Vinyl S1:E4 The Racket Recap


And we're back in the 70s again with Vinyl and Richie et. al, let's roll after some quick spoilers!

Last time, Richie and Devon fought about money and communication (he forgot to mention he decided not to sell the company), Buck has been found and the blackmailing by Joe Corso has begun, Lester said ABSOLUTELY NOT about a comeback with Richie and Richie himself did more coke than seems humanly possible for a high-functioning being.

We open with gospel music; please help him find his way home. We're at Buck Roger's funeral, well, Zak and Skip are, Richie is at Couples Counseling with Devon beating the shite out of a pillow with a tennis racket. "Put it into the couch; not your marriage" says the terropist and that's both a good idea AND a usable slogan! Richie is digging it, almost comically so; the therapist asks if Devon wants a swing, but no, she'd rather preserve all her energy for attacking Richie. And now I want the racket so I can hit the couch.

Their marriage is "based on nobody taking drugs" but she's laying that all on Richie. Now, he hasn't helped her sobriety at all, but she's been drinking pretty heavily on her own and we can't blame Richie for that. Because otherwise we'd have to give him credit for all the other times she WASN'T drinking and that seems...unlikely.

The heads of American Century are all headed back from Buck's funeral, Scott's preferring to look on the bright side: they don't have to worry about Buck's boycott any more! Julie thinks that's in poor taste, pfft, Buck was a GIANT ahole and it started out as self-defense. Technically.

They're discussing a series of calls from the Forensic Accountant and spitballing about how well and truly fecked the company is when Richie calls, he's trying to get the gang to not come right back to the studio, he has to fluff up Hannibal for re-upping and the gang pissed him off last time. He tries to snort coke in a glass phone booth, oh sure, and he doesn't understand why Zak is so resistant: lemme lay it out for you, Richie: Zak has NO MONEY FOR LUNCH.

Zak looks terrible all over; he's got deep hollows under his eyes and is edgy AF. Skip is complaining too; they all lost everything but Julie thinks they're nuts; shut up already! Nobody talks to Scott, what's he there for again?

Back at the office, everyone is frozen watching an incredibly hep looking group of cats walk in with an entourage. This must be Hannibal; they had purse dogs before purse dogs were COOL.


This must be Hannibal, ready for the fluffing. I gotta say, they look fairly fluffy already. Hannibal likes CeCe, though, calling her a butterfly and that SOUNDS like a compliment. A&R has set up ribs and brisket and they're vegetarians and want danishes and JAMIE GO GET DANISHES; no poppyseeds, they get in the teeth.

Artists and their entourages can be massive aholes, hey? And this probably isn't even close to the worst, but it's reminding me of Ballers: hey hey season two starting any time!

Clark is freaking out, he still hasn't found an artist and he's taking it out on Jamie. He just doesn't understand the Nasty Bitz but then again, neither does Julie. He'd take them from her if he could, though.

Devon is home alone in her giant mansion looking through pictures she had developed, aww, remembered when you could hold pictures in your hand and not just use your fingers to scroll on your phone? Lots of nice family pictures, then all of Richie's damage that she documented the other night when he was on a bender.

Richie is doing the final finesse on Hannibal, who is playing hardball: Jackie Jervais sent him a case of Dom...Richie is not happy


Bobby brings out the big white sniffy guns which apparently trumps expensive champagne and starts playing a record with a jazzy horn that Hannibal wants on his next album. They start to visit in earnest now. Hannibal's mom wants to feed Richie chicken and it's all very cute. I wanna be that kind of momma forever, I love to feed people.

And now to fully seal the deal, Richie brings in two hookers groupies


Kip is waiting out in the lobby to sign their contract, he snags Jamie, who says uhhhh be right back one minute and bails. Lester Grimes is there! Yay! The receptionist gives him a hard time, but of course, she doesn't know and I hope Richie sees him!

One of the Nasty Bitz musicians chats Lester up and asks if he wants him to slip Richie Lester's tape? And then Lester gets called in first. Nasty Bitz can't believe it but Lester knows what's up.


Zak and Scott are lunching and STILL bitching about Richie and they know staying there isn't compulsory, right? Well, Zak's tried to get out but nobody is buying. He thinks he's a big deal; the mortar for someone's bricks.


Money by Pink Floyd plays while record press and Skip tries to figure out what's going  on; the Donny Osmond run has gone out already and he can't have 10 thousand fake returns showing up, what the hell? He paid for the run but he can't sell it; he leaves furious but the warehouse guy's blood pressure is much better, thank you for asking!!

Back at Richie's office, Hannibal is leaving, the police are on the phone, Robert Goulet is MAD and Lester is in his office. This is a crazy workplace, yo. Jamie is trying to keep Nasty Bitz happy, sending them for lunch with somebody's money, while Lester whisper-shouts at Richie. He can't believe Richie wanted to sell this record with a bunch of old music and he HATED hearing how he used to sound; like a bat to the throat. He sets it on fire and walks out. The fire doesn't recognise grand gestures, though, it just loves all the flammable stuff kicking around! Like Hannibal's signed contract...the sprinklers finally kick in


Cut to Janis Joplin and Cry Baby. LOVE that song, let's listen to it:

Devon is in with a divorce attorney, who is a real piece of work, but not wrong when she says that Devon has no intention of filing for divorce, this is just another card to play in a fight with Richie. That's why she took all those pictures of Richie's damage, evidence for divorce proceedings. I actually like that I DON'T like Devon at all; unlikeable women are a rarity on film or on TV, it's kind of refreshing. Same with the lawyer, Gross, "like, wow, that was really gross." Aholes for the win!

How can Lester not understand how much more interesting his voice in now, instead of before when it was deep and gorgeous? So raspy. He's explaining the system to Nasty Bitz, and he should manage them! I bet Richie isn't gonna like this

Richie also isn't wild about CeCe coming with them to the show; he asks her if she's as least gonna change first?


Jamie tells a dressing Richie he's signing the Nasty Bitz, so look excited, okay?? I like their back and forth, some respect there, Richie's not a bad guy. Kip says they need to wait for their manager so they can go over deal points and hey! It's Lester! Imma genius!

Skip is at the Sam Goody store, pissed off already because the Donny Osmond promos he paid for are behind the Dueling Fcuking Banjos posters. He takes The Who off the shop turntable and puts on some super lame Donny songs while yelling at the manager about holding onto a bunch more albums coming. The manager doesn't want to hold 50 boxes of illegal DO records, he cant get fired right now! He just bought a bumper pool table and someone named Howard has been sneaking around a lot since he got divorced. Um?

Richie and Lester are having a very shouty meeting; Lester figures he's gonna start managing alllll the talent that Richie was planning to screw over and MAN I wish he'd get in the recording studio! Robert Goulet must be almost done recording his depressing original song!

Things eventually calm down with these two, they really were friends back in the day. I think Lester understands that Richie really did feel bad about what happened to him and I also think he is dying to work with Richie again. MAYBE IN THE STUDIO?? CAN WE DO THAT??

Clark is getting hella desperate; he's chatting up everyone else in the A&R department to see who they've found for acts, this guy has one called Veiniacs, who sound like


Clark manages to ruin that guy's night by letting him think he's only supposed to bring in black bands.

Backstage at the Hannibal show, Jakie Jervais is sliming all over Hannibal and CeCe does what she can, but it looks bad, Richie not being there. Hannibal puts on a great show in his red leather bedazzled bell-bottom jumpsuit! I don't know how they do that and not make it look awful. Ooh lady, let's make a baby indeed!

Richie is snorting coke in his office when the cops show up, the receptionist is in the back covering for CeCe and nobody was able to stop them from coming right back, so sure! Come on in, coppers! One is a BIG Robert Goulet fan (Christmas with Bob?) but they really wanna know why Richie wasn't at Buck's funeral. They also ask why Buck's last phone call ever was to him.

Down in the studio, Robert Goulet is singing his giant cheesy heart out on his original depressing song while Julie and Zak moan, Skip hides records and Richie tries not to throw up . Jamie and Kip are "celebrating" the record deal and I'm trying to figure out exactly where all these boxes are stashed.

Richie calls Devon to tell her he's gotta stay in town with Hannibal to entertain his entourage; Devon tries to bring up the divorce card, but Richie doesn't even hear it. She washes dishes in the dark and breaks down, smashing the window with the frying pan, and hey, maybe you should take some pictures of that for evidence, hey Dev?

I get it. Living out in the suburbs, having given up your entire life to your children and a completely absentee husband sucks. Leave, stay, find a way to live your life, lady, all this rage and entitlement will eat you up.

Instead of finding Hannibal, Richie goes and sees his dad, a blues musician, who he doesn't get along with but is hoping can give him an alibi for Buck's murder. Huh. On that note, we're done. Now that was interesting, in the therapy session we started with, Richie said that dealing with all these problems was bringing up stuff about his dad, and hey: now we meet his dad.

All I really got from this episode is how frenetic the record industry is; Richie did everything he could but he didn't meet a single obligation on time or sometimes at all. Exciting stuff, but that circus house of cards feel runs underneath it all and you know it's all coming down soon. I talked quite a bit about Devon this time; she's clearly struggling and let's see if she finds a way clear soon. See you next week for some supafly red leather jumpsuits, y'all!

Side note: the music is truly fantastic on this show