Big Time: Texts



Big Time opening sequence (Big Time screenshot)

ACT 1:

1. Just Another Sucker On The Vine. Album version (instrumental from Swordfishtrombones)

2. Franks Wild Years. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

Big Time Intro (narrated): "Well this is a story about a guy named Frank O'Brien..." Outro: "And so Frank followed the Hollywood Freeway to pursue his lifelong dream of working in the entertainment industry..."

3. Shore Leave. Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987.

4. Way Down In The Hole. Warfield Theatre (edited version). November 5, 1987.

Big Time intro part 1 (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Thank you babe. Really, really. It goes right here (points to his chest). And I know, you know what I mean."

Big Time intro part 2 (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987): "Things got a little snooty downtown here today. I was on one of those streets that... you know. You know the ones. Okay? I walked into a hotel, I knew somebody who was staying at the hotel. I walked in the hotel I said: "Listen, can you direct me to the elevators?" and the guy said: "You mean the elevators to the rooms?" I said: "No, the elevator to hell!" (laughter) "Of course I mean the elevators to the rooms! Jesus Christ!"

Extra verse added (from unidentified show, or post production recording):"That red horned lousy low-life underneath our boots. Praise the lord! I don't know what it is, two dollar? That demon meister, three dollar? That prince devil. Just see if you can come up with a figure that matches your faith. You say how much has Jesus done for you?! And we got to go in with our hydraulic system and blast him out! People, can I get an amen!"

Original verse: "Well people, I got to speak about something! Can I get an amen! Can I get a halleluiah! Praise the lord!"

Part of original verse deleted: "Have mercy... People, when I was on my way to this speech tonight, we pulled down in Dallas/ Texas. The lord loooves Dallas/ Texas. Well people, I mean to tell you the lord was working his wonders with his paint brush. All the many hues of his pallet. The almond, the many violets and the vermilion. And I was seated in Clipper Class. People I love Clipper Class! But I was seated next to and elderly Indian gentleman who was having some trouble with the tiny foil top that locks in the freshness on his strawberry preserves container. A problem we've all experienced from time to time... People I want you to know that he busted that top, till I thought he would die. And you know what I did!? You know what I did!? Well I tell you what I did! People I snatched the container from his hand, I tore open the foil top and I spread his preserves out on his toast for him! (applause)."

Original verse continued: "People, the lord is a very, very busy man. I do what I can... Jesus is always going for the big picture... and he's always there to help us out of the little jams too! Down in the hole!"

5. Hang On St. Christopher. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

6. Telephone Call From Istanbul. Audio from Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987. Video from both Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987 & Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987. Notice how Maracas seem to have been added during post production.

Big Time intro (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Well, let's do something together. Some of the old favourites here. Come on! (plays something completely out of tune) (sings) " (...?...) for the times I used to be" Come on! (sings) "There's a leak in the boilerroom" Come on! All right you're a little nervous, it's your first night. Come on!"

7. Cold Cold Ground. Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987.

Big Time Intro (original intro): "It's good to be back in the land of wigs and novelties. Go ahead and laugh, but when you need wigs and novelties, and you're in Indiana... You can hang it up, buddy! I looked everywhere. Woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, one thing on my mind I wanted a cigarette lighter as big as an encyclopedia. You know those? You open the top and it goes CINK! And then WHOOM! It's thrilling... It's good to be in the Wilshire district, you know. You know, close to everything. Shopping and that type of thing. All real important things with us. Actually, Wilshire's a little snooty, Western's very friendly.(1) So we're kind of... we're kind of... Would you say we're at the corner of Friendly and Snooty? The two missing seven dwarfs: Friendly and Snooty. All right, this is a song about a little guy who lives in a little house..."

ACT 2:

8. Straight To The Top (Vegas). Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987. Waits after his "costume change", returning as a white-jacketed lounge entertainer, complete with the cigars and the golf club. Band intro.

Big Time intro (original intro): "Oh, you're beautiful! No no! I know, I know You hear that all the time, you know [sings] "You are beautiful to me." Wow, I mean... it's wild, but right now, I don't know I feel closer to you than I do to my own family. And that's kind of tragic when you think about it. I don't know, I feel I can look right inside those black little hearts of yours. And I feel that I know you all individually and as a group. I don't know, it's wild, it's never happened before. Is it a full moon, I don't know? Have a cigar! Know what I'm sayin'? [starts throwing cigars out into the audience] One for the balcony [throws one into the front rows instead] Whoa! I'm sorry, baby! I threw my arm out in spring training. I lost everything in the stock market. But there's only one place to go... "

9. Strange Weather. Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987 (previously unreleased).

10. Gun Street Girl. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

Big Time intro (originally for "Jitterbug Boy": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Eh, I saw a place just outside of Western. A place that sells 'Used Erotica'. Think about it! Will they clean it? WHO cleans it? Are they licensed? All these questions came to my head. HOW used is it? WHO used it? You follow me? There's a place... there's a theatre right outside Western with seven X's... I mean double X, okay. Triple X, eeheh. But SEVEN X's? Girls without skin?! That's all I could think. You know? THAT I want to see. 'Come here, baby! You're a doll. I love you...' Okay..."

11. 9th And Hennepin. Only start and finish from Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987, rest not recorded before a live audience.

Big Time intro, part 1 (originally for "Christmas Card From A Hooker", Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "We got the whole Fourth Age Club staying at our hotel. They're animals! I'm a kidder, I'm a kidder." 

Big Time intro, part 2 (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Well... I had a rough flight down here, you know. I don't know, we came in... we didn't come into L.A. actually, we came into Bob's Airport! (laughter) Eh, actually my reaction was the same as yours. Eh, but when you think about it, Bob's there all the time, you know? It's very simple, they have a little lobster bar there and eh... I gotta introduce you to Bob, you'll love Bob." 

Big Time intro, part 3 (original intro): "We're gonna do you a little story here. It's about a place in Minneapolis/ Minnesota. It's one of those dreams, where everyone you never wanted to see again, showed up! Aargh... it's uncle Phill over there. Shit, I owe him money! Money! It's about a streetcorner called Ninth and Hennepin...

12. Clap Hands. Probably Wiltern Theatre. November 7/8, 1987.

13. Time. Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987.

ACT 3:

14. Rain Dogs. Probably Wiltern Theatre. November 7/8, 1987.

15. Train Song. Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987.

Big Time intro (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Well... look, I think the question I get asked the most is... I mean, it happens a lot. Enough that I would remark on it. A lot of people come up to me and they say, "Tom, is it possible for a woman to get pregnant without intercourse?" And eh my answer is always the same. I say, "Well, listen. We're gonna have to go all the way back to the Civil War." Apparently, a stray bullet actually pierced the testicle of a Union soldier, and then lodged itself in the ovaries of an eighteen year old girl, who was actually a hundred feet from him at the time. Well, the baby was fine. She was very happy, guilt free and eh... Of course, the soldier was a little pissed off. When you think about it, it's actually a FORM of intercourse, but NOT... for everyone. Those who love ACTION maybe."(2)

16. 16 Shells From A 30.6. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

17. I'll Take New York. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

18. More Than Rain. Warfield Theatre. November 5, 1987.

Big Time intro (originally for "More Than Rain": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Eh this is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some really bad days. And I kept them in a little box. And one day I threw them out into the yard. Oh, it's just a couple of innocent bad days. Well, we had a big rain... I don't know what it was growing in, but I think we used to put egg shells out there and coffeegrounds too. Don't plant your bad days! They grow into weeks, the weeks grow into months, and before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me: CHOKE those little bad days! CHOKE 'em down to nothing! There are your days, CHOKE 'em! You choke my days, I'll choke yours! All right... It's more than rain..."

19. Johnsburg, Illinois. Probably Wiltern Theatre. November 7/8, 1987.

Big Time intro (originally for "I Wish I Was In New Orleans": Wiltern Theatre. November 9, 1987): "Okay. All right we'll go right into a little musical geography here. We'll take a little trip. We're on a boat, I'm your captain. Join me now..."

20. Innocent When You Dream. Not recorded before a live audience.

21. Big Black Mariah. Probably Wiltern Theatre. November 7/8, 1987.


(1) Western’s very friendly: Refers to the Wiltern Theatre being on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue

(2) Pregnant without intercourse: "Son of a Gun: Claim: During the Civil War, a woman was impregnated by sperm carried on a bullet that passed through the scrotum of a soldier and penetrated her ovaries. Origins: Sometimes touted as the origin of the phrase "son of a gun," the apocryphal tale of "the bullet through the balls" is a well- traveled legend, often reported by such infamous urban legend vectors as "Dear Abby," as in this example from her 6 November 1982 column: It seems that during the Civil War (May 12, 1863, to be exact), a young Virginia farm girl was standing on her front porch while a battle was raging nearby. A stray bullet first passed through the scrotum of a young Union cavalryman, then lodged in the reproductive tract of the young woman, who thus became pregnant by a man she had not been within 100 feet of! And nine months later she gave birth to a healthy baby! The story, in fact, is completely false. The claim for the miraculous "bullet pregnancy" originated with an article that was printed as a joke in the journal The American Medical Weekly on 7 November 1874. Subsequent journals and books cited the article as fact without checking the original source or realizing that it was a put-on, and the story has been passed down through the years as an "actual case that appeared in a real medical journal many years ago." The long and tortuous history of this legend begins with an article entitled "ATTENTION GYNAECOLOGISTS! - NOTES FROM THE DIARY OF A FIELD AND HOSPITAL SURGEON, C.S.A." appearing under the name of an "L.G. Capers, M.D., Vicksburg, Miss." in the 7 November 1874 issue of The American Medical Weekly. It recounts the now-familiar story of a Confederate field surgeon who dressed the wound of a soldier injured by a bullet that had entered the soldier's leg, ricocheted off the bone, and carried away his left testicle. Coincidentally, the same surgeon was then called upon a few moments later to administer aid to a young lady who had received a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Exactly 278 days later, the surgeon returned to the village and delivered a baby boy of the wounded women, although she steadfastly maintained that she was still a virgin. The general tone and style of the article should have indicated to the astute reader that the whole thing was a gag. Even if they didn't, at least a few more obvious clues gave away the joke: The baby was said to have been born "with something wrong about the genitals," and upon examination the surgeon discovered that the ball which had wounded the soldier and impregnated the woman was lodged in the newborn infant's scrotum! Even more implausibly, the soldier, when told of his astonishingly-achieved fatherhood, quickly wed the child's mother! For those who still didn't catch on to the article's facetiousness, a note from the editor explaining that the whole thing was a bit of "fun" (complete with a pun on the putative author's name) was printed in the same journal two weeks later. (Note: The details of battle given in the original article do correspond to actual events. In May of 1863, Union troops under the command of Major General James B. McPherson set out for Raymond, Mississippi, a town about fifteen miles from Jackson, the state capital. On May 12 a unit led by Major General John A. Logan ran into a Confederate brigade under the command of General John Gregg, and the battle of Raymond ensued, with Gregg eventually withdrawing his outnumbered forces from Raymond and heading down the road to Jackson.) Several months later, the British medical journal The Lancet reprinted (portions of) the 1874 article. Then, in 1896, George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle cited (and quoted from) The Lancet as a footnote to a section about artificial impregnation in their book Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine. Even Gould and Pyle seem to have recognized the original article's drollery, however, as they mention that it is included "not because it bears any semblance of possibility, but as a curious example from the realms of imagination in medicine." F. Donald Napolitani, M.D., evidently didn't catch the article's whimsicality, though, as he presented all the same details as an "authenticated case report" in his 1959 article about "Two Unusual Cases of Gunshot Wounds of the Uterus" for the New York State Journal of Medicine. From then on, one or more of these sources has been cited as proof of an actual occurrence "carefully recorded for the annals of medicine" in everything from American Heritage magazine to "Dear Abby," with each source accepting the previous ones' references as accurate citations of a "real" medical journal article." (Source: Urban Legends Reference Pages � 1995-2004 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson).