Odds & Ends: Peter Gabriel, Skrillex & Lynyrd Skynyrd

Peter Gabriel has his own “Say Anything” moment while performing at the Hollywood Bowl, Skrillex gives Richard Branson a DJ lesson, and a former tour manager asks for a moment of radio silence in honor of the 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash.

Cusack, A Boom Box & Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel’s Saturday night performance in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday evening received a little of that Tinsel Town glitz when actor John Cusack walked out on stage carrying a boom box as the band launched into “In Your Eyes.”

In Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film “Say Anything,” Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler character was madly in love with Diane Court, portrayed by Ione Skye. The movie’s most famous scene had Dobler holding a boom box over his head playing “In Your Eyes” while standing outside Court’s bedroom window. This time around it was Gabriel’s turn to hoist the box.

Crowe, who was also at the concert, later tweeted that seeing Cusack and Gabriel on stage together was “surreal and beautiful,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Cusack also tweeted a photo taken by Gabriel’s bass player Tony Levin showing “the great man and his boom box.”

Photo: Tony Levin
Doing his best Lloyd Dobler impression while performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif.

DJ R. Branson’s In The House

Entrepreneur Richard Branson just might have something to fall back on if he ever tires of being a famous tycoon overseeing the Virgin Empire.

Saturday during the annual Virgin Mobile FreeFest in Columbia, Md., at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Branson, along with the sisters from Nervo, spent some time guest bartending at the RE*Gen Bar with proceeds going to Re*Generation house, a youth homeless shelter.

But if bartending doesn’t work out for Branson, he just might be able to pass muster as a DJ. That is, if the incredibly successful businessman learned anything during his lesson from Skrillex.

So far, there’s been no word as to whether next year’s Virgin Mobile FreeFest will feature Branson doing a DJ set.

Remembering The Tragedy

Former tour manager Ron Eckerman is asking radio stations to hold a “moment of silence” in memory of the October 1977 plane crash near Gillsburg, Miss., that killed several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Killed in the crash were lead singer/guitarist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines plus the band’s assistant road manager as well as the pilot and copilot. Lynyrd Skynyrd would later reform in 1987.

Now Eckerman is asking for a moment of silence to take place at 6:45 p.m. Central Time on Oct. 20, the 35th anniversary of the tragedy.

“We ask for all stations and all people to observe this date by going silent for 20 seconds, and follow that with the airing of ‘Freebird,’ the most requested song in history,” Eckerman said in a statement.

Eckerman recounts his experiences with Lynyrd Skynyrd in his book, “Turn It Up!”

Does Eckerman’s request have a chance of becoming reality in a world where corporations dominate the radio biz? Guess we’ll have to wait and see if “Freebird” is all over the dial come Oct. 20.