i was up late last night in youtube musicgeek heaven. the highlight was unearthing this low-quality american bandstand tape of nick lowe's my heart hurts. i was writing for the daily cardinal when this video was recorded, during my madison almost famous period. before a show on this tour, i spent a wonderful evening with mr. lowe, talking music, eating pizza, and playing missile command somewhere on university avenue.
befitting his persona as a writer, mr. lowe was impossibly gracious -- the same rare mix of sweetness, wit, idealism, fun, and rough-around-the-edges dudedom that comes across in songs such as what's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding? toward the end of our conversation, he began to interview me -- about school, girlfriends, music, writing -- and scribbled a few notes that he stuck in the pocket of some road-weary jeans.
much to my surprise, mr. lowe did me a completely irrational and unexpected kindness when he took the stage in minneapolis the following night, dedicating my heart hurts to my girlfriend back home. there was absolutely nothing in it for him -- my article had already been written and few would read it anyway -- just an opportunity to play cupid for a kid far from home.
you can see more of this side of mr. lowe in the cruel to be kind video, which is sort of a popumentary of his wedding to carlene carter. if this brings a smile, check out some early nick in brinsley schwarz's surrender to the rhythm or his quieter recent work. for me, the videos are a nice reminder to do someone a completely irrational and unexpected kindness when the opportunity presents itself. there's a fighting chance they will remember it decades later and look for opportunities to spread the love themselves. just ask yourself: what would nick lowe do?