Posted by: Johan Normark | June 13, 2009

Operation: Mindcrime as a Broadway musical(?)

As indicated in one of my earlier posts, one of my favourite albums is Operation: Mindcrime (1988) by Queensryche. It will perhaps become a musical. Operation Midcrime is a concept album and for those of you who do not know the story, this is how it goes as summarized at Wikipedia:

The album begins with the protagonist, Nikki, lying in a hospital bed. He lies in a nearly catatonic state, unable to remember anything but snippets from his past. Suddenly, Nikki has a violent flashback in which his memories come flooding back in a torrent (“I Remember Now”, “Anarchy-X”). He remembers how, as a heroin addict and would-be political radical frustrated with contemporary society, he was manipulated into joining a supposed secret organization dedicated to revolution (“Revolution Calling”). At the head of this organization is a political and religious demagogue known only as Dr. X, who, manipulating Nikki through a combination of his heroin addiction and brainwashing techniques … uses Nikki as an assassin. Whenever Dr. X uses the word “mindcrime” Nikki becomes his docile puppet, a state which Dr. X uses to command Nikki to undertake any murder that the Doctor wishes (“Operation: Mindcrime”, “Speak”). Through one of Dr. X’s probable associates, a corrupt priest named Father William, Nikki is offered the services of a prostitute-turned-nun named Sister Mary. Details are vague whether these services are sexual or simply emotional (“Spreading the Disease”), though the lyrics for “Suite Sister Mary” seem to indicate that is the first time they engage in sex (“Your precious cross is gone. It made me wait so long for what you gave to everyone”). However, through his friendship and growing affection toward Sister Mary, Nikki begins to question the nature of what he is doing (“The Mission”). Dr. X notices this and, seeing a potential threat in Mary, orders Nikki to kill both her and the priest. Nikki goes to Mary’s church and kills the priest, but after confronting Mary fails to comply with the command to murder her (“Suite Sister Mary”). He and Mary decided to leave the organization together, and Nikki goes to Dr. X to tell him that they are out. Dr. X, however, reminds Nikki that he is an addict, and that he is the only one who can provide his daily fix (“The Needle Lies”). Nikki leaves conflicted and returns to Mary, only to find her dead (“Electric Requiem”). He cannot cope with the loss, as well as the possibility that he himself may have killed her and not known it, and begins to succumb to insanity (“Breaking the Silence”, “I Don’t Believe in Love”). The police, arriving on the scene, arrest him for Mary’s murder and the murders he committed for Dr. X (“Waiting for 22”). Because he is in a near-catatonic state, he is put into a hospital, where he starts to remember… (“My Empty Room”, “Eyes of a Stranger”).

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Responses

  1. Love this page. Love all honest Maya info and ya, Operation Mindcrime about made me shit myself. The first time I heard Suite Sister Mary I Knew they were on to something great. Not so mjuch with 2.
    Love the site man. Maybe i’ll see you in Gutamala, Belize, or Honduras some day. Take care and keep the great info coming.

  2. Yes, Operation Mindcrime is a masterpiece. Number 2 still has some good songs (such as I’m an American).


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