Dave Foley is an actor, writer and comedian much beloved for his work on the sketch comedy favorite The Kids in the Hall and his starring role in NBC's long-running comedy series NewsRadio. He's been in the films Brain Candy, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and South Park: Bigger and Longer, and has made guest appearances on TV shows from Desperate Housewives to How I Met Your Mother.
While in town to perform at Wits, Dave Foley stopped by The Current to hijack our airwaves and share his favorite tunes.
Foley spoke with Steve Seel about some of his early favorites (Lemon Pipers), and how Frank Zappa was integral to his comedic development.
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet were, of course, included due to their collaboration on Kids in the Hall. The big surprise came with a songs four and five in the playlist. After playing "Break Your Heart" by the Barenaked Ladies, Foley recounts how the song made him realize that his marriage was in dire need of fixing... or jettisoning.
Like a true on-air host, he nailed the segue into a story about Aimee Mann, their relationship, and how "Save Me" may be about Foley himself. (Cue to 29:00 in the audio, or read the transcript below.)
Steve Seel: ...An artist who has had some degree fo angst in her life and finds it way into her songs, but very very craftily as well, so tell me about your interest in Aimee Mann.
Dave Foley: First I was a fan of Aimee's, but then when I moved to L.A., I met Aimee through friends, and we became good friends -- and we were friends for about a year. I picked the song because [laughs] there's a good story to it.
When I finally did get out of this horrendous relationship I was in with my first wife -- [I] was emotionally devastated by it and was trying to rebuild who I was as a human being -- then one day Aimee came up to me and said "I suppose you know I have a crush on you." I of course said "No, no, I... no idea."
So Aimee and I became sort of involved for a while. and then she went out on tour, and one day when she was in Paris, she called me on the phone at around 3 in the morning, and she played this song to me, the song "Save Me," which she had written about me.
Steve Seel: No, no, no. Are you serious? She wrote the song about you?
Dave Foley: The song "Save Me," which later it when on to be nomincated for an Oscar, [for Best Original Song for Magnolia in 2000] and she performed it at the Oscars, but she wrote it about me. And to a guy whose ego was just shattered from living with an insane person for 11 years first off to be liked by someone as amazing as Aimee, and then to have this song written was such a balm to my soul at that point. this was also a hugely important song -- and hugely important moment -- in my life that sort of sent me into my single life after that for the next five or six years.
Steve Seel: This is the greatest story I've heard in the last eight years.
Dave Foley: And I'm also -- I think -- the only man Aimee's written a postive song about.
...And as a comedian, how could he not include the song "Americanarama" which features Foley in the video.
1. Lemon Pipers — "Green Tambourine"
2. Frank Zappa — "Wowie Zowie"
3. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet — "Having An Average Weekend"
4. Barenaked Ladies — "Break Your Heart"
5. Aimee Mann — "Save Me"
6. Hollerado — "Americanarama"
Lemon Pipers — "Green Tambourine"
Frank Zappa — "Wowie Zowie"
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet — "Having An Average Weekend"
Barenaked Ladies — "Break Your Heart"
Aimee Mann — "Save Me"
Hollerado — "Americanarama"
- Dave Foley