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.

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5 Responses to “Friday Song: B.B. King”

  1. Good number. The film is one of my 2am faves. But the 80s… ah, the 80s. After the 60s and 70s, who could have possibly predicted the 80s? There’s a clamminess surrounding that decade, an interior feeling, very brown, bad hair, in tune only with itself. Like a ten-year-long hangover. Wish I could put it into more coherent terms.

    • The 80’s were born of the 60’s and 70’s, an unnatural progression. I’m a fan of the music and film and certain styles, but the Reagan Just Do It era was like a perpetual crash.

  2. ‘into the night’ is one of my all time faves, another terrific landis genre-bender, i love his crazy/funny/dangerous LA night with jeff and michelle (i saw B.B. king live back in the day, he was terrific)

    for some reason i’m a huge sucker for films that take place over one night. maybe because i’m a night owl, don’t know.

    in the LA category, someone should do a ‘ONE CRAZY NIGHT IN LA!’ DVD/BD box set with ‘into the night’, ‘GO’, ‘die hard’, ‘assault on precinct 13’, ‘collateral’…ok i’m drawing a blank now, there must be some more good ‘one night in LA’ titles for a cool box set

    • Great idea. Wracking my brain for more titles.

      • i’m weirdly relieved i didn’t forget some painfully obvious and epic ‘one-crazy-LA-night’ flick like a big doofus (unless you forgot about trying to think of ones i missed altogether, in which case i can’t say i blame you…), i briefly considered including ‘training day’ – about half of which takes place at night after all – but having ‘day’ in the title just sorta ruins it, as much as it pains me to leave out a one-night LA movie with an epic little cliff curtis perf in it (also i always seem to block out the brief vegas section of ‘GO’ from my mind as by far the most cliche and least interesting of the character threads imho, so i’ve already bent the rules a tad with that one as is)

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