david letterman

An Editorial by: Slim Jim Keller


You may be asking yourself why there is an article on a music site regarding a retiring talk show host. Well, because it's my site, so fuck you.

I grew up watching David Letterman. I can remember being 12-13 years old and on a Friday night staying up so late that this show... Late Night would come on. And this goofy looking guy looking all uncomfortable behind the desk would interview people. I didn't get it, most of it went over my head for a few years, but I kept watching whenever I could. There was something that drew me in despite not 'getting it'. And then there was the music.

Say what you will about David's style, about his interviewing technique, about his 'humor', but one thing you can't deny. He's had some amazing performances on his shows over the years.

As tonight is/was his last show, and there are lists upon lists, upon lists about his best Top 10 lists, best guests, best goofs, and yes, best music performances... I feel compelled to offer mine. The following clips all hold a special place in my heart, due to the perfomance itself, the timing, the situation surrounding it, or the time and place I was at when it happened.

There are too many bands, too many songs, too many performances to list them all. But here are the ones that come to mind for me (I'm sure as soon as I post this I'll think of 5 more that I forgot and should have added) in no particular order.


Tori Amos - Time

This was Dave's first show back after 9/11 or one of the first shows back. Tori was supposed to have been on during the 'down' time but since there were no shows, she graciously came and performed. And killed it.



The Heavy - How You Like Me Now?

A ridiculous performance for late night. Just balls out energy that night from a band that nobody really knew at the time. The Heavy simply destorys and Dave even asks for an encore ON THE SPOT, Which I can't remember ever seeing before or since.



Beasite Boys - Che-Check It Out

There were street performances, there were marquee performances, there were unusual performances thorughout the history of Dave's shows... But the Beastie Boys start their perfomance in the NY Subway.... because where else would the Bestie Boys perform?



Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days

When Dave left NBC for CBS I thought that was the end of an era. I remember being in the Navy, we would watch the Late Night religiously, and for some reason once Dave moved to CBS it just seemed to be the first death knell for the show to me. It lost something moving up that hour. He knew he wasn't getting the Tonight Show, and the loss seemed to have taken something out of him. Plus altering the show to accept a wider audience seemed to weaken the product.
But the last show at NBC had The Boss performing Glory Days, and Bruce and Co tore up the stage, and his guitar. I've never been a big Bruce fan, but this performance made me want to see him live for the very first time. It was the first live performance by him that I had ever seen and it was like my eyes were opened to what his music was really all about.



Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood - Landslide
It's Stevie Nicks. There has to be a Stevie Nicks performance on here. Hell I could have filled the whole list with Stevie performances. Blue Demin, Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You?, You Can't Fix This, and on and on and on...
But Stevie and Lindsey performing Landslide together again after so many years apart....magical.

Skip to 1:50 on the clip to start watching it. I couldn't find a better clip online for some reason.



Our parents had Johny Carson, We were fortunate to have David Letterman, and nobody deserved Jay Leno.
Goodbye Dave, thank you for all the years, all the memories, all the laughs, and all the music.