L.A. Songs – “To Live And Die In L.A.”

William L. Petersen and John Pankow

The final selection in our week of L.A. Songs is a bit on the obvious side. But I’m a child of the Eighties, and when I caught it in the theaters as a young teenager, William Friedkin’s film electrified my nerve endings. It was the second time I’d heard Wang Chung in the theaters. The first was “Fire In The Twilight,” their contribution to the Breakfast Club soundtrack. That tune was sort of a throwaway, but I saw TBC twelve times before it left theaters. I knew the song well.

This song is about as romantic as it gets when it comes to songs about Los Angeles, and when seen in the context of the film, it demonstrates how a nifty song can completely elevate what is otherwise a bland scene. I say this because I have a vivid memory of the film’s electrifying first few moments. But having watched it again recently, I realize that in those first few moments, nothing actually happens. Wang Chung kicks off. There’s a motorcade. And that’s it. But Los Angeles sure as hell looks beautiful, doesn’t it? All gauzy and gorgeous.

[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=ypLyPt3XMK8]

Anyway, enjoy. I’ve still got packing to do. Next time I write something in this blog I’ll be doing it from the warmth and sun of Redondo Beach.

And incidentally, that’s obviously not Jack Hues and Nick Feldman in that photo. It’s William Petersen and John Pankow. You wanna know how many decent, high-res images of Wang Chung there are on the Net? None. That’s how many.

on the web: Wang Chung image search, wikipedia, itunes

About the author: will

2 comments to “L.A. Songs – “To Live And Die In L.A.””

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  1. chaz - March 25, 2008 at 12:56 am Reply

    One of favorites is “L.A. Freeway” by Guy Clark. It captures the essence of the town. Fuckin’ 4-wheelers, get a bike! I predict our future is the Old West; we’ll be back on horses in no time, with a bunch of rusting automobiles dead on the streets. No more id cards, rule of law will be six-shooter brutality — a libertarian paradise! I can’t wait! TWO-LANE BLACKTOP will replace THE SEARCHERS as the American Myth.

  2. Will - March 29, 2008 at 7:52 am Reply

    I really hope you’re right.

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