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Mark declared boldly “We mustn’t dwell, no not today. We can’t. Not on Rex Manning Day!!!”
Well, for fans of 1995 cult film Empire Records, it is the perfect day to do just that. “Damn the man!” In this case: Mark is the man, I’m the idiot, and we’re all winners.
Why do we love this day so much? It’s the day in which the bulk of Empire Records is set – beginning from the morning after the fateful night before, when Lucas was handed the honourable responsibility of closing the store for Joe. We all know what was to occur, and what re-circulated on the fateful evening of April 7th. It’s the 8th where Joe & the store’s lives were turned in all directions, made more complex by the visit of the one and only Rex Manning. The characters we meet, love, hate, sing with and root for, captivate us with their individual adolescent struggles and furthermore interactions with the other delinquents in the “family”. Music is the glue that holds it all together.
I am just one of a large number of “freaks” who felt so much excitement upon the buzz of entering a record store in the 1990s (or earlier)… the ones where real music was being played, bands you’ve never heard of, t-shirts, sticky carpets, in-store signings, gig tickets, and you’d hang out there for hours just watching those who served behind the counter, wishing you could be that person one day. To me, the main one was Gaslight Records on Bourke Street in Melbourne. I’d deliberately get off at the wrong tram stop just to walk past. The most exciting signing day for me there was Jebediah. Most of us freaks don’t shoot up the place like Warren, but we empathize with his soul. And wish we were part of Joe’s family for disenchanted, left-of-centre, music-loving youth.
On this Rex Manning Day, we defiantly dwell. On Twitter (@TheSongNerd) over the past 20 days, I have counted down my 20 favourite Empire Records quotes. Here we go:
20 Craps Dealer: Feeling lucky? Lucas: I am guided by a force much greater than luck…
19 Debra: I went to rock and roll heaven, and I wasn’t on the guest list…
18 Debra: Is that how u always imagined your 1st time would be? Ur back up against the daily totals & ur feet pounding against the safe? ‘Oh Rexy stop that. You’re. So. Sexy!’
17 Joe: How old are you? Warren: Old enough to kick ur butt thru your skull & splatter ur brains on the wall Joe: (to cop) Yeah, he’s a juvenile
16 Debra: God, that is so clever. I swear you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets…
15 Lucas: Rap, metal, rap, metal, Whitney Houston…someone like you needs to diminish their criminal impulses, not magnify them.
14 Jane: What are you doing later? Joe: I’m either going to jail or hell. I can’t decide.
13 Lucas: Joe I think it’s gonna be OK Joe: What makes you say that? Lucas: Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear..
12 Warren: Who glued these quarters down? AJ: I did. W: What the hell for man?! AJ: I don’t need to explain my art to you, Warren…
11 Joe: What’s it doing in Atlantic City, Lucas?” Lucas: “Recirculating.”
10 Mark (answers phone): Empire Records, open ’til midnight, this is Mark. (Pause) Midnight! (Hangs up)
9 Gina: Well, Sinead O’Rebellion! Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behaviour!”
8 AJ: What’s with you today? Lucas: What’s with today, today?
7 Eddie: This music is the glue of the world, Mark. It’s what holds it all together. Without this, life would be meaningless.
6 Joe: Let me explain it to you: Mitchell’s the man, I’m the idiot, you’re the screw-up, and we’re all losers. Welcome to Music Town.
5 Corey: I have to bring Rex his lunch. Joe: Berko is. Corey: I have to bring Rex his lunch. Joe: Berko is. Corey: I’M BRINGING REX HIS LUUNNCH!!! Joe: Alright.
4 Mark: Damn the man. Save the Empire!
3 Warren: Stop calling me Warren! My name isn’t f***ing Warren! Eddie: His name isn’t Warren. Corey: His name isn’t Warren. Berko: His name isn’t Warren. Mark: I thought his name was Warren?!
2 Lucas: In the immortal words of The Doors, “The time to hesitate is through.”
1 Mark: We mustn’t dwell…no, not today. We can’t. Not on #RexManningDay
There are so many more rippers! Let me know yours – comment below or tweet me @TheSongNerd, and on this special day may we all “just fade away…”