Thursday, June 13, 2013

Featuring Toots Thielemans: Too Late For Goodbyes

Despite the video intimating that Julian Lennon was playing harmonica on 1984’s “Too Late for Goodbyes,” it was actually Toots Thielemans playing a chromatic harmonica. I’m not sure Lennon even had a harmonica in his hand in the video, as it is never seen. He may be just cupping his hands to appear that he is playing.  Unfortunately, he quits “playing” with two notes remaining. If he had a harmonica, it would have been a smaller diatonic harmonica as it would have fit within his hands.

From the album “Valotte,” “Too Late for Goodbyes” was Lennon’s second single release in the US; however, it was the first in the UK. The single peaked in Billboard during March 1985 at #5 and crossed over to adult contemporary radio where it became a number one record.

Not only was it Julian Lennon’s biggest hit, it was also the highest charting record that featured Toots Thielemans. Unfortunately, he was just given seven measures for a solo which was simple by Toots’ normal standard.

The video was directed by Sam Peckinpah who is best known for his work on 1969’s “The Wild Bunch.” Seeing it again in 2013, I have to beg the question, “Was that the GEICO Caveman in the doorway?” It certainly looks him.

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