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Syncs on Elm Street

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
The Afghan Whigs' "'89 World Tour," eh?
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DALLAS, Texas – Waiting in line at the Trees concert venue, here in Deep Ellum, to get a signed poster and a photo with the band The Afghan Whigs, I was pleased that they were playing the music of Fats Domino over the Trees soundsystem.

Earlier in the day, before leaving Oklahoma City, I had seen the sad news that Fats Domino had passed away in suburban New Orleans at the age of 89, of natural causes, and this, just a day after it was reported that Benson and Soap actor Robert Guillaume had died at age 89 as well, a month short of his 90th birthday.

A wonderful entertainer and a man who survived Hurricane Katrina, while having a heart for his community, Fats Domino left a wonderful, musical legacy for us and future generations, as Red Dirt Report writer Brandon King noted here.

In fact, when I first entered Trees, with a group of fellow Whigs fans who got to meet the band a few hours early, singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg Dulli was at his electric piano, playing a bit of Domino’s hit “Walking to New Orleans.”

It went with the weird syncs happening in Dallas that day. President Trump was in town, a day before the alleged release of over 3,000 previously classified documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

A couple from Albuquerque, New Mexico was waiting in line in front of me. When the first strains of Domino’s 1956 hit “Blueberry Hill,” I off-handedly say, “Ah, I love the music of the 20th century.”

Incredibly, the man turns around, somewhat shocked, and says: “That’s a line from 12 Monkeys!”

Of course it was. In the past year, the song “Blueberry Hill” had been syncing with me and getting noted in my Dust Devil Dreams posts, here and here. The line was spoken by Bruce Willis’s time-traveling character James Cole while he is in the car with Dr. Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and he hears the classic rock standard on the car radio.

Cole tells Railly that they don’t have music like this where he is from. He takes on a child-like quality as he inhales the outside air as they drive along toward Philadelphia - his own world, in the future, a subterranean hell.

Yes, this guy went on to tell me that 12 Monkeys is one of his all-time favorite movies and said that of all the people in this line, he doubts any of them would have caught the reference or reacted in the same way. I agreed with him, shocked as well at the odd synchronicity. He knew A LOT of the 12 Monkeys dialogue, as it turned out, particularly that involving Brad Pitt's unhinged Jeffrey Goines character, pictured above.

The posters the band’s manager handed to the fans featured the demon art from the In Spades album cover, a list of the cities on the tour (Dallas was a couple of dates from the end) and, it oddly said: “’89 World Tour.” 89? Are you kidding? Eight-nine was coming up a lot these days. I had just watched an X-Files episode set in 1989, and Twin Peaks was first filmed that same year and is set in 1989, initially. Oh, and as a side note, "Blueberry Hill" entered the R&B charts not long after The Platters' "My Prayer" had gone to number one - the song on episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return being played by the disc jockey in that New Mexico radio station when the sinister, soot-covered "Woodsman" shows up ... 

As sync commenter Rory noted on Facebook earlier in the day, in reference to the death of Domino, wrote that 8+9= 17. And in the Tarot, the 17th card is “The Star,” which is considered a positive omen.

So, when I got to Greg Dulli in the line, I asked him what the significance of the “’89 World Tour” was. He simply said “8+9 = 17.” I’d later realize, of course, it was for 2017! Duh!

But still. It was odd. While I had Dulli’s ear, I asked him if during the recording of the songs for the 1994 film Backbeat, about the Beatles’ days in Hamburg, Germany when their first bassist, Stuart Sutcliffe was with them. For the films soundtrack, featuring many early Beatles numbers, Dulli sings the John Lennon-voiced songs for the soundtrack, while Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner handled the Paul McCartney vocals.

Anyway, I asked if he had met actress Sheryl Lee – “Laura Palmer” from Twin Peaks – who plays Sutcliffe’s German girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr in Backbeat.

“No,” Dulli admitted, adding that he was friends with Stephen Dorff, the actor who played the role of Sutcliffe, against Ian Hart’s role as John Lennon.

So, after getting some stuff signed, I wandered down Elm Street and into Stonedeck Pizza Pub, which was nearly empty at 5:30 in the afternoon. I had not eaten much and ordered a turkey reuben and a drink.

The friendly bartender seemed chatty and I mentioned that with the Afghan Whigs show going on tonight down the street, they might get more of a crowd. I then mentioned, offhandedly, that Greg Dulli sings on the Backbeat soundtrack, asking her if she was familiar with the film. She wasn’t.

“It’s about the early days of the Beatles, when they were in Hamburg, Germany. It focuses primarily on John Lennon and the Beatles’ original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe,” I explained.

Her eyes widened. She asked, “Did you say Stuart Sutcliffe? That’s the name I was looking for!” She seemed very excited, because as I soon found out it was the six-lettered name “Stuart” she had been looking for all day for her crossword puzzle, which she had been working on behind the bar. She had asked a number of people, many purporting to be Beatles fans, who did not know the answer.

Again, I mentioned this off-handedly, not expecting this sort of response. It was very interesting, particularly in light of the fact that I had posted a Sutcliffe-related sync piece in June, "Fixing a hole (Tao of Stuart)," where I mention Sheryl Lee and Greg Dulli as well.

Oh, and during the Afghan Whigs' soundcheck, they performed a stellar cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence," a song from 1968's "White Album," of course ... the "Faces of Stone" ... that album is definitely getting a lot of attention as we approach the 50th anniversary of its release next year.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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