The Sunshine Showdown: Scenes 9-10

Scene 9: The Foreman dressing room

Just after the Sunshine Showdown, George Foreman, his trainer, Dick Sadler, & his brother, Roy, are winding down

Roy
My God, you are a monster in the ring
Frazier’s invincible aura shatters
Mighty the swings of your cannonball fists
Mixing an assassean attitude
With thunderous powerstrikes zeusean

Dick Sadler
Well, I aint seen its like since Fifty Nine
Johannsson floor’d Floyd Patterson five times

Roy Foreman
It was seven

Sadler
Whatever, what a rout!

Foreman
Was that a dream? it feels no dream, my skin
Tingles with a sensation symphony
No sleep administers adrenaline
As that which now administers my world
& I, the bonnie champion of it,
From hoodlum youth to gladiator freed
From economic grinditude, applied
The best of prowess – train’d, innate, made good
Among the pantheons of tribe & time,
The undisputed, the undefeated,
Now the youngest ever champion to claim
The title as his own, my life is bless’d

Roy Foreman
Not bless’d as such, success from hard work springs
& a real man attends to his own fortune

Sadler
Arguably a brutal dethroning
Nevertheless, an easy victory

Foreman
Easy, yes, but long in paindays building
& I guess I wanted it much harder
Full forty months of sacrifice & sweat
While he lapp’d up the good life & money
A famous life of music & parties
But lost his appetite for the fighting
& drown’d his hunger in the Roman baths
Sate by fat senators while long I train’d,
Sparring with Carthaginians enslaved
Duelling Numibians for the thumb
Undistracted by liberal excess
& could not lose, only poor man being

Sadler
Each devastating knock-down different
Fetch’d weapons from your ruthless armoury
Pulverizing hooks, uppercut rockets
& that last right half hook-half uppercut
That lifted Frazier clean up off his feet.

Foreman
But he still got up again, didn’t he
I have never seen anything like it
I’ve seen him fight & as we fought I thought
Boy, you mess’d up now, you’ve knock’d Joe down
He’ll be angry, I’d better be careful
He’s gonna getcha, so I jump’d on him
& knock’d him down again, each time I did
I kept on thinkin’, boy, you’ve made him mad
This fight was all about keeping him down
I was thinking if I don’t hurry up
& end this thing then he’s gonna end me
But come that marvel moment, Mercente
Stopping the fight & all, I felt fulfill’d
Into my soul floated all the others
A gallery of angels inrushing
I saw Joe Louis, John O’Sullivan
& Rocky Marciano smiling on

Roy Foreman
They’re not alone, whereby tomorrow morn
The world should ponder who this wonder is
The man who beat the man who beat Ali

George Foreman
That’s Me

{Knock on door}

Sadler
It could be press

Foreman
Yeah, I’m ready

Enter Joe Frazier

Frazier
George, I just wanna say how fine you fought
Too good for me, I still don’t understand
Just how you did it, brother, but you did

Foreman
Thanks man, it musta been my lucky day
I’ve more respect for you as a fighter
Than any man I know

Frazier
If that is so
You could have lump’d on me less punishment
A bruising wall & you were cruising too

Foreman
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that
I fear’d your punches whizzing pass’d my head
Like bullets from an unforgiving gun
If one of them had hit me, well, you know

Frazier
I might be a sniper at a slugfest
But if my gun aint loaded, that’s the shunt
Your Houston Tornado tore my town down
I felt set on some underwater drift
With dull depth charges dropping on my head,
Or with a change of stance & shift of weight
You lifted me straight off the floor, both feet
But by the by, let me leave you to it,
For you’re the champ now, congratulations
I’ve had my victories, & they were sweet
Enjoy yours now, you deserve it brother

Foreman
Thanks

Frazier
No problem, see you at the rematch!

Frazier & Foreman share a laugh – exit Frazier

Foreman
Angel-hearted, but boxing Samael
Who took a buzzsaw to an era’s swathe
& tore a host of glories

Knock on the door

Roy Foreman
I’ll get it

Enter the Spirit of America

Spirit Of America
The press are waiting for Mr Foreman
There’s cameras, reporters, radio
From various places, races, nations
Is he ready?

Foreman
I’m ready, yes, lets go
But somebody order me fried chicken

Roy Foreman
No sweat, brother

Foreman
& grill’d cheese sandwiches
Such as were disavow’d by my training

Exit all but the Spirit – if possible, during the song, show Foreman leaving with Don King in the same limo that King arrived in with Frazier

Spirit Of America
You gotta love those cool gladiators
Like avatars of Vishnu from the void
This age’s lives rise as fortunate ones
When status inclinations of the day
Are all for voyeurism of elites
A golden era when best fought the best,
Doses of ultraviolence assur’d
With weapons devastating, never seen,
Especially those fists of George Foreman
So perfectly invincible evolv’d,
Frazier had taken him far too lightly
He’d never thought him special – big, strong, young,
Ambitious – yes – but very beatable
Alas, such is the cocky juice of fools
Who feel the flaming pinions of fame
Might only shine for them – no, Joe was wrong
As planets move in orbit round the sun
Our faces move & alter in the light
Like human moods they change, like fickle fate
Like woman’s love, like everything alive,
Our fame is but ephemeral, tho’ some
Might linger in the magic of the skies
Like singers stitching fabric thro’ our lives.


SLINKY DISCO

I’m singing halleluah
The tunes are wingin to ya
Come on let the truth widen your life

I tried it only last night
Rising to my full height
I felt a mighty love light up my life

Let the DJ mix it
Someone gotta risk it
Singing at the disco & that’s fine

Me & you are riding
Easy summer gliding
Lover songs are sliding down my spine
C’mon & share my wine

Elixir of the spirit
Guess ya wantin in it
Everybody spinning to the tune

Listen to the rhythm
Mixing like a prism
Glisten when we’re risen round the room

Revellers are burning
To the table turning
Everyone is learnin’ how to vibe

Me & you are moving
Fuckin funky grooving
Everybody proving loves a tribe
Come feel the love inside
Feel the love inside

Cos I’m a disco lover & I’m breakin it down
I’m a good time lover when the sun goes down
& all ya fun lovin’ people gonna hit the floor
Hit the floor hit the floor when ya want some more
Break it down

I’ve always felt myself as a
Stick of the chemical dynamite
I’ve always seen the girls as some
Body to keep, me warm, at night
& I know that I might be a
Bit of a good time alchemist
Cos I got disco in my soul,
That’s how it is

I’m singing halleluah
Music’s coming through ya
Come on let the truth widen your smile

Music in the morning
Hope ya shoes are worn in
As we feel reborn in a brand new style

Someone’s gotta make it
Someone’s gotta break it
Someone’s gotta take it to the top

Me & you are fusing
Cuddles are amusing
Summer weather cruising, never stop
We’re dancing til we drop
Keep dancing to you drop

Cos I’m a disco lover & I’m breakin it down
I’m a good time lover when the sun goes down
To the sound of the disco as we get on down
I don’t mind if ya sixty or ya seventeen
When the scene’s so swingin’, slinky disco team
We’re the cream

It’s a disco mix it up
It’s a disco mix it up ….
Slinky disco mix it up
Spin around & spank

We’re gonna get down mix it up
Let the minxes turn it up
There’s a heatwave on the floor
Were the kids on a candy store
Hes rockin’ all over town
She’s foxy shake it down
Were the fun-funk family
Slinky disco energy


Scene 10: The Dick Cavett Show

Throughout the singing of ‘Slinky Disco’ the scene changes to a TV studio & a show hosted by Dick Cavett / on the guest couch is Jack Benny / Bill Cosby is playing saxophone along to Slinky Disco

Bill
…well, the guy starts blowing the saxophone,
Y’know, brr-brr-brr-bah-bah-brr-brr-bah
Then all of a sudden all the people
Sat before me, y’know, so cool, so still
They’re watching this guy clambour onto stage
The next thing you know he’s banging cymbals
Like ding-a-ding-ding, lots of ring-a-dings
& its Max Roache, y’know, hes rescued me
Well, he was just sat there doing his thing
So I made beeline to the wurlitzer
& said, ‘hey guys I want my money back!’

Cosby joins Benny on the couch

Jack
I didn’t understand a word he said
But I still loved it

Cosby
Ask Dick what I said
I will tell you right after the show, Jack

Bill
Trust me, it was funny

Jack
It felt funny

Cavett
So moving on t’where everybody knows
One of the most profoundly upsetting
Boxing events distinguish’d by giants
Was just play’d out in Kingston Jamaica
When, just one minute & fifty seconds
Inside the second round, the champion
Joe Frazier lost his title, being fell’d
Four or five times by the young contender
George Foreman, well… tonight we’re gonna try
& figure out just how, for Joe Frazier
The bout went south – ladies & gentlemen
Joe Frazier

Enter Joe Frazier

Frazier
First thing first I’d like to say
I wrote down something before I came on
{reading}
I will not lose another fight this year

Cavett
How ya not gonna lose anymore fights

Frazier
That’s easy, I aint gonna fight again
Not this year, anyway, I still feel blue
About losing my title, but I lost
Fair & square, I got whupp’d, but my momma
Whupp’d me too

Cavett
What do you put it down to
How does a champion lose his title

Frazier
Over & over I’ve studied the fight
To isolate its worst mistakes, y’know,
So, for now, its back to the drawing board
There start from scratch, get myself together
& next time in the ring more careful be

Benny
Can I just say one small thing

Frazier
Sure you can

Benny
You’re among the nicest fellas I’ve met
{applause}
Your attitude encapsulates honour

Frazier
My terms are fair, I caught some wicked shots,
But vigourwith I should have dodg’d them all,
I been around far longer than young George
I know the fighting game & understand
Such debacle should never have occur’d

Cavett
Tell me, during the fight, was there a time,
Of your locality you’d lost all sense ,
Of where you were, Joe, did you lose your track
Of your locality

Frazier
That first dull blow
From Foreman short-circuited my life-force,
I said, hey, what, but an instant’s flashing
& I took another of those punches
With no time to convince myself I’m fine
& take a breath of peaceful steadying
Instead I stood, hotheaded & angry,
Me, Joe Frazier, champion of the world,
Its like, I couldn’t believe it happen’d
& so it could never have happen’d, right?

Cavett
Right, but it was happening, how did you feel,
Was your mind alive?

Frazier
Tis not a dream you feel
But a titan shock, some gadfly surprise
Back in sixty-six or sixty-seven
Oscar Bannavenna left me flatten’d
On canvas floor, then nothing until George
Unflatteringly clatter’d me once more
I said to myself, what happen’d here Joe,
Y’know, this can’t be real, so up I got
Instead of using the old proroutine
& take precaution when a danger looms
& move around until my wits flew home
But groov’d on thro’ the fight just as before
So doing thus was lord of my mistakes
Cos the man hadn’t tasted my punches
But I’d just had a taste of his, ya dig,

Benny
Might I ask one question

Frazier
Sure

Benny
In a fight
When being hit, do you feel pain at once
Or does it later hurt you

Frazier
Well then Jack,
Tis something unexplainable & queer,
Not the lively pain of bullets & knives
No charge of Apis, when nerves raise legions,
But more a drifting to a higher state
Like taking, Jack, those pills you took backstage

Cavett
There’s no dude in your brain sayong oh-oh

Frazier
If you’re thinking your timings together
Like when you are doing a show, y’know,
Before an ambrosial audience
Even after I was fell’d the fourth time
I was happy in mine elementals
& readied myself for more performance
A little off-key, perhaps, but steady

Cavett
How does your love of fighting fare, still keen?

Joe
Sure am, & shall be going back to work
To win my title back a wiser man

Cavett
Are you aware, Joe, that the outside world
Is full of peoples’ deep ruminations
Upon your lack of realization
Such was the beating by Ali bestow’d
& came to Foreman fighting in fractions

Frazier
Well, I cannot give any man credit
For anything another man has done
Twas Foreman who defeated me, not Clay
He’s a big, strong fella, I’m not sure yet
How good a fighter he’s got, but one thing
I do know is… he packs a ten-ton punch

Cosby
I’d rather bomb with a joke any day
Than be hit on the head by George Foreman

Jack
Did you ever hear from Ali, after
Your epic adventure in life & ring

Frazier
I never heard from Clay, no, not at all

Cavett
It would be nice if Ali deliver’d
A small, little note saying I’m sorry
Apologizing for unpleasantness

Frazier
A note could come, but never face-to-face
For we don’t be getting along so well
But as it stands if each of us desires
Once more to don the crown, we’ll have to duel

Cavett
Thanks Joe… & please take up your microphone
& see this super show out in best style
{Joe moves to stage}
Let us say a big thank-you to our guests
Bill Crosby, Jack Benny & Joe Frazier
Great to see you guys… take it way Joe

Frazier sings My Way

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