This isn’t a too-subtle-for-it’s-own-good Saturday Night Live sketch. This is the former Chrissy Snow, wearing black opera gloves and matching tutu, interviewing art-punk demi-gods Wire in 1987, on Joan Rivers’ old night time talk show. And all this time I thought Jimmy Fallon invented cult band talk show booking.
Wire, with zero U.S. top 200 albums to their credit, then or now. Suzanne, at the peak of her Vegas song-and-dance fame, temping as The Late Show‘s host after Rivers’ firing. Wire, introduced as “one of the hottest British rock groups in the world today,” touring a record that raced all the way to #87 back home. Suzanne, nailing every question like a pro! Wire…Suzanne…Wire…Suzanne…I feel like Letterman at the Oscars here. (Click on Suzanne below to watch the video.)
Perversely, Wire chose to play “Drill,” from a year-old EP. It’s a coolly seething, minimalist dance tune, if not exactly “Ahead” on the pop-catchiness scale. And this performance was n-o-i-s-y. Perfect for The Late Show viewing audience. (I’m smirking as I type this.) I’ll tip my hat to The Late Show booker, though. And you wonder whether a 13-year-old Jimmy Fallon was watching in Brooklyn. And dreaming big.
Get a load of drummer Robert Gotobed’s face during the interview segment.