Film The first time I heard the soundtrack album to Good Morning Vietnam was during a sponsored walk at a scout hut in Garston in the late 80s. I remember vividly sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car having completed my wander around the grounds, pressing play on the cassette in the stereo and hearing Robin Williams pipe up with his opening monologue with little knowledge of what the film was about or even having seen it, despite having seen the posters covering the walls of the local Video City when the film was released on rental dvd. As we've discussed I was too busy with Star Trek and Police Academy.
Within days I was provided with a bootleg copy which I then spent the following weeks and months listening to incessantly until I had memorised his monologues and knew the songs off by heart. This was also the first time I'd even heard anything from the original film of The Wizard of Oz, my choice for 1939, even in this parody, which is strange considering one of the earliest books I owned was The Marvelous Land of Oz and my parents had taken me to see Walter Murch's Return to Oz at the Woolton Picture House one birthday. My first viewing of Oz wasn't until many years later in the library at Leeds Met one idle afternoon.
So despite having an incessant difficulty learning anything off by heart which has curtailed my acting career, hum, and means I'm still plugging away at "To Be Or Not To Be..." I still have scraps of this speech in my head from years ago. Perhaps it's because I remember laugh at the time, perhaps it was that the same relative had also memorised the speeches and I didn't want to be outdone, I'm not sure why it's lodged up here, but even after all these years, everything which has happened, I think I'm still able to recall at least that opening section. Let's see. Apologies for any mess syntax and grammar. Translating speech to text is hard.
"Gooood Morning Vietnam, hey this is not test, this is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the delta to the DMA. Is it a little too early for being that loud, hey too late. This is oh-six-hundred. What does the oh stand for? "Oh my god it's early." Speaking of early, nunee-nunee-noo-noo, nunee-nunee-noo-noo, picture a man going on a journey beyond sight and sound, he has left Crete, he has entered the demilitarized zone. What is the demilitarized zone? Sounds like something out of the Wizard of Oz. "Oh look you landed in Saigon, you're among the little people now." "We represent the other, other army." "Oh no, don't go in there ..." "Ooeeoo, Ho-chi-min." "Oh no, it's the Wicked Witch of the North, it's Hanow-Hanoy!" "Aaah little GI, you and you're little tu-to, too. Aaah I'm melting... don't you my pretty ah...!"
A quick listen again to the soundtrack on Spotify reveals I've forgotten "Is that me, or does that sound like an Elvis Presley movie? Viva Da Nang. Oh, viva, Da Nang. Da Nang me, Da Nang me. Why don't they get a rope and hang me?" and some business about calling "Hanow" a slut. It's not the most PC business but probably completely in period. Certainly at the age of eleven or twelve people saying naughty words was inherently funny, however un-PC they are now. When our primary school gave out free dictionaries, our first instinct was to look up all the rude words and even in secondary school we all knew which page number of the Biology textbook had line drawings of genitalia. 254.
Here's a supercut all Adrian's business, which reveals that the material on the album was heavily edited from the material in the film: