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Punk Rock Opera, Vol. I (Album)

by Punk Rock Opera

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1979 02:51
-[The cassette begins.]- Some time in the mid 70s a swirling pool of discontentment and anger created a new sort of art form, something where voice and message outweighed musicianship, but still conveyed power, still conveyed rage. The date is now December 31st 1979 in three minutes we take our first steps in to a new decade, a decade ruled by distrust in the youth, distrust caused by corruption of government, drafting of young men and brothers to die in years before. Our hero, Leo, tomorrow will walk to a garage sale and buy a guitar, try to change himself, maybe he can change music, change us all, change the world? It is now my honor and duty to present to you the greatest show on earth, the Punk Rock Opera.
Buy a Guitar 02:40
-[Leo’s father’s living room, lite only by the glow of the TV screen]- Falling Squares on T.V. screens, still fall in the mind, behind the scenes. Music is the art of people, finger paints lead to dreams. Fretting fingers tend to bleed, but you’re learning how to read. You’ll never know until you try... So try. Those falling squares won’t make them scream. But those falling squares, are building a dream. They can change your life, give you the means. Something you always meant to do... meant to be.
-[Tommy’s dad’s garage, filled with big amps and drums]- just some loser that live up the street, just some losers you don’t wanna meet, Making songs and ya start to jam. maybe we really are a band *But No! ya can't stop us now, we got our roots in the ground, ya can't pull us out, we are the bad plants now* Making up a punk rock band, making up some devilish plans The anger that's instilled in us can feed a crowd, give them a rush *Chorus* just the product of the bad seeds, Just some guys that grew in to weeds But we learned how to fight with sound, We are the bad plants NOW!! *Chorus* and you can't bring us down
Frontal Lobe 03:03
-[Leo’s un-lite bedroom]- Ink slice through the air, Pour the blood from the pen Try to create a song, That’ll live till the end Take every note, That they’ve every known And squeeze every drop, From your frontal lobe *Fighting the monster, That lives on the blank page Which words contain. This much rage* *Chorus*
-[Pizza Pigeon, Interior]- Welcome back from Vietnam, hope the syndrome hasn’t got you John But if it did well we’ve got a treat, On the streets is where you’ll sleep #The government ignores you, It was our job to store you Ya see it just costs too much, To run the house, for the nuts# Rambo we’re shutting down, Maybe you can try the next town Sorry you got no where to go, But at least you get to keep your lobe #Pre-Chorus# *Reagan shut down the asylums, There's just no where left to hide ‘em Reagan shut down the asylums, You just can’t keep denying ‘em* Ya see you’re ill but in the head, It’d be easier if you were just dead You know the jail would take you in, Welcome to prison the new loony bin #Pre-Chorus# *Chorus* …(solo)… #Pre-Chorus# *Chorus* Reagan Shut down the asylums, Reagan shut down the asylums Reagan shut down the asylums, You just can’t keep denying ‘em!
-[The sleeping mind of Leo Forte]- The time has come, the curtain is drawn to a crowd of men and monsters. Demons with twisted and distorted features. Writhing before my eyes. I look to Tommy; his skin is torn as the announcer says. “Ladies and gentlemen, The Bad Plants” The guitar shatters in my hand, splitters borrow in to my skin. The stage moves and creeks as if to throw us off. As my molars tumble from my ma I look to Ricky as the announcer says. “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bad Plants” Ricky’s hand twists into a large four fingers claw that grabs my throat, and tears it out. As I fall to the stage grasping, holding my neck I look up as the announcer says. “Ladies and gentlemen, The Bad Plants” The Crowd is gone, save for a single man. A figure in a black cloak as the announcer says. “Ladies and gentlemen for an encore I present to you, The Bad Plants”
Wax 02:09
-[Rickeys Parents Basement]- We’re D.I.Y. until we die, We’ll make our tapes, we’ll book our dates L.A. will know our name, by word of mouth it’ll start to change *Pour your life on plastic tape Let it rise and take it’s shape Pour your life into the grooves And let the wax consume* What goods a label when you got drive, Keeping art and punk alive Recorded in our basement, cut the J cards hope they’ll fit *Chorus* “Four Track Died” Print the first Bad Plants T shirts, half are good that’ll work Get outta basements, get outta bars, we can get far on these guitars *Chorus*
-[Canter’s Deli, Hollywood]- Some losers that lived up the street, is it fate that we meet We got this far on our own, but a real chance to grow *Sign your name on the dotted line* To live a life on the road, and move out of home He’ll make a dream come true, But now we have to choose *Sign your name on the dotted line and leave your life and death behind* We could tour make it real, but how much do they steal He’ll make a dream come true, but now we have to choose -Solo- What kind of man would I be, Well lets see D.I.Y. till we die, now I guess we die *Sign your name on the dotted line And leave your life and death behind Come on boy and work for me And we’ll put you down in history* Deal… -[Flip over cassette]-
Reel to Real 02:34
-[Sunrise sound studio, Los Angeles]- Pour your life on plastic tape, Pour and pour till there’s nothing more And if you’ve ever poured enough, Well you never really can be sure Fighting the monster, That lives on that blank tape Why’s there always something to change. “Alright, try again” Squeeze the songs, from your throat. do it perfect, note for note. hands burn, fingers bleed. can you do it? Play at speed? “Okay, give it another shot” Keep on pushing font fall behind, miss that note every time. when your whole life’s making records, whats there even left to record pour and pour till your nothing more… Till you’re a bore “One More Time” “I guess that’ll have to do”
-[The Roxy Theater]- What you got left? Sitting on the verge of death What do you hold true? When there’s nothing left of you The little atom so strong. Crack ‘em everything's gone Turn the whole world to ash with your nuclear bash *No I don’t wanna lose control man Whole world could blow man We’re outta control* You got an itchy trigger finger, to start a nuclear winter The roaches will remember you, for what you’ve done and what you’ll do You must be mad to get here, maybe we need a little more fear *Chorus* -Solos- *Chorus*
-[The sleeping mind of Leo Forte]- They tear down everything that we’ve built. every note every chord every song and fill And once its gone and blowen away. They’ll take the joy and dance on its grave *They will rip it all away. Claw at it till our castle fall and history shall forget. that attack on castle marshall* How is it they can just, take it all away. kill our story, D.O.A. Don’t shoot till you see the holes of their eyes. these boney monsters refuse to die *Chorus* The man in the black cloak makes his return. His eyes wide as our castle burns His white guitar strung left hand. A powerful chord, shakes earth and man Building on whats come before. Make it your own make it more Stand on the records of giants. The man in black, now we dance “Leo they’re tearing down the southern wall” and history shall forget “the drum tower has fallen” The attack on castle marshall
-[The parking lot in the back of a dingy bar, Ohio]- -[Radio fires up, lands on a college radio]- Living life in a metal box. Playing shows and meeting drunks In and out the gear will go. Day after day, show after show *We are the devils in the airwaves. we are the demons of sound we are the monsters on the radio dial. we are the devils now* So this is the dream all close up. It’s not bad but there was no rush 23 hours of grind and drive. For one more hour to feel alive *Chorus* Everyday a rush to the next town. At some point you start to drown Hear your own song on the radio. Now that seemed so long ago
-[Backstage of Music Festival, New York]- Here’s the man that fueled your dream. Just standing there in black ripped jeans Does he even know who you are. You’ve gotten far but this ain’t far *A dirty hall that’s filled with smoke. Face to face with the king of the downstroke Nothing to say but you better not choke . When you’re face to face with the king of the downstroke* You meet your heroes with nothing to say. Why do I still have nothing to say He bids you well and walks away. Why do I still have nothing to say *Chorus* He bids you well, and walks away. Why do I have nothing to say Just have nothing to say. Thank you? Hello? Ho? hey?
What Now? 03:02
-[Backstage of Music Festival, New York]- Live on the road, live with no tethers. Are we just loud and angry forever How are you, suppose to be. When life’s a dream from 23 What else is there, to this life. On the road can you meet a wife Your day job, is too keep a beat, for a hundred fans, man Don’t drop a stick, or miss a kick, or hurt your hand Music and art, always movin’. It seems great but you’re only human You’re theirs now, so what now.
1984 03:22
-[Front stage of Music Festival, New York]- Nowhere to run, and nothing to hide. From the governments prying eyes Take yourself a soma holiday. and get some time away from the brain *Welcome to 1984. your apathy has opened up the door now big brother is spying on you. Monitoring through an apple II* Take your mandatory soma injections. Hope you don’t mind if we rig the elections Freedom of speech for those approved. Best shut up before your removed *Chorus* I say the police are on a killing spree. You say it means nothing to me I tell you our democracy is now an oligarchy . You say it means nothing to me I say “WHO ARE THE BRAIN POLICE” “People of America, our lord and savoir, Ronald Reagan” “Hello my children, Remember the police are there for OUR protection” What did your S.A.T. say about you?. Oh I see you’re a delta too. Speak softly big brother is near/ never mind he’s already here *Chorus* Welcome to 1984, the oligarchy has pried open the door now the government is watching you. Monitoring through your apple II
-[The back of the Van, The sleeping mind of Leo Forte]- “elttab tsetaerg ruo eb siht tel” I stand up next to the mountain and cower in the shadow it cast I will pick up my guitar and fight, and I will fight till the very last There can’t always be someone better, when there’s nobody left That’s the paradox of skill, but they call you the best Welcome to the next world, troubadour of the nether I could play for a thousand years and still never be better As the string breaks on Leo’s guitar he realizes he has lost outright. That he can never beat this figure. “dlrow txen eht ot emoclew” “ereh gnihton naem sruoh dnasuoht net” “niw ton nac uoy” “tseb eht fo aedi ruoy teab t’nac uoy” “em fo aedi ruoy taeb t’nac uoy” In one last move of desperation he swings his Stratocaster wildly at the man in black only to have it meet his guitar in turn. As they crash together the man in black disappears. And Leo is left to think. You don’t have to beat him. you don’t have to be him And if only the greatest musicians were aloud to play The world would be silent As Leo sleeps in the back of the van, Tommy Ramen figures out a sweet little melody on Leo’s Black Stratocaster and Ricky drives the van through the rain to the next town for their show tomorrow.
Generation X 04:29
That’s our story; I hope you enjoyed the Punk Rock Opera. We got one last piece of music for ya, It goes like this. -[Sunset Studios, Los Angeles]- “Okay go” You cannot fight us, you can not break us, we will not fall We are the bad plants man, we got our ears pressed to the wall You wanna take you wanna break everything that you can’t stand You cannot break us, you cannot make us, we are the gen X man! We’re just the losers that lived up the street Living on these chords and simple beats You wanna cheat us you wanna stomp us, you wanna tear us down We are the bad plants man, we got our roots dug in the ground A musical generation of self made bands. We cut our teeth, with bloody hands The rage, that’s instilled in us. Can feed a crowd, give ‘em a rush Thank you, Goodnight! -[The cassette ends.]-


I would like to thank, Katie Kaudse for always being there for me. My family for helping me live and letting me make this room in to a studio. James Vasquez for being a cool dude. Harris Maynard and Jack Brazill for their feedback and support. Georgie from KXLU for playing all the Honeybee stuff and always playing good music.. also need to thank Livation on KXLU for having me on with The Bee Men. I need to thank. (in no particular order)
The Protomen, The Dead Kennedys (with Jello Biafra), ミドリ (Midori), The Ramones, Death (the punk band), Jimi Hendrix, Eagle “Bones” Falcon Hawk, Libido Fuzz and Black Sabbath. For their influence and great music. And if the Protomen ever need a guitar player well… For their stories I need to thank Chiaki J. Konaka for showing me a story doesn’t have to be happy to be uplifting or great. George Lucas for showing me how a simple story can be grand in scope. And to Ross and Arin for the Toon Grumps video, which was actually a great source of motivation.

This record only exists because Honeybee Jackson fell apart and I needed to get back to making things. Even though it was based on an idea and story I had years before. If that never happened I don’t think I would of ever made this record. So in some cosmic way, maybe that was good…

Conceived and written between 2013-2016
Recorded, mixed and mastered over 202 days in Lobster Punk Music & Art Studio
All songs written and performed by Mac Cagle
With addition guitar by Jonas Lee on “Guitars Clash”
And additional vocals by Katie Kaudse on “Reel to Real” & “Generation X”
For more music and other things like Punk Rock Opera go to LobsterPunk.com
Album cover by Daryl Cagle

“and if only the greatest musicians were aloud to play, the world would be silent”


released April 22, 2016

Mac Cagle: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Beat Detective: Drums
Featuring Jonas Lee on guitar (Guitars Clash)
Featuring the voice of Katie Kaudse (Reel to Real, Generation X)


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Punk Rock Opera Los Angeles, California

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