David Letterman was really excited for The Eagles’ show at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. So much so that after some banter with a crowd member who was also attending the concert, he thought he’d get Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra to play a few Eagles classics. But then his producers stepped in.
Turns out the Eagles, who are notoriously cagey about their music, don’t much like giving licensing rights to TV shows. “They didn’t give us a number, they just said ‘no’,” a producer told Letterman after Shaffer guessed that one song would cost them $1,000 (a likely ridiculous low-balling). “They have a flat ‘no’ policy for television,” the producer reaffirmed. Show writer Bill Scheft argued that’s not quite true, and that they could get away with playing three lines of music before being sued.
After much debate, the Late Show‘s director Jerry Foley said to hell with the legality: “Play the music and see what happens.” Letterman’s face lit up at the prospect of a pissing off The Eagles’ lawyers, and he immediately set about trying to determine what song to play. Shaffer and Letterman tossed a few ideas back and forth before settling on the notion that none of the Eagles’ music actually warranted the legal risk. “You know what?” Letterman said at the end of the nearly five-minute segment. “I’m not that interested anymore.”
Watch the entire exchange below. (via Stereogum)