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Guitars Clash. – (August 31st 1984)
Here is where Leo makes his stand against a man beyond comprehension. Something he knows that he can’t beat but will always strives to concur. The man in the black cloak makes his return.


-[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.


from Punk Rock Opera, Vol. I (Album), released April 22, 2016
Featuring Jonas Lee on guitar.


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