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CHRIS GAINES IN… THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS

AN ALLEGED PLAY

WRITTEN BY

GREG OTT

Greg Ott

1550 N LaSalle #8

Chicago, IL 60610

248 431 7009

greg.ott@me.com
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 2

DWAYNE BIRMINGHAM, narrator Wink


CHRIS GAINES Greg
DAD AJ
MEREDITH, Gaines’ agent Annie
NEIL, Gaines’ manager Blake
DAVID MAXIE AJ
MITZI CAMPBEL Brigid
RANDY, Gaines’ limo driver TDLM
FAN 1 TDLM
FAN 2 AJ
FAN 3 Brigid
CONTESTANT AJ
ALEX TREBEK TDLM
DENNIS MILLER Blake
BARBARA WALTERS Brigid
MONICA LEWINSKY Annie
PAUL MCCARTNEY Blake
BARTENDER Brigid
JAY LENO Blake
ROSIE O’DONNELL Annie
CARSON DALY Blake
BOB DYLAN TDLM
STONE PHILIPS AJ
JOE KLEIN TDLM
TABITHA SOREN Brigid
REGIS PHILBIN TDLM
CONTESTANT Brigid
MARTHA STEWART Annie
LARRY KING TDLM
PHIL SPECTOR AJ
DANCING BABY TDLM
STAGE MANAGER Brigid
STEWART Blake
STEWART’S MOM Brigid
MS. SWAN Annie
JOHN MADDEN TDLM
JUDGE JUDY Brigid
PLAINTIFF AJ
“WEIRD” AL YANKOVIC Blake
JERRY SPRINGER TDLM
VINCE MCMAHON AJ
JESSE VENTURA TDLM
CHELSEA CLINTON Brigid
PRODUCER Annie
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 3

DWAYNE
You know, I’ve met a lot of people in my travels. Came across
Salman Rushdie, gave him a place to crash. Met John Glenn: homo.
Hell, I even got to chauffeur Princess Diana around when I spent
some time in London. I wonder how she’s doing. But I’m not here
to talk about John Fuckin’ Glenn; I’m here to tell you about
someone interesting. The year was 1999. The Euro had just
launched, ensuring decades of European economic stability.
America Online was getting America online. And the biggest
rockstar on the planet on the eve of the new millennium? Chris
Gaines.

(A crowd of adoring fans lines the aisles of the theater as


GAINES pushes his way backstage.)

CROWD
Chris Gaines! Chris Gaines! Chris Gaines! Chris Gaines!

FAN 1
Mr. Gaines, how about an autograph?

FAN 2
Chris, do you want want any of my blood?

FAN 3
You let me in your dressing room and I’ll suck anything you
want!

DWAYNE
She wasn’t lying, but that didn’t matter to Chris Gaines. Hell,
she could have looked as hot as Chelsea Clinton and it wouldn’t
have made a difference. He’d been touring for twenty years
straight. Twenty years! That’s longer than the lives of three-
and-a-half Jon Benet Ramseys. But after two decades of touring
and recording, his mind was starting to wander. And people were
starting to take note.

(MEREDITH, GAINES’ record label representative, and NEIL,


GAINES’ manager and best friend, enter.)

NEIL
Was that Chris?

MEREDITH
No, it was John Glenn. Get your head out of your ass.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 4

NEIL
What’s he doing in his dressing room? Party’s about to start.
People want to get jiggy.

MEREDITH
You’re his manager, Neil. Shouldn’t you be managing him?

NEIL
Look, Meredith, I know you and the label don’t give a shit, but
you need to get him out of there. He hasn’t come to a single
after-party this entire tour and he’s got a lot of people who
want to meet him.

MEREDITH
Enough with the exposition.

NEIL
I’m just saying he hasn’t seemed like himself lately and it’s
very unusual.

MEREDITH
Don’t tell me about unusual; this guy hasn’t eaten in six days.
(MEREDITH holds up her Tamagotchi.)

NEIL
Can you please get him out of there?

MEREDITH
I’ll see what I can do.

NEIL
Well, see harder, alright? He’s the biggest rockstar on the
planet on the eve of the new millennium!

DWAYNE
Yeah, I just said that. As y’all know, Chris Gaines was the most
popular rock musician of the twentieth century. “Apostle.”
“Fornucopia.” “The Lamb.” Hit after palpable hit. Rolling Stone
even dubbed him the new Prince when the name became available.
You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing somebody talking about
Chris Gaines.

(Lights up on individual spotlights on the media.)


CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 5

CONTESTANT
I mean, Chris Gaines. The guy’s music speaks to me than my
children. I don’t know if it’s out of line for me to admit this,
especially here on television, but I love that man. And I’m not
ashamed to say it in front of you or anybody else.

ALEX TREBEK
Fascinating. I believe you still have the board.

CONTESTANT
I’ll take “The Films of Michael Rappaport” for $600.

DENNIS MILLER
And this Chris Gaines guy! Ha-ha! I mean, I don’t want to go off
on a rant here, but this guy is so popular he makes Joseph
Goebbles look like William Calley playing Tetris on a Pan-Am
Flight to Ho Chi Min City. But that’s just my opinion. I could
be wrong.

BARBARA WALTERS
Ms. Lewinsky, do you have any regrets?

MONICA LEWINSKY
I have to say, Barbara, that I wish our culture didn’t have such
a gross obsession with people’s sexuality. What the President
and I did may have been wrong, but at the end of the day, we
were two people together in private. Whose business is that? If
sexuality was less of a public taboo, perhaps I wouldn’t be in
this situation and we could move on with our lives.

BARBARA WALTERS
And how do you feel about Chris Gaines?

MONICA LEWINSKY
I’d do anything to fuck Chris Gaines.

DWAYNE
You see, it wasn’t just Chris Gaines’ music that people cared
about. He came from a long line of proud Australian Olympic
swimmers but shunned his destiny to follow the American dream.
His blood was filled with success -- and oxygen. People
connected with his roots. His life. His story. Everyone loved
Chris Gaines.

(Lights up on the office of DAVID MAXIE, CEO of Capitol


Records, seated with his assistant, MITZI.)
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 6

MAXIE
I hate Chris Gaines.

MITZI
Another Pepsi Twist, Mr. Maxie?

MAXIE
Make it a double. God damn it. The son of a bitch’s is up for
renegotiation and we’ve got no leverage. We’ll have to draw up a
whole new contract.

MITZI
Sounds like twenty minutes worth of work.

MAXIE
You got Gak in your ears? It’s not about the work.

MITZI
Are you afraid he’s going to leave the label?

MAXIE
No, I’m not. He’s not going to leave. He’s not my wife.

MITZI
I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.

MAXIE
Thank you, Mitzi. I think you’re wrong. Guy’s concerts sell out
faster than Beanie Babies. He’s worth more than the lives of all
those Kosovo refugees combined and he’s going to take us to the
god damn cleaners. Christ, are we talking about Chris Gaines or
my wife?

MITZI
Chris Gaines.

MAXIE
Musicians are like M&M’s: some are black, some are white, some
are Chinese. You see what I’m saying?

MITZI
Is it about your wife?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 7

MAXIE
Yes: they’re all made of the same shit. Once they get a taste of
success, they’re out of control. Look at Michael Jackson. Guy
goes through kids like Kleenex. I told him, “Mike, just because
you put out Thriller does not mean you can collect children like
Pogs.”

MITZI
I guess that explains Pretty Young Thing.

MAXIE
If Chris’ contract goes up one Sacajawea, we won’t be able to
afford all this new, no-name talent we want to sign: Coldplay,
Creed, 98°. That one might not be a band; that’s just room
temperature.

MITZI
That’s way too hot for a room.

MAXIE
Was that a joke about my wife?

MITZI
No.

MAXIE
“You’re fired.”

DWAYNE
Get the hell out of here. It wasn’t just that man’s wife that
was the problem. Chris Gaines was valuable, like that fuckin’
necklace from Titanic. But he didn’t feel that way. In the world
of Chris Gaines, he was a bagel at Panera Bread: stale,
overpriced, salted. And just like Windows 98 Special Edition, he
was feeling like he was just repeating the same old thing.

(GAINES is alone backstage in his dressing room. MEREDITH


knocks on the door. PAUL MCCARTNEY is standing next to
her.)

MEREDITH
Hey Chris, it’s Meredith.

GAINES
What do you want?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 8

MEREDITH
Paul McCartney’s here. You want to talk to him?

GAINES
Tell him to come back when he’s John Lennon.

MEREDITH
John Lennon is dead.

PAUL MCCARTNEY
What?

(MCCARTNEY slowly exits.)

MEREDITH
Come on out, Chris. You’ve got a bunch of fans at the after
party who want to meet you. You should be living la vida loca!

GAINES
I’m not feeling very loca. Or la vida.

MEREDITH
Chelsea Clinton’s here.

(GAINES emerges from the dressing room. He looks around and


doesn’t see her.)

GAINES
That’s not funny.

(GAINES exits.)

DWAYNE
He wasn’t talking about “The Waterboy,” and that didn’t matter
to Meredith. Chris Gaines to Capitol Records was like Milosivec
to Yugoslavia: a minor inconvenience. But that was the last
thing on his mind in the back of his limousine.

(Lights up on GAINES in the back of his limo, driven by


RANDY.)

RANDY
Awful quiet back there, Mr. Gaines. Good show tonight?

GAINES
Same show, different day, Randy.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 9

RANDY
I know what you mean. Been watching “Shasta McNasty” on the UPN.
We’re supposed to believe that all the stuff in one episode
doesn’t carry over to the next one?

GAINES
If I wanted to hear a boring story, I’d have you put Terry Gross
on the radio.

(The car phone rings. RANDY answers.)

RANDY
Chris Gaines’ limo.

NEIL
Whassssup?!

RANDY
Whassssup?!

NEIL
Whassssup?!

RANDY
Whassssup?!

NEIL
Chris back there?

RANDY
Yes, sir. I’ll put you on speaker. Mr. Gaines, your manager’s on
the phone.

NEIL
Whassssup?!

RANDY
Whassssup?!

GAINES
What do you want, Neil?

NEIL
Just checking in on you, buddy. You took off pretty quick
tonight. Didn’t even stay for the after-after party.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 10

GAINES
Was Chelsea Clinton there?

NEIL
Mike Tyson was. He wanted to meet you.

GAINES
And talk my ear off all night? Not interested. Is that all?

NEIL
Just making sure you’re alright; you haven’t seemed like
yourself lately. Give me a call tomorrow, okay? When’s good for
you?

GAINES
Never.

NEIL
Is that your “final answer?”

(NEIL and RANDY laugh hysterically.)

GAINES
Goodbye, Neil.

NEIL
Come on, Chris. You seem like you need cheering up.

GAINES
I’m just sick of everything, you know?

NEIL
Of course I know, so don’t worry. Your contract is up for
negotiation, anyway. Maybe we can take some time and think of
something fun to do? What sounds like fun?

GAINES
Nothing.

NEIL
“Oh, behave!”

RANDY
“Shagadelic!”
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 11

NEIL & RANDY


“Yeah, baby!”

GAINES
Hang up the god damn phone.

RANDY
What’s the matter, Mr. Gaines? A joke like that never gets old.

GAINES
Been doing the same thing for twenty years straight, Randy.
Everything’s old.

RANDY
You know what might cheer you up, Mr. Gaines?

GAINES
The president’s daughter.

RANDY
A night out. Away from it all. Take a break from what’s usual.
Go somewhere you’ve never been before. I’m not talking about
Fiji; I’m not talking about the dentist. I’m talking about
someplace where nobody cares where you’re from or who you are.

GAINES
I’m Chris Gaines. Everyone knows who I am.

RANDY
Not out here, Mr. Gaines. We’re driving through the country
right now. Deep South. These people don’t care about anyone.
Hell, down here, civil rights are like condiments. They’re
optional.

GAINES
You’re not selling me on the South.

RANDY
Well, being a Southerner is like licking a man’s asshole: it’s
kind of an acquired taste. Take a look around, though. Plenty of
places worth checking out. Look at that place!

GAINES
That’s a truck stop.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 12

RANDY
Hey, you know what they say: truckers are fuckers. And suckers!

GAINES
That’s obscene.

RANDY
You’re telling me. How about that place?

GAINES
That building’s on fire.

RANDY
You’re right; must be a meeting tonight. Hey, how about the bar?

GAINES
What do I look like, a law student?

RANDY
Check out this place: The Devil’s Asshole.

GAINES
The Devil’s Asshole?

RANDY
The Devil’s Asshole.

GAINES
Am I supposed to lick it?

RANDY
Never been inside, but I hear when the toilet’s broken they use
the bouncer.

GAINES
That’s disgusting. Who’s the bouncer, John Glenn?

RANDY
Geez, sorry. It’s just a country bar. I figured if you’re here
in the South and want to try something different, why not listen
to some country music?

GAINES
Fine. You know what? Fine. It’s not like my night’s going to get
any worse. Pull over.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 13

RANDY
You got it.
(RANDY pulls the car into the parking lot.)
If you need me, I’ll be at the truck stop.
(GAINES exits as RANDY drives off.)

DWAYNE
Chris Gaines wandered into a place that felt like country music:
a slice of white bread that felt and smelled moldier than John
Glenn’s diaper. It took him back to a place he’d long forgotten
about. And for once, he was by himself: no agents, no managers,
no fans. He was alone with his thoughts. And a bartender. And a
stranger.

(DWAYNE sits and plays guitar. GAINES approaches the bar.)

GAINES
Give me your worst beer.

(The BARTENDER hands him the beer she is drinking. GAINES


notices DWAYNE.)

DWAYNE
This is a song called U.S.A.

♬ Met me a girl; I loved her, of course


♬ She cheated on me and now we’re divorced
♬ How could I love her, and to what end?
♬ The bitch had a child with my best friend

♬ And when I met that bastard I thought it’d be fine


♬ But I couldn’t love him ‘cause he wasn’t mine
♬ Looked me in the eye, and said, “I’m still your son”
♬ But don’t matter to me or the barrel of my gun

♬ With his blood on my hands and his brains on the floor


♬ I picked up the telephone and I told that whore
♬ A baseball size hole in his skull had been blast
♬ Like the hole in my heart that will forever last
♬ I speak to you now as a cautionary tale
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 14

♬ Sometimes love will work; sometimes it’ll fail


♬ But you can’t blame a man, and can’t put him in jail
♬ In the good old U.S. of A

GAINES
That was beautiful.

DWAYNE
It’s got to be beautiful. Nothin’ but heart.

GAINES
Country music.

DWAYNE
Ain’t nothin’ like it. It all comes from here, you know?

GAINES
I haven’t felt anything in there for a long time.

DWAYNE
I know what you mean, brother. Haven’t been the same since my
ex-wife’s son was murdered. Never found out who did it. But
you’ve got to move on, you know?

GAINES
You seem really passionate.

DWAYNE
Can’t be an artist without passion.

GAINES
You’re telling me. I’m a singer with a band that I couldn’t care
less about.

DWAYNE
Oh shit, are you Shasta McNasty?

GAINES
No.

DWAYNE
Yeah, neither am I. Dwayne Birmingham’s the name.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 15

GAINES
Pleased to meet you.

DWAYNE
You say you’re a musician?

GAINES
Well, yeah. You don’t recognize me?

DWAYNE
Brother, you could be Chelsea Clinton for all I know. But I can
tell you’re not ‘cause you ain’t got no fine ass.

GAINES
Tell me about it.

DWAYNE
So, what’s your problem? Sick of your band? Same old, same old?

GAINES
I guess you could say that. Non-stop touring, the albums, the
record label, I don’t know. I’m just burned out of the whole
scene.

DWAYNE
Brother, I’ve been burned out more times than a Tibetan monk.
It’s supposed to inspire you.

GAINES
Depression doesn’t feel like inspiration.

DWAYNE
You live in the greatest nation on earth. Don’t like the way
your life is going this particular Tuesday? Fuck it. Start a new
life. You know how long I’ve been Dwayne Birmingham? Three weeks
at most. I change who I am and what I’m doing all the time so I
don’t have to live with being miserable. Shit, I’ve got more
driver’s licenses than testicles. I have three driver’s
licenses.

GAINES
Easy for you to say, but do you have any idea how hard it’d be
for a guy like me to do that? To start all over again?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 16

DWAYNE
You’re only one morning away from a new day. It’s like that
song. When I found out my wife was unfaithful, I had to start
over.

GAINES
After you murdered her son?

DWAYNE
That was a metaphor.

BARTENDER
What was the metaphor?

DWAYNE
All I’m saying is that if you’re sick of the same old thing,
there is nothing to stop you from changing. Conquered
basketball? Pick up a baseball bat. Sick of wrestling? Become a
children’s movie star. Tired of football? Murder your wife and a
waiter. You understand what I’m very strongly hinting at?

GAINES
It’s just not that simple.

DWAYNE
Doesn’t matter if it’s simple; just try. Here: take a driver’s
license.

GAINES
Lyle Menendez?

DWAYNE
Er, maybe not that one.

GAINES
Joey Buttofuoco?

DWAYNE
I wish.

GAINES
Garth Brooks?

DWAYNE
Pleased to meet you, Garth. Try this.
(DWAYNE hands GAINES his hat.)
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 17

GAINES
The Arby’s logo?

DWAYNE
It’s not just the Arby’s logo. It’s a cowboy hat. Besides, it’s
not even mine. Picked it up off some corpse that I had nothing
to do with.

GAINES
So, what are you saying I do? Just pretend I’m some other guy?

DWAYNE
Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back from what you’re doing
to realize who you really are. For me, that means putting on a
hat, going by a different name, changing my license plate,
crossing the state border, and getting rid of fingerprints by
building up calluses. It’s why I play guitar.

GAINES
So Garth Brooks, huh?

DWAYNE
Pleased to meet you.

GAINES
I kind of like the name Garth. It reminds me of that character
from Wayne’s World.

DWAYNE
Garth?

GAINES
No, the other one.

DWAYNE
So, what do you think?

GAINES
I don’t know. Maybe it’s worth a shot. Maybe being someone else
for a while could be a good idea.

DWAYNE
And you know what? Garth Brooks don’t work out, who cares? Go
work in a casino for the rest of your life. Sweep it under the
rug and go back to being Chris Gaines. Pretend it never
happened.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 18

GAINES
Well, I doubt it’ll get to that. What a night. Shit, is there a
restroom around here?

DWAYNE
Bouncer’s out front.

(GAINES gets up to leave.)


GAINES
Hey -- thank you.

DWAYNE
Hey -- thank you.

GAINES
For what?

DWAYNE
You’re right.

(Lights up on individual spotlights on the media.)

JAY LENO
Did you hear this? Chris Gaines is making a big announcement
today. Chris Gaines! Big announcement. You know, in a related
story, I hear Judge Lance Ito has an announcement. That’s right.
I guess he announced that he agreed with the not guilty verdict
because he didn’t want to be killed by OJ!

(ROSIE O’DONNELL is shooting Koosh Balls into the


audience.)

ROSIE O’DONNELL
I just have to say that Chris Gaines is a cutie patootie! He is!
Is anyone else excited about this announcement? Is everyone
having fun? Can I get these back when I’m done shooting them?

CARSON DALY
Carson Daly here. Total Request Live. Countdown to the big Chris
Gaines announcement. Joining us in the studio today: the one and
only Bob Dylan. Bob, thanks for being here.

BOB DYLAN
Great to be here, Carson! Love MTV.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 19

CARSON DALY
Any insight into what today’s announcement could be about, Bob?

BOB DYLAN
Could be about anything! I love announcements. I love the media!

CARSON DALY
Would you like to add anything else?

BOB DYLAN
My bum is on the cheese! My bum is on the cheese!

(Lights up on MEREDITH backstage at a press conference.)

MEREDITH
No, Mr. Maxie, I still have no idea what’s going on. All I know
is that Chris somehow scheduled a press conference and nobody
knows what it’s about. I’ll call you as soon as I know more,
okay? No, this isn’t long distance; we’re in the same city. No,
it’s been a week and he hasn’t eaten anything. I’m starting to
get concerned. Thanks for asking.

(MEREDITH hangs up the phone and plays with her Tamogatchi.


GAINES enters, dressed as Garth Brooks. He is wearing the
classic black-and-white Garth Brooks western shirt.)

GAINES
Afternoon, ma’am.

MEREDITH
Uh, excuse me, sir. This is an invitation-only event for members
of the press. The automatic weapons show is tomorrow afternoon.

GAINES
Let me show you something real quick.

MEREDITH
Not interested! If I wanted to see a redneck dick, I’d watch
“The Jeff Foxworthy Show.”

(GAINES puts his soul patch back on his face.)

MEREDITH
Chris?!
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 20

GAINES
Howdy, ma’am.

MEREDITH
What the fuck are you wearing? You look like a valet at a rodeo.

GAINES
I’ve got a new angle.

MEREDITH
New angle? Is this why you scheduled a press conference?

GAINES
You’ll see.
(GAINES approaches the podium.)
Good afternoon. I’m here to talk about Chris Gaines.

JOE KLEIN
Who the hell are you?

GAINES
I’m Garth Brooks.

STONE PHILIPS
Who gives a shit?

GAINES
You do, because I’ve got some news.

TABITHA SOREN
Why are you wearing the Arby’s logo?

GAINES
It’s not just the Arby’s logo. It’s a cowboy hat.
(GAINES removes his hat and puts his soul patch on.)
You see, I’m Chris Gaines. But from now on, you can call me
Garth Brooks. Any questions?

STONE PHILIPS
Stone Philips, CNN: what the hell are you talking about?

GAINES
The future of music. And maybe a film career. Next question.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 21

TABITHA SOREN
Tabitha Soren, MTV News. Why are you dressed like a racist
chessboard?

GAINES
Because I want to play chess. I’m making moves. The past is the
past, the future is the present, and the pawn of Chris Gaines
has to make his way past the rook, the bishop, the queen, and
that horse piece to the new king: Garth Brooks.

JOE KLEIN
Is this a joke?

GAINES
No. It’s time for a change, and I’m ready to answer that time
with a change of my own. I’m putting out a new album and you’re
not going to hear from me again until it’s ready. Next
question.

JOE KLEIN
Joe Klein, Time Magazine. What time is it?

GAINES
I have no idea. Look: I can’t explain everything right now, not
even to myself. But I can say this: if you’re a Chris Gaines
fan, you’re a Garth Brooks fan.

STONE PHILIPS
I don’t understand. Who the hell is Garth Brooks?

GAINES
I am Garth Brooks.

TABITHA SOREN
You’re Chris Gaines.

GAINES
And Garth Brooks. My name is...

JOE KLEIN
What?

GAINES
My name is...
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 22

STONE PHILIPS
Who?

GAINES
My name...

TABITHA SOREN
Chicka-chicka.

GAINES
Garth Brooks. Thank y’all very much.

(The press dissipates. MEREDITH approaches the podium.)

MEREDITH
Have you lost your mind? Have you lost your god damn mind?

GAINES
As a matter of fact, I found my mind. It’s right here.

(NEIL enters and approaches MEREDITH.)

NEIL
Thank God. Meredith, have you seen Chris? Everyone is talking
about some bizarre press conference he just held and I can’t him
anywhere. Oh, hello, sir. If you’re looking for NASCAR tickets,
I think there’s a Family Dollar down the street.
(GAINES puts his soul patch back on.)
Chris? What? What the hell? Why are you wearing the Arby’s logo?

MEREDITH
It’s not just the Arby’s logo, it’s a cowboy hat.

NEIL
Why are you wearing a cowboy hat? Did you buy a Cracker Barrel?

GAINES
As a matter of speaking, yes. I’m going to be releasing an album
of country music.

MEREDITH
Country music?

NEIL
Whoa, whoa, whoa: not this country, right?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 23

GAINES
Of course this country. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some
writing to do. Keep on truckin’, y’all.

(GAINES exits.)

NEIL
Keep on truckin’?

MEREDITH
Truckers are fuckers.

NEIL
He can’t be serious.

MEREDITH
And suckers.

NEIL
Tell me this isn’t real. This is going to kill his career!

MEREDITH
A lot of people have been dying lately, Neil.
(MEREDITH holds up her Tamogatchi.)

NEIL
Will you shut up about your virtual pet? We’re talking about
career suicide! Christ, he may as well just commit regular
suicide. It worked for Nirvana!

DWAYNE
Neil was right, but hell, what did he have to lose? Or anyone?
When Chris got back to his hotel that night, he was feeling
good. Sonny Bono good. Until he was hit by one tree of a dream.

(A young CHRIS GAINES is strumming his guitar quietly at


the end of a dock in Brisbane, Australia. After a few
moments of playing, his DAD beckons for him offstage.)

DAD
Christian? Christian Gene?

(GAINES hides his guitar in the audience. His DAD, an


Australian Olympic swimming coach wearing several bronze
medals like Mark Spitz, enters.)
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 24

DAD
Been looking all over the Bay, Christian. Head’s afoot. Let’s
go.

GAINES
Can’t we stay just a little while longer, Daddy?

DAD
Aye, no can do. Bags’er packed, car’s ready, plane’s in port.
Your mum’s already settled in. Don’t want to keep her waiting
now, do we, sport?

GAINES
I suppose not. But daddy?

DAD
Aye, so many questions. You’re a young Don Lane.

GAINES
I wish. I’ll never be Don Lane.

DAD
Aye, course not. You’re a Gaines. You’re destined for bigger
things than Australian network television.

GAINES DAD
Music. Swimming.

DAD
What was that?

GAINES
Nothing.

DAD
Damn’s right, nothing. You’re a swimmer. Your father’s a
swimmer, your mother’s a swimmer, and your grandfather works at
a bank. What do you think all these bronze medals are? Military
decorations from Operation Morris Dance? You’re destined for
the Olympics, Christian, and don’t you forget it.

GAINES
But why are we leaving Australia, Daddy?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 25

DAD
Aye: the motherland. Born and bred in Brisbane. Look! Still
bright enough to see the Great Dividing Range. You know in the
Staties it’s winter right now? Air’s as cold as the Queen’s
water or Foster’s finest.

GAINES
I don’t want to leave, Daddy. I much like it here.

DAD
I like it too, sonny, and it’s going to be tough. American
swimmin’s different than Australian swimmin’. The water’s upside
down on the other side of the world. But sometimes you’ve got to
make a big change if things aren’t feelin’ right. Can’t live
your life the way you don’t want to.

GAINES
Then I’m taking this.

(GAINES grabs the guitar.)

DAD
The hell you are! Musicians are like M&M’s: they’re gross. Aye:
I forbid you to play that instrument and when we get to the
Staties, it’s straight to the Olympic Academy.

GAINES
But Daddy!

DAD
But nothing! You heard me once and you’ll hear it twice. Chris
Gaines will never be a popular musician!

(GAINES and DAD exit. Lights up on individual media


figures.)

REGIS PHILBIN
For $500,000, you can still use your 50/50.

CONTESTANT
Let’s do that.

REGIS PHILBIN
Okay, computer? (Radiohead.) Eliminate two options. Alright,
you’re left with two choices: Garth Brooks, or Chris Gaines.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 26

CONTESTANT
I don’t understand the difference. Can I ask the audience?

REGIS PHILBIN
They don’t know either.

MARTHA STEWART
Today, on Martha Stewart Living, we’ll show you how, with just a
few minor adjustments, you’ll be able to take your charming,
handmade Chris Gaines tea cozy and turn it into a stunningly
beautiful Garth Brooks tea cozy. Absolutely delightful.

LARRY KING
My guest tonight, again, legendary music producer Phil Spector.
Phil, thanks for being here.

PHIL SPECTOR
My pleasure, Larry.

LARRY KING
Chris Gaines. American music icon. You've worked with him, known
him, spent time with him. What's going through his mind?

PHIL SPECTOR
Musicians are fickle, love. Creative expression can drive you to
the brink, you know? I understand what he’s going through,
wanting to do something different. I’ll say this, though: coming
up with a new sound, a new self can be exhausting, and that's a
lot of pressure to put on one man. Especially one of his fame.

LARRY KING
I hate to be morbid, but is that sort of pressure the sort of
thing that can end up, you know, killing somebody?

PHIL SPECTOR
Don't ask me. I’ve never killed anybody. And I never will.

(Lights up in the studio. GAINES is recording a track with


an ENGINEER, overseen by MEREDITH and NEIL.)

NEIL
Do we have a problem?

ENGINEER
If I wanted to fill my ears with shit, I’d become a bouncer at
“The Devil’s Asshole.”
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 27

NEIL
Hey: just do your fucking job, okay? Ready for another take,
Chris?

GAINES
Garth.

NEIL
Whatever. What’s the next song?

GAINES
“Friends in Low Places.”

ENGINEER
What, are you hanging out in basements?

NEIL
Hey, shut up. If he wants sing about basements, let him sing
about basements.

GAINES
I’m not singing about basements.

NEIL
Just hit record, asshole. In case you forgot, you work for Chris
Gaines.

GAINES
I’m Garth Brooks. I am not Chris Gaines.

ENGINEER
That’s right. You’re not Chris Gaines. I like Chris Gaines.
Garth Brooks, with all due respect, sounds like the ultimate
piece of shit. I told my kids I was working on the Garth Brooks
project and they killed our dog. I loved that dog like a wife.

NEIL
I don’t give a shit about your love life. Do you job. Let’s go,
Chris.

GAINES
Will you stop calling me Chris?

NEIL
Just record the damn song, Chris.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 28

GAINES
Chris doesn’t know the song. Garth does.

NEIL
Jesus Christ. I know you’re tired your old self, but come on.
This is a waste of time. If you’re tired of rock music, I get
it, but do you have to play country? I’m sure Puff Daddy gets
tired of rap music but you don’t see him changing his name
around.

ENGINEER
Hey, where does Puff Daddy hang out? Hot air balloon? Blimp?

NEIL
That’s it. Start playing. I’m coming up there.

(NEIL storms up to the booth as GAINES begins to sing.)

GAINES
♬ Blame it all on my roots
♬ I showed up in boots
♬ And ruined your black tie affair
♬ The last one to know
♬ The last one to show
♬ I was the last one you thought you’d see there
♬ And I saw the surprise
♬ And the fear in his eyes
♬ When I took his glass of champagne
♬ I toasted you
♬ Said honey, we may be through
♬ But you’ll never hear me complain
♬ Cause I’ve got friends in low places
♬ Where the whiskey runs
♬ And the beer chases my blues away
♬ And I’ll be okay

(GAINES continues to sing as the scene transitions to DAVID


MAXIE’s office.)
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 29

MEREDITH
“Now, I’m not big on social graces / I think I’ll slip on down
to the oasis / ‘Cause I’ve got friends in low places.” It goes
on like that.

MITZI
“Friends in Low Places?” What, is he hanging out in basements?

MAXIE
Meredith, what are you saying? Are these the lyrics to one of
these alleged Garth Brooks songs?

MEREDITH
Unfortunately. This whole Garth Brooks thing is apparently about
him becoming a country singer.

MAXIE
Why the hell would he do that? Why the hell would anybody do
that? Christ, we should have used nukes during the Civil War.

MEREDITH
He thinks he’s being artistic. He’s acting like that god damn
monkey who throws shit at a canvas and thinks he’s Jackson
Pollock.

MAXIE
Pierre Brassau?

MITZI
Talk about an obscure, dated reference.

MEREDITH
I thought she was fired.

MAXIE
Forget about that. You know what? This might just be a god damn
gold mine.

MEREDITH
This Garth Brooks shit?

MAXIE
Sometimes shit is delicious. Can you get me another Vanilla
Coke?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 30

MITZI
Absolutely.

(MITZI exits.)

MEREDITH
Well, Mr. Maxie, with all due respect, we can’t let Chris or
Garth or whoever he’s decided to become release any of these
songs. They’re terrible.

MAXIE
Exactly. He’s like New Coke.

(MITZI enters.)

MITZI
Here’s your new Coke.

MAXIE
You introduce your new Coke, let people hate it, and then go
back to the old one a few days later. We’ll make people love the
old Chris Gaines and hate the new Garth Brooks overnight and
give us the upper hand in negotiating his new contract.

MEREDITH
How are we going to do that?

MAXIE
We’ll stick it to him. I’ve got a feeling the world needs to
hear Garth Brooks as soon as possible, and he’s going to do it
live -- this Saturday night. On a television show. That show is
called...

MEREDITH
We know what the show is called.

MAXIE
Get me Fax Bahr on the phone.

MEREDITH
It’s long distance.

MITZI
Oh, dial 10-10-220.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 31

MAXIE
10-10-220?

MEREDITH
What’s 10-10-220?

BLAKE
Just dial 10-10-220, then one, then the number. All calls up to
twenty minutes are just 99 cents.

MITZI
And just ten cents a minute after that.

MEREDITH
That’s 50% off.

TDLM
Does it work today?

MITZI
Sunday, Tuesday, any day.

ALL
10-10-220. New number, same great savings.

DWAYNE
Anticipation was building. People wanted to hear what Garth
Brooks had in store, and for good reason. With Y2K just around
the corner, people wanted a little bit of happiness before the
horror of having to reset your VCR. (In case John Glenn is here:
a VCR plays movies, you weightless bastard.) Anyway, something
still wasn’t right. Something lingered.

(Lights up at a swim meet. GAINES’ DAD is standing at the


edge of a pool in a speedo. GAINES enters.)

GAINES
Am I too late?

DAD
You’re too late.

GAINES
I got here as fast as I could.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 32

DAD
I said you’re too late! The Winter Olympics are over. Go home.

GAINES
I wanted to see you swim.

DAD
I wanted to see you swim! But you didn’t. And you don’t. Go
home, Christian.

GAINES
I didn’t mean to let you down.

DAD
You’re not a swimmer. I’m already let down. I’ll see you at
home.

(DAD throws his boomerang for a few moments.)

GAINES
I signed a record deal today, Dad. Capitol Records liked my
demo. They’re giving me a contract.

DAD
They say you enter a contract when you have a kid; that he’s
supposed to do whatever you tell him. But that’s the thing about
contracts: they don’t matter.

GAINES
You’re not listening to me! I’m going to be successful, Dad.
People want to hear Chris Gaines!

DAD
Nobody wants to hear Chris Gaines!

GAINES
You’re wrong, Dad. Dad wrong. People will be hearing about my
music far into the mid-twenty-tens.

DAD
I’d rather hear the sounds of this Olympic-sized swimming ocean.

GAINES
You know what? I’m done.
(GAINES takes the boomerang from his DAD.)
And just like this boomerang, I’m not coming back.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 33

(GAINES throws the boomerang and sits down in a chair.


NEIL knocks on his dressing room door, waking him from the
dream.)

GAINES
What do you want?

NEIL
Is everything okay, Chris?

GAINES
Garth.

NEIL
Whatever. You alright?

GAINES
Yes. I was just having this dream, no big deal. I’m sure you
have dreams.

NEIL
I certainly do.

(The lights dim. “Hooked on a Feeling” starts to play and


the DANCING BABY enters the crowd, dancing. Several moments
pass.)

NEIL
Do you watch Ally McBeal?

GAINES
No.

NEIL
Well, look: I’m here because I want to talk you into your
senses. Tell me you’re not about to go through with this.

GAINES
Meredith and the label set it up. They think it’s a good idea.

NEIL
Hosting MAD TV as two separate people is not a good idea.

GAINES
And why not?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 34

NEIL
Because it’s confusing! Besides, MAD TV is the most influential,
most watched late night show in the nation. Everyone is going to
laugh at you!

GAINES
Isn’t that the point? I can handle a few hilarious, three-
dimensional characters.

NEIL
Let me tell you something, Chris. I’m your manager, but more
important, I’m your friend. And I support Chris Gaines 100%. But
I can’t, in good faith, support Garth Brooks. Chris Gaines wants
a change of pace. I get it. You want to release a country album?
Great! Do it -- as Chris Gaines! Because Garth Brooks is stupid.
And confusing. And you don’t have to change your name and dress
up like the coffin of a dead soldier to get people to listen to
your stuff!

GAINES
Christ, get the hell out of here. I’m about to go on.

NEIL
If you go out there, people are going to forever associate the
name Garth Brooks with Chris Gaines and you’ll become a
footnote. A punchline at the end of a great career.

(The STAGE MANAGER enters.)

STAGE MANAGER
Five minutes, Mr. Brooks. Er, Gaines. Whoever you are.

GAINES
Thank you, five.

(STAGE MANAGER exits.)

NEIL
Don’t go out there, Chris. You’re five minutes away from turning
into John Glenn.

NEIL
Excuse me?

NEIL
You heard me.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 35

GAINES
No, I don’t think I did. For a second there, it sounded like you
called me John Glenn.

NEIL
That second was accurate.

GAINES
You come into my dressing room and call me John Fucking Glenn?

NEIL
That’s right, John.

GAINES
I am not John Glenn.

NEIL
You are John Glenn.

GAINES
You’re John Glenn.

NEIL
No, John. You’re John Glenn.

GAINES
John Glenn is a washed up piece of shit.

NEIL
John Glenn sounds like Garth Brooks.

GAINES
That’s it.

(GAINES charges NEIL as RANDY enters.)

RANDY
Whazzzzzsup?

GAINES & NEIL


Get the hell out of here!

(RANDY exits.)

GAINES
You too. You’re fired. Get the hell out of here.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 36

NEIL
You’re pulling the ripcord here, Chris.

GAINES
Chi, you know what? Eh-eh. That’s the Vancome lady. Now if
you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a show to host.

(GAINES exits as MEREDITH enters.)

NEIL
God damn it!

MEREDITH
Where’s Chris?

NEIL
He’s about to make the biggest mistake of his career.

MEREDITH
He dropped out of Woodstock ’99?

NEIL
No, he’s about to host MAD TV as both Chris Gaines and Garth
Brooks.

MEREDITH
That’s right. Mr. Maxie seemed to think this would be a great
opportunity to showcase our new favorite client.

NEIL
Showcase Garth Brooks? You guys don’t even care about Chris
Gaines. Why would you want to help either of them?

MEREDITH
Well, if I’m not mistaken, one of those guys has a contract
negotiation coming up. It’d be a shame if one of their careers
was suddenly in the toilet.

NEIL
That’s what this is about, isn’t it? You assholes want to see
pull a Flight 800 so you can get a better contract out of him.

MEREDITH
Are you talking about Chris or Garth? I get the two mixed up.
They look so similar!
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 37

NEIL
Well, I’ve got some news for you, Meredith. He’s not going to
crash and burn. Chris may be dressing up as two totally
different people tonight, but both of them are going to kick
your fucking ass. Just you wait.

(The MAD TV theme plays and the show begins.)

GAINES
I’m a police sketch artist. Can you describe the crook?

MS. SWAN
He looka likea man!

(Massive laughter, followed by massive applause.)

STEWART’S MOM
Can anybody babysit my son?

(GAINES enters.)

GAINES
I’m a babysitter.
(Massive applause from the audience.)
Now, who’s your son?

STEWART
Stewart!

(Massive laughter, followed by massive applause.)

GAINES
That was a great football game. What do you think, John Madden?

(JOHN MADDEN sputters nonsense. Massive laughter, followed


by massive applause. DWAYNE enters into the spotlight.)

DWAYNE
Chris Gaines was riding high. But, as if this moment in his life
was JFK Jr.’s altimeter, he was about to find out the higher you
fly, the farther you fall. He put on his hat, grabbed his
guitar, and took the stage as Garth Brooks.
(Spotlight on GAINES singing “Friends in Low Places.” When
he concludes, there is no applause.)
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 38

DWAYNE (cont.)
He poured his soul into those lyrics, about his friends who live
underground, in storm drains, basements, I don’t know. And when
he walked off that stage to no applause, things were only going
to get worse.

JAY LENO
Hugh Grant is back in the news again. Kevin, you remember this.
Few years back, Hugh Grant got caught with a prostitute. Heidi
Fleiss. Hugh Grant was asked about the embarrassing ordeal --
embarrassing ordeal, Kevin! -- and he said in the end, it could
have been worse: he could be Chris Gaines!

JUDGE JUDY
Enough! This is my courtroom. Where is the receipt for the lawn
mower?

PLAINTIFF
I didn’t get one, your honor.

JUDGE JUDY
Bull. Don’t you lie to me in my courtroom.

PLAINTIFF
I’m not lying, your honor.

JUDGE JUDY
Don’t you pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

PLAINTIFF
I’m not peeing.

JUDGE JUDY
Don’t you bring me a soup and call it a salad.

PLAINTIFF
Are you hungry?

JUDGE JUDY
Don’t you tell me you’re Chris Gaines when you’re really Garth
Brooks.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 39

“WEIRD” AL YANKOVIC
♬ Well, I’ve got friends in low pizzas
♬ Where baloney runs
♬ And Pepsi quenches my thirst away

JERRY SPRINGER
Jerry Springer. And now, my final thought. While we all wish we
could be somebody else every once in a while, who are we to
change? Should this man become a woman just because he wants to
marry his lesbian daughter? Should this man really stop
murdering people if he doesn’t want to? Should a politician
become a talk show host just because he wrote a personal check
for a prostitute? Until next time, take care of yourself. And
each other.

(GAINES is back at the bar. DWAYNE is seated.)

DWAYNE
Well, call the police and have me arrested for aggravated
manslaughter if it isn’t Garth Brooks!

GAINES
I should call them. You killed my career! I made an ass of
myself on pre-recorded live television trying to be a country
singer!

DWAYNE
Country singer? A city boy like you? With hair like that, you’re
no more a country singer than you are a goth’s wife.

GAINES
Then why did you tell me to become a country singer?

DWAYNE
I didn’t! You drew that conclusion yourself, brother.

GAINES
You gave me this hat!

DWAYNE
Just disposing of evidence.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 40

GAINES
I never should have listened to you. What’s the point of rich
and famous if everyone hates you? Now I know how John Glenn
feels.

DWAYNE
But you wouldn’t have known that had you not tried. See what I’m
saying? Hell, there’s probably a lesson somewhere in all this.
In the end, isn’t that worth it?

(Pause.)

GAINES
No.
(GAINES exits.)

BARTENDER
Goodbye.

DWAYNE
That was the last time I ever laid eyes on Chris Gaines. And
Garth Brooks. He just hopped in his limousine and headed out.
But it wasn’t much better in there, either.

(GAINES is in the back of his limo with RANDY.)

GAINES
Awful quiet up there tonight, Randy. You like the show tonight?

RANDY
I’d like to be left alone.

GAINES
Hey, I finally caught up on Shasta McNasty.

RANDY
If I wanted to hear a boring story, I’d put on an audiobook
about that stupid kid magician. That ‘Harry’ asshole.

GAINES
Hairy asshole?

RANDY
Not hungry. With all due respect, Mr. Gaines, Brooks, or
whatever, I’m going to put up the divider. Let me know if you
can’t hear me.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 41

(RANDY puts up the divider. GAINES picks up the phone and


dials the front of the limo.)

GAINES
Whazzzzup?!
(RANDY hangs up the phone.)
Fine. I see how it is. I’ll take a nap, then.

RANDY
Don’t wake up.

GAINES
I thought you couldn’t hear me.

RANDY
I was talking to myself. I’m suicidal.

GAINES
God, I should be, too. What the hell was I thinking? Garth
Brooks? I’m a complete embarrassment. I never should have become
a singer.

(The sequence becomes a dream. RANDY is replaced by DAD in


the driver’s seat.)

DAD
I could have told you that.

GAINES
Dad?

DAD
Good to see you, sport.

GAINES
I see dead people.

DAD
Yeah, we’re driving by a cemetery. Sad to see you like this,
Christian, but I told you this would happen.

GAINES
No, you didn’t. You told me not become a singer. You never
believed in my music.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 42

DAD
Aye, not at all. Of course I believed in you, Christian. You’re
a Gaines. From a proud line of Gaineses. It’s this business
that’s not fine. The people. Good people in entertainment are
hard to come by. We can’t all have Mel Gibson’s heart of gold.
All they care about in your business is money, and people with
money have no taste.

GAINES
And that’s why you wanted me to become a swimmer?

DAD
Aye, Christian. The Olympics aren’t about competition. You work
with one another and they reward your hard work with bright
medals. You don’t go in there trying to best your fellow man at
his sport of choice.

GAINES
I don’t think you understand the Olympics.

DAD
Aye, I do. And I understand you, Christian. Why aren’t you
happy?

GAINES
Because I had it good and I threw it all away.

DAD
Of course you had it good, Christian! You get paid to get on
stage for about an hour, charge twenty bucks a ticket, and fuck
around with a group of your friends.

GAINES
It’s a little more work than that.

DAD
Is it?

GAINES
No, not really.

DAD
So go back to doing that. As yourself. Remember: you’re a
Gaines.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 43

GAINES
I’m a Gaines.

DAD
Chris Gaines.

GAINES
Chris Gaines.

DAD
Damn’s the right, and not even that our alleged Muslim,
“President-elect” Bill Clinton can take that away from you.
Besides, you’re still rich and famous.

GAINES
I don’t know about famous anymore.

DAD
Aye, sure you are. A few weeks from now, you’ll wake up and the
public won’t remember any of this. You’re not Wayne Bobbitt.
You’re Chris Gaines.

GAINES
I’m Chris Gaines.

DAD
And I’m dead. Goodbye, Christian.

(DAD exits and RANDY enters.)

GAINES
Goodbye, Dad. I love you.

RANDY
I love you, too.

GAINES
Turn this car around. I’ve got to go back to the hotel.

RANDY
It’s a long distance.

GAINES
Oh, just dial 10-10-321.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 44

RANDY
I’m talking about a physical distance.

GAINES
So am I.

(GAINES is on his cell phone on one half of the stage. On


the other half is NEIL, who picks up his phone in his hotel
room on the other side of the stage.)

NEIL
What’s up?

GAINES
Hey. It’s Chris.

NEIL
What do you want, Garth?

GAINES
No. No, it’s not Garth.

NEIL
Then I don’t know who this is. The only Chris I know is named
Garth.

GAINES
Come on, Neil. I’m calling to tell you that Garth is done. I’m
not doing that anymore. It was bad idea.

NEIL
I know.

GAINES
I wanted to say that I’m sorry. You were just trying to help. I
was wrong.

NEIL
You said some pretty ugly things.

GAINES
I know.

NEIL
You called me...
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 45

GAINES
We don’t have to say his name.

NEIL
I’m not some piece of shit astronaut trying to get his rocks off
in some spacecraft, Chris. I was just trying to be your friend.

GAINES
I get that now, okay? I should have listened to you from the get
go. I never should have gone to that bar. I should have just
gone to that truckstop.

NEIL
You shouldn’t be going to truckstops, Chris.

GAINES
I know.

NEIL
Truckers are fuckers.

GAINES
I know.

GAINES
And suckers.

GAINES
I know! I need you around to keep me from doing this kind of
shit, okay? You’re a good manager. And a good friend.

NEIL
This means you’re done being Garth Brooks?

GAINES
Yes.

NEIL
No more country music?

GAINES
Chi, you know what? Eh-eh.

(GAINES and NEIL laugh.)


CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 46

NEIL
God, that Vancome lady.

GAINES
Never gets old. Where are you?

NEIL
At the hotel.

GAINES
Me too. Room 501.

NEIL
I’m in 502.

(Pause.)

GAINES
Should I go to your room, or...

NEIL
I can just come to yours.

GAINES
That would be faster.
(NEIL knocks on GAINES’ door. He opens it.)
Hey.

NEIL
Hey.

GAINES
You hungry?

NEIL
“Yo Quero Taco Bell.”

GAINES
Me too. Me quero a lot of Taco Bell.

(GAINES and NEIL hug.)

DWAYNE
They were both very quero, but Neil was the Cox to Gaines’ Cox
Arquette. Like the cast members of Scream 2, they were united
once again. And ready for their next move.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 47

(DAVID MAXIE is in his office with his MITZI and MEREDITH.)

MITZI
Mr. Maxie, Chris Gaines is here to see you.

MAXIE
Outstanding. Can you bring me a Surge?

MEREDITH
Make it two.

(MITZI exits.)

MAXIE
Well, this is perfect. Chris Gaines crawling back to us down on
his hands and knees, just like my wife.

MEREDITH
She took you back?

MAXIE
I took her inhaler.

MEREDITH
So, what are we thinking?

MAXIE
We’re going to low ball the schizophrenic son of a bitch.

MEREDITH
How low?

MAXIE
Eight hundred and seventy five million dollars.

MEREDITH
That’s insulting.

(GAINES and NEIL enter.)

MAXIE
Ah! Two well dressed men. Brooks Brothers, I presume?

NEIL
My name’s not Brooks.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 48

MAXIE
Ah. You must be Brooks and Dunn!

GAINES
I’m not Brooks.

NEIL
Brooks is done.

GAINES
And so am I.

MAXIE
What are you saying?

GAINES
I’m sick and tired of the whole act.

MAXIE
Great! Forget about the past, okay? Let’s move on.

GAINES
I am moving on. From you.

NEIL
I told our friend here last night about your little MAD TV
setup. He wasn’t too happy to hear that you set him up to fail.

MEREDITH
Well, hold on...

GAINES
Chi, you know what? Uh-uh. I’m done. I’m leaving the label.

MAXIE
No, Sandra, not again?

NEIL
Who the hell is Sandra?

MEREDITH
She has asthma.

MAXIE
You can’t leave the label, okay? How are you going to release
music?
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 49

GAINES
I don’t know. Maybe online.

NEIL
Ever heard of Napster?

MAXIE
The sleeping pill?

NEIL
It’s a place where you can put all of your music. On the
Internet.

MAXIE
The internet? The internet is for perverts and scientists. I’m
going to log onto AOL and dial up some Chris Gaines?

MEREDITH
Oh, someone’s on the line. Guess I’ll have to use my cell phone
and put the music on there!

MAXIE
Forget the cell phone tower, let’s throw our music into a white
fluffy cloud!

MEREDITH
Ooh, look at us! It’s raining music!

MAXIE
Get your head out of your ass. You walk out that door, you’re
going to turn into that washed up, piece of shit astronaut
everybody hates. What’s that guy’s name?

MEREDITH
Buzz Aldrin.

MAXIE
Yeah, fuck that guy.

GAINES
With pleasure.

(GAINES and NEIL exit.)


CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 50

DWAYNE
Chris Gaines walked out that door and didn’t look back. It’s too
bad for Capitol Records. A few years later, after Microsoft
released the best-selling MP3 player of all time, the digital
music revolution took off. With the help of acts like Metallica,
Kid Rock, and Bob Seger, Chris Gaines pioneered the way we all
listen to music today. As for the media? Just like you and I,
probably, they completely forgot about the Chris Gaines debacle.
Until tonight.

VENTURA
Jesse “The Body” Ventura with Vince McMahon coming to you liveat
halftime from the biggest sporting event in the nation: The XFL
Million Dollar Game. And boy, I’ve got to tell you, Vince, this
game is worth every cent!

VINCE
You said it, Jesse. The San Francisco Demons are crushing the
Los Angeles Xtreme, 38-0, at the end of the first half. But the
biggest buzz is around tonight’s halftime performance, where
rock legend Chris Gaines will be performing some of his greatest
hits.

VENTURA
You know, these halftime shows are almost bigger than the game
itself. One might wonder, with all the pressure of tens of
millions of people watching tonight’s game around the world, if
Chris Gaines will live up to the quality, integrity, and
tradition that people associate with the XFL.

VINCE
We’re joined now by Gaines’ manager, Neil, and the man himself,
Mr. Chris Gaines. A pleasure to have you both here.

NEIL
The pleasure is ours.

VENTURA
This is the first time you’ve played the Million Dollar Game,
Mr. Gaines. How does it feel to hear the entire stadium
clamoring for you?

GAINES
It’s been a while since I’ve done a gig this size. Sometimes you
don’t realize what you don’t have until it’s not gone.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 51

VINCE
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Neil, you’ve been with
Chris since the beginning. How does this night stack up for you?

NEIL
You know, it’s funny. Tonight’s a big game and all, but all I
could think about earlier was Garth Brooks. Do you guys remember
Garth Brooks?

VENTURA
Nope.

VINCE
Uh-uh.

GAINES
Me either.

NEIL
Exactly.

VENTURA
Now, Mr. Gaines, in honor of this rare treat tonight, we thought
we’d do something special for you and introduce you to one of
your biggest fans. Chelsea?

(CHELSEA CLINTON enters.)

CHELSEA CLINTON
Howdy, mister.

GAINES
Holy shit, Chelsea Clinton.

CHELSEA CLINTON
Looking forward to hearing you in a few minutes. Playing a show
this big is a huge risk.

GAINES
How’d you like to take a huge risk? You like condoms?

CHELSEA CLINTON
Never heard of them.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 52

GAINES
Me either. Meet me backstage. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got
a show to time. Half time.
(GAINES exits.)

VENTURA
Classic Gaines. We’ll be right back.

(STAGE MANAGER enters.)

PRODUCER
And, we’re clear.

VINCE
Thank god that’s over.

VENTURA
That was perverted.

VINCE
You said it.

VENTURA
What the hell was he talking about back there?

VINCE
Yeah. What was he saying? Garth Brooks?

NEIL
Yeah. He became a country singer for a while a few years back.
Remember?

VINCE
Oh, yeah.

VENTURA
Yeah!

VINCE
I completely forgot about that.

NEIL
Yeah.

VENTURA
What an ordeal.
CHRIS GAINES IN... THE LIFE OF GARTH BROOKS 53

NEIL
Tell me about it.

(Pause.)

CHELSEA CLINTON
Garth Brooks was shitty.

VINCE
Chris Gaines sucks, too.

(Pause.)

PRODUCER
What a huge waste of time.

(BLACKOUT.)