Five Excellent “Late Show” Music Moments

Last night CBS aired the landmark final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman.  Concluding over 30 years of broadcasting, Dave made his final remarks surrounded by loved ones both in terms of friends and family as well as the celebrities and artists who've been public their whole careers about their admiration for the man. While last night's stellar musical performance from Foo Fighters was one to always remember, we've decided for those of you with Dave fever for whom CBS' The Mentalist reruns over the next two nights won't satisfy, we've assembled five of our all time favorite David Letterman musical moments.


Bill Murray Sets the Tone with an Olivia Newton John Classic 1982

Letterman's very first episode of Late Night is one of the most unique hours of broadcasting to ever hit the airwaves. Just as wonderfully strange now as it was in 1982, Paul Shaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band (allegedly named after Dick the Bruiser) would bring the perfect arrangements to accompany whatever endeavor, no matter how bizarre, the show would embark upon. On the first episode their backing of Bill Murray's impromptu unrehearsed cover of Olivia Newton John's “Physical” would offer a preview of the type of programming you would only be able to find with Dave.

Bruce Springsteen Ends Dave's NBC Era with “Glory Days” 1993

As controversial as Letterman's departure from NBC was, his final show with the network was capped off by an incredible performance. In 11 years, there had only been one guest Letterman was unable to secure, “The Boss.” Fortunately for him, Bruce Springsteen managed to swing by for a stellar rendition of “Glory Days” to end his NBC era. You can tell Letterman's zeal for the moment is particular high in one of the most gracious moments of thanks he's ever given a guest.

Warren Zevon's Whole Late Show 2002

A very poignant episode of The Late Show occurred in 2002 when Dave gave the entire hour to rocker Warren Zevon. A longtime friend of the program who had even filled in for Paul Schaffer on a few occasions,  Zevon was as friendly with the show as “a friend of the program” can get.  As Dave explains, he wanted to give the full spectrum of Zevon by having him perform three songs (including neither of his biggest hits) and then speaking with him about how his career and how his life had been affected by cancer. It's a a sweet goodbye and definitive moment for both Zevon and Letterman.

A Christmas Tradition Continues 1986-2014

While the bad blooded bureaucracy limited how much of Letterman's NBC show could be carried over to CBS, one tradition that remained strong through almost every year the show was on was Darlene Love's annual Holiday performance of “Baby Please Come Home.” A very special gesture that always signified it was Christmas on CBS, she's stated she won't perform the song on television again. Thus, for those of you looking to fulfill your Christmas Letterman fantasies, your only hope is to catch her live.

First Aid Kit Brings Dave to Genuine Emotion 2015

While these last few weeks have seen Dave saying farewell while speaking to the biggest superstars on the planet, a truly wonderful moment has gone considerably overlooked. While we at the Weekly can understand why it's been overshadowed, now that the final tribute has been paid, it's time to revisit the closest to vulnerable that Dave's let himself be seen. First Aid Kit may not be the most recognizable act in Dave's last month, but just as elusively known is how Dave used to sing Simon and Garfunkel's “America” to his then-newborn son Harry in order to help him fall asleep at night.  First Aid Kit's wonderful rendition really touched Dave in perhaps the most genuine moment of the greatest television send off we'll ever see.

See also:
The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene
The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene
The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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