David Letterman Three-Way: Three of the Best Musical Guests
David Letterman classics are available at CBS.
by Walter Price
Back in 1982, late night talk shows were okay, but let’s admit, they were a bit old school. In that year, the best of the best Johnny Carson was still king on The Tonight Show. Overshadowing any all other names doing their best at variety chat. Enter an ex-weatherman from Indiana, David Letterman. A man previously known for stirring up convention on local Indianapolis television now took what we thought we knew about talk shows and turned it on its head.
Paul Shaffer and The World’s Most Dangerous Band, stupid pet tricks, Larry “Bud” Melman, behind the scenes goings ons, Chris Elliot and more helped cement the eccentric nature Letterman would become famous for. And characteristics that would influence subsequent generations of talk show hosts.
But Letterman’s love of music and lending his platform to a wide variety of acts would also further his popularity with the younger crowds. Although he was slow on adding musical guests, the 1990’s saw an explosion in talent hitting the air. Mixing legends like Johnny Cash with newer artists like Stone Temple Pilots. It was a cavalcade of what and who was hip.
Listing all the artists who appeared on this fabled and groundbreaking program would be way too mundane. So I dug deep into my memory banks and picked three of my favorite musical appearances. Not in any particular order.
Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)
Cyndi Lauper – True Colors (1986)
Warren Zevon – Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner (2002)
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