Rob Hyman finds the keys to Largo in 19th-century classical music.
While The Band’s Levon Helm hoots and hollers through “Gimme A Stone,” The Band’s keyboard maestro Garth Hudson made the Largo theme ebullient and Ellingtonian. The Chieftains lent certain songs an authentic Irish quality. (“We had to struggle to figure how many we could afford,” jokes Hyman. Members of the legendary ensemble ended up paying their own way.)
A “pregnant-as-hell” Cyndi Lauper sings the piss out of the eight-minute blues jam “White Man’s Melody.” Lauper’s screeching character Liza arrives in America as a Caruso fan only to wind up digging Jolson and getting orgasmic over Liberace.
PBS and VH1 are currently filming pieces about Largo which will air in the future. On May 6, Hyman, Bazillian, Taj Mahal, Lauper, Osborne and Foreman will perform Largo live at NYC’s Bottom Line and will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman.