Talk shows have been an integral way for musicians to get their music out to the public for the past six decades. The Ed Sullivan Show introduced the public to The Beatles, The Jackson Five, The Supremes, The Beach Boys and The Doors. After performing on Sullivan’s nationally televised stage, these musical acts instantly transformed viewers into crazed fans. Thousands of bands have attempted to emulate the successes of these legends by showcasing their own talents on anyone of the dozens of late night talk/ variety shows that have aired since Sullivan’s program ended in 1971.
On Wednesday, for the first time, I was an audience member at one of these variety shows. Jimmy Kimmel Live is filmed three blocks from my Hollywood apartment, so when a friend who is new to L.A. and incredibly exuberant about all things touristy asked if I would go with him to the show, I complied because James Franco (who warranted my crush when he brilliantly premiered his talent as the legend himself in the 2001 TNT movie James Dean) was the guest. To my dismay, James Franco had pre-taped and I was stuck watching some lame baseball catching fan story until…we, as the audience, were given Coldplay tickets and bused over to UCLA to watch them perform an entire concert. Not the variety show norm of two songs. An entire concert.
Of course the band performed with both energy and passion and in true rock star fashion Chris Martin threw his guitar. The most memorable moment, however, was when Martin recognized the passing of fellow British musician Amy Winehouse by opening his song "Fix You" with her "Rehab." Since my radio is usually tuned to the oldies and my i-pod full of indie-rock, I had never taken the time to listen to her music. Coldplay’s touching tribute caused me to take time and discover that she was more than the train wreck the media made her out to be. Winehouse was a lover of vintage (she wore a very large beehive as a nod to The Shirelles of the 1960’s) and used be bop melodies of the mid-century to lighten her lyrics full of serious issues and painful emotions. Jimmy Kimmel Live only planned on giving Coldplay a platform to promote new songs from their upcoming album, but for me the music of a recently deceased songstress and fellow vintage lover were also introduced. These musical introductions and memorable moments are apart of the variety show’s continuing purpose: bringing musical awareness to viewers.
The Beatles 1st U.S. variety show appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in Feb.'64.
The Jimmy Kimmel shirt Ben caught and gave me.
Jimmy Kimmel Live musical guest Coldplay
Coldplay performing Aug.3, 2011 on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
View from the concert seats reserved for the Jimmy Kimmel Live audience.
Ben and I eating some nasty pretzels with mustard while waiting for the show to begin. I'm wearing a vintage brown wide-brimmed fedora from American Rag Co. and a vintage Levis denim vest from Jet Rags.