That Gum is Almost Back in Style

25 years of waiting … 6 days to go.

25 years ago I was in my mid-20s, living with my band God Street Wine, working hard writing tons of songs and playing constant gigs at joints like the Nightingale, the Wetlands, the Continental, and the 712 club. Exciting times for us as we were just starting to bust through and see big crowds at our shows, packed rooms instead of empty ones, and starting to really tour across the country instead of just playing around NYC.

Our leisure time during this super fun period largely consisted of Twin Peaks. I watched most of it in the first season live, then the band and crew watched it together, over and over again, on VHS tapes lovingly captured from the broadcasts, commercials and all. It became a part of our collective world, gathered late night around the TV in our Ossining living room, after a day of travel or gigging or rehearsal, checking in on the world of Pete Martell and Audrey Horne and the Palmers and Haywards et al.

Of course it has been observed over and over again how influential Twin Peaks was in the world of television, how it set the stage for a higher level of drama, writing sophistication, and imaginative visuals … that’s all true and I don’t think I can say enough how unique the show’s whole emotional affect was, blending the strange, disturbing, yet deeply idealistic visions of David Lynch with the traditional, comforting aspects of a well acted and plotted soap opera devised by the more conventional TV sensibility of Mark Frost.

Beyond all that, though, subjectively, it deeply influenced me at a time when I was writing many of the songs that became GSW fan favorites — “Home Again” for example which was a straight dramatization of Leland Palmer’s death scene, or “Ballroom” or “Who’s Driving” which just drew on images from the show.

And I became deeply immersed in the world of Lynch and all his movies, too, from the proto-Twin Peaks Blue Velvet, to Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and of course Fire Walk With Me (I’ve still never seen the hard to find Inland Empire). I never minded that the movies didn’t always “make sense” which bothered so many other viewers, I somehow never expected that, I just loved how the movies operated on the level of feeling, sensation, sound, and pure visuals. And the “inner vocabulary,” repeated motifs that carry over from one Lynch creation to another.

Getting Twin Peaks back on Showtime after 25 years (as predicted by Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge, in the clip below) is a completely unexpected blessing and joy. Waiting the last two years since it was announced, hanging on every announcement about which original (and new) cast members were involved, has been an exquisite torment … finally about to be over just in time for my birthday.

I know with Lynch there is no point in having expectations about what we are about to see. His whole catalog has made an art form of toying and subverting such expectations. In fact the only thing to be sure of is that whatever Showtime broadcasts starting on Saturday will confound and frustrate. It will not satisfy the desires of longtime followers of the original show in any straightforward fan service kind of way. It may even, probably will, strike many viewers as too weird, too far out, nonsensical or simply terrible.

Me, I’m just ready for another David Lynch ride. As far out and as dark as he goes, there’s a basic goodness at the heart of all the films. There’s a basic trust that I feel in his hands. I just could not be more interested and excited to see what David and his crew and the cast have put together. I know I will be marveling at it, frustrated by it, trying to figure it out, loving it, and delving deep into its mystery for many years to come.

Maybe even writing a few songs about it 🙂

See you all Under the Sycamore Tree