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From family fights to finding roadkill, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III does not consider any topic off limits. Many fans know Wainwright for his 26-album repertoire of witty and personally revealing music, chronicling the ups and downs of his life from early adulthood to his early sixties.
In true Renaissance man fashion, Wainwright has also appeared as the singing surgeon on M*A*S*H, acted in several Judd Apatow projects, and served as Dave Letterman's first musical sidekick. With all of this material to stumble across, he insists that it's never too late for new audiences to discover his work. "I could be dead in no time!" he jokingly exclaims to our Bell House crowd. "Please discover me now! Time's a wastin'!"
The latest addition to Wainwright's massive oeuvre is "I Had A Dream," a song that wryly imagines what the world would be like if Donald Trump became President. Standing on stage and lightly strumming his guitar, Wainwright admits to host Ophira Eisenberg that he did not write this song because he wanted to, but because he felt that he needed to. "I come from a generation of singers who agit prop," he tells Ophira. "You know, protest songs. Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger-- those people were all my heroes."
As part of this week's VIP game, Wainwright leads a round of one of our favorite games, "This, That, Or the Other." Contestants must place clues into one of three categories: Loudon Wainwright III lyric, Dr. Seuss quote, or an excerpt from the script of Lethal Weapon 3.
On his 1972 hit "Dead Skunk":
I have a mental picture of Bill and Hill [Clinton] making out in the back of a Rambler Station Wagon to "Dead Skunk."
On the personal nature of his songs:
They say write about what you know. I'm obsessed with myself and focused on myself, so I write about my cheesy life.