Friday Song: B.B. King
I’m a big fan of John Landis’s 1985 odd serio-comedy, INTO THE NIGHT – I even saw it on opening night. I’d read for a few years about how he wanted to film Ron Koslow’s script for a few million, but found it difficult to get the money. In the director’s words, “If I wanted to make a comedy starring my grandmother, the studio would give me 20 million dollars.” Eventually Landis got his money and movie. Steeped in a darker 1970’s tapestry, INTO THE NIGHT stars Jeff Goldblum as a bored, insomniacal Los Angeles resident who ends up on the adventure of a lifetime in the course of one night. Packed with the usual Landis cameos and gags, the film uneasily veers from comedy to drama to violence, but like the City Of Angels herself, you never quite know where you’re going or who will show up next. At the time I saw it, INTO THE NIGHT captured a certain longing for my own Hollywood Dreams, and I kinda hoped the city was that eccentric and exciting. I particularly dug B.B. King’s very-80’s title song, one that I would play over and over from the tape deck of my 1969 Dodge Dart. There’s still life in this old song, and if you ever head out to Los Angeles, this remains one of the best tunes to cruise the city by, particularly if you’re coming over the crest of the 405 into the valley, the carpet of twinkling lights a reminder that anything is possible by night.