Television host, author, and chef Anthony Bourdain passed away in France last Friday. In addition to his television duties, Bourdain was a big music fan. He featured musicians like Iggy Pop, Marky Ramone, and Alice Cooper on his shows. One musician who Bourdain forged a bond with was Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Homme composed music for Bourdain’s No Reservations and appeared on the program.
I never watched Bourdain’s television work, but I am struck by the outpouring of emotion over his death. Entertainers have a way of helping us escape the world for a little while. Bourdain was someone who drove many people to explore it.
I have read a lot of reactions to Bourdain’s death. Many people have said that he inspired their love of travel and food. I am in a few online blogging communities and many bloggers have cited Bourdain as a major influence for their work.
Blogger Njeri Harris of The Fashion Analyst wrote a great piece on how Bourdain’s death is a reminder to pursue our individual happiness.
It is remarkable that one person could inspire so much passion in so many people.
Anthony Bourdain and Music
Anthony Bourdain was apparently very particular about his music. He fell in love with punk rock at CBGB and developed a distaste for certain popular musicians. In a 2004 interview Bourdain mentioned rules for his kitchen staff’s playlist, “If you play Elton John, Billy Joel, or the Grateful Dead, you will be fired!”
It is ironic that Bourdain and Josh Homme appeared to be such kindred spirits. Elton John sang on Queens of the Stone Age’s album …Like Clockwork.
During Queens of the Stone Age’s Friday evening slot at Denmark’s Northside Festival, Homme dedicated the band’s performance of “Long Slow Goodbye” to Bourdain. The frontman said, “Sometimes you lose somebody and today we lost somebody… so this song is for Tony.”
Queen of the Stone Age – “Long Slow Goodbye” at Northside Festival:
Josh Homme And Anthony Bourdain In The Desert
Homme took Bourdain on a tour of the Mojave Desert in a 2011 episode of Bourdain’s No Reservations. They met up at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a place Bourdain described as being in the “ass end of nowhere.” They consumed rib-eye, ribs, and tequila before traversing the desert.
The pair took a sound bath at the Integratron in Landers, California, saw a hand-painted mountain, and consumed Mexican food at a vineyard in the Coachella Valley. Homme and Bourdain discussed how the culture of the area’s music scene prompted originality. They also noted their affection for Dean Martin’s swagger.
In the episode, Homme also recorded music at the famous Rancho de la Luna studio. In addition to Homme’s own Queens of the Stone Age, the desert studio has been a longtime recording hub for artists like the Eagles of Death Metal, Daniel Lanois, Arctic Monkeys, and Foo Fighters.
Watch The Full No Reservations Episode with Josh Homme here:
Music Monday is a weekly series from the Flat Circle. Every Monday the Flat Circle will feature a new song, deep cut, or live track from my personal collection or travels on the Internet. The complete series can be found under the “Music” tab at the top of the page. For last week’s post on Florence + the Machine’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” click here.