02 03 Nerd Lunch: Assembling the Team / Getting the Band Back Together 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Assembling the Team / Getting the Band Back Together

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I used to play sax in an R&B band. I quit in 2000, and the band folded a couple of years later. Our old frontman just got offered a nice chunk of change to do a show on Labor Day, and he took the money, and now he's scrambling to get the band back together. More on this as the story develops.

And this reminds me of one of my very favorite movie sequences . . . Assembling the Team. Best example: "The Magnificent Seven". One guy decides he's going to need some help on this one, so we get a series of vignettes introducing us to the members of this rag-tag group one at a time.

The general rule is that everyone has to be doing something cool when you show up to recruit them --- James Coburn just happened to be killing a guy with a throwing knife, for example. Steve Cropper is playing a Holiday Inn gig when Jake and Elwood come for him. An exception to the rule: in "The Dirty Dozen", everyone is just sitting in their cells, not doing anything particularly cool, but hey, it was prison.

There was a strange version of this cliche in an episode of "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues", where Caine disappeared and his son decided to round up a bunch of former guest stars to find him. And they all sucked. You looked at the assembled group and said, that's it, we're screwed.

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