I’ve been spending a lot of time home recently. You can imagine. With that in mind, when Matt Scott called a few days ago and asked if I wanted to see Darlene Love perform “Christmas, Baby Please Come Home” live on the Letterman show how could I say no!
Actually, I could. That was my gut reaction. Helaine convinced me getting out of the house would be good–and it was.
We ran the 1.1 miles!
It’s been a long time since I was an Olympic track star¹, but we made it to the theater at 4:35 PM.
Uh oh. They’re strict when it comes to punctuality.
A woman who seemed in charge took mercy on us, wrote
RED (with a line through it) on the back of our tickets and told us to be back at 5:10 (also, which local bar didn’t mind Late Show audience members using their bathroom)!
This was my fifth time to see David Letterman, twice at NBC and now three times at CBS. On one trip with my friend Harold I wrote how we had the worst seats in the house. Wrong! Matt and I ended up with an obstructed view in folding chairs behind the last row!
Let me pause a second. None of what I’ve written until now matters. For years I’ve raved about this particular Letterman show and how I’ve grown to love Darlene Love’s iconic performance of Phil Spector’s classic. Now I would see it live!
The second guest was Naomi Watts promoting her new movie, “The Impossible.” Matt and I agreed she was cold, aloof and not a very good guest.
She left, meaning it was time for Darlene’s number, but as I looked down (far down) at the studio floor there were no horns or strings or choir–all fixtures of this performance. And then, as the band played (and tape was undoubtedly stopped), stagehands set up chairs and music stands and out came the players.
Oh my God, it was magical.
I stood in the back row and sang every word with Darlene. At the point where she and the choir alternate, “please, please, please…” I threw out my pointed finger in sync with the chorus.
Whatever Darlene once had, she has retained. Her performance was magical.
The lights came up and we went to leave the theater, but before we exited Matt stopped and passed a note to Alan Kalter, who he knows. We went up to the stage and spent a few minutes chatting. He was a nice guy and quite gracious.
Matt’s two children were with the sitter, so we rushed toward Times Square in the rain, got a sandwich at GCT and caught the 8:04 express back to Fairfield.
Thank you Matt. This was among my coolest experiences ever!
Note: Darlene’s performance airs tonight (12/21/12) at 11:35 PM on CBS. Don’t miss it.
¹ – Never.