Annotations for Soul Music
Imp Y Celyn means Bud of the Holly, which Imp changes to Buddy as a very obvious reference to Bud Holly who died in a plane crash with the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, referenced in the book when the music tries to kill the Band with Rocks In in a cart accident at the end. The Big Boppers biggest hit Chantilly Lace was also referenced during the bands conversation about a song they just played called Sto Helit Lace, and mention the part where Imp says "Hello, Baby" the infamous beginning to the Roundworld version.
It is possible that aspects of Susan's character are a commentary on Susan Pevensie from C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, as she epitomises Pratchett's tendency towards tough, fiercely independent female main characters. Also, when she considers what may happen if she follows Quoth and the Death of Rats when they first come for her, in doing so giving a fairly accurate summary of the events of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, before dismissing the idea because it would be childish of her. Contemporary fantasy writers, including friend and collaborator Neil Gaiman, frequently claim that the main (or only) poor point of the Chronicles of Narnia is the negative light in which Susan is portrayed in The Last Battle, in which she rejects the world of Narnia (by laughing at her siblings' continuing belief in 'those silly games we used to play' (quote is from memory) and is in turn rejected by it (by not being in the train crash which kills the others and thereby sends them to Narnia) because of what is essentially a reference to her independent femininity.
A second suggestion about the origin of the character name is given here. This is perhaps a secondary or even a subconscious association on the part of TP, but as he elsewhere displays an unmistakable familiarity with this band's songs, it's a legitimate question to ponder.
Glod the dwarf, is seen to sweat liberally - to the point where he seriously considers he might have to change his vest - whilst conscientiously avoiding baths, showers or soap of any kind. This links into a sub-trend within popular music involving a noticeably casual attitude towards personal hygiene, which is best represented by Irish musician Bob Geldolf. Geldof led a group with the Dwarf-oriented name of "The Boomtown Rats". In fact, the name Geldof actually has a concealed "Glod" in it...
Glod is asked if he would like to be remembered as the greatest horn player in the world or some felonious monk, a reference to Jazz musician Thelonious Monk.
Cantaloupe - a Muse, one of the seven patron deities of the performing arts. On Roundworld, Calliope is one of the nine Ancient Greek muses, and a cantaloupe is a type of melon. In fact, on page 96 of the Corgi paperback, during the Bande's first gig at the Mended Drum, the Librarian is seen to open the bag of fruit he has brought with him, for the express purpose of throwing at the act, and to contemplate a very large melon... the whole scene, of a band trying to subdue a riotous and antagonistic audience with the quality of their music and the passion of their playing brings to mind the Blues Brothers' first gig, at Bob's Country Bunker (An American midwestern version of the Drum), where they perform behind a wire screen and still have to dodge all manner of potentially injurious thrown material.
(More tangentially, a Calliope was also the name of a multi-barrelled rocket launcher used mainly by American forces in WW2. It got the nickname because of a superficial resemblance to the Calliope steam-organ. As the Band come under a multiple barrage of fruit and weaponry, and an actual pipe organ explodes with artillery-caliber force later that night when the Librarian tries to emulate the Band, this too may be significant).
Crash, the lead guitarist with Ande Supporting Bandes - a nod in the direction of Slash, guitarist with Guns & Roses? Or, conflating the reference, to the ethos and sound of British punk trio The Clash?
Miss Eulalie Butts
We are told that when worried, or when her peace of mind is disturbed by Iron Ronnie conducting a sports lesson, she turns to eurythmics for solace. Now we know this means Ephebian rhythmic gymnastics reminiscent of tai-chi with a trailing length of ribbon. And not the rather attitudinal feminist music of Annie Lennox. err.. don't we?
Names of Discworld bands (and their counterparts in Roundworld):-
- Insanity * - Madness
- Suck * - Kiss
- The Whom * - a rather more grammatically correct version of The Who
- The Blots * - The Ink Spots/The Stains
- Lead Balloon * - Led Zeppelin
- The Surreptitious Fabric * - The Psychedelic Furs or the Velvet Underground
- Ande Supporting Bandes *
(* All the above are the same incompetent group.)
- The Band With Rocks In - The Band (who toured with, and played live backing for, Bob Dylan)
- Dwarfs with Altitude - Niggaz With Attitude
- We're Certainly Dwarfs - They Might Be Giants
- Boyz From The Wood - Boyz n da Hood, with perhaps a touch of the Jethro Tull album Songs From the Wood
- &U - U2
- Trollz - Gorillaz though this can hardly be deliberate-Soul Music was written in 1994, Gorillaz was formed in 1998.
- A Big Troll and Some Other Troll
The group Suck, nee Insanity, is a parody of punk, by their lack of actual musical ability and hyperactive stage shows.
One of the songs that The Band With Rocks In plays is Pathway to Paradise. This is obviously a Discworld counterpart to the Roundworld Song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.
Other early rock songs referenced
- Good Gracious Miss Polly - Good Golly Miss Molly
- Great Fiery Balls - Great Balls of Fire
- Don't Tread on my New Blue Boots - Don't Step on my Blue Suede Shoes (in a separate quote, "The wizards shuffled their blue suede feet nervously")
- There's a Great Deal of Shaking Happening - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
- Give Me that Music with Rocks In - Gimme me that Rock N Roll, or possibly Old Time Rock N Roll or Rock and Roll Music
- Sto Helit Lace - Chantilly Lace
While the band is trying out names they come across Glod and the Glodettes and Cliff and the Cliffettes as a reference to groups like the Marvelettes of the 50s and 60s, then when Gold and Silver are thrown out Imp says "I don't think we should name ourselves after any kind of heavy metal" in a passing reference to the musical style.
Note that "Sto Helit Lace" is also an internal allusion within this novel, as Susan became the Duchess of Sto Helit when her parents died, and she adds a bit of lace to her outfit when she takes up the Duty. Sto Helit is a Discworld centre of excellence in lace-making.
"in a rustic shack of mud and wood" - Imp y Celyn's home evokes Chuck Berry's classic song Johnny B. Goode, who the song tells us lived in a suspiciously similarly humble abode, but who could play a guitar just like ringing a bell.... In fact, Imp's song is called Sioni Bod Da, which is reasonable if slightly clumsy Welsh for Johnny, be good!
* Corgi PB p171:- Susan Sto Helit, Ravens and the Death of Rats are in transit. Whilst negotiating Binky over a tricky white cloudbank and building up height to cross the Ramtops, Quoth the raven, in an ideal position to look down on the Disc, starts to quote Roundworld's Louis Armstrong about it being a wonderful world... no doubt Quoth has caught a line or two from across the Multiverse, and the sight of skies of blue/and clouds of white is inspiring him. A tangential association might be the group of singing crows/ravens in Disney's animation Dumbo, who are voiced by black American singers (including Armstrong?) in songs like I never Saw an Elephant Fly - which is no less ridiculous a concept than a flying horse...
Songs about motorbike crashes and bike-related violent death that may be referenced in Death's fiery ride:-
- The Shangri-La's - The Leader of the Pack
- Mötorhead - Iron Horse/Born to Lose
- The Blue Öyster Cult - Feel the Thunder; Transmaniacon MC, Golden Age of Leather
- Jimmy Cross - I Want My Baby Back.
- John Leyton - Johnny, Remember Me
- Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I love Her
- Meatloaf - Bat Out Of Hell, also referenced on the Corgi paperback cover.
The Music that creates the universe In Tolkien's legendarium, the Ainur - think seraphim and cherubim, maybe? I dunno, they're referenced as "children of Iluvatar's [the creator's] thought" - sing together in harmony as the means of creating the universe. No word in the Silmarillion about whether Iluvatar starts with "one, two, a-one two three four..." See [].
At the end Death challenges The Music, but the only chord he can play is the one that is the musical equivalent of mathematical nullity, the 'empty chord' that will bring the whole rhythm of the universe to an end unless the Music revives Buddy to play on. This invokes the Moody Blues' Maharishi-influenced 1968 LP, In Search of the Lost Chord, the Lost Chord being the one retained by the Divine (Krishna the creator and Shiva the destroyer) for its own personal use in creating and destroying...
Places and Events
The free festival is a reference to music festivals like Woodstock and Altamont Free Concert. In the immediate aftermath of the Free Concert in the Park, after the crowd riot and rush the stage, Dibbler (a man who has seen the "Free Concert" as nothing more than a licence to harvest money) is seen to be groaning under the wreckage of his sausage-inna-bun service tray. While some may think it is also a reference to Woodstock 99, where 3 days of brutal sun and $5 tiny bottles of water culminated in riots and looting on the last night, Soul Music was published in '94. It more likely has its parallels in other large venue festivals that ended in tragedy in the 70s like Altamont, another free concert which hired the Hells Angels for security and ended in violence.
But the original citation - "Observer Music Monthly", the London "Observer", Sunday 17th May 2009 - was perfectly clear that these acts of violence happened at the 1969 Woodstock - the "summer of peace and love" - and were edited out of the collective memory afterwards, as they didn't fit the narrative that was starting to be woven around 1969: that it had been all sweetness and light at Woodstock in the summer, and all hell had been unleashed at Altamont in the winter. Real life is rarely as neat as that.
However, this remains the only real trouble at the Woodstock festival, where militant hippies robbed, then burned and trashed, the mobile burger stalls that were seeking to capitalise on a captive population by selling food at extortionate prices. The logic used to justify the burger riot was "Hey man, if the goddamn festival is free, the food had better be as well! Why should some breadhead be able to exploit us like this? That's against the whole spirit of the thing!" et c.
- However, Woodstock wasn't a free concert, or wasn't intended to be; 186,000 tickets were sold, but the nominal 'security' was overwhelmed by a quarter-million gatecrashers. This fact has also been erased from memory by the Narrative. If anyone was exploited at Woodstock it was the musicians, none of whom received a penny of their promised pay (except a canny few who insisted on cash up front). --Solicitr 17:38, 2 September 2010 (CEST)
As anyone who was there will well remember, there were a handful of free concerts in London's Hyde Park as the 1960s faded into the 1970s. The Stones played a famous set commemorating Brian Jones, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young made their UK debut. As far as I know, no-one rioted and a great time was had by all. ;-)
This one's a little uncertain, but surely the field Susan visits when she looks for Death at his house is van Gogh's 'Wheatfield with crows'? Not only does it seem quite appropriate somehow, but the description of them 'They rippled as if in the wind, except that there wasn't any wind. Susan couldn't imagine why he'd done it. There was a path, though. It led across the fields for half a mile or so, then disappeared abruptly.' fits too well to be coincidental (IMHO). And, although van Gogh did not die in the field he was painting when he shot himself, surely Death would have been around for such a one? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatfield_with_Crows
*Corgi PB p25:- I REMEMBER EVERYTHING.... Death is quoting directly from Jim Steinman's Life and Death and an American Guitar monologue, from the Bad For Good album of 1980, in which a teenage rocker acquires a guitar that takes over his life and among other things urges him to kill his parents. I REMEMBER EVERY LITTLE DETAIL AS IF IT HAPPENED ONLY YESTERDAY. Steinman is or was the éminence grise behind Meatloaf, and originally wrote this over-blown monologue for him to perform - then decided it was too good for him, and recorded it himself.
I REMEMBER EVERY LITTLE DETAIL AS IF IT HAPPENED ONLY YESTERDAY is also , incidentally, the first line of a duet between gravel-voiced French balladeer Maurice Chevalier and a singer performing the part of his wife - who then goes on to prove that his memory is in fact a bit fuzzy, as she contradicts him on his memory of every important occasion in their married life. ("Oh yes. I remember it well...")
Corgi pb page 98:- Interestingly enough, not just people of a magical inclination may perceive Death nearby: perhaps those who live with the risk of death, or who deal with death as part of their jobs, or those whose sensitivities are heightened by doing such a job in the hours of darkness, are also so privileged. For Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs have no difficulties in seeing and greeting Death, in a manner which implies this is no new occurrence for them. They then debate whether or not Death has a first name: the first rejected suggestion is Keith. This evokes several famously dead Roundworld rock stars. Keith Relf, singer with the Yardbirds, died in a moment worthy of the Darwin Awards when he attempted to combine a bath with strumming a few chords on his electric guitar. Not suicide, just self-elimination from the gene pool. Keith Moon, hell-raising drummer with the Who, died of an accidental overdose of pills designed to help with his alcohol addiction. Rejecting "Keith" as a name lacking gravitas, they settle on Leonard. This evokes lugubrious Canadian songster Leonard Cohen, a man whose guitar-accompanied deep tenor reflections on death, loss, rejection and the general downside of life are popularly thought to have been the cause of self-inflicted death in many a listener. (These are certainly the sort of unpopular songs that Death might hum as he goes to work). Then Fred Colon reflects I must be getting old. For a moment there I thought he sounded like a Susan. Possibly Suzanne Vega? A performer whose first and second LP's conveyed a lot of the gloom commonly associated with Leonard Cohen, in terms of subject matter, and which were much loved by introspective female undergraduates of a Gothic nature in the 1980's. (Leonard Cohen, wholly unrelatedly, actually wrote a song called "Suzanne", possibly about a death-angel not unlike the perky Goth of the "Sandman" series). And of course several members of the Deep Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd tragically died in the same air-crash - another occupational hazard for American rock stars... (the story is that this band sardonically named themselves after their school's PE coach, Mr Leonard Skinner, who had told them that no goddamn degenerate hippie rock band stood a chance down here in good all-American country music territory, y'all...)
It has also been suggested that "Keith Death" refers to cadaverous Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richard, who conveys the impression that Zombie status is only a matter of time, and upon whom sixty years of life sit heavily, but is not actually dead yet. Seasoned Richard-watchers are unanimous: "wait!"
Corgi pb page 112:- Imp was on a stage. You didn't expect to die on a stage. In British showbiz, the mortifying act of bombing out with an audience and walking offstage again to jeers, boos, missiles or worse - devastating silence - is known as "dying". Comedians regarded the old Glasgow Empire theatre as the toughest in Britain. It was ruefully said of Glasgow by a visiting English comedian that "if they like you, they let you live". Susan is - perhaps - also foreshadowing the on-stage history of the group Crash, to whom every performance is a death...
*Corgi PB pp 147 - 156, and pp 371-373:- The long and awkward conversations between Susan Sto Helit and Death, which veer from intimate family talk to strict professionalism. Death and Susan agree on one thing: use of the word "Grandad" is right up there with the talking animals vocalising sentiments like "Oh my paws and whiskers!", governesses dancing on the rooftops with chimney-sweeps, and duetting with manically smiling bluebirds, as regards "shoot me now and get it all over with" behaviour. The Roundworld referent is a British character actor called Clive Dunn, who even in his forties was playing doddery old men verging on senility. Proving the British record-buying public is capable of occasional lapses from good taste, Dunn got to number one in the charts with a glutinously sentimental track called "Grandad", one which was allowed to ooze, rather than be played. It involved Dunn in full old man rig, reminiscing about the good old days, being sung to, and occasionally kissed on the cheek or the top of the head by, suspiciously cute and innocent professional children of the Twyla and Gawain Gaiter persuasion. And guess what happens on page 373, when Susan allows herself a moment of the sort of emotion that she assures herself she can give up at any time... Somebody beat me to this one. See this Filk:- 
Corgo PB p314 "Whoever heard of a serious musician with a glove?" (Ermmm... Michael Jackson?)
- Or, before him, Alvin Stardust
*Corgi PB p364: After the crash, Death has been forcibly separated into his component bones. As per recommendations in the Gospel song, the bones re-assemble themselves...
The finger bone's connected to the...hand bone;/ The hand bone's connected to the...arm bone;/ the arm-bone's connected to the... shoulder-bone;/ Now hear the word of the Lord!/ Dem bones, dem bones, dem - dry bones/dem bones, dem bones, dem - dry bones
This is also the second reference to the second Terminator film. Firstly, Death points at the Dean and says I need your clothes
(Arnie said "I need your boots, your clothes and your motorbike") before getting onto the Librarian's bike. The scene where the bones reconnect recall the iconic scene where the T-1000 has been shattered into constituent parts (following the memorable "Hasta la vista, baby" line) and, as it heats up, all the metal begins to run together.
Corgi PB p378:- Death felt attention on him. He looked up at the universe, which was regarding him with puzzled interest. A voice which only he heard said "So you're a rebel, little Death? Against what?" Death thought about it. If there was a snappy answer, he couldn't think of one.
More Moving Pictures rather than Soul Music (but, with stardom, is there really a difference?). The referent is Marlon Brando in The Wild One, who memorably answered the same question with "I don't know. What have you got?" before riding his bike away into the closing credits... Note that this is Azrael's second and so far last appearance in the books.) Or it could be TP's early concept of the Auditors?
When Death throws in his lot with the Canting Crew, and becomes Mister Scrub, there is an interesting piece of dialogue that appears to be a stealth reference to Reaper Man:- Altogether Andrews is described as coming up with the "Mr Scrub" nickname.
He didn't know why. On the other hand, he was among people who could hold a lengthy conversation with a door.
In this case, a Bill Door?
Cliff, knocking his own teeth out to provide emergency finance: self-harm in the greater cause of music, as per Syd Barrett... "shine on, you crazy diamond"?
Other musical ephemera:-
- Shave and a haircut - two pence... more than just a bit of musical nonsense or a jingle that evolved to help musicians tune their instruments. "Shave and a haircut - two bits" originated in the USA around the turn of the twentieth century as the name for a standard barbershop-quartet "tag;" in the 1950's it was used as a verbal description of the characteristic rhythm of one blues/rock and roll pioneer called Bo Diddley, a musical giant whose influence can be heard in the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and down the ages to the present day, although the Bo Diddley Beat is more syncopated than the old vaudeville bit. And yes, one musician Diddley's style influenced was of course Buddy Holly, whose song "Not Fade Away" is based on the Bo Diddley Beat.
- "Shave and a Haircut" and Bo Diddley are both related to the Afro-Caribbean clave rhythm, but the older form is associated with the cakewalk and ragtime and is thus slightly more "straight." Compare:
--Solicitr 17:22, 2 September 2010 (CEST)
When Glod and Cliff steal the piano from the Opera House and try to bring it back to the lodgings, Buddy looks at the piano-shaped hole in the wall and hotly complains that you can't break somebody's wall down just to make music. Perhaps Buddy isn't yet completely under the influence of the Beat, as in a different phase of the multiverse this is exactly what Pink Floyd's swirly keyboards-and-guitar based music did to a certain Wall. Night after night, culminating in a bravura performance in the previously walled city of Berlin... and of course, Susan repeats this later when she strolls through the wall into the Cavern Club after being dismissed by Dibbler. She also breaks down a Wall in the service of music...
On the Hubland battlefield, Quoth the Raven is about to get stuck into an eyeball or two and says "Carrion regardless". This puns on the title of a slight-but-pleasant ditty by British lyrical artists The Beautiful South - "Carry On Regardless". (To avoid confusion, the song is officially called "Good As Gold", but nobody ever calls it that - "Carry On Regardless" is the repeated line of the chorus and this kind of sticks. Released as a single in February 1994 from an LP issued in November '93, it just squeaks into consideration as a reference in this book - published in middle 1994))
Similarly, Albert, when retracing Death's tracks to the desert fort of the Klatchian Foreign Legion and has got the information he wants, dismisses himself with "Carry on, Sergeant" - evoking the puns and double entendres of the "Carry On..." series of British comic movies, whose first outing was in fact called Carry On, Sergeant, and who parodied the Foreign Legion in Carry On, Follow That Camel. (The Beautiful South allude to this film genre in the song "Carry On, Regardless").
Incidentally, the film "Carry On Regardless" is about a temporary agency whose temp workers get sent out to the oddest possible jobs, for which they are only just qualified or able...(consider Susan standing in for Death at short notice with minimal training). Connoisseurs of the genre think it's the single funniest Carry On.
*Corgi PB p183:- The Dean's psyche resonates imperfectly with vibrations from across the Multiverse and he is soon confused with what statement to make on the back of his black leather robe. It comes out as
DEAN BORN TO LIVE FATS DIE YO GNU
On Roundworld at least, "Dean" refers to film star with attitude James Dean, who died young in a car crash. The Dean also adopts a mumbling sort of speech that James Dean was famous for.
"Born to..." must have confused the Dean with a multiplicity of signals, as Narrative Causality ascribes two alternative punchlines: Born to Run, as in the Bruce Springsteen anthem, or Born to Lose, as in the Motorhead biker ballad (see here:-). Perhaps the second is most likely, as suffused by the influence of the Music, the Librarian then proceeds to build Discworld's analogue of a motorcycle. (without fully appreciating what it is or why). The Dean, by virtue of physical size, seeks to be the first to ride it - echoes again of James Dean or Marlon Brando - but he then loses this to Death, who has a prior need...Marlon Brando is an actor who in his youth had the savage male beauty of a James Dean, and appeared in movies as the archetypal rebel on a motorbike, but whose appetites afterwards allowed his body to bloat out to positively Unseen University-like proportions. Surely an ideal referent for the Dean, confronted with a motorbike and a youth he never remembered having?
Of course, it's also extremely likely to be Born to be Wild, another famous (at least in the states) biker song.
And of course, before he goes to pay his professional attention to the Music, Death borrows a coat from (Henry), Dean... did his voice come from you and me?
"Live Fast Die Young" ("and leave a good-looking corpse") is an iconographic statement used to describe the short life and death of, among others, James Dean, Buddy Holly, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain. (It is clear Imp y Celyn is being set up by Narrative Causality to become the Discworld's tragic icon)
- When the boys in Insanity buy a do-it-yourself leopardskin trouser set - to wit, one hard-of-hearing feline carnivore which is still very much alive - what else is this but a Deaf Leopard...
- The "thieving cleric" who stole the secret of music from the Gods? Roundworld jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk... (felonious monk)
The scene where Cliff destroys Buddy's harp by sitting on it (and later pays for it to be expensively rebuilt in the Street of Cunning Artificers) evokes legendary rock bad boys The Who, who famously destroyed their instruments at the climax of each gig. What is not as widely known is that the Who's canny manager employed a roadie purely to gather up the bits afterwards, so that they could then be returned to a repair shop and rebuilt, purely to be "destroyed" again - otherwise the expense of replacement instruments for every gig would have been phenomenal. Turnover was so fast that effectively, the same three sets of instruments were being repeatedly "wrecked" and rebuilt on a three-day cycle... generally speaking, Townshend and Entwhistle (born showmen both) would be satisfied if the neck of the guitar broke cleanly away from the body in a visually satisfying manner, necessitating a fairly simple and cheap repair job afterwards. And, On The Day The Music Died, does not Death, Entwhistle-like, perform a similar conclusive destruction job on The Guitar? (echoing also Jimi Hendrix, who famously set fire to his at the end of a gig.)
- "Townshend and Entwhistle (born showmen both) would be satisfied if the neck of the guitar broke cleanly away from the body in a visually satisfying manner, necessitating a fairly simple and cheap repair job afterwards". Only if they were breaking Fenders with their bolt-on necks. There's nothing easy or cheap about a neck replacement on a Gibson, and it's effectively impossible on the Rickenbackers Pete played in the early days. Solicitr 13:38, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course, there is also a Blue Öyster Cult link in Soul Music. For some time, this correspondent was slightly disappointed not to have found one, over and above Death striking a pose not unakin to the cover of Some Enchanted Evening, and then heading into the Disc's first (technically) fatal motorcycle crash on a sharp bend in the mountains - but then any number of songs about motorbike crashes, for there is, after all, no shortage of them in the Roundworld canon, could arguably be made to fit as a reference here. As the B.Ö.C. crop up frequently in Pratchettiana, it didn't seem possible they could have failed to make an appearance in this book!
The song is "The Marshall Plan"(from the Cultösaurus Erectus album) about a teenage dreamer called Johnny, who lives in "a dark ghost town in the middle of the West/Where Friday takes so long to arrive" and who is dreaming of rock music stardom. His girlfriend is a kindred spirit called Suzie, who goes missing at a rock gig... "He reaches out/But Suzie's disappeared". Just when Buddy (aka Sioni, or Johnny, remember) needs her most, Susan Sto Helit goes missing during the gig, or at a time when they're really communicating, when the Wizards do a seriously inconvenient Rite of AshkEnte. In the song, Johnny then looks for his Suzie, evermore, at every rock concert he attends, either as fan or as headlining rocker. When Buddy can pull his mind from the baleful influence of the guitar, he develops a similar obsession with Susan, who has a habit of appearing and disappearing at the Band's gigs.... (It's showtime! And he's caught up in the flow/He hates the rush, but he needs the Music so! Still he reaches out, but Suzie's disappeared/Well, that's the way it goes, at these rock 'n'roll shows...)
After the main events are all played out, Death returns Susan to the Quirm Academy by night where, after a brief brush with authority, she returns to the dorm and goes to bed. We are told the loudest noise is Princess Jade, snoring like an avalanche. This raises a continuity problem, as previously in the books, we are told that trolls are a nocturnal species. Maybe living among humans means they have to adjust their body clocks to working the opposite shift pattern? At least, a troll who attends school in a class that's otherwise made up of diurnal humans (and one dwarf) would be obliged to do so.
HarperCollins PB p362: "'Come on, lad,' [Ridcully] said. 'Let's go home. I'm not sure I'm interested in music anymore. It's a world of hertz.'"
A Hertz is the unit of measurement of the rate of periodic phenomena such as sound wave.
*Corgi PB p376: Susan, Gloria Thogsdaughter and Princess Jade are wandering away from the fish-and-chip shop where the otherwise deceased Imp Y Celyn is actually alive and well and working. (Compare the urban myth about Elvis Presley faking his own death, and working in the obscurity of a burger bar somewhere - indeed in Good Omens, set on a world where its Death rides a white motorcycle, and denies any professional connection to Elvis, this is exactly the case).
There is also the link with a famous song by Kirsty McColl, which is called (and contains the line) "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" - this also echoes the "Elvish" references earlier in the book.
They are discussing men/males of the species, arranged marriages, dowries, and what the future holds for all of them in this respect. Thinking about Jade's dilemma - go for the arranged marriage with the troll who owns a whole mountain, or stick to her guns and insist on the poor troll she loves, who can barely pay for the deposit on a bridge - Gloria thoughtfully quotes Roundworld's Tammy Wynette:
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman..." (the opening line of Stand By your Man)
Gortlick the dwarf makes up a song that repeats the lyrics "I'm mean and turf" and calls it rat music, a reference to rap music.
A poster for a concert has the phrases 'The new sounde dat's goin' arounde' and 'Bee there orr bee a rectangular thyng', the former almost word for word of a famous phrase in rocks early days and the latter a Discworld version of Be there or be square.
The Dean makes his own leather jacket, blue jeans and motorcycle which are staple symbols of rock music. He also 'paints his door black' like in the Rolling Stones song. When the Archchancellor insults his new pants the Dean replies that 'When history comes to name these they won't call them Archchancellors' meaning he thinks they'll be called Deans, one letter away from Jeans.
The Guild of musicians is a reference to the music industry and music labels during the mid to late 60s and 70s, which have been accused of focusing more on the dollar amount than the music. Indeed, anyone familar with Stock, Aitken and Waterman's oeuvre in the 1980-90's, and anyone who has seen the sort of contract Simon Cowell makes his fame-hungry wannabees sign, will know this grand tradition lived on. Compared to Cowell, earlier rapacious managers of a Bert Berns or Don Arden disposition could be thought of as clueless amateurs lacking in a killer instinct.
The small dog that sits with an ear cocked towards one of Dibbler's failed recording-boxes (Gaspode?) is a reference to "His Master's Voice", a classic painting by Francis Barrand. Its image of a dog (Nipper) listening to an antique phonograph has been the logo of hmv Group, Britain's largest entertainment retail chain, for more than a century.
The novel's closing lines "It will never die. It's here to stay" are a reference to Danny and the Juniors' 1958 song "Rock and roll is here to stay", which opens with the lines "Rock and roll is here to stay/It will never die". The lines also appear in Neil Young's 1979 song "Hey hey, My my", on which the verses go "My my, hey hey, rock n' roll is here to stay/hey hey, my my, rock n' roll can never die."
The motorbike assembled by the Librarian “It's a masterpiece,” said the Dean. “A triumph!” is, of course, from that long line of great British bikes, a Triumph. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Triumph_motorcycles Another, admittedly tenuous reference here, but one which may have inspired TP, is the Biblical inscription on the Great War Memorial at the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park, 'And the roar of David's triumph was heard throughout the land.'