Letterman comments (possible spoilers)

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Noah Lesgold

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Oct 31, 2002, 12:59:30 AM10/31/02
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Some comments on the Letterman show. Possible spoilers for people who
were taping it and haven't watched it or are in other time zones or
countries.

All in all, it was a little awkward, but sweet. I sort of got the
feeling that Dave was simultaneously wanting to gush over Warren
without making too much of a fuss, and he stumbled a few times. Plugs
for _Genius_ and _My Ride's Here_, effusive praise, and occasional
awkward pauses.

All the bumpers for the commercial breaks were Warren tunes, though he
didn't play on them. The ones I caught were "Seminole Bingo", "Johnny
Strikes Up the Band", "Lawyers, Guns and Money", "I'll Sleep When I'm
Dead", "Searching For a Heart", and "Desperados Under the Eaves".
Mostly they were done really well, though coming back from one of the
breaks, I got the impression that Paul really shouldn't sing, and
particularly not "Lawyers, Guns and Money". Also, they were playing
"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" as Warren came onstage for the first time -
he seemed a little startled when he recognized it, and then somewhat
bemused. I can't help but imagine that he had a comment or two about
that after the show. I'm not absolutely sure about "Desperados...",
as I only caught a bit of the string intro, but IIRC it's the same way
the intro goes on that recently posted Odeon show. Someone correct me
if I got that wrong.

As far as the interview went... I'm not sure what the best way to
bring up Warren's illness would have been, but it felt very awkward
when Dave essentially asked Warren to explain the recent big changes
in his life. There were some blackly humorous comments from Warren
that cracked me up at the same time that I was aching over the "enjoy
every sandwich" line. I think it was obvious that initially Warren
was definitely feeling some stress from the appearance, with his voice
higher than it usually is, and his phrasing a little off. This was
also true in the first couple songs.

The songs were "Mutineer", "Genius", and "Roland the Headless
Thompson Gunner". Mutineer had a gorgeous arrangement with
flugelhorn, flute and piccolo backing, as well as a little percussion
and fretless bass. I thought the bassist (who was never shown on
camera) did a really nice job on it. In one of the last verses,
Warren changed the lyrics slightly:

"Long ago we laughed at shadows
Lightning flashed and thunder followed us
We thought it would never find us here."

Also in one of the final choruses, he changed the line to:

"I'm your witness, you're my mutineer."

However, I'm not sure if that was deliberate or a goof, nor am I
really sure what it would mean if deliberate. This definitely sounded
like a hard song for him to play, but it had a lot of power.

"Genius" was played with live string quartet, and sounded awesome. I
couldn't really tell how much of the guitar parts were being played by
Warren; I know he plays all the guitars on the album version, but
there were at least two other guitarists playing onstage. The female
guitarist got a nice solo near the end. One line here that choked me
up:

"There's nothing I can do or say, I haven't done or said."

Last song was "Roland..." and I noticed that Warren seemed to be
feeling a lot less stress by that one, as his voice had returned to
its normal depth and he sounded a lot more relaxed. More brass on
this than any other version I've heard, which I had somewhat mixed
feelings about. Paul is no substitute for the Gentleman Boys. It all
worked out ok, though. I was expecting him to sing, "He found him
here on Letterman," but it turned out Van Owen was in Mombasa all the
time.

Overall I thought the show was a really great tribute to Warren from
an admirer, and I was gratified to be able to see Warren play again,
albeit a few steps removed.

--
Noah Lesgold http://nlesgold.freeshell.org/
nles...@freeshell.org AIM: nlesgold ICQ: 132716231

"90% of all anime can be described in some part by the following synopsis:
'Young person or persons discover they have the power to save or destroy
the world.'"
--Dan Kuhn (in a review of Lain on animeondvd.com)

SteveB3155

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Oct 31, 2002, 1:07:49 AM10/31/02
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I noticed when Dave introduced Paul & the band after the monologue, the band
played a few bars from "Rottweiler Blues."

Lucy Pfeffa

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Oct 31, 2002, 1:25:19 AM10/31/02
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>> I think it was obvious that initially Warren was definitely feeling some
stress from the appearance, with his voice higher than it usually is, and his
phrasing a little off. This was also true in the first couple songs. <<

The first two songs are songs he tends not to perform in concert - Genius is
too new, and Mutineer, well...

Roland, on the other hand, he can probably do in his sleep. It really did seem
that he was a bit tentative on the first two, but found his golden spot for
Roland. Of course, the fact that he expected Mutineer to be the last song, not
the first, may have thrown him a bit, too.

I'm so proud to a fan of his. You know, if, after the announcement, he never
performed in public again, it would've been ok. We'd understand. But, by God,
this man commuted over 4 time zones to perform for us, his witnesses (and
sometime Mutineers). How can you not love a guy who does that for you?

-- Lucy, going to go enjoy a sandwich.

Jim Short

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Oct 31, 2002, 8:34:23 AM10/31/02
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I am sitting at work, still crying from last night's performance. Tears of sorrow,
you ask? Well, perhaps a bit. But mostly, I must admit, tears of joy. Joy at
having been around to hear such a powerful artist. And joy at knowing that I was
sharing that joy last night with my internet family.

Gonna be hard to explain the tears to co-workers, though.

Jill

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Oct 31, 2002, 11:24:10 AM10/31/02
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Noah Lesgold <nles...@cif.rochester.edu> wrote...
>
> ...As far as the interview went... I'm not sure what the best way to

> bring up Warren's illness would have been, but it felt very awkward
> when Dave essentially asked Warren to explain the recent big changes
> in his life. There were some blackly humorous comments from Warren
> that cracked me up at the same time that I was aching over the "enjoy
> every sandwich" line.

I think this was Letterman's way of allowing Warren to tell his story
in his own way. The "enjoy every sandwich" line really resonated with
me too.


> I think it was obvious that initially Warren was definitely feeling some >stress from the appearance, with his voice higher than it usually is, and his >phrasing a little off. This was also true in the first couple songs.

I'm sure it was stressful for him, but I also think his physical
condition may have had something to do with it. I noticed that his
breathing tended to be a little shallow and rapid at times; that could
be due to anxiety or to the lung problems. Either way, it's hard to
hit those high notes when you can't get a full intake of air.


> Mutineer had a gorgeous arrangement with flugelhorn, flute and piccolo >backing, as well as a little percussion and fretless bass. I thought the >bassist (who was never shown on camera) did a really nice job on it. In one >of the last verses,Warren changed the lyrics slightly:

> "Long ago we laughed at shadows
> Lightning flashed and thunder followed us
> We thought it would never find us here."
>
> Also in one of the final choruses, he changed the line to:
>
> "I'm your witness, you're my mutineer."
>
> However, I'm not sure if that was deliberate or a goof, nor am I
> really sure what it would mean if deliberate. This definitely sounded
> like a hard song for him to play, but it had a lot of power.


I see Mutineer as a song about two people who feel that they don't fit
in with the culture around them, and agree to make their own little
world where they can live by their own values. In the recorded
version, the singer is the one initially starting to 'break the
rules,'and his partner is acknowledging that he's doing the right
thing. In the live version from last night, the two are taking turns
and alternating the roles. I'd like to think that by changing the
line in that way, Warren was acknowledging someone in his life who is
standing by him in this difficult time.


>..."Genius" was played with live string quartet, and sounded awesome.

Yes, it did, and I was delighted to see Warren conducting there at the
end. I've always loved the little touches of classical music in his
work, and I hope his symphony is performed publicly someday.


> Overall I thought the show was a really great tribute to Warren from
> an admirer, and I was gratified to be able to see Warren play again,
> albeit a few steps removed.

Absolutely. This was a gift to us all. Much thanks to everyone
involved, including you, Noah, for your thoughtful comments.

Jill

K.F. Raizor

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Oct 31, 2002, 8:18:17 PM10/31/02
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My take on the show last night:

I think what we saw was two men who genuinely love and respect each other's
work, getting a chance to say "goodbye" to each other, and inviting us
along.

Karen (no more thera-flu, it's full-blown bronchitis now)


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