I Know That Song! The One With Lloyd Dobler & The Boom Box

If you're new to our show, welcome! Each morning at 7:10 Mike and I dig into the backstory of some of your favorite songs with I Know That Song! Keep track of the songs thru the week and then Friday listen to call and name their common theme to win free lunch at Jersey Mike’s ($25) ~Stacey

Director Cameron Crowe used today’s song in an iconic John Cusack moment in the film, ‘Say Anything’, and as hard as this is to imagine, this song was not his first choice.

He says, “We were in Seattle and Nancy [Wilson, Heart guitarist and Crowe’s then wife ] and I were late to go someplace and I was ready to go and she needed some more time...so there’s like 20 more minutes. And I went back to the typewriter and just had an idea for that scene and wrote it out, because there was a song that I was loving at the time and I just thought, “Wow, what if the song is what he uses to try and wrench his way back into her life, and it’s the song that kind of taps on her shoulder a little bit. He’s out there with the boom box.” And it felt really good.

That song was "To Be A Lover” by Billy Idol. It was even IN THE SCRIPT! But when they actually played it from the boom box, he explained that it didn’t work, 

“No song worked, especially “To Be A Lover,” or anything we were playing in the boom box in the number of times that we tried to shoot it—nothing worked...I was driving to work and on my way to the editing room, and I just found this tape again the other day, there was a tape that I had in the car [and] for some reason I just felt like listening to my wedding tape. And [today’s song] comes on. 

And I got this chill because all the words linked up to what we’d filmed and what we were struggling to find a score to or a song. It was just like I got a chill. And I just raced to the editing room and we put it on and it was perfect. It was unbelievable that we’d found something that actually worked with the shot, which we loved because, like, look at Cusack’s face. It’s all there except the song that’s on the boom box.”

Today’s singer had never really given anything up for movies, and THIS song was very personal and all about his former relationship with actress Rosanna Arquette. Geffen Records, who didn’t actually like Say Anything, said that they couldn’t guarantee the use of today’s song.

Later, that same Rosanna Arquette put in a good word for the movie with today’s singer, so he asked to see the movie to make the decision. 

Cameron Crowe explained, “they put me on the phone with him after we’d sent him a tape...and he said, “I appreciate you asking for the song. It’s a very personal song to me and I just hope you don’t mind that I have to turn you down.” and I go, “Why? I got to ask you why.”

And he said, “Well when he takes the overdose it just didn’t feel like the right kind of use of the song.” And I’m like, “When he takes the overdose?” He said, “Yeah, you’re making the John Belushi story, right?” I said, “No, no, no. It’s a movie about the guy in high school with the trench coat.” And he’s like, “Oh, the high school movie. We haven’t watched that yet.” Hallelujah! “Please watch the high school movie and let me know if it works in the high school movie.” And he said, “Oh yeah yeah yeah, okay, great.” And then we got the word back that he said yes! Whew!

Peter Gabriel...In Your Eyes...I Know That Song!

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