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"Bearded Babe" - Characters -
Main Characters -
All of these characters live in L.A. in the present time. The characters in this work are more important than any other single element, including the plot.
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First, the Band Members -
Gus Mathers- lead guitar - main guy (in AA?) Loves rock music, rock life, rock mythology. Long hair, overweight, back problems. Trying intermittently to write a screen play to make lots of money. He is grouchy on the outside, but basically very compassionate on the inside. He is a good guitar player and songwriter, but has lost a lot of his younger focus. Trying hard to be modern, spiritual and hip, but basically, all he wants to do is eat cookies and play guitar.
Diz E. Spells - drummer (name was originally James Johnson but he changed it to Desmond Edward Spells in 1966 cause he wanted to seem English, then in the punk era changed it to Diz E. Spells cause it seemed to fit the era) - kind of ditsy - always trying to be really together, but always making dumb mistakes and trying to patch things up and explain his actions. Has that musician's personae - synthetically friendly. Loveably selfish. Sometimes gets really hyper and has trouble expressing himself. Heavy drinker. Also, the one who's always telling them, "We've got to be more commercial if we want to make it big."
Brad Drexler - keyboard player - always taking techno stuff apart and can't quite get it back together again. Soft spoken; cerebral. Is always explaining stuff to the rest of the band - he's their resident 'techno' but never quite gets it right, or never quite understands it himself. Pot head, really spaced and is the most into cosmic new age stuff.
They all have long hair. They're always romanticizing self destruction, addiction, eccentricity, brilliant starving artists, blues, beat poets, angry young men, the past, hipness and all things underground and alternative. They all still talk and walk very sixties, and see themselves as protectors and mentors of sixties values in a world gone 'plastic.' They're really pathetic in a slapstick sort of way, but they have a peculiar collective spiritual genius in their ("through thick and thin") die hard camaraderie and there is value in their perspective on life but no one else is really interested anymore.
They're all full of all kinds of ideas about how rockers are hip, slick and cool but also somewhat spiritual and into new age C.G. Jung stuff and they try to affect the image that they are popular with women but they're always full of bullshit and striking out with girls and always trying to live out the myth of their lives and put who they "really" are into their music and be genius artists.
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There was a fourth member named Brian, who played bass and who simply disappeared in the middle of the night back in 1978. The band is filled with endless mythology regarding this occurrence. "He knew it was time to die, man, cause that's right at the time when rock 'n roll died." "He's still with us in spirit. He's never really left." Brad the keyboard player has a thing about how whenever he covers the bass on the keyboards with his left hand, it's really Brian playing. Gus often counters with, "Yeah, well the original Brian never made as many mistakes as your left-hand does!"
Brian was the one who started to really turn adult and responsible in the 70's and he got married and got a mortgage on his house and fathered a child and he started to really get disgusted with the rest of the band for refusing to grow up (the way you want to seem totally adult and 'with it' when you're 30) and then he just split one night and left everyone without a trace - his wife, his child, his house, and worse of all, his band mates.
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Jonathan S. Longshiver the Third - A very spaced out, long haired, bearded, hippie character. He's a little guy, middle aged. Charismatically loony. He is simply wearing a long, hospital gown and a plastic bracelet that patients wear. He is suffering from a very rare and tragic high-tech neurological disease called "AND," which stands for, "Anterior Neurological Dysfunction," which makes him twitch in strange ways at odd times. The disease has other symptoms as well. Except for certain key moments in the story, he mostly just stares aimlessly out into space as if he is remembering something that happened a long time ago.
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Mel Stein - Fifty something, wealthy, high-strung record company magnate. Well educated, urbane, cultivated in a subtle sort of way. A self-made man, he started his company from the ground up with his own two hands and is now one of the most powerful and wealthy people in the music business. Pushy, Balding, convertible Rolls Royce, dresses expensively but casually. Is used to getting things his own way but nothing ever really turns out the way he wants. Underneath the tough exterior, he is really a very compassionate individual.
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Zombie - Mel's assistant. Thirty something, possibly effeminate in a cozy, charismatic sort of way. Brainy, complex, ambitious. He has a very trendy wardrobe and his hair is dyed yellow, or maybe purple or at least has a purple streak in it. Very gen-X. He has earrings, tattoos, bracelets, etc. Loves punk, hates baby boomers. Is quite outspoken, in a convoluted sort of way. Thinks he's very hip; tends to be condescending towards everyone in general.
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Dylan - Mel's son. He takes guitar lessons from Gus. He is fifteen. Kind of world-weary. Very bright. Would rather be off in his room making model airplanes or something, than shaking your hand and making small talk. Harbors a lively fantasy life within, but doesn't readily share it with others, particularly adults. Maybe he has a shaved head. This part could be changed to a female role.
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Elaine Drummond - Mel's attorney. In her early thirties. Always wearing expensive suits. Immaculately dressed and groomed. Trendy in a very safe, conservative way. In the earlier parts of the story she's always drinking something from Starbucks. Reads 'Vogue' and 'Fortune' magazines. Has an expensive briefcase, an expensive car, etc. This part could be changed to a male role.
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Joan Mathers - Gus' ex-wife. She was Gus' childhood sweetheart, and has known all the band members since day one of adolescence. She is very disappointed that Gus and his band turned out the way they did, that they never grew up, that they never made a lot of money, never got successful, and she isn't afraid to voice these opinions. In her own way, she has as much trouble dealing with the modern world as they do. She's always full of get rich quick schemes and is always asking Gus to help her. She's not a bitch - tries to meditate, do yoga and be really spiritual. Is looking for the answers outside of her that she needs to find within herself.
She's on the phone to Gus everyday. He is constantly irritated when the other band members point out to him that he's really Joan's assistant, but he can't bring himself to be cruel to Joan. They are connected in a mysterious, dysfunctional way in which they can't really get together and can't really split apart. They don't really realize it, but they've never really stopped loving each other.
Gus and Joan have a son named Derrick, who doesn't appear in this story but is simply alluded to.
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