A Music Playlist Inspired by Buried Child by Chuck Robinson
Thirty Years of Hearing Sam Shepard In My Head
In 1989, I appeared in Buried Child by Sam Shepard playing the part of Bradley. It was the first time in my life I had that "Theatre of the Real" experience both as an actor and a witness to a truly American drama. It was one of those life-forming moments that young adults have all the time and older adults wish they had more often. Over the past 30 years since that experience I've constantly returned to my friend Sam Shepard for wisdom and now it's my turn to repay the debt of gratitude to him by once again returning to the role of Bradley and producing Buried Child at Palaver Tree Theater under the direction of Gary Brame. Tickets are on sale now. Click here to reserve yours.
Some thoughts on some of the songs selected...
Prayers for Rain - The Cure: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of The Cure's incredible album Disintegration (best album ever). On the way to rehearsal for the '89 show I was most likely listening to the cassette over and over.
Gloria: In Excelsis Deo - Patti Smith: Sam Shepard and Patti Smith were an article one time in the 70s, living at the Hotel Chelsea in New York City. I can't help but hear the poetry in Sam Shepard's work and I'd like to think that Patti had an influence. This is definitely a Shelly song (along with L.A. Woman by The Doors). This song is dedicated to the memory of my friend Sharon Moskowitz who taught this young punk everything about Patti Smith. Love and miss you, roomie.
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' - The Velvet Underground: Sticking with 70s NYC, Lou Reed sings about the desperation of having nothing but in an oddly uplifting way.
I Hear The Rain - Violent Femmes: Is there any other band who represented American teen angst better than the Femmes? Don't give me Nirvana and the grunge movement.
Where Is My Mind - Lise covering The Pixies: A beautiful rendition by French singer Lise. Even though the Pixie's song has become overused post-Fight Club I still love it. This is a Tilden song for sure, even if it's cliche.
God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash: Speaking of cliches, you can't have drama without a little bit of Cash. Beautiful spiritual along with Death In The Morning - Marion Williams. Dodge songs.
Gouge Away - The Pixies: A Bradley song about Samson. It's also the 30th anniversary of the release of Doolittle, arguably the greatest Pixies album and one I also had on heavy rotation on the way to rehearsal.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley - Robert Dwyer Joyce, performed live by Dead Can Dance: An old Irish ballad about the rebellion against British rule that lasted for centuries. It's always stuck with me because it's a reminder about constant struggle, death, and just as barley is grown every Spring...hope of rebirth.
Crop Won't Ever Come - Robin Loxley & Jay Hawke: A new find I've put on heavy rotation for Palaver's staging of Buried Child. It's practically become the theme song in my head. Religion is an important theme within the play and you have to wander about the wrath of God once the Devil is in the house.
Death Is Not The End - Nick Cave: I'm struggling to find a closing song for the show, one that wraps up the whole nightmare we've just experienced yet sends us off with a glimmer of hope. This song comes pretty damn close.
bury a friend - Billie Eilish: Even new songs still inspire my thoughts on this play. Before you roll your eyes about this young and up-and-coming talent, give it a listen. Better yet, watch the nightmarish video. Billie is a poet and a lyrical tour de force. Trust me.
Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters: Dedicated to every male character in Buried Child.
Modern Hereditary Dance Steps - JUNE OF 44: If Tilden and Vincent had a theme song for their car rides, this is the madness I see and hear.
The Dog-end Of A Day Gone By - Love and Rockets: The melancholic droning guitar riff that reflects the exhaustion of a hard day in a hard life. "There's a man on the corner / Coming on like Moses / Found a new religion / that rebuts your plastic roses / He's found his path / To the living heart of jesus / You tell him / You've found yours". Another shot at the theme of religion in Buried Child.
Bitty Baby - Bruce Peninsula: I'm torn. I so want this song to close the show but my wife thinks it's too depressing. I do believe there's a hopeful message at the end of the play but, damn, this spiritual almost brought me to tears.
There are other songs and I'm sure the soundtrack in my head will continue to grow in the future. If you have a song you think would work, head over to Facebook and drop us a post.