I’m Not a Joiner, Either: Girl Talk 12, Drummer Girl

Finally, a book about Randy. I can relate to this girl because she thinks Acorn Falls is sort of lame and part of my life philosopy comes form the Green Acres theme song. You know how it goes:

New York is where I’d rather stay / I get allergic smelling hay /I just adore a penthouse view / Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.

Not that I’ve spent that much time in NYC, but Randy has… and you catch my drift.

Chapter One begins with Randy in Italian class. Randy thought Italian class would be fun because she enjoys Italian films (and, by the way, her father is a director) but it turns out Italian class sucks because Signora Capelli is a bitch. Again, I feel Ran because my French teacher was a bitch. Ms. Trinkaus, if you’re reading this I blame you for the fact that I never studied abroad in Lille where I would have inevitably met the man of my dreams. But, once again, I digress. Anyway, how dare Signora Capelli stop Ran from drumming on her desk?

After class Sabs finds Ran and asks if she’s going to the Battle of the Bands. Randy doesn’t even know about the BotB! Don’t you ever listen to the morning announcements Ran? Oh…. she doesn’t because the announcements are usually about clubs and shit. Randy thinks joining things sucks.

Randy has math class, then homeroom. Katie is, like, incredulous that Randy didn’t know about the BotB. Randy decides she’ll go if only to get Allison’s shapely ass off the couch. Sabs asks if Spike’s band will be in the Battle and Randy figures they probably won’t as Wide Awake is more into jamming and making music. Uh… why did the play at that one dance, then? And apparently Wide Awake has a Stevie Ray Vaughn/Eric Clapton sound. Is that supposed to be… cool? For some reason I picture Randy liking White Snake or Cinderella.

Randy wonders how the Battle of the Bands will turn out. As far as she knows there’s only hip and happenin’ Acorn Falls band besides Wide Awake: iron Wombat. Iron Wombat has an Elvis Costello sound (hipper than Stevie Ray, but no White Snake if you ask me). They play their own music which Randy says (and sorry, Jan, I must laugh at this) is “a refreshing change from all the Bon Jovi cover groups around [Acorn Falls].” There’s only one problem: Iron Wombat’s lyrics suck. But I doubt this will figure into the plot of Drummer Girl in any significant way.

Later Randy’s on her way to the supermarket when M asks for some newspapers. Yes, Randy calls her mother “M” because Randy’s mom is totally hip. She’s so hip that she’s going through a “paper mache” stage in her art. M dropped out of art school to marry D (you can guess who he is) so now I suppose she’s acting out all that bitterness and regret through crappy faux art. I wonder… does M actually sell any of the shit she makes or work at any sort of paying job? I don’t think she does… I think she just lives off the D’s alimony and child support payments. Eh, I guess she’s earned it after twelve years of pushing her dreams aside while D banged would-be Snickers-commercial actresses on a casting couch.

Anyway, M is kind of flighty (much like Dawn Schafer’s mom from BSC) so Ran’s going to the grocery store to get the newspapers and other assorted goods. At the store Randy runs into Sabs who happens to be stocking up on mad kiwis and mangoes. Another one of those crazy diets! Sabs is shocked that it’s after 7 pm and Randy and M haven’t eaten dinner yet. Guess what, Sabs? It’s 7:42 over here and I haven’t eat dinner yet, either.

Randy zips up and down the aisle listening to Buddy Rich on her Walkman and grabbing goodies for a stir-fry. And the newspapers, of course. Once Randy’s purchased all her shit Mr. Wells offers up a ride home. Randy declines as she’d rather skateboard with two bags of groceries. Douche. Exiting the store Sabs points a sign out to Randy; Iron Wombat is looking for a drummer! At the bottom of the sign are strips of paper with Troy Tanner’s number on them. Randy’s all like “Oh, hell to the nizzo! Buddy Rich didn’t need a band and I DON’T JOIN THINGS!” but Sabs convinces Ran to take the phone number, anyway.

Once Randy’s home she’s informed by M that Sheck called. Sheck is Randy’s friend from New York. He’s hip, he’s cool, and he wants to get in Randy’s leopard leggings. Randy calls Sheck as she gets to work on the stir-fry.

Sheck had called because he “just wanted to talk”, which reminds me of a scene from my favorite episode of Family Guy (“I am Peter, Hear Me Roar”). Ran and Sheck discuss all their mutual interests as Ran gives us a mini cooking lesson (the trick to good stir-fry is putting in the foods that take the longest to cook first)!

Ran tells Sheck about Iron Wombat, the kicking tunes, the lameass lyrics and how she’s not going to audtion because joining is for suckers. Sheck feels that Randy should audition for Iron Wombat and get more info on this whole Battle of the Bands deal. As Sheck is expressing his opinion he calls Randy “R.Z.”. I think that’s shitty because R.Z. is too close to B.Z., aka Stacy’s crony.

Randy’s still not quite convinced about the band thing, but she realizes Sheck has a point (even Buddy Rich had to start somewhere). She calls ol’ Troy up and sets up an audition for the next day.

M drives Randy and her drumset to Troy Tanner’s place. When Troy opens the door he doesn’t seem to know why Randy’s there. By the by, Troy’s hair is cut in a style Randy and Sheck would call “Nouveau Preppie”: short in back, long and parted all the way to one side in front. I’d call that the Zack Morris look. Anywho, Randy states her name and purpose but Troy doesn’t believe that this gal clad in a big, black turtleneck, rolled-up denim cut-offs, black cable knit tights, granny boots and a black leather bomber jacket could be Randy Zak. Troy thought Randy was a dude over the phone! Now I REALLy empathize with Randy Zak because not only do I love wearing black, but I also sound like a teenage boy over the phone. Oh… Troy also dislikes the fact that Randy’s only 12 (Troy’s about 14).

A black guy with a high top fade (woohoo!) comes out to interrupt all this commotion. He asks if the “guy” who called last night has arrived… but–whoops!–it’s a chick. The two guys stand there slack-jawed and then Randy says they should give her a call when they figure out who Sheila E. is! Yay! I love Purple Rain!

Alton (with the high top fade) says he just wasn’t expecting Randy to be a girl since Troy’s dumb ass fucked up. Alton says he plays bass and offers Randy help with setting up her drums. But Troy’s still all “she’s a girl, I’m a tool, yadda yadda.’ Alton tells Troy to “cool his jets”. Apparently the six guys who’ve auditioned all sucked. Finally Alton convinces Troy to let Randy audition. Randy meets Jim, then band’s keyboard player, and then the foursome gets ready to play “Punch the Clock” by Elvis Costello.

The next day at school Ran informs Sabs, Katie and Al that she made it into Iron Wombat. Randy complains about Troy calling her “kid”, which Katie objects to because she knows how hard it is to break through the glass ceiling. It was definitely tough for Ran because Alton and Jim totally wanted to let her in the band but Troy was still being a sack of crap about it. Then of course Randy told them they could find a new drummer (because she’s all defiant like that) so Alton and Jim had to twist her arm. Our girls spend the rest of lunch discussing the logistics of the Iron Wombat rehearsals and drumming while Al spouts some trivia so we can be reminded of how boring she is.

At practice Ran starts up with her funky style of drumming and Troy gets all pissy about ti because the last drummer just “kept the beat”. Randy and Troy really get into it and three things become apparent: 1) Troy has a huge ego problem 2) Randy has the teamwork skills of a hermit 3) The sexual tension between these two can be cut with a chainsaw.

Randy has the nerve to tell Troy that while Iron Wombat’s music “pumps” their lyrics are as bad as Samantha Fox’s. Troy is ready to dismember Randy and scatter the parts through Minnesota when the usually closed-mouth Jim admits that the ‘Bat’s lyrics do stink. The band decides, much to Troy’s chagrin, that Randy can write lyrics and Troy will write music. Troy tells Randy he’s just about done with some new music and he’ll give it to her when he’s done.

Next thing we know Randy gets a phone call from Troy saying he’s finished the music. Troy’s actually pretty pleasant on the phone. What’s up with that, people? He says he’ll drop the music off at Ran’s house that night.

Randy’s drumming along with a Buddy Rich tape when she sees that M has let Troy into the house! Quite embarassing as Randy’s a big ol’ jar of sweat. M is about to get Chinese food and invites Troy to stay for dinner. M is wearing black Lycra leggings, a cropped black sweater and black lace-up boots. How hot is that? Troy is amazed by how “different” M is… and I think he’s got a boner.

Troy brought his guitar with him so he could play the music for Randy. Randy’s relieved because she wasn’t sure how she’d be able to write lyrics without having heard the tune. Troy is wearing something “a lot like something Spike would wear”: beat-up jeans, old Replacements t-shirt and black high tops, although Spike might wear a Jim Croce t-shirt instead. Seriously? Jim Croce? That’s hella lame.

Randy likes the song Troy’s written. It’s got “soul”, she says, and all I can think of is that one part in Dreamgirls where Eddie Murphy drops his pants. Troy says Randy got him so horny–I mean, uh, angry–that he had to write something totally bitchin’. Troy’s song has really done something to Randy so when she writes her lyrics she’ll pull out all the stops, too.

Finally we’ve reached the day before the Battle of the Bands. Randy’s skateboarding when she runs into… Sheck! Yes, Sheck dragged his ass all the way from NYC so he could see Randy perform. Awww 🙂 Sheck, M and Randy all enjoy a horror flick and some nice homemade pizza… that M cooked!

The next morning Randy drags Sheck’s big ass out of bed and they decide Sheck will accompany Randy to the band practice. Sheck asks if anyone’s working Iron Wombat’s sound board and Randy says she’s not sure, so Sheck volunteers his services.

Randy introduces Sheck to Jim and Alton while Troy is trying to arrange a van to transport the band to the battle. Troy comes in to find Sheck and Randy both sitting on Randy’s drum stool. Alton announces that Sheck is going to work the board and Troy Tanner’s devil horns pop up again. Troy and Randy get into another big argument and Randy, the picture of patience and reasoning, decides to quit Iron Wombat with only hours to go before the Battle of the Bands.

And with such a conflict can only come… TELEPHONE TALK!

Alton calls Randy

Randy: Yo

Alton: it’s me, Alton, with the high top fade haircut.

Randy: Don’t start flapping your gums, Alton. I quit and that’s final.

Alton: Listen, I know Troy’s a piece of shit but, here… let me apply my lips to your ass for a second.

Randy: Fuck you, Alton. I’m the most stubborn of all the Girl Talk Gang and you won’t sway me with your bullshit.

Alton: Well, go on and quit, then! And shove your spiky mullet where the sun don’t shine, Sister!

Sabrina calls Randy

Randy: Yo

Sabrina: Randy! OMG! You didn’t quit the band, did you? I tried to sit on Sheck’s face at the video store and he managed to mumble something about you being a stubborn piece of crap and quitting!

Randy: Hell to the yizzeah! I quit that shit, bitch.

Sabrina: Why the fuck did you do that?

Randy: Blah blah blah, Sheck. Blah blah blah, Troy. Blah blah blah, conflict… I was too much of a hot-headed asshole to take all that, so I quit.

Sabrina: Way to ruin things for everyone, douchebag.

Randy: Whatevs… ho.

Sabrina: My brother, Luke, knows Alton and Alton says you guys could have won the BotB. Now how’s poor Alton supposed to make it in the music biz and support his single mama and eleven brothers and sisters?

Randy: I don’t give a care as long as M and I can live off D’s alimony checks.

Sabrina: Fine. Be a bitch, then.

Jim calls Randy

Randy: Hello

Jim: Hi, Randy. I know I don’t talk much, but I’ve called to make the mind-blowing plea that will convince you to re-join Iron Wombat. So you know you pretty much have no choice, right?

Randy: Yeah. I guess you’re right.

Jim: Oh, by the way… I think Troy is jealous of Sheck and wants to bang you.


Jim: Yup.

Randy: No way.

Jim: Way.

Randy: Yeah, whatevs. Pick me up at 7:15.

Randy calls Sabrina back

Sam: Hey, Sabs’ brother here.

Randy: Sup?

Sam: So you’re not playing?

Randy: No, I am.

Sam: Yay!

Randy: Just put your sister on the phone.

Sabrina comes to the phone

Sabrina: Hello.

Randy: Sabs, it’s Randy. I called to tell you that once again I was being an asshole.

Sabs: That’s OK. We’re used to you being an asshole. But I’m glad you’re playing tonight. Oh, by the way… I think Troy is jealous of Sheck and wants to do the horizontal mambo with you.

Randy: Why does everyone keep saying that?

this concludes Telephone Talk

Sheck has offered to cook Thai food for dinner. Sheck puts on some pumpin’ tunes and Randy drums along with them; first it’s Broken Arrow’s (Randy’s fave New York Band) new album, then “Suicide Bonde” by INXS. Finally a band I could consider cool. Allison, Sabs and Katie show up with Iron Wombat posters and denim jackets on which they’ve silk-screened Iron Wombat! Awesome! Totally awesome! Following this awesomeness everyone enjoys an awesome Thai feast. Sabs surprises us by knowing how to use chopsticks. I love that girl.

At last.. the Battle is upon us! Mike McCray, DJ for WXKG, is the M.C. And it’s outfit time: Sheck is wearing a black turtleneck and faded black jeans. Randy is wearing a black sleeveles mini dress, black-and-white tie-dyed tights and black oxford shoes. Alton’s wearing a black blazer over a white button-down shirt. Randy thinks he looks like a young Denzel Washington. Jim’s wearing a “plain old” t-shirt and jeans while Troy is decked out in a black vest, black pleated pants and white t-shirt. Dammit, Jim… didn’t you get the black-and-white memo?

The first band to go on is Escape. They play a Motley Crue song. Alton and Randy are not impressed with Escape’s prep look and crap playing. I can’t imagine preps playing Motley Crue, either.

Meanwhile, Troy cuts in as Randy’s chatting with Sheck. He apologizes to Randy, tells her she’s a great drummer and asks if she might like to go on a date some time! Bow chicka wow-wow! Randy says “We’ll see”. I think she’d rather make a sexy time with Alton.

Randy’s peeking out at the crowd when Sheck comes behind her all posessive-like asking if Ran got a date with The Troy Man. Randy says she’s not sure about going out with Troy because the whole dating thing’s “not for her”. I could go for some casual flings myself, girl! Randy assures Sheck that he’s number one, and it’s at this point we discover Randy’s going to stay in Iron Wombat. Yay! Let’s see if L.E. actually kept up with this notion.

Iron Wombat goes on last. They totally rock the house and win the BotB, which means they’ll have a three-week gig at some teen club. Hurray! Randy feels it wouldn’t have mattered if they’d won or lost because either way they had “done it”. Just like Mister Rogers says… you’ve got to do it.

Well, I feel inspired now. Don’t you?



 Check out this cover, guys. All the girls look cute except for Randy! She is the picture of fug here. Why couldn’t the cover artist have depicted Ran in her black mini dress and tie-dyed tights? And, you know, with a less pudgy face, less goofy smile and less dumbass hair? Oh, well 😦




One Response to “I’m Not a Joiner, Either: Girl Talk 12, Drummer Girl”

  1. girltalkread Says:

    OH MY GOD Jim dresses like Dan does to Unprepared gigs!

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