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A Pennsylvania band scores a hit in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as it can, with lots of help from its manager.
Faye: I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you - kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don't mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.
Lenny: "Skitch", how did we get here? Guy: I led you here, sir, for I am Spartacus.
[When Jimmy is reluctant to sign a management contract] Lenny: Are you crazy? A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Gimme a pen, I'm signin'! You're signin'! We're all signin'!
Faye: Was she a good kisser? Guy: Yeah. Faye: Yeah? Guy: It would be ungentlemanly of me to elaborate. Faye: Gentleman. I'd forgotten what you fellas looked like.
Villapiano: Know what this is? Lenny: [pauses] Presidential flashcards? Villapiano: A bonus. And do you know why? Lenny: I have no idea. Villapiano: To entice you back!... The word is out on you o-NEE-ders! Lenny: Hey, that's o-NEH-ders!
Dell Paxton: Ain't no way to keep a band together. Bands come and go. You got to keep on playin', no matter with who.
Lenny: He's got a very pretty girlfriend there, huh? Chrissy: Is it serious, do you know? Lenny: Very serious... I'm single! Chrissy: [thoughtful pause] What about the bass player? Lenny: He's married!
Faye: [extended version] Guys, Chad's arm is so scary. I've never seen anything swell up so big, so fast. Lenny: Don't take that personally, Jimmy.
Mr. White: Next, this "Oneders", with the O-N-E, it doesn't work. It's confusing. From now on, you boys'll just be... simply The Wonders. Lenny: As in, I *wonder* what happened to the O'Needers?
Jimmy: [Speaking about Diane Dane ] She told me never trust a label. And I'm beginning to believe her. Lenny: Well, sure. I mean, come on. They put us up in a first class hotel, all expenses paid, while our record climbs the charts; bunch of lyin' snakes. Jimmy: Sorry I'm buggin' you! I guess I'm alone in my principles. [leaves the room] Lenny: Oh come on. Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song "Alone in my principles."
[after Faye has just broken up with Jimmy] Jimmy: Shoulda dumped you in Pittsburgh! [He gets up] Jimmy: Which one of you butts said we were engaged? Mr. White: The same person who said you had class, Jimmy.
Phil Horace: I've found that a hit record is like a stew. All the ingredients have to come together just right. Otherwise, it's just soup.
Lenny: [at Villapiano's after they've sung "All My Only Dreams"] Table 19, your pizza's ready.
[during TV interview with band] Lenny Haise: Oh, I'm not here with these fellas. I've got a pig in competition over at the livestock pavilion, and I am going to win that blue ribbon!
Mr. White: You guys look great in gold, have I told you that?
Guy: Hey, Uncle Bob?... When are we gonna get these records? Uncle Bob: [thinks] Ah... Luke 21:19 The Bass Player: Let your patience possess ye your souls. Lenny: Luke? Who's Luke? When are we gettin' the records? Uncle Bob: Wednesday.
Lenny: [when asked what The Wonders' musical influences are] Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.
Guy Patterson: I'm Guy Patterson, I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania, I'm in a band called The Wonders and we just cut a record, we're out here on the coast and I play the drums and I have all your records well not all of them but a lot of them but ah at least I did until some of them got swiped when I was stationed in Germany and you were playing in Germany at the time that I was stationed there, but you know what I couldn't see you because you were playing in Hamburg and I was stationed in Munich but I listen to your records and I think you're great. [takes a breath] Guy Patterson: You are my biggest fan. Dell Paxton: Thanks.
Mr. White: You guys look great in black, have I told you that?
Guy Patterson: But we still have a hit record. Mr. White: Yes, you do. [thoughtfully] Mr. White: The one-hit Wonders. [looks at Guy] Mr. White: A very common tale.
Lamarr: Did I check you in with a quartet of gentlemen? And why aren't they here to take care of your needs? Faye: They're off making a major motion picture. Lamarr: We've got movie stars in my hotel! Faye: They're musicians, actually. Lamarr: Even better!
Mr. White: You guys look great in red, have I told you that?
Mr. Patterson: Darlene, you just got promoted. Darlene Patterson: You mean you're gonna start paying me? Mr. Patterson: I didn't say that.
Mr. White: Put your glasses on, Shades. Give 'em what they want.
Guy: If Jimmy's a genius, I'm U Thant. The Bass Player: Who's U Thant? Guy: He's the Secre... forget it.
Mr. White: You know, Horace was right about you, Guy; you are the smart one. Lenny is the fool, Jimmy is the... talent, and Faye is... well, now, Faye is special, isn't she? And you are the smart one. That's what I think, anyway.
Mr. White: I don't want any of this lover's lament crap. I want something peppy, something happy, something up-tempo. I want something snappy. Jimmy: [smiles and sings] I... I quit... I quit... I quit... [speaks seriously] Jimmy: I quit, Mr. White.
[Asked whether his shades are prescription or just to look cool] Guy: Well, I am the drummer.
Mr. White: It is very important that you don't stink today. Lenny Haise: Hey, I make no guarantees.
Mr. White: We bow, right? In unison, and we're off the stage before the applause dies out. Jimmy: Well, what if they want an encore? Mr. White: You unplug and you run, run offstage! Smiling, smiling, of course.
Lenny: Hey, wasn't that our fan?
Freddy Fredrickson: Miss Diane Dane! There she is. Diane Dane. Look at that dress, huh? That's a - that's a gold dress, like a Wisconsin sunrise.
Lenny: [girls climb on top of car] Well... *I* like Wisconsin.
[after Guy has gotten into a conversation with his idol, Del Paxton] Marguerite: Look at you. You're no good to me now.
Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Hello, Pittsburrrrrgh! [crowd cheers as he dances across the stage] Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Hello, Pittsburgh, hello! Crowd: Boss Vic Koss! Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Who am I? Crowd: Boss Vic Koss! Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Thanks for remembering, Pittsburgh, we've got a great show for you today, a big show, a king-sized show! Which reminds me, how're you sleepin'?
Mr. White: [after movie gig] Good news guys. You get to keep your wardrobe.
Guy: Yeah, we were pretty wild up in Erie, Penn. Lenny: Yeah, there was this one time, we stayed up way past midnight.
Talent Show Emcee: Hey, how do you sell a chicken to a deaf man? Heckler: You're a jerk, cap'n! Talent Show Emcee: You say: HEY, would you like to buy a chicken? Heckler: Eat my shorts, cap'n! Talent Show Emcee: Shut up! I'll kick your ass!
Guy: [first lines; phone rings at Patterson's] Patterson's. Mr. Patterson: What's going on down there? Guy: Dad? Mr. Patterson: Harriet Priestly just called your mama. Her husband drove by the store and said the lights are still on. What are the lights still doing on? Guy: Cookin' the books as usual, Dad. Mr. Patterson: The sign, Guy. The sign is still on. Are we open for business all night now? Guy: Uh, no. Sorry, I'll uh, turn that right off. Mr. Patterson: Is that music playing on one of them store hi-fis? Guy: I'll turn that right off, too. Mr. Patterson: [mimicking] 'Turn that off, too.'
Mr. White: He was joining the Marines in August anyway. It was gonna happen sooner or later. Guys, say hello to Scott Pell, Wolfman. Jimmy: How you doing? Guy: Uh, replacement? Mr. White: Yes. Jimmy: Who's he player with? Mr. White: The Techniques, uh... Scott 'Wolfman' Pell: Roy Maxwell and the Corsairs. Lenny: Ha-ha... really? Mr. White: He's your new bass player. Guy: Mr. White... no offense, but I... we've been together a long time. Mr. White: There aren't a lot of options here, Guy. Guy: Can he handle our tunes? Scott 'Wolfman' Pell: I think I can handle them, junior. [plays some wicked bass licks] Jimmy: Ok. Lenny: Ok. Guy: Fine.
Faye: But I thought you already decided on The Echoes. Jimmy: Nah, some band in Buffalo's the Echoes. And I wasn't wild about that. Lenny: Let's just call us The - Band You're About To Hear. Chad: How about The Corvettes? Jimmy: Is that The Corvettes, or the Chordvettes? Chad: No, Corvettes, like the car. Jimmy: Well see, I was thinking like the Chord... [writes Chordvettes] Jimmy: *Chord*vettes, like chords in our music. Lenny: [Guy walks in] Is that "Skitch" Patterson? Chad: Here he is, Erie's lone beatnik. The Bass Player: How about the Tempos? Ya know, tempos? Lenny: Not the Tempos, the Tempos. I was in a band already called The Tempos, and we were... terrible. Chad: Hey Guy, weren't you the drummer for the Tempos? Guy: Heard that.
Talent Show Emcee: [after the brass quintet performs] All right, yeah, listen to that applause! Whaddya say, Miss Talent Show? Extra good? No, super! Very good, that definitely makes the Legends of Brass, of Phi Kappa Epsilon waaaay over there at Gannon College, our front-runners!
Lenny Haise: So how long have you worked at Play-tone? Receptionist: How long have you been wearing such tight pants? Lenny Haise: Hey, if that's a pick-up line we're a match made in heaven.
Guy Patterson: When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean, truly, truly, good and kissed?
Lenny: Where was I? Oh yeah, playing songs on my guitar.
Jimmy: [strums on his guitar] It just appeared, like magic, for the whole world to see. Faye: I didn't say anything, I was just as surprised as you. Jimmy: 'Careful, girls, he's engaged.' Am I supposed to buy you some diamond ring now? Faye: You're ruining this beautiful moment. Jimmy: Where'd you get the idea that we're engaged? We're not! Last thing I need in the world!
Lenny: [as Jimmy runs to the bathroom to throw up] Hey, man! Whatever you do, don't think of pork chops!
Mr. White: Next, uh... who is Faye? Jimmy: [Lenny gestures to Jimmy] Faye's sort of like, like my girlfriend. Mr. White: Aw, that is so sweet. You want her on tour? She's your costume mistress. OK, boys, do better tonight than you did today.
Mr. White: Good morning, Guy. We have a crisis here - your bass player has disappeared, and you are still in bed! Just calling to tell you to get your patootie down to the television studio! You're gonna be on TV tonight!
Villapiano: [spotting Guy in the audience] Hey, Ringo, showtime. Come on, you should've been on five minutes ago.
Guy: I hadn't played in front of people in so long, so I was nervous, but it sounds better fast. Jimmy wanted it slow, but he was wrong, it's an up-tempo number. And we won!
Jimmy: [he's just written "Oneders"] See - the Oneders, Lenny. Lenny: Yeah, but it looks like the O'Needers. Jimmy: No, no, no - the Oneders. Lenny: Got it. Looks like the O'Needers.
Faye: You mean actually make a record? A record record, record?
Jimmy: [Lenny taps his mic before their performance at the Orpheum] Hey, hey! The mic's not on! Lenny Haise: [going backstage to Boss Vic Koss] We - the mic's not working. The mic isn't working. Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: All right, who am I not payin' back here? Come on! [turns on their mics, but the audience complains from the feedback] Lenny Haise: [the mic feedback fades] Thank you. Thank you. We're the Oneders. Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Will you play some friggin' music? C'mon! [Guy starts playing, but his crash cymbal crashes to the stage, and the audience laughs; he and Lenny right the cymbal again] Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich: Right nowww!
Lenny Haise: You see, we're not "The Wonders" right now. We're "Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters".
Guy: [trying to call the Bass Player to bring him back to the TV studio] Now I've left 50 messages! Guy: [hangs up] WHERE THE HELL IS HE?
Mr. White: OK, the first thing that needs to change is the name. It's confusing. From now on, you are The Wonders. Lenny: As like, I wonder what happened to the O-Ne-Ders? Mr. White: Exactly.
Lenny: Looks like Lenny's goin' fishing.
Lamarr: Get in the cab... GET IN THE CAB!
Mr. White: All right, this is it. Now - if the crowd doesn't go wild for you, don't worry about it. They will tomorrow!
Mr. White: [after Jimmy leaves the studio after the Hollywood Television Showcase] Jimmy just quit. Your band is falling apart, Guy. Where's Lenny? Guy: I have no idea.
Lenny: I play a lot of cards. Obviously. Wanna see my deck? [he flashes his cards] Lenny: See? You gotta be quick! You gotta be quick with me! I'm from Erie, P.A.!
Jimmy: [after their gig at "Weekend at Party Pier"] Hey, do we have a Top 10 record? Mr. White: You sure do. Jimmy: Well, then, we shouldn't be here. Mr. White: Jimmy, you'd rather be back on that state fair tour? They're playing in North Dakota this week.
Heckler: Hey, when are you gonna play "That Thing You Do!"? Lenny: Has our fame preceded us? Heckler: We came here to meet girls and dance, and we can't meet girls until we dance! Lenny: All right, this seems like an opportune moment to pick it up a little. OK, here's one for the kid in the back...
Phil: I'm talking about Rock 'N' Roll shows in Steubenville, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, places like that. The Bass Player: Pittsburgh? Lenny: Steubenville?
Phil Horace: [after the mantinee at Orpheum] Guy, I keep telling you, you are the drummer. The backbone, the timekeeper. You can't let a tepid reaction from one matinee house affect your dedication to the band. Guy: I was playing like one of those little wind-up monkey toys. They booed us off the stage, Phil! Jimmy couldn't even hear how off-key he was. Phil Horace: You're gonna get it all back tonight, I promise you.
[Reading an ad from a competing megamart] Mr. Patterson: Open Saturday ten to ten. Open Sunday twelve to six... open on Sunday from twelve to six! You know, I don't believe I want to live in a country where you stay open on Sunday to business. You shouldn't have to work on Sunday to support your family.
Jimmy: We were wondering if you'd like to fill in for Chad just for tonight. Guy: Why? Lenny: Asshole... just broke his arm!
Lenny: Thank you, Illinois! The Land of Lincoln!
Mr. White: 'That Thing You Do' is the fastest rising hit single in the history of the Playtone label. As of tomorrow morning, you Wonders - you've got the #7 record in the country.
Mr. White: [as Lenny crunches loudly on a piece of candy] Lenny, why don't you go and see if you can visit the cockpit? Tell them it's your birthday. Go! Go! Go!
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