Phish.net > Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 1996-12-06

Credit: phish.net team
Original Transcription by Yance Davis, Harpua Files

[When the band returns for the encore, they are joined by Primus bassist Les Claypool and guitarist Larry Lelonde]

LES: [At the end of the second verse where the transition into the story generally occurs] Now, the Wildwood flower grew out on the farm, and we never knowed what it was called. Some say it's a flower and some say it's a weed. Well, I never gave it much thought. Now one day, I was out there talkin' to my brother, and I reached down for a weed to chew on. Things got fuzzy and things got blurry and then everything was gone. I didn't know what it was but I knew it beat the hell out of sniffin' glue.

When I finally came to, there was my brother Bill. He says, "Now, what's wrong with your eyes?" I said, "I dunno I'm just chewing on this here weed" He says, "Well, lemme give it a try." It took the rest of that day and most of the night to find my brother Bill. I caught up with him about five o' clock the next morning. He was naked, hanging on a windmill, said he flew up there. I had to fly up and get him down cuz he was half-naked.

Well, smokin' the weeds became kind of a habit around them parts. We never seen no harm. We thought it was kinda handy. You take a trip and never Leave the farm. One little hit off the Wildwood flower and pretty soon you're back there behind the wild animals.

Well, all good things have to come to an end, and it's the same with the Wildwood weed. A man came out from Washington, spotted us and turned 'bout as white as a sheet. Well, he burned and he dug and he dug and he burned, and he killed all our cute little weeds. Then, he got in his truck, and he drove away. We just smiled and we waved, sittin' on them sacks of seeds.

[Music continues until conclusion at beat ]

TREY: [mumbles] "So white as a sheet, he came out..." That's right... As the sky gets a little bit greener up here, the lights, the limelights, disappear and the sky gets greener, we find ourselves in the little suburb on the outskirts of Gamehendge, standing in a beautiful green day. We look to the right and we see a little street going down the road, it's a beautiful suburban street. We look to our left and we see a Mountain rising up out of the sky. We look to this direction and we see a forest off in the distance, and we realize that we are in the suburbs on the outskirts of Gamehendge.

And, on this particular day, somewhere down in a little white house with a little door down the street, on this suburban street, there lived a little boy named Jimmy. And, on this particular day, Jimmy's feeling a little bit anxious because he's been sitting in suburbia for so long, he's bored, he's anxious. He decides that he's gonna go on a crazy trip so he decides that he's gonna take his little feline friend, his cat, his beautiful confidant, his pussycat, his best driend, Poster Nutbag... The two of them are gonna go on a little trip.

So, what they decide they're gonna do, they decide they're gonna walk all the way from the outskirts of Gamehendge to the bright neon lights and the golden opportunities and the huge buildings of Las Vegas, Nevada. That's right, he's gonna take his life savings out of his savings bank, and he's going to take it to Las Vegas, Nevada. He's gonna lay it down on the roulette table, and he's gonna become a very very rich man in a short period of time as we all have in the last couple of days, right?

So he says... “That's right.” He looks down to his little feline friend, Poster Nutbag, and he says "Poster, you know it's been a long time since we went on a real adventure so... so let's go." Off he goes, he walks out the door. He takes a left. He goes down the street. He walks down the street. He walks past the school. He walks past the fire department, and he keeps walking walking. Slowly, the buildings start to melt away, and eventually he finds himself trodding through the desert, you know, cuz he forgets that Las Vegas is in the middle of nowhere.

So, he's walking and walking and the day's getting longer, walking, and he's walking and walking. They're both walking and he looks down and he pets and he walks and he pets and he walks. They walk and they walk and slowly it gets darker and darker. Eventually, he realizes that he's been walking for so long, he's not gonna make it to Vegas on this particular night.

So, he decides he's going to have to set up camp, just like the.. people who first came out across the desert. He finds a little rocky area, and he puts a few rocks in a circle and he puts some twigs and he makes a little fire. He sits down with Poster Nutbag, and he says "Here we shall camp for the night."

So, the two of them sit down. He leans back against the rock, and he puts his hands behind his head and says to the cat, he says, "You know this is really beautiful Poster. You know, Poster Nutbag, my feline friend, just me and you all alone, out here in the desert, a thousand miles from the city lights. I look you in the eye and I pet you and I look at you and I look at your beautiful feline eyes."

And, it was such a moving and touching moment as the two of them looked into each other's eyes, out in the middle of the desert, that they leaned back and they began to break into song. Not only did they break into song, but they began to yodel together. It was a beautiful yodeling sound drifting off into the distance. As the moon hung above them and they looked at each other, they began to yodel, yodelling... singing that old country tune... singing that old country tune and yodelling.. yodelling...

[Heather August Carrozza and Anamieke Carrozza, on upright bass, and John McEuen, on lap steel guitar, have joined the band onstage to perform “Cowboy Sweetheart”]

Trey: [coming in from yodeling at end of “Cowboy Sweetheart”] They yodelled together, the two of them, Poster Nutbag and Jimmy, and it was such a beautiful touching moment as they yodelled. They rolled out their bedrolls, and they went to sleep. Well, when they woke up, they looked around, and they realized that they were not far from Vegas. They were actually camping out in the Red Rocks mountain area. They looked around...

Yes, this is not Red Rocks in Colorado. This is Red Rocks, for those of you who haven't been there. The Red Rocks right near here, about half an hour from here. They woke up, and they were kind of in this little cave. They looked up at all these orange rocks, and they thought, "We are not far from Vegas." They began to walk, and they walked again and walked.

And, they walked along, and they walked and they walked. Finally, they got to the outskirts of Vegas, you know, first they saw the… cloud above the town. They saw some neon off in the distance and some scary kind of... They were going through a really eerie kind of scary neighborhood when they first got there and as they walked down this one road.

They were almost there where they were gonna get rich and famous, but, suddenly, these people started coming out from... lurking in the corner. They realized that they were some scary guys from the outskirts of town who were gonna make trouble. So, here's Jimmy, he's looking around and these guys start to come up to him, and he sees that there's about four of them. As they get closer he realizes that they're actually four Elvises walking towards him.

Just as the Elvis's approach them, the four Elvisess came up to them. Here they are now, right… [Three Elvis impersonators dressed in white enter stage left while one dressed in black comes in from the right] The Four Elvises. And, the Four Elvis's said, "You can't come into Vegas unless you beat us at your own game. You've got to sing an Elvis song better than us in order to be accepted into Vegas.”

So Jimmy said "I can do it! I can sing an Elvis song better than you. I'll take you on right now any time, any place," so... [The band begins “Suspicious Minds” featuring the Four Elvises taking terms with each verse, from left to right towards Fishman’s kit, which Trey is now playing]

[Fishman enters from stage left wearing a white velvet cape with starry lights underneath, while the Four Elvises stare on in fawning admiration. Fishman sings the last verse after which the five of them engage in a whirlwind windmill a thon as the band concludes “Suspicious Minds” with much gusto before the four Elvises begin to almost worship Fishman]

FISH: Thank ya, boys. Will you please let me enter Las Vegas, now?
TREY: It worked! We won! He won the battle of the Elvises, and they let 'em into Las Vegas. They let him into Las Vegas because the Elvises had a good heart. They knew that he was quite a man to be able to sing “Suspicious Minds” with them.. Good bye Elvises.

FISH: How bout a hand for the Elvises?

TREY: He did it. He got in. He got into Las Vegas. Oh. Good, because he felt like, he was in the spirit of Vegas, having beaten the Elvises at their own game. He took his... twelve dollars that he had saved in his piggy bank, and he went into the casino. He walked down the street. He went past Caesar's Palace and all the others, till he saw the Aladdin beaming in front of them. He walked in the door, he walked up to the roulette table, and he took his life savings and he said, "I know it! I know what number it's gonna be. It's gonna be number 17."

And, I'm telling you all, to take all your money, walk out this door and put it on 17. You too, will be rich people tonight. 17. Anyway, just as he's reaching down to lay the money on 17, suddenly what he didn't realize is that Harpua, the mangy dog that the original song was about, had been following the scent of Poster Nutbag, all the way from the outskirts of Gamehendge to Vegas. He had caught the scent of the campfire that they had slept by, and of the yodeller, and the Elvises, and finally he had traced the scent all the way to the Aladdin.

As he walked up, he came to the door, and he saw Poster Nutbag across the room. And before Jimmy could put his money down on 17, suddenly the dog and the cat caught each other's eyes across the room… [band begins wall of feedback] The little beams of hatred going back and forth between the cat and the dog's eyes... Everybody in the casino sensed that there was gonna be a horrible fight. They cleared a circle around the blackjack tables. Suddenly the fight began! [feedback wall crescendos]

Look the Storm's gone!

[Instead of “Your cat died!” the band all say something different]
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