Late Night with David Letterman, October 6, 1983.
You’ll know the song, but as of this moment it hasn’t get been named “So. Central Rain”.
I’m pretty sure I remember watching this the next day, after school, from a VHS videotape. I was 13 years old. Letterman was 36, or 8 years younger than I am now.
Today, April 3, 2014, David Letterman has announced he’ll be retiring next year; he’ll turn 68 that year, which seems impossible, but there it is. He started with a morning show in 1980, which approximately nobody watched except me — I remember faking sick to go home and do so, so bored was I with the 5th grade.
Late Night came in 1982; the clip above is from a show still finding its feet in a timeslot when most decent folks were asleep, and in a world where recording television was still novel, and yet somehow it became the model for a new kind of late night show.
He left NBC, famously, after he was passed over for the Tonight Show in 1992, and began his current run at CBS the next year. His retirement plan suggests he’ll mark 22 years at CBS before packing it in.