My Own Soundtrack: Perks Of Being A Wallflower

9 Oct

So this is my life, and I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I’m still trying to figure out how that can be

Three  important aspects of my life are music, books, and movies. Very rarely do I not end up at the movie theater less than twice a week . I also have the privilege of working at a job where I spend thirty percent of my time at work reading which equates out to about three books a week.

I only give you that seemingly unnecessary information as a segue into this statement. Perks Of Being A Wallflower is my All-Time Favorite book. I’ve never related to a character more in my life than Charlie, even as an adult, it’s as if my thoughts have been written by someone else. “It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book”. And yes Catcher In The Rye is also one of my all-time favorites, sure they feel similar but so does Bob Dylan and Neil Young  (Neil Young is great Bob Dylan is the greatest that’s the difference, although J.D. Salinger was a much better writer Chbosky’s story is more personal, more real).

So Steven Chbosky has made what could be the best (or worst) move imaginable by electing to direct the Perks Of  Being A Wallflower movie himself. The casting seems off but could work. I’m simply afraid that he cast it the same way summit did with Twilight  where they elected to go for what aesthetically made sense when hoping to draw in a pre-existing teen market, I think this is always a terrible move but I’m sure it fiscally makes sense because twelve year olds will line up to see their new trend-crush star in a movie.

Prozac Nation had the same vibe as Perks and the casting of that movie was what set it apart, get someone who can act but feels the need to prove themselves; which could very possibly be the attraction of having EmmaWatson play as Sam and since I already am in love with her I’ll give her a chance, but Logan Lerman and especially Nina Dobrev seem like awful choices for Charlie and his sister. I always imagined Charlie to be, I don’t know, like Conor Oberst (the way I imagined him when listening to lifted not the strung out drunk passing out on stage Conor from 2004-2009 or the enlightened/mature (but still drunk) recent reincarnation of Oberst).  I can’t imagine a better fit for Bill than Paul Rudd who is the exact image I had when reading the book so there’s a chance they’ll all be a solid fit. We’ll see.

The one concern I have is the debate I’ve heard abouttime-period. No I DO NOT think the movie should be set in the nineties and I DO NOT think the songs from the book should be used in the movie other than The SmithsAsleep“. First off the nineties sucked, I was there, I lived it, they were terrible; Fashion was garbage, the music luke-warm with mediocrity, nobody pushed anything, it was all status-quo and “Cool,” it took something like Emo to shake things up enough to get music moving in a creative direction. Yes I know that Emo was borderline garbage thanks to it coinciding with the creation of auto-tune and the first time that home studios were affordable so every kid with an acoustic guitar and well-off parents was able to fill purevolume and myspace with carbon copy after carbon copy of a shitty model (there were some really great bands though) but it took that to get where we are now so I’m thankful for it. Disco was garbage but look at how thirty years later it has developed into Electronic- Pop which is downright good music.

Anyways if there were one movie I could create a soundtrack for it would be Perks Of Being A Wallflower. It’s a dream job of mine to do soundtracks in general (and I really have no idea how to go about doing it) but one in-particular I have daydreams of doing is Perks. Here is how it would go:

*I loaned my copy out so all of this is from memory (I already had the quotes lined up for this) so a few aspects may be slightly out of order or combined*

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

First off, the song for the trailer would be Houses – “Soak It Up” (Start at 1:10)


Big Red Marbles – “The Parts You Can Stand”


Opening CreditsYuck – “Suicide Policeman”

“I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.”

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”


.Japandroids – “Younger Us”

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

“Patrick actually used to be popular before Sam bought him some good music.”

“Do you always think this much, Charlie?”
“Is that bad?” I just wanted someone to tell me the truth.
“Not necessarily. It’s just that sometimes people use thought to not participate in life.”
“Is that bad?”

.When Charlie meets Sam and PatrickFanfarlo – “You Are One Of The Few Outsiders Who Understands Us”

“I remembered this one time that I never told anyone about. The time we were walking. Just the three of us. And I was in the middle. I don’t remember where and I don’t remember when. I don’t even remember the season. I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere.”


Driving with Sam and Patrick – Work Drugs – “Rad Racer”

“I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it’s not the same unless you’re driving to your first real party, and you’re sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain.”


Start Of Party: J Roddy Watson And The Business – “Rock And Roll II”


Wolfgang – “Pieces Of You”


When high at the party The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Say No To Love”

“He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”


Driving through the bridgeThe Gaslight Anthem – “The Backseat”

“Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way.”

“There’s something about that tunnel that leads to downtown. It’s glorious at night. Just glorious. You start on one side of the mountain, and it’s dark, and the radio is loud. As you enter the tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades because the waves just can’t reach. Then, you’re in the middle of the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the opening get closer, you just can’t get there fast enough. And finally, just when you think you’ll never get there, you see the opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as the first time you saw it. It really is a grand entrance.”

Sam screamed the fun scream, and there it was. Downtown lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing. and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

Getting a crush on SamPrinceton – “Clamoring For Your Heart”


Alex Drumm – “Bedspins”

“I just think it’s bad when a boy looks at a girl and thinks that the way he sees her is better than she actually is. And I think it’s bad when the most honest way a boy can look at a girl is through a camera.”

Stornoway – “Boats And Trains”


In the background after the Rocky Horror Picture Show-

Born Ruffians – “Hummingbird”

“Nobody felt sad as long as we could postpone tomorrow with more nostalgia.”

Alberta Cross – “ATX”

“I guess I could tell people about Punk Rocky and walking home from school and things like that. Maybe these are my glory days, and I’m not even realizing it because they don’t involve a ball.”


Song Mary Elizabeth puts on when alone at her houseGramatic – “Dream Big”


Bishop Allen – “Quarter to Three”


Walking while on acidScott Orr – “Nobody’s Someone”


Thinking of his aunt Ryan Adams – “Memory Lane”

“I even made her a mix tape and left it at the grave. I hope you do not think that makes me weird.”


In the background while reading the poemBig Red Marbles – “Make That Call”

Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that’s all you can ever ask from a friend.”


When he’s missing Sam and PatrickBon Iver – “Blood Bank”

“I don’t know how much longer I can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like. It’s much easier not to know things sometimes.”

“Everything can’t be low self-esteem, can it?”

“I just wish that God or my parents or Sam or my sister or someone would just tell me what’s wrong with me. Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense. To make this all go away. And disappear. I know that’s wrong because it’s my responsibility, and I know that things get worse before they get better because that’s what my psychiatrist says, but this is a worse that feels too big.”


Side two track two of Charlie’s mix for PatrickWildlife – “Drunken Heart”

“I hope it’s the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he’s sad. I hope it can be that for him.”

Stars – “Asleep (The Smiths Cover)”

“I realized at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn’t matter.”


While Kissing Sam – Lucy Rose -“First (Live Acoustic)”

And Sam looked at the paper and then she looked at me.
“Charlie. . . Have you ever kissed a girl?”
I shook my head no. It was so quiet.
“Not even when you were little?”
I shook my head no again. And she looked very sad.
She told me about the first time she was kissed. She told me that it was with one of her dad’s friends. She was seven. And she told nobody except Mary Elizabeth and then Patrick a year ago. And she started to cry. And she said something that I won’t forget. Ever.
“I know that you know that I like Craig. And I know that I told you not to think of me that way. And I know that we can’t be together like that. But I want to forget all those things for a minute. Okay?”
“I want to make sure that the first person you kiss loves you. Okay?”
“Okay” She was crying harder now. And I was, too, because when I hear something like that I just can’t help it.
“I just want to make sure of that. Okay?”
And she kissed me. And it was the kind of kiss that I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know that I was never so happy in my whole life.


When Sam and Patrick are leaving for college The Head And The Heart – “Rivers And Roads”

“Patrick started running after the sunset. And Sam immediately followed him. And I saw them in silhouette. Running after the sun.”


High Highs – “Live In Dreams (Wild Nothing Cover)”

“I laid down on his old bed, and I looked through the window at this tree that was probably a lot shorter when my dad looked at it. And I could feel what he felt on the night when he realized that if he didn’t leave, it would never be his life. It would be theirs. At least that’s how he’s put it.”


Under Electric Light – “Someone Somewhere”

“Sometimes, I look outside, and I think that a lot of other people have seen this snow before. Just like I think that a lot of other people have read those books before. And listened to those songs. I wonder how they feel tonight.”


Phineas And The Lonely Leaves – “Those Were The Days”

“Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody”


Sun Airway – “Put the Days Away”

“I was looking at the photographs and I started thinking that there was a time when these weren’t memories.”


41st And Home – “Wilderness Eyes”

“So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective. Sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there.”

“It’s great that you can listen and be a shoulder to someone, but what about when someone doesn’t need a shoulder? What if they need the arms or something like that? You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.”


Closing Credits – Noah And The Whale – “Blue Skies”

“So, if this does end up being my last letter, please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough.
And I will believe the same about you.

So that's along the lines of how I hope the music sounds when the movie finally comes out.

The Poem Charlie Reads (someone referenced it as  E.E. Cummings but I’m not sure if that is true or not)

Once on a yellow peice of paper with green lines

he wrote a poem

and he called it “chops”

because that was the name of his dog

and thats what it was all about

his teacher gave him an A

and a gold star

and his mother hung it on the kitchen door

and read it to his aunts.

that was the year Father Tracy

took all the kids to the zoo

and he let them sing on the bus

and his little sister was born

with tiny nails and no hair

and his mother and father kissed alot

and the girl around the corner sent him a

Valentine signed with a row of X’s

and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant

and his father always tucked him in bed at night

and was always there to do it


once on a piece of white paper with blue lines

he wrote a poem

he called it “Autumn”

because that was the name of the season

and that’s what it was all about

and his teacher gave him an A

and asked him to write more clearly

and his mother never hung it on the kithcen door

beause of the new paint

and the kids told him

that Father Tracy smoked cigars

and left butts on the pews

and sometime they would burn holes

that was the year his sister got glasses

with thick lenses and black frames

and the girl around the corner laughed

when he asked her to go see santa claus

and the kids told him why

his mother and father kissed alot

and his father never tucked him in bed at night

and his father got mad

when he cried for him to do it


once on a paper torn from his notebook

he wrote a poem

and he called it “Innocence: A Question”

because that was the question about his girl

and thats what it was all about

and his professor gave him an A

and a strange steady look

and his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

because he never showed her

that was the year Father Tracy died

and he forgot how the end

of the Apostles’s Creed went

and he caught his sister

making out on the back porch

and his mother and father never kissed

or even talked

and the girl around the corner

wore too much make up

that made him cough when he kissed her

but he kissed her anyway

becuase it was the thing to do

and at 3 am he tucked himself into bed

his father snoring soundly


that’s why on the back of a brown paper bag

he tried another poem

and he called it “Absolutely Nothing”

because that’s what it was really all about

and he gave himself an A

and a slash on each damned wrist

and he hung it on the bathroom door

because this time he didnt think

he could reach the kitchen—-

All songs  on this page are for promotion purposes only. If you like a song make sure to let the band know by purchasing their album and/or checking them out when they come through your town. If you or a band you represent would like content removed from the page send me a message and I'll get it taken down.

3 Responses to “My Own Soundtrack: Perks Of Being A Wallflower”

  1. Lavone Hibbitt October 21, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a part of your post to my blog?

  2. anwesha April 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    wow!you really did a great job by compiling all that.Errr..the last poem,it is by Osoanon Nimuss-Absolutely Nothing.about the e e cummings part,well,mary elizabeth gifted a book(which was by e e cummings) to charlie,in which he describes a woman’s hands as”flowers and rain”

    • heycoolkid! April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am #

      Thanks for clearing that up:) I love that poem glad to know who actually wrote it.

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