On Sunday (my first day back playing piano in church!—everyone else was in their cars listening over a short-range broadcast)—I posted a video to my Facebook artist page of Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson singing Tom Jones’s 1968 classic “Delilah”:
I’ve received a handful queries about my statement that “this video sums up my entire musical philosophy.” Naturally, there’s a bit of cheek in that statement. My short answer is similar to the jazz musician’s (Louis Armstrong? Dizzy Gillespie?) when a lady asked him how to swing: “if you have to ask, you’ll never know.” The video should speak for itself:
But I began digging into this video a bit more. What is this bizarre game show? When was it aired? How did Bruce Dickinson end up singing “Delilah”? It reminds me another video that “sums up my entire musical philosophy”—Jack Black’s appearance on American Idol singing Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”:
Fortunately, there are some scant details out there. The show was Last Chance Lotter with Patrick Kielty, an Irish game show that ran for ten episodes in 1997. The gimmick was that the show took losers from other game shows, gave them a lottery ticket, and anyone who had a ticket worth ten pounds or more could compete in the main game. Some of the money won would go into a pot for one random audience member to win.
I haven’t quite worked out how the musical numbers figured in, but the musical guest would essentially sing a song to add even more cash to the pot by spinning a wheel (that was transparently rigged—the audience knew the wheel was controlled, from what I can gather). That’s why Bruce Dickinson was on the show, and his performance of “Delilah” is one of the most spectacular musical renditions I’ve ever heard: mariachi horns, bouncing bassists, leopard-print suits, and Dickinson’s soaring vocals.