Sleep experts say you shouldn’t have a smartphone in your bedroom. That research was validated last night when I fell down the kaleidoscopic rabbit hole held within the confines of an iPhone. The problem is compounded if you have a pair of earbuds within reach, which I did. Here’s all the flotsam that rattled around in my brain when I awakened at 3:30 in the morning, but couldn’t immediately fall back asleep.
“I heard Dancing in the Dark today. That’s a totally underrated Springsteen song. If I were a celebrity of any renown, I’d go on that show Lip Sync Battle with The Rock and Chrissy Teigen, and do that song. Wait, is it The Rock or LL Cool J? I think it’s LL Cool J. But The Rock has been on there, right? I think so. So I’d go on there and dress like a sexy girl version of The Boss in a tight white tee shirt and Levi’s and the big belt buckle and rock the shit out of that song. Then pull up my own guy version of a Courteney Cox at the end to dance with me on stage. Like who would that be? Maybe Jonathan Groff or that guy who played Danny Zuko in Grease Live! But what was he actually wearing in that video? Was it a white tee shirt, or was that just on the Born in the U.S.A. album cover? Let’s find it.”
Definitely worth two watches. “Barry said he was at the concert where that video was made, and that everyone knew some girl was going to be pulled from the audience to dance. I think he’s making that up. Where was this video made?”
Googling “where was dancing in the dark video made.”
“Sure enough. St. Paul Civic Center. Not surprising, he’s been to every concert. Yeah so it’s not a tee shirt he’s wearing, but like a collared white shirt. Superstar me could definitely make that work. I can’t believe no one has done this before. It’s SUCH a great idea. Maybe it’s because it’s so old. And I’m so old. I’m old enough to remember when Bruce Springsteen blew the roof off the place on David Letterman’s last NBC show. What was that? Like 1992? 1993? College for sure. Remember that summer when you used to hang out with that guy Jeff and go over to the Beta house and watch Letterman at 11:30 and then go drink beer on the roof? That was awesome.”
“This is incredible. Paul is tearing up that organ. I should rephrase that. I completely forgot about the drummer. What was his name? Anton Fig! And the dude playing the sax, who is he? I remember him from some old bits. The guitar player too. Remember when Dave would call the office worker he could see in the window across the street? What was her name? Meg? God, was Letterman good. I miss him. Except I saw that picture of him on the beach in Barbados, and now he looks like goddamn angry Santa Claus. We are all old. I haven’t watched the real Glory Days video since probably it was on MTV. I think he was wearing a purple shirt.”
“How did I remember he was wearing a purple shirt? I don’t remember this baseball intro though. Maybe I do. This is a good song. Hey, there’s Max Weinberg. I always liked him. Dude, those 80’s progression lenses, though. [Shudder]
“Letterman always had fantastic musical guests. Paul Shaffer knew every good band. He got me into the Spin Doctors before the Spin Doctors recorded that horrific song, Two Princes, that played on the radio every ten minutes, and ruined them for me for life. But before that they were really good. I should watch that.”
“There’s Anton again. I wonder if it’s weird with two guys playing drums at the same time? How did they decide if the World’s Most Dangerous Band was going to play along with the musical act? They’re all so damn talented. How cool of a job would that be to go do every night? I wonder what other great performances were on Letterman? I should Google that.
“This EW article has some good ones, but goddammit scroll. Why is it reloading every time I try to get down farther? Warren Zevon number one? Not bloody likely. Ooh, Foo Fighters’ Everlong. I remember that was right after his heart surgery. I watched that live. I think my mom was staying with me after David was born. Sonny and Cher? Seriously? Why won’t this stupid Sonic Youth video pull up? This article is annoying. Fix your website, EW. Idiots. Paste Magazine: 25 Great Musical Performances on David Letterman. What the hell is Paste Magazine anyway? When did that become a thing? Pixies. Never was into them. Counting Crows, Round Here…God I HATE that effing song. No. Hey Pulp, Common People. That’s a good song. That’s on The Mixtape playlist on Apple Music all the time. How good is The Mixtape on Apple Music? That gets me through everything tedious.”
“This. Is. The. Shit. 1995, wow. I never knew what that singer looked like. He’s brooding and cute. He’s smoldering. Yum. And tall. They are killing this. Fabulous lighting too. Paul’s band isn’t sitting in, they’re just owning it themselves. The girl plays the two finger keyboard. I could do that. Blown. Away. What else is on this list? Janelle Monáe. Huh. Let’s give that a whirl.”
“That girl can sing. You can’t just be a good singer, you have to work it, and she does. But I thought the article said she danced on Dave’s desk. I don’t see that. Why isn’t she dancing on the desk? Lying article. Bob Dylan. Meh. Johnny Cash. Always good. Beastie Boys. Fuck yeah. Green Day, Basket Case. Which Green Day song even is that? They all sound the same. Paul McCartney. Well of course he’s on the list. First time he’d performed in the Ed Sullivan Theater since 1964? Well that’s intriguing.”
“Oh I remember this. Holy crap. That’s Broadway and 54th. How many people are out there watching this? How many streets are blocked off? That must have been a complete cluster fuck. I’ve been there, there just isn’t that much room. Wow, this is seriously great. How adorable is Sir Paul? He never ages. I wish I could see him when he comes to town. Wonder how I can win tickets? I want like the front row experience without paying $700. Impossible. This is from 2009. You know what’s great? There are maybe a handful of people out there recording it with their stupid phones. Everyone’s just soaking up the performance and the energy of the crowd instead of trying to capture the moment. Leave the video to the professionals. Take pictures with your mind. All you’re gonna get is shitty sound quality and grainy video of the back of people’s heads and THEIR phones. Or even worse iPads. People who shoot video on iPads are the worst of all mankind. Ok that was fun. Who else is on this list? They’re raving about this Future Islands. Who is Future Islands? That’s not the same as The Lonely Island, right? I don’t entirely get them. David enjoys them a lot. Though Andy Samberg has grown on me since Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And the SNL Digital Short they did with Natalie Portman is maybe one of the most brilliant things ever on TV. Let’s see what the Future Islands are.”
“Ok one chord in and I’m hooked. These guys are phenomenal. Is that a guy playing bass or a girl? Who is this singer? He looks old, but acts like a 20-year-old. Who is this fucking guy? How have I not heard this band? This synth stuff is totally my jam. How do they sound this good with just drums, a synthesizer, and a bass? No guitar. Amazing. Dave went absolutely ape shit for them. And this is toward the end of his tenure, when he’s basically just phoning it in. This band, though. The bass player looks like Marla Hooch, and you’ve got disco legs lead singer guy who looks like a gym teacher, and a keyboard player who looks like your company’s IT guy. Yet they hit it out of the park. What now? Mutemath. What’s Mutemath? Wasn’t Cake on Craig Ferguson once and really good?”
“Hey, these guys dressed up for the show. I wonder how rock bands decide which crappy old tee shirts to wear to their shows? Huh, you don’t see keytars often, but it works for them. This is a good song. I need to go add this stuff to my Apple Music playlists. But it’s 5:11. I should probably reset my alarm for 6:45 to buy an extra half hour of sleep. If I can sleep. How the hell am I going to go back to sleep?”
© Jennifer Alys Windholz 2016