When I was a teenager, these men were my heroes. Byrne is gawky, nervous, perhaps not entirely there, and a bit spooky. Letterman is a lovable jerk, always projecting a detached, superior irony.
I saw myself in them at the time. What does it mean that my teenage self (age 13-17 mostly, and beyond) it meant for me to be an intense fan of a neurotic and a smartass? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
And I’m not kidding about them being heroes. For about 10 years I collected every magazine with interviews with them. Those magazines are in the garage now, in plastic bags. Perhaps I’ll sell them on eBay.
Pre-internet, being a fan meant always being on the hunt for such materials. It meant scouring tv guide to see who was on when, and keeping an ear on the radio for news of who was touring when. I visited magazine stands, bookshops, record stores. I was a collector. Now such obscura is a few keystrokes away on google or youtube.
Tower Records, touchstone of my youth, is bankrupt. World Book & News on Cahuenga in Hollywood, which continues to be magazine mecca for me, is too difficult to park at. I’ve tried to go about three times in the past year, and each time the parking is too terrible to contemplate stopping. C’est la vie.
I don’t know what I expected of the future, but here we are.
All these moments, lost in time, like tears in rain. Only not lost, they’re preserved on youtube and eBay.