Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ is forever married in my memory to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. Why? Well look, over there! It’s 2006 or something. You have a night or two off in LA before flying back to Sydney having been in the US to give a lecture at Yale. You make sure to get to Largo on Friday night to catch Jon Brion’s weekly musical acrobat show. Brion is as mind-blowing as usual. He finishes and he’s that good that you wonder why you even bother playing music.
You head next door to the small room for a beer and after awhile, surprise, surprise, there’s Gillian and Dave singing into a single microphone in a room of about 50 people. Pin drop perfection. Harmony and mystery and history intertwined in song. Sounds serious, but not exactly. They’re finishing up and Dave is walking to the bar, jumping on top of it with his guitar wringing every drop of irony and pathos from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers, Sebastian Steinberg and Gillian Welch are giggling and playing along round the microphone. That’s Lisa Germano swaying next to you as you grin and sip your beer.
Tomorrow night herself and I will book a babysitter, grab dinner at the best Pakistani restaurant in Sydney and then stroll down to The Enmore to see Gillian and Dave.
Perhaps they’ll play an 80s classic one more time?