Golden Oldies by Jim Boston | Script Revolution

Golden Oldies

Thanks to a phone call from a fellow former Iowa State University student, a librarian in modern-day Ames, IA looks to put her old rock band back together...and conquer a legendary local venue.



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KIM OWENS presides over a storytime session at her place of employment, the public library in Ames, Iowa, when her cell phone rings.

On the other end of the line in this “too good to text me about” call: One of Kim’s fellow former Iowa State University students, WENDY the owner and sole instructor at her own dance studio in Ames.

For outgoing-and-unflappable Kim and winsome, team-oriented Wendy, the talk quickly moves to the Golden Oldies, the rock-revival band they played in as mid-1990s ISU enrollees...and to the prospects of putting the band together again.

Like Wendy, Kim’s factory-worker husband MIKE thinks it’s a great idea to reunite the, despite the 2017 murder of the Oldies’ original drummer, musician-turned-lawyer Kourtney Cunningham, the bass-playing, guitar-playing librarian and the horn-playing, keyboard-playing dance teacher set out to fuse the other musical pieces back together.

Nervously-energetic OLIVIA KASPERBAUER, now a gym teacher at an Ames elementary school, passes on the chance to rejoin this highly-versatile outfit...but Kim persuades the band’s best singer, Iowa State music professor TASHA CARPENTER, to come back to the Oldies.

A visit to the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum clinches it for Wendy, Kim, and dogged, nurturing spitfire Tasha: “Let’s be Golden Oldies again!”

The pieces fall into place: Bold, fun-loving DEEANNE WAGNER-HAMILTON, now a social studies teacher at Ames Middle School when not playing horns or guitar...straightforward, exuberant guitarist-trumpeter THERESA JOHNSON, who teaches gym and art at another grade school in Ames...kooky, passionate SHELLEY KAUFFMANN, an Ames High School math instructor when she isn’t playing guitar or drums. Keyboardist Tasha even successfully recruits dedicated-assertive-feisty ALLYSON RUTHERFORD, the office manager at the church she and Tasha attend...and who’s no slouch on guitar, bass, or piano.

Kim, Wendy, Tasha, DeeAnne, Theresa, Shelley, Allyson, and Olivia hold a reorganizational meeting at the Iowa State Memorial Union’s legendary entertainment venue, the Maintenance Shop...a place the Oldies used to fill up when they themselves attended ISU. But not long after this band of multiinstrumentalists holds rehearsals, guitarist-saxophonist Olivia exhibits cold feet.

The death of her father Jon combines with the continued struggles of her Alzheimer’s-ridden mother MARY LYNNE to force Olivia out of the band and send her back home to Las Vegas to care for Mary Lynne.

Allyson turns recruiter by successfully inviting ANGELICA CALDERON, the searching-passionate-playful New Yorker who runs a daycare center in Ames, to bring her own guitar-drums-horns-organ-bass talents to the Oldies.

And as the eight former Iowa Staters set their sights on a March return to the Maintenance Shop, they conquer West Des Moines’ Val Air Ballroom in their first gig as middle-aged performers...then tear the house down at another famous Iowa ballroom, the Surf in Clear Lake.

Back on the ISU campus, student RYAN STARKWEATHER’S struggles in Tasha’s vocal music class threaten to tear another house down: Despite aspiring to join the school’s all-male chorus, the Iowa Statesmen, he can’t stay on key...and he ends up flunking the course. By contrast, FOUR AMES MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS take inspiration from the Oldies and form their own rock-revival band, the Wallflowers...and find a strong mentor in DeeAnne.

Kim and Co. are fired up and excited about their March 6 M-Shop concert...but when they arrive at the venue to tune up the night before, they find that their gig has been canceled and...replaced by a movie.

While Tasha and Kim work to get to the bottom of the snub, OTHER STAFF MEMBERS at Allyson’s and Tasha’s church decide to turn a Saturday Youth Night into a fundraiser that showcases the talents of both the Oldies and the Wallflowers: “Nostalgia Night.” The event proves successful...and afterwards, Ryan and his sister LEIGHTON spill the beans to Tasha: Leighton confesses to getting HER FELLOW MEMBERS of the ISU Student Union Board to yank the Oldies off the March calendar in retaliation for Ryan failing that class...and Ryan admits that he really doesn’t want to follow in his dad’s footsteps and be an Iowa Statesman.

With Leighton no longer on the board, the board books the Golden Oldies for April 24...a date busted open when Guns ‘n’ Roses, originally scheduled to play the M-Shop that night, scrapped the rest of their tour due to a bandmember illness.

Among the eight Oldies, only Kim and Tasha are excited about the new date...the same day Olivia and Mary Lynne will visit Ames. But DeeAnne becomes a true believer...and even invites the Wallflowers to be the Oldies’ opening act on that April Saturday.

Both rock-revival bands pack the Maintenance Shop...and when it’s the Oldies’ turn, they encourage Olivia to come up there and jam. All she does is blow everybody away with her six-string talent...and make Mary Lynne proud.

When the Two Starkweathers humbly apologize to all nine living past-and-present Oldies, jubilation takes over at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

Submitted: July 6, 2021
Last Updated: May 22, 2022

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Jim Boston's picture

The Writer: Jim Boston

I first got interested in screenwriting as a college student in 1979 (Iowa State University); an additional impetus was the paperback version of the "American Graffiti" screenplay. From 1980 to 1994, I pursued screenwriting with a vengeance...but other things happened in my life. Since 2016, I've been back chasing the dream...and it's only because I inherited a Power Mac from one of the codirectors (Nick Holle) of a documentary I was in: "The Entertainers," about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. (Nick received the computer from the husband-and-wife couple who helped produce the film, Brent and Jackie Watkins.) The Power Mac has a copy of Final Draft 6... Go to bio

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