Phish.net > Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 1993-08-20

Credit: phish.net team
Originally transcribed by Yance Davis, Harpua Files

TREY: "Ok, first thing I want to say here just to get things started, this is definitely the most incredible place I've ever played music. This is unbelievable. I don't know how it looks from up there, but... It looks pretty amazing from up here.

So, what I thought I'd do here is, I figure that some of you probably think you know where Red Rocks and when it started and everything and the whole events about how this whole place came to be, but I'm sure you're wrong about it. I'm gonna tell you the Real story right now, so...

Just so you know everything before you get started. Ok, one of the surprising things is that when you go backstage here in the dressing rooms, there are like sorta these little caves.. I don't know if you knew about that, but you go basically underneath the stage and that's where the dressing rooms are. They're built right into the rock so you have the, sorta these walls, the cave walls down there and your little table and all that.

So, you're basically sitting right inside the rock and just before we came onstage, I'm sittin' down there, reading a magazine and I look on the wall and I started to notice these strange etchings in the wall. So, I kinda looked closer -- and luckily I have a great knowledge of ancient languages. I know all the ancient languages. So, I'm looking at these etchings and I realized that I could read it, and it was the story about how this whole, this whole Red Rocks came to be.


Basically, this is what it said.. It started a long time ago, thousands of years ago, there were people that lived down in those caves, and they chose this spot because it protected them from the weather and from other, you know, other tribes and stuff like that that would come around. So they lived down in these caves and everything, and there were lots of 'em.

Now at one point in time in their history, they had these.. this one real troublemaker that lived with them. He was this old man, and he used to walk around with this kind of mangy dog-like animal that he, uh, named...HARPUA… So, the whole town of cave-dwellers down there, they weren't too big on this guy. They were always causing trouble, and the thing about Harpua was he was always getting in fights and beating up all the other little animals and whatnot.

So, one day the townspeople voted, and they decided to send Harpua and his evil master all the way up into the mountains there. So, off they went up into the mountains, and for years and years and years, the townspeople never heard from them again. Now, unbeknownst to the townspeople, while the dog and his master were living up there, they sort of encountered these gods up on the mountain, and the gods gave Harpua the special power. The special power was that Harpua could change himself from a dog into any other kind of living creature at any time that he wanted.

Now, being that he was a dog that liked to cause trouble, and start fights, he started to get this idea that he would get back at the townspeople for banishing them. So one day, Harpua decides to come down off the mountain, and, this is what it says up on the thing here, he came down from the mountain and as he got down to the mountain, he was trying out different forms.

He changed himself from a dog into a giraffe for a minute, and he thought this isn't gonna scare 'em at all. So, he tried something different, and he changed himself into, uh, one of those jackalopes that you have up here, and then he changed himself from one of those, that was no good, so he changed himself into a, uh... gazelle, you know, and he kept thinking none of these things are really gonna scare the townspeople. Finally, he got it in his mind that he was gonna change himself into... A Giant Iguana! [menacing background music while Trey laughs maniacally] So that was it, he changed himself into this giant iguana.

Now, meanwhile -- here he is coming down the mountain as this giant iguana -- and meanwhile, in one of the little caves down there lived this little boy, a little cave-dwelling boy, and he had a little pet too that he loved. His pet was a tiny little furry kitty cat, and he loved the cat very much. He would carry it around by the scruff of its neck every day, and yes the kitty cat's name, it was an ancient kind of form of kitty cat, Posterus Nutbagus, and um, they called him Poster Nutbag for short, Poster Nutbag. [screeching cat sound in background provided by Fishman]

So here's Jimmy with Poster Nutbag, and Jimmy and Poster Nutbag are walking around the caves and one day. Poster Nutbag decides to go out of the caves, up into the little area here, this amphitheatre that wasn't yet an amphitheatre. So, he's walking up there and he comes up onto the thing, and something kinda seems strange. He notices this huge shadow lurking, and this incredible scary feeling came over him on this particular day.

So, here's little Poster Nutbag walking along, right about over there, and he's going along right next to this big rock over here. Suddenly he looks up and he sees this giant iguana looking down at him, at which point tempers start to flare, and they realize there's gonna be a horrible fight here between the iguana. So the iguana starts stepping forward slowly.. [more menacing music]

Step by step... Coming closer and closer to Poster Nutbag, closer and closer. Poster Nutbag, terrified, looking up at this huuuge giant iguana, at the last minute the iguana is looking down at Poster Nutbag, opens up his mouth and he's gonna eat Poster Nutbag... Poster Nutbag, in that last desperate attempt that cats do, looks directly into the eyes of the iguana, staring straight into his pupils, with such a terrifying gaze, that the iguana turns to Stone.

And, that iguana is sitting right over there now, you have to look at that little ridge. The last bump over there, thousands of years later... I don't know if you can see it from the front, but from up there... All the way at the end, that last thing. The iguana is still sitting there, thousands of years later, and, what happened was, as time went on, the iguana stayed there as a reminder to the people of the cave-dwellers to… watch out for giant iguanas or whatever.

Poster Nutbag of course went on to die, and eventually all of the people from the cave-dwellers went on to die. Their faces are sort of etched up in the mountains, and I just want you to know that as the night goes on, watch out for the giant iguana because I've actually talked to people who've seen concerts here before who said that the giant iguana on certain nights really starts to come out and uhh.. get you, if you don't... keep an eye on him. So, every once in a while, look over at the giant iguana.

Anyway, all the cave-people die, except... Poster Nutbag died. The only people left were Jimmy and his Dad, and I remember that fateful day when Poster Nutbag died, and it's very sad... [Jimmy’s theme] Look, the storm’s gone!
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