Thursday, January 22, 2009
True Hollywood story indeed
Shortly before my brother John committed suicide, a relatively unknown singer named Sheryl Crow hit the charts with a song called "Leaving Las Vegas."
The connection between John and the song was through David Baerwald, who knew John and was familiar with his novel Leaving Las Vegas. Baerwald had asked John about the title and John agreed that Baerwald and his Tuesday Music Club could use it as long as John got credit somewhere down the line (John's name never appeared in conjunction with the song, but make no mistake, the title for the song was born of the title of the novel).
Then on David Letterman one night, Crow was a guest and announced that the song was autobiographical. My brother was furious.
All sorts of rumors swirled around the story, most of them false. I'll clarify one and say that this fiasco was by no means the reason John committed suicide.
E! True Hollywood Story contacted me a few weeks ago about images of John, apparently for the Sheryl Crow THS premiere at 9 p.m. EST tomorrow night. I'll be interested to see how they handle it. It's never really been covered before, save for a story in the November 14, 1996 Rolling Stone, the cover story for which was on Sheryl Crow. Dad and I were both interviewed for it.
And now for a tidbit: My dad's meticulous notes regarding John's life indicate that A&M Records purchased some 470 copies of Leaving Las Vegas in 1993 in order to promote the Sheryl Crow song. Hm.
For those interested in more of John's story, here is a post that is chock full of links about John and my family.