Re: RARA-AVIS: Kenny Rogers

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 12 Jul 2002

Rene wrote:

"On the subject of cornball songs and movies, isn't it amazing how a film can invest a corny old song with meaning that it never originally had. I'm thinking particularly of Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" in BLUE VELVET & Stealer's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" in the infamous straight razor to the ear scene in RESERVOIR DOGS."

Well, speaking of QT, this is what he had to say about that:

"[T]hat's one of the things about using music in movies that's so cool: the fact that if you do it right, it's about as cinematic a thing as you can do. You're really doing what movies do better than any other art form. It works in this visceral, emotional, cinematic way that's special. And when you do it right and you hit it right, then you can never really hear that song again without thinking about that image from the movie."

He goes on to say how, for him, Stand By Me is "owned" by the movie The Wanderers and Be My Baby by Mean Streets.

Then about Pulp Fiction:

"Yeah, I think "Comanche" and sodomy are married from here on out. I dare somebody to try to use it and not bring up connotations."

He almost used "My Sharona" for the scene, but couldn't get licensing from the Knack.

I think this is also pretty much what George Pelecanos is trying to do with the music references in his books. This is not to say George in any way copied QT, but to say they are of like mind -- both their first works, A Firing Offense and Reservoir Dogs, came out in 1992, so neither could have been influenced by the other.


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