well, actually, I don't see what's really wrong with living with your parents,
I mean, they're just a couple of old reactionaries and here I am sponging off them, so, er... so that's what I call anarchy,
in my book! (Attempts to draw on his cigarette, but his bottom lip is too trembly.) Anyway, who's playing at Castle Donnington, me or you?
Hmm? It's me, isn't it?
Spider outside the van.
Spider: (to camera) I'm gonna show you inside
The Beast. (Opens back doors and climbs inside; the camera follows him.) See all this, this is all leopard-skin. (Indicates
leopard-skin covering on roof and sides of van.) Vim and I did this. It's great, isn't it? You can get this for £8.99 a roll. Shop called Alexander's, we bought it from.
You can get zebra or the tiger skin, but we thought the leopard was a bit saucy, you know. (Points to picture on van wall.) This is, er... well, it's
a picture of my Aunt Marjorie, actually. (Laughs.) A few, er... few chicks. (Indicates more pictures.) I've had all those. This is all Vim's furniture, basically. (Sits down on a couch.) And, er... (points to front of van where Vim sits at the steering wheel.) That's the cockpit in there.
Vim: Good afternoon, I'd like to welcome you aboard, hope you have a pleasant flight. Er, as you can see, in the flight deck we've gone mainly for the skull motif; we've
got the skull on the gearstick here, we've got the skulls on the mirror (indicates two little plastic skulls dangling from
the rear view mirror), we've got the out-of-date tax disc, we've got the optional extra saucy lady (lifts up a cut-out picture of a nude woman, laughs)... leopard-skin
throughout, of course, it's very metal, very heavy, and it's very Bad News!
Cut to a
shot of The Beast driving along the road. "Masturbike" plays in the background. Cut to inside the van. Den, Vim and Colin
are drinking and laughing. Another shot of the van on the road, then cut to Sally
in the van.
Sally: Den, I was wondering if we could play a little game.
I sometimes use it when I'm interviewing people for my column. It's called
"On The Couch", it's a word association game. (No response from Den.) Okay, I'll start. Heavy metal.
Sally: Heavy metal.
Den: (looks around for help) Heavy metal what?
shot of the van on the road, then back inside.
Sally: Heavy metal!
Den: (still blank) What about heavy metal?
exterior shot of the van, then back inside.
Sally: Okay then, what about heavy metal?
Den: Oh. Oh, yeah, right. Er... (thinks) I like heavy metal.
Cut to Colin.
Sally: (out of shot) Poseurs.
Colin: (plays with his hair) Umm... (Rests his chin on his hand, thinks.) Phew! (Wipes imaginary sweat from his brow, pulls a few faces, thinks a bit more.) I hate them. (Nods his head, satisfied, and tosses his hair
shot of the van, then cut to Sally and Spider.
Spider: A-Ha? Oh, A-Ha! (Pretends to vomit.)
outside shot, then back to Sally, Vim and Den.
Sally: (to Vim) Pet Shop Boys.
Vim: John Noakes and Peter Purves. (Everyone
Sally: (to Den) Vim.
Den: No, my name's Den.
exterior shot. Spider waves at the camera.
Cut to the cockpit. Spider is still driving. Den sticks his head through the hatch.
Den: How long's this journey gonna take? I
wanna go to the toilet!
Spider: Well, it'd be a lot shorter if we didn't have to stop at every bridge to let the cameraman
out to film us going by. (Takes a drink from a can of beer.)
exterior shot, then back to Den and Sally. Sally is asleep.
Den: Wake up! (Nudges Sally, who wakes up.) Wake up! Give us another word, I think
I've got it now.
Sally: (sighs) Right.
Den: Give us another word.
Den: (thinks) Er... what about 'em?
finally arrives at a set of gates. There is a sign saying "Monsters Of Rock"
at the side of the road. The security guard approaches the van.
Guard: Can I see your passes, please?
Spider: It's alright mate, we're with the film crew.
Guard: No. I said, can I see your passes, please?
Spider: Yeah, and I said we're with the film crew.
Guard: I need to see a pass.
Spider: Well, we haven't got any, have we?
Guard: Well, if you haven't got any passes, you don't get in!
Den: But we're doing a gig here tomorrow!
Colin: Look here, if we don't get in then we won't get to play, and I should think your superiors
would be pretty upset with you, mate!
Vim: (gets out of the van and walks up to the guard)
Is there any chance of seeing someone in charge?
Guard: I'm in charge.
Vim: Right, um, well, look... We haven't got
any passes, right, there's obviously been some sort of mix up, but we are playing here tomorrow, we've got the gear in the
van, and we need to get in.
Guard: (menacingly) If you haven't got a pass,
you don't get in.
Vim: Right, well, in that case, er... we're not moving our van.
Guard: Right. (Turns to cameraman.) Turn that camera off, please. (Points the camera at the ground.)
Vim: What for? Ow!
goes off. There is the sound of punches being thrown, and laughter from the van.
Cut to the
band walking around the festival site. Vim is holding his ribs and is obviously
in some pain.
Vim: I suppose you think that's funny, do you, Colin?
The guy who got you what must be probably the biggest gig you've ever had in your life gets his ribs broken! That's funny, is it, eh?
Colin: Well, it is quite funny, yeah!
Den: Yeah, I think it's quite funny!
Vim: Well, that's very nice coming from you, Den.
If it wasn't for me, you'd still be a painter and decorator!
Den: I am still a painter and decorator! I've
got that job for you in Hendon starting on Friday, remember?
organiser approaches the band.
Organiser: Sorry about the mix up at the gate, boys, it's, er...
(shrugs) just one of those things.
Vim: Yeah, well, what about the soundcheck?
Official: Oh, you're the ones with the film crew, ain't ya?
Official: They told me it was some joke documentary about some funny rock band.
Official: So I'm afraid we haven't scheduled a soundcheck.
Anyway, I tell you what, have a look round, I'll catch up with you later, alright?
He leaves. The band stare after him.
Vim: (pointing at the film crew) If what was
said just then ends up in this documentary, I am gonna kill every single one of you.
shots of stage equipment being set up. The song "Back Off Bad News" plays in
the background. Cut to Colin standing in front of the stage.
Colin: This is where it's all gonna happen. Bad
News playing live in front of a quarter of a million people. And a lot of them
Cut to Den
coming out of the gents' toilet.
Den: That's the toilets. Just think, there's
quarter of a million punters. If all of them pissed about... about two pints
each, then there'd be.... er....
Spider: When I'm rich, right, I'll get a mansion right next door to the dole office, and I'm
gonna get a stereo with speakers this big! (Pull back to reveal an outrageously
huge bank of speakers.)
of Den counting on his fingers, then cut to Vim walking out on stage.
Vim: (shouts) Hello Castle Donnington!
round to show Colin standing at the other end of an empty field.
Colin: (shouting, but barely audible as he is so far away)
Hello Bad News!
does it look from there?
Colin: Yeah, it's good from here! I'll try the
other field, shall I?
of Den doing calculations on the toilet wall, then Colin in the other field.
Vim: Look good from there?
Colin: (even less audible) Pardon?
Vim: (louder) Does it look good from there?
Colin: You're gonna need a microphone on the day.
an explosion canister into the field behind him. He turns back to the camera
casually, then dives for cover as the canister explodes.
Colin on stage playing air guitar, leaping about, practising his pelvic thrusts and tongue wiggles. He leaps into the air, legs akimbo, grabbing his crotch in pain as he lands.
Den: (finishes counting on his fingers) ...about
eight pints. (Thinks.) That can't
of the band on stage, all playing air guitar except Spider, who is playing air drums.
Cut to the
band in a hotel room, as per the opening shot. A man comes in with some glasses
of beer on a tray.
Colin: Yes, the drink is here!
Vim: About bloody time!
Colin: Put it there, put it there. (The man
puts the tray on top of the TV.) Okay, thanks very much. Now f*** off.
members laugh. The man leaves, not amused.
They each take a beer from the tray.
Colin: Hey, this is really good fun.
Vim: Look, Colin, there's something I've been meaning to say about the other day. I'm sorry I called you the Andrew Ridgeley of heavy metal.
Colin: Oh, that's okay Vim. I'm sorry I called
you a completely bugger piss-head.
Den: Oh, this is really great, I've never been in the hotel. You can drink all day!
Vim: Yeah, well, this is what it's gonna be like from now on with Bad News. World tours and all day drinking!
Spider: Yeah, and endless nobbing! (They laugh.)
Colin: Hey guys! Let's get this introduction
recorded prolopy, and then we can start to really, really, really get piddly!
Vim: Right, come on!
Colin: Bad News...
Vim: This time!
Colin: Good evening, we are Bad News...
Vim: Yeah, yeah, yeah!
get on the bed upside down, legs in the air as seen in the opening shot.
we go, rock 'n' roll! Two, three, four...
evening! We are Bad News, and we bring you More Bad News!
get off the bed, cheering and shouting drunkenly. Spider starts to spray beer
Colin: Hey! Hey!
Listen, let's pretend to be The Who!
Spider: Great! I'll be Keith Moon! (Starts to take the pictures from the walls and smash them.)
Colin: Yeah, and I'll be Pete Townshend! (Starts
to play air guitar.)
Vim: No, no, no! I wanna be Pete Townshend!
Colin: No, I'm Pete Townshend, you're... Roger Daltrey!
Den: I'll be that other one that nobody knows who he is!
Vim: I should be Pete Townshend, 'cause I play the guitar!
Colin: No, I'm Pete Townshend, I... (He is momentarily
distracted as Den falls over.) Listen, I bags Pete Townshend!
Vim: (furious) You can't bags Pete Townshend!
Colin: I can do whatever I want, it was my idea to join The Who! Or at least, to pretend to be The Who! My idea, you've got
to be Roger Daltrey!
Vim: Why can't you be Roger Daltrey?
Colin: Because I'm not a queer!
Colin's wig off in fury. Colin looks to camera, horrified. As Vim starts to chase Colin out of the room, throwing punches and kicks, Spider picks up the TV.
Spider: Bad News At Ten! (He throws the TV out
of the window.)
Den: (knocking everything off the table, kicking the wardrobe and heading for the corridor) Bad News! Bad News! (As the camera follows him out, we briefly see Vim repeatedly punching Colin in the bath.) Bad News! Bad News at Castle Donnington tomorrow! (He starts banging on other doors as he runs down the corridor.)
Bad News! Bad News! Bad News
at Castle Donnington tomorrow!
As Den disappears,
the camera turns round and heads back into the room, stepping over Vim beating up a sobbing Colin on the floor. Spider is spraying the room with a fire extinguisher.
Spider: Oh, hello! Thought I'd clean up the room!
the camera. The picture goes black. We
can still hear Colin being beaten up.
Colin: Ow! Oh God! Oh no! Get the police!
Cut to Vim
and Colin in handcuffs, being escorted from the hotel by two policemen.
Vim: You can't arrest us, we're making a documentary!
Colin: If you have changed the shape of my nose in any way whatsoever, Alan Metcalfe, I'm
going to sue you. I mean that!
Vim: Well, if we don't get to play bloody Castle Donnington tomorrow, I'll (beep) kill
bundled into the back of a police van. Den and Spider are already inside.
Spider: We really must stop meeting like this, Colin.
Den: (distraught) What are we gonna do now,
Colin: (sarcastically) Maybe you should have
a word with Jimi, Vim! Maybe he can help you!
Vim: (grips the bars on the window desperately as the van drives off) Oh Jimi, who art in heaven, Hendrix be thy name...
pans slowly round the room, showing the full extent of the damage, which includes beercans everywhere, broken pictures, smashed
furniture and a broken window. The camera settles on the sign for the door handle
which reads "This Room is Ready For Cleaning."
scene we hear the sound from the stage at Donnington.
Compere: Ladies and gentlemen, I wanna tell you a story.
How many of you people have heard of Bad News? (We now see the compere
for the first time; he is wearing an American football helmet to avoid being injured by the missiles thrown by the crowd.) Well, these four plucky lads took on the whole of the Nottingham Constabulary! (Pause.) And they lost! Last night they were all in jail. That was at four o'clock
in the morning. At two o'clock this afternoon by some miracle they got out on
bail, and they're here for you now! Will you welcome BAD NEWS!!
members run on stage.
Fish: They're an insult to, like, professional musicians.
We see Fish
and Joe Elliot seated at a table. The caption identifies Joe as "Fish, Marillion"
and Fish as "Joe Elliot, Def Leppard".
Fish: I mean, the fact that, like, you know, they've been allowed to go on stages, you know,
that have been, you know, trod upon by, like, so many famous faces in the past, it's a disgrace. To me it's just giving rock a really bad name.
walk out on stage, waving to the rather hostile crowd. Colin does a few pelvic
thrusts and is nearly hit by something thrown from the crowd.
Vim: (amid a hail of missiles) Hello Castle
Donnington! (The crowd roars; a partially-eaten apple bounces off Vim's shoulder.) We are Bad News! (Another roar.)
the shot of Joe Elliot and Fish.
Joe: It's disgusting!
Fish: I mean, bands like ours, I mean, we've been, like, you know, going round circuits
for years, (Joe nods) and all they
get is, like, one documentary... (Joe nods again)
I mean, it's like, sort of like, you know, a heavy metal Sheena Easton!
Cut to the
band on stage, playing "Bad News". One person in the crowd is waving a Bad News
flag, but objects are still being hurled at the stage.
of Phil Carlin from Def Leppard.
Phil: I'm Phil Carlin, the guitarist from Def Leppard, and I think they're shit.
the band, then a quick shot of Motorhead's Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor.
Philthy: The f***in' worst band I've ever seen in the f***in' world.
of the band, followed by a quick shot of Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy: They were absolutely f***in' awful, man. (Everyone
shots, then brief shot of Rudi Schenker from the Scorpions.
Rudi: Bad News? (Laughs.) Scheisse! (More laughter.)
plays on. Cut to Lemmy from Motorhead.
Lemmy: I thought Bad News set a new high in altruistic, self-indulgent, bullshit, mollycoddled,
you know... mother-my-dark-instinct rock 'n' roll. I thought it was a piece of
pimply shit from the worst kind of city ghetto, probably populated by winos, junkies and just general all-round f***-ups.
plays on. Colin jumps in the air and falls over.
becomes increasingly restless as the lengthy instrumental ending drags on. The
steady stream of missiles directed at the stage increases. The song finally ends.
to Den in a hospital bed. His face is bruised and his left leg is in traction.
Den: Yeah, well, the first number went quite well.
Well, the first part of it did. The audience got a bit bored in the second
half. Then Vim said, "Behold, I am the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix, all kneel
and praise me," and that's when the audience rushed the stage.
Cut to slow
motion footage of Vim being beaten up.
Den: (voice-over) No, it wasn't just Hell's
Angels, it was the police as well... all, like, jumping on Vim's head. And then Colin joined in. And, er... so, Vim's in major surgery
at the moment, (cut back to Den) and
er... it looks quite dodgy, evidently. (Laughs.)
Anyway, luckily, Colin had his wig, like, torn off, so he could pretend he wasn't in the band, until someone saw this
name tag on his collar, and, er, they slit his throat.
Colin in hospital bed with a bandaged throat. He mouths "I can't talk" and mimes
the action of slitting his throat. He attempts a few tongue waggles, then clutches
his throat in pain.)
Den: (voice-over) I only got off so lightly
because, like, I was so scared, I went to the toilet in my trousers and most people, like, kept away from me because of the
smell. (The camera pans along to show a completely bandaged figure in the next
bed, attached to various drips and an oxygen cylinder.) And Spider... Spider got out of being beaten up by blowing himself up. (Cut
back to Den.) Yeah, it is, yeah, it's a tragedy, yeah, but on the other hand,
Rachel says it'll probably do the record a lot of good, and, er, if Vim dies and we exploit it properly, we could all make
a lot of money. So, er, it's a pity, yeah, but there you go.
by . . . . . . . . . . . Adrian
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adrian Edmondson
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rik Mayall
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nigel Planer
Spider . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Richardson
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Saunders
Rachel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dawn French
Wife . . . . . . . . . . . . Judy Hawkins
Compere . . . . . . . . . . . . Tommy Vance
Organiser . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Walsh
Mum . . . . . . . . . . . . Anne Cunningham
Director . . . . . . . . . . . Gerard
Engineer . . . . . . . . . . . Anthony Head
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jonathan Stratt
Waiter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yusuf
Megastore Shop Assistant . Jonathan
In Chart Shop . . . . . . . Gordon
Girl In Promo . . . . . . . Susy Anne Watkins