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Old 08-02-2019, 08:13 AM
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Who deserves a Jukebox Musical?


I was thinking about Mamma Mia this morning and wondered what that genre of musical is called. Turns out, of course, it has a name - Jukebox Musical. It is a movie or play based on the works of a single or few related artists. The most famous one most people know is Mamma Mia from the music of ABBA, which kicked off the current wave of Broadway shows for artists from Green Day to the Go-Gos.

The Wiki link has a list all the ones that they recognize (although I think some are a stretch, a biopic is not a Jukebox) but I wonder who do you think would be ripe for the treatment?

I think that an amazing musical could be crafted from the Rolling Stones catalog, but perhaps that's just low hanging fruit since they have so many albums to draw on. I think Little Feat, Chicago, or the Doobie Brothers have a catalog that could support an interesting story line and that I'd want to listen to and sing along.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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First of all, instead of the horrible We Will Rock You, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is strong enough to have a jukebox musical on its own. The plot is a young man who commits suicide and goes to hell.

Tom Paxton's songs could be turned into a great jukebox musical about a returning Vietnam vet, and the horrible way he is treated.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:53 PM
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I bet you could make an entertaining musical from The Runaways and/or some of the early female punk bands. And God only knows what kind of plot you could string together for a Ramones musical.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:20 PM
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IAnd God only knows what kind of plot you could string together for a Ramones musical.
Boy meets girl 'cause he wanted to be her boyfriend, boy loses girl to the KKK, boy gets sedated and forgets about girl. Easy peasy.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:18 PM
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Late Wife wanted to make one set during the Vietnam war about a soldier on leave meeting and falling in love with with a woman and their weekend romance. Featuring the music of Spanky and Her Gang and the Rascals. I even had the writer of some of the songs on board but nothing came of it.

My own is about a party bus for a bachelorette party featuring songs from the youth of brides ten or fifteen years ago, assuming they now have money to see a show and are getting nostalgic. It could be a karaoke musical.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:23 PM
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SLAYER! (natch)
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:44 PM
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Merle Haggard!
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:05 PM
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You could make several different musical universes out of Bob Dylan's work and life, like it was hinted at in cinematic form in I'm Not There, so many opportunities here.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:06 PM
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Merle Haggard!
Too much of boring prison time and labor camps ;-).
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:42 PM
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You could probably put together a pretty good, if depressing, plot around the dead-enders who inhabit the Springsteen discography. Set it in a bar over the course of a night. One of the barflies listens to all the stories: the guy who can't let go of his high school glory days; the vet who can't find a job; the guy who spends his nights at the river wishing he and his wife were still just teenage sweethearts; the 9/11 rescue worker hanging on to sanity by his fingernails; etc. At the end, the quiet barfly calls his girl to tell her to meet him in Atlantic City.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 08-03-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:20 PM
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A musical based on Waylon Jennings songs would actually have a story arc. He was a leader of the outlaw movement in country music, but then turned against it at the end of his career.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:24 PM
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Too much of boring prison time and labor camps ;-).
Are you forgetting 'Rainbow Stew' and 'Natural High'?

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Old 08-03-2019, 11:32 PM
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Stevie Wonder
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:24 AM
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I'm wondering about the Rolling Stones. Try this:

Jumpin' Jack Flash can't get no satisfaction and is about to suffer his nineteenth nervous breakdown. Then he meets Angie, who enjoys the same music he does. It's only rock 'n roll, but they both like it. "Let's spend the night together," he suggests later; and they do, but it's not what he built it up to be, and he is shattered. Sighing that you can't always get what you want, he leaves her for some girls, including a honky tonk woman and Ruby Tuesday. These experiences don't go very well, and he's almost ready to paint it black.

Once again, he realizes that you can't always get what you want, and when he thinks back, he realizes that Angie was hot stuff. Returning to her, and promising to never be a beast of burden, finds that he's experienced an emotional rescue. They walk off into their future, secure in the knowledge that it's only rock 'n roll, but they both like it.

Or something like that.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:24 AM
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WHAM and George Michael.

Rod Stewart.

The Beatles.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:47 AM
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Delilah, the Tom Jones musical.

A man's lover begins to cheat on him. (It's not Unusual)

He finally snaps, and kills her. (Delilah, the title song)

He dreams of returning home, then awakes in prison on the morning of his execution. (The Green Green Grass of Home)

Those three songs had three different authors, and they have been performed by other singers. But Tom Jones made them famous.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:41 AM
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Tom Petty.

I'm thinking road trip - a laid-back southern kid gets dumped by his girlfriend Mary Jane after one Last Dance, and heads out Into teh Great Wide Open in search of love. It's a trough trip, with Breakdowns, times when he feels like he's Runnin' Down a Dream, and even like he's a Refugee. But no matter how many people say Don't Come Around Here No More, no matter how many times he's Free Fallin', he just Won't Back Down. In the end, he finds his American Girl, and together, they set out Learning to Fly.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:14 PM
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Tom Petty would be perfect.

ELO has a collection of songs that would make for an interesting story arc. I'm not sure what the plot line would be but:
  • Mr. Blue Sky
  • Don't Bring Me Down
  • Sweet Talkin' Woman
  • Living Thing
  • Telephone Line
  • Calling America
  • Fire on High

Or Bob Seger, a story of growing up as a struggling musician, success, loss of innocence, reclaimed love:
  • Night Moves
  • Against the Wind
  • Ramblin', Gamblin' Man
  • Old Time Rock & Roll
  • We've Got Tonight
  • Shakedown
  • Fire Lake
  • Mainstreet
  • Hollywood Nights
  • Still the Same
  • Katmandu
  • Get Out of Denver
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsHund View Post
You could make several different musical universes out of Bob Dylan's work and life, like it was hinted at in cinematic form in I'm Not There, so many opportunities here.
Dylan's been done with Girl From The North Country. Done badly, I might add.

Remember, to do a jukebox musical you have to obtain the rights to use the artist's song and pay them the "grand rights," a term for using their songs. You pay the grand rights for every performance, or the show will not go on.

Yes, Benny & Bjorn of ABBA and the guys who wrote the Four Seasons song and Billy Joel made big bucks from their jukebox musicals.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:25 PM
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Tom Paxton's Annie trilogy could be the basis of a great jukebox musical. Has Annie Been In Tonight, Annie's Going To Sing Her Song, and When Annie Took Me Home are all set in a bar. Flesh it out with some of Paxton's other songs, and there it is.

I'm getting right on it!

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 08-07-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:54 PM
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...And God only knows what kind of plot you could string together for a Ramones musical...
If only to see choreographers forced to acknowledge the 1, 2, 3, 4, I support this.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:23 PM
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I think the obvious answer is Alice Cooper.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:47 AM
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There are already a couple of amateur efforts to make a Jonathan Coulton musical (Artificial Heartache and one based around Code Monkey) but I think there's potential for one there if one could find enough upbeat songs in his catalogue (and there aren't as many as you'd think). It might be easier if you make it a joint JoCo/Paul and Storm musical - more to choose from, more upbeat songs and all in a similar vein.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:08 AM
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I’m not the guy to figure out what story line it should have, but I’d probably go see a jukebox musical featuring the songs of The Manhattan Transfer.

ETA: Was Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge qualified to be considered a jukebox musical?

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 08-08-2019 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:49 AM
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Looking at the Wikipedia list, I'm amazed that neither Lionel Richie nor Celine Dion haven't been done.

My nomination: Bon Jovi. Musical Name: Tommy and Gina
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:46 AM
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I've always had a dream of producing a Cherry Poppin' Daddies musical, which would largely be set in the Pink Elephant and feature characters like Sleazy P. Martini, Mister White Keys, The Ding Dong Daddy of the D-Car Line and have big dance numbers like Zoot Suit Riot and Brown Derby Jump. It would make millions
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:03 PM
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I would image some of these people have asked to have a jukebox musical done for their music, but have refused for various reasons. Remember, if you can't get the musical rights, you have no musical.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:24 PM
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I've always had a dream of producing a Cherry Poppin' Daddies musical, which would largely be set in the Pink Elephant and feature characters like Sleazy P. Martini, Mister White Keys, The Ding Dong Daddy of the D-Car Line and have big dance numbers like Zoot Suit Riot and Brown Derby Jump. It would make millions
I loved the neo-swing trend and the Cherry Poppin Daddies. I'd see that musical!
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