Aside from being a songwriting genius or a guitar-wielding god of thunder, the longevity of a rock star depends, to a certain degree, on one's ability to tell a good story on stage in between songs. Obviously, Rufus Wainwright gets it. If you've never heard the live version of the beloved singer-songwriter's hum-along classic,”California” (from his 2001 album Poses), then you may not be privy to the story that inspired the line about the late Golden Girl Bea Arthur:
I don't know this sea of neon / Thousand surfers whiffs of freon / And my new grandma Bea Arthur / Come on over.
Trust us, it's definitely not a tale you'd want to share with your grandma but it's hilarious and the audience at the House of Blues in Anaheim seemed to love it in April of 2009. If you're lucky, Wainwright may even tell the story again when he plays the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on Saturday. Sure, on the video he acts like this was the last time he was ever going to tell his hilarious Bea Arthur tale, but we all know better. This bit is far to good to give up.