Sadly this episode does not feature any noteworthy music artists, such as the ones who wrote the song the title is referencing, or Peter Tork.
We begin with Cory unenthusiastically asking some girl if she’d like to go to the 7th grade dance with him – the dance which you may remember Feeny saying he would cancel because of Cory’s class all protesting having to take a test. The girl can’t go, because her grandmother is sick. Cory tells Shawn that apparently every girl in the 7th grade has a sick grandmother, except for one girl who Shawn knows has no grandmother. Cory tells him this is true, and someone the girl blames Cory for her lack of a grandmother.
Some Guy [note: Some Guy is played by Adam Scott, who you may know as that guy from “Parks and Recreation”. He will be a recurring guest star in a later season. Adam Scott, not Ben Wyatt] comes over and asks Cory and Shawn to watch his and Some Other Guy’s guitars for a second. Shawn asks Cory why he doesn’t just ask Topanga to the dance, and Cory tells him that would show no personal growth, because he’s apparently asked Topanga to every school dance ever since they were 5 years old, despite him thinking she was nuts last year, and also the fact that most elementary schools don’t even have school dances, particularly not for the kindergarten age set. But Cory says he’ll still try asking Topanga tomorrow, unless as if by magic girls start to notice him.
On cue, the girl from before and some other girl come over and couldn’t help but notice Cory. It turns out the girls are impressed by Cory and Shawn apparently being musicians, and Shawn tells them they’re totally in a band.
Alan was apparently in a band when he was younger, in addition to being in the navy and being a champion boxer. He talks about Fighting the Man and whatnot, and Cory says he’s just in it for the chicks. Amy comes home and learns this about Cory, and asks Alan if he wasn’t in it for the chicks as well. Alan denies this, and we find out his band’s name was “The Tongues”. And apparently Amy was a fan of them. She defends herself, saying she was young and had no taste, ironically while wearing this shirt:
I don’t even know what to make of it. It’s got sombreros and flowers on it. What even.
Those girls from before beg Cory and Shawn to start playing, right there in the hall. Shawn’s all for it, so Cory pulls him aside to say he’s only got an egg salad sandwich in his guitar case, never mind that neither of them know how to play an instrument. They could just tell the girls that they need amps and speakers and other stuff to play their guitars, but maybe Cory and Shawn are just too ignorant of the way of the guitar to know this would work as an excuse. Instead, Cory tells them that they can’t play because their drummer recently died.
Topanga shows up and says everyone is totally talking about Cory, all impressed with him being in a band. Last episode we learned that lying to make people think you’re cool is bad, but I guess that’s only if the lie ruins someone else’s reputation, so it’s okay in this case.
The tall blonde girl mentions something about the band’s drummer having died recently, and Topanga asks a very good question: “Who are you?”, before pulling Cory aside. Jeremy asked her to the dance, and she wanted to make sure it was okay with Cory that she was going with someone other than him. Cory’s fine with it, so Topanga leaves. The other two girls come over and are excited to meet the other guys in the band. Apparently Shawn was Making Things Up Again, and told them various things, including that their band has a guy who plays guitar with his teeth.
So Cory and Shawn hold band auditions.
There’s Blues Tuba guy:
Every Drummer on the Planet guy:
Very Talented Guitarist, rejected on the grounds that he’d make Cory and Shawn look bad:
Blues Accordion guy:
…Gregorian Chanting Monks:
Thor, who only does poses:
And finally, Ya Gotta Have a Guy Like That:
Thor and the last guy are accepted into the band (the last guy for obvious reasons, Thor because he’s shorter than Cory and “won’t steal our chicks”). Cory lays out the ground rules for the group – no matter what anyone says, never play an instrument in front of anyone.
Alan went crazy at a garage sale and picked up an amp and microphone and some other stuff, and Eric has picked up Alan’s old band jacket from the dry cleaners. And apparently Alan’s old bandmates are stopping by the house to play on Friday. That should be exciting.
I don’t understand how we have such a 90s-looking picture that doesn’t have a plaid shirt on it. What is going on?
Turner Arrives, and Cory says he and Turner are a lot alike. Cory’s got his guitar to make himself look cool, and Turner’s got his helmet. Turner corrects him, saying he has a helmet so if he crashes his bike, his head doesn’t go splat, and then he asks why Cory really has the guitar case. Cory tells him it’s to protect his sandwich.
The, um… “Demon Seeds” have pulled out of playing at the dance. But Feeny has the cool, mellow, Caribbean sounds of some other band, and all the 7th graders think this is totally bogus. They want a live band! Suddenly, Those Two Girls suggest Cory’s band! And Blonde Girl even says she’s actually heard them and they’re great, despite this being a lie. It’s too bad they don’t lie in San Francisco, otherwise they could get Jesse and the Rippers to come ruin their dance. Ah, well.
Feeny is completely fine with this suggestion, for some reason, and asks Cory for the name of his band. He does that thing where he looks around the room for suggestions.
He dubs the band “The Exits”. If I ever form a band, I’m definitely considering “Blood Drive” for the name. That’s way better than “The Exits”. Or Jesse and the Rippers. And it’s going to have Gregorian monks in it. Anyway, Cory could have come up with some excuse – like that Thor was going to be out of town and they can’t play without him, or Cory’s guitar was buggy and in the shop (I’m pretty sure that’s not really a thing. My clarinet had to be “in the shop” for professional cleaning and repair, but a clarinet is way different from an electric guitar).
Also, I have to bring up something here: While I haven’t gone to a lot of school dances in my day, I know that we only ever had recorded music at the dances. Yet every single tv show on the planet – except, oddly, Degrassi, which has at least one student band per season – always seems to have a live band at their dances. I’d understand if the live band was there for homecoming and prom, but they have live entertainment at EVERY dance on EVERY show. Now, on another blog, there was a similar situation – the school dance had a live band (it was Jesse and the Rippers, just fyi), and there was a big discussion in the comments about this. Apparently it’s actually not uncommon for a school to have live entertainment rather than a stereo with a CD shuffler (or an iTunes playlist, for you younguns). So I accept that some schools on tv shows should have a crappy, live band, but why do ALL of them except apparently Degrassi have live bands?
Cory tells the band about the situation, and says that he promised Feeny, and also he signed some papers. The other two guys bail, on account of this clearly breaking the band’s creedo. I think this would be an excellent opening to get out of the deal with Feeny – literally half the band is refusing to perform, and without them, it’s just two idiots on stage. Hey, “Two Idiots on Stage” would be a good name for a band, too. Particularly a 5-piece band.
Cory: We have to find some way to go on. The girls love us.
Shawn: Yeah, we worked too hard to get where we are!
Cory: We have to come up with a plan.
Shawn:You know, that’s… that’s just so crazy it just may work.
Cory: What may work?
Shawn: The plan.
Cory: …I didn’t tell you what it was.
Shawn: That way they can’t get it out of me.
Cory: Get what out of you?
Shawn: Nice try.
We join Alan and his old buddies in the living room, talking about stuff and junk. Mostly about being old. Alan’s like “come on guys, we used to be The Tongues! We were dangerous!” So the one friend tells him a story about he cheats on his wife, and by that he means he takes the “fat free” stickers off stuff in the grocery store and puts it on the stuff he actually buys so he can con his wife into thinking he’s eating healthy.
Oh, yeah, the friend? Well, remember when I mentioned that no noteworthy musical artist, like Peter Tork of The Monkees, was in this episode? I may have lied.
Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees is one of Alan’s old bandmates. If you don’t know who The Monkees are, you better stop reading this and Google them. Also Rick Nielsen and Billy Vera, who are not Monkees, but are noteworthy musical artists themselves.
Amy asks if they guys want anything to drink. Alan tries to order some beers for the guys, but Mickey wants mineral water, Rick would like iced tea, and Billy would like some fresh carrot juice if it’s not too much trouble. Alan, exasperated with this old fogies, wants a beer for himself, at least.
Cory and Shawn leave for their gig, and Alan’s friends think Alan must be proud of Cory following in his footsteps. Alan’s kind of suspicious of Cory having a gig despite only picking up the guitar two days earlier, but doesn’t make much of it, and pulls up his old guitar from behind the couch. He’s had it tuned up and it still plays like it did in the old days. He figures Mickey Dolenz’s wife must’ve thrown out his old guitar, even though Mickey Dolenz was more of a drummer (and, okay, their characters aren’t all named Mickey, Rick, and Billy, but I can’t remember what their character names are supposed to be). But Mickey’s guitar is in his trunk, and coincidentally, Rick’s and Billy’s guitars are in their respective trunks as well. They head out to fetch them so they can jam or something, and presumably disturb Morgan who’s probably about to go to bed by this time. Speaking of Morgan, I know I haven’t really mentioned or shown her, but that’s because she’s only been in maybe 3 of the last 7 episodes. And she had less to do with the plot than normal. She’s seriously only in one scene in most if not all of the more recent episodes she’s in.
Feeny does a microphone check. Turner tells him to stall, because The Exits aren’t ready yet.
Backstage, Cory’s got it covered, saying he got two guys who actually know how to play to help out. The two arrive, but leave when they find out this isn’t a paying gig. So… thanks for that. It’s nice that they showed Cory actually had a plan, but… what a great way to spend 15 seconds.
Turner comes backstage to tell them it’s time to go on. Shawn tells him they’re not going on, and when Turner wants to know why, Cory says it’s because they’re being inconsiderate of their artists – for instance, they asked for carved turkey, not turkey slices. Turner seems resigned to their demands, and goes upstage, but then announces The Exits are about to perform and the curtain opens. Cory and Shawn put on their guitars, ask the audience if they’re ready to rock, roll, and rock and roll, in that order. Shawn says “Goodnight everybody!” and tries to leave until Cory pulls the back of shirt and drags him back to the front of the stage.
So Mickey Dolenz is singing like the awesome Mickey Dolenz he is. Alan seems to be faltering in his singing, for whatever reason – maybe because he’s not a musical Superstar like these other guys. Billy Vera sitting in Morgan’s little pink chair is pretty funny. The entire scene is just them singing “Good Lovin'”, with literally nothing else. The audience applauds for them, but the ENTIRE scene was just that song.
Back at the dance, everyone is booing The Exits. Shawn thinks they should just bail, but Cory has a plan. He sings the name song – Sonia Sonia ba-bonia banana-fana-fo-fonia me mi mo monia, Sonia! – while randomly strumming the guitar, and everyone leaves. Topanga gives Cory a very disappointed look before leaving with everyone else.
Alan ushers the actual music artists out of his house, and complains to Amy about how awful he was. Amy tells him he was pretty much always bad, but she never cared about that, she just liked everything about him all together.
Back at the dance – why is this switching back and forth so much – there are still some people milling around. Feeny laughs at Cory and Shawn, even though this is pretty much all his fault for signing a band on without listening to them play.
Topanga surprises Cory by still being there. Her date wanted to go to the Oyster House – which is where those two guys who bailed because the dance wasn’t a paying gig were going to play instead – but she wanted to stay because she liked watching Cory up on stage. Also I thought she was a vegetarian, but I guess that’s never been explicitly confirmed, and some vegetarians eat sea animals, I guess.
Topanga and Cory decide to dance, since neither of them got to at the actual dance, and Cory puts in one of Mr. Feeny’s Caribbean reggae lounge tapes. You know… someone could’ve just gotten a radio or something to play since Cory and Shawn sucked and all. But… whatever.
As I’m writing this with the video paused, I can’t help but notice a fire hose mounted on the wall. I wrote in a much earlier recap that I was impressed the set designer thought to include a wall-mounted fire hose in the hallway, but it’s getting ridiculous this season. That fire hose cabinet is literally everywhere. It’s in every hallway. It’s in whatever this room is (it’s too small to be the gym, it has a stage but not really the right set-up to be the auditorium, it’s clearly not the cafeteria… what IS this room?). It’s even in the bathroom. If there’s ever one place you don’t have to be too concerned with a fire starting, it’s the bathroom. Pretty much everything except the toilet paper is nonflammable, and it’s a small, contained room. Plus the point of fire hoses is so you can go long distances with them, so having one in the bathroom and one in the hall outside the bathroom is a little overkill.
Cory comes back from the dance during the end credits, and it looks lighter outside than it was when he left. Alan, randomly strumming his guitar, says that Cory can have it. Cory doesn’t want it, but Alan insists. They go back and forth, with Alan saying somebody has to take it.
So Eric takes it, saying he’s been thinking of starting a band. He then proceeds to play some majorly awesome riffs on the guitar.
When he finishes, he says “nah” and hands the thing back to his dad. The end.
So today we learned a valuable lesson about… um… Well I don’t know. Cory and Shawn didn’t receive any long-lasting punishment or humiliation for lying and being bad at the guitar. Topanga still liked Cory even though he was terrible. Amy liked Alan despite knowing he was terrible.
I guess what we really learned is that everything can be awesome when you have 3 musically inclined guys who have achieved some levels of success in the past, playing guitars in your living room.
I was really disappointed that they didn’t just call Alan and tell The Tongues to come perform at the dance. Ah, well. We’ll never get a plotline where that actually happens on this show, I’m so sure, and am not saying this to feign surprise when it actually happens next season.
As a final note, the girl who played the black-haired girl (Sonia) looked very much like a non-Caucasian cousin of Topanga’s. It was partly due to the big hair, but also they looked like they had similar facial features. Weird. I almost thought I had skipped to the episode where Topanga pretends to be French, but that confused me because I didn’t remember her wearing a black wig in that episode. Ah, well.
PLAID COUNT: Where I bother to count all the plaid that shows up in the show. Note that the counts have a margin of error, due to it being hard to tell how much plaid there is in some scenes, and some extras wearing the same shirt in multiple scenes and shots.
2 pair of trousers