Cantaloupe

[Lorelai and Sookie are sitting down drinking coffee.]
LORELAI: I think I know what an aneurysm feels like before you have it.
SOOKIE: Like a baseball the size of a cantaloupe in your head.

The North American cantaloupe (C. melo var reticulatus) is actually a muskmelon; it has orange flesh and a light grey rind with a “net like” appearance. It is different from the European cantaloupe (C. melo var cantalupensis), whose rind is grey-green and ribbed. Cantaloupes are also known as rockmelon, sweet melon, or spansek in different part sof the world.

This is the second time that aneurysms have been mentioned – Emily said she thought Lorelai might have given her one in Cinnamon’s Wake.

Church of the Poison Mind

This 1983 pop song by British new wave band Culture Club plays at the drag club after True finishes. It is the song that Michel dances to, after saying that he had to “shake his thing”.

Church of the Poison Mind was the lead single from Culture Club’s most successful album, Colour by Numbers. It was a hit around the world, and went to #10 in the US, and #2 in the UK and Ireland.

The lead singer of Culture Club, Boy George, is gay, and cross-dressed as part of his 1980s stage persona, and Church of the Poison Mind is about Christianity’s attitude to homosexuality.

Max’s “General” CD Collection

While trying to discover if Max is “worthy” of Lorelai, Christopher asks what his CD collection is like, and gives an “Uh oh” when told he has “kind of a general collection”. Christopher thinks that means “a dozen soundtracks”, and “a generic fifty”. (I can feel Daniel Palladino’s own musical judgements contributing to this section – Palladino was the writer for this episode).

Unfortunately for Max, all Christopher’s derogatory assumptions about Max’s musical tastes turn out to be on point, with Lorelai unable to defend her fiance in any serious way. It may seem shallow and silly, but Christopher’s criticisms of Max’s CD collection seems to make quite an impression on Lorelai (even though she had earlier criticised Christopher’s musical tastes). Is Lorelai so immature that Max’s CD collection is a real problem, or is she clutching at any excuse to dump him?

The Beatles, previously and frequently mentioned, were an English rock band formed in 1960, with their classic line up being John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They are widely regarded as the most important and most influential band in history, and are the best-selling band of all time, with sales of over 800 million worldwide. They have had more #1 albums in the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act, and are the best-selling musical act in the US. They have received seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Score (for the 1970 film Let it Be), and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting. The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with the individual members inducted between 1994 and 2015.

Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman (born 1941) is an American singer-songwriter who has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. He is most famous for his 1960s folk anthems of the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests such as The Times They Are AChanging, and Blowing in the Wind. One of the best-selling musical artists all all time, he has received numerous awards throughout his career, including eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Alanis Morissette (born 1974) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter known for her emotional singing style, giving her the title of “Queen of Alt-Rock Angst”. She brought out two dance-pop albums in Canada in the early 1990s, but gained mainstream success after moving to the US with her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, which sold more than 33 million copies, won the Grammy Award for Best Album, and is her most critically acclaimed work, with hit singles such as Ironic and You Oughta Know. I think this is the “first album” which Lorelai says many people bought in a knee-jerk reaction, including Max, it seems.

David “Dave” Matthews (born 1967) is a South African-born American singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the Dave Matthews Band, formed in 1991. During the early 2000s, his band sold more tickets and made more money than any other act in North America, and nearly all their studio albums have gone to #1 in the US. Matthews has also brought out solo albums, and won two Grammy Awards. Lorelai says “a couple of his things are good”, but I’m not sure which “things” she means, or even whether she means a couple of his albums or a couple of his songs.

Buena Vista Social Club is a group of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. The group’s self-titled album was released in 1997, rapidly making them an international success, with performances in Europe and the US. Wim Wenders made a documentary about them called Buena Vista Social Club, and when it came out in 1998 it received critical acclaim and sparked a revival of Latin American music, helping to increase tourism to Cuba.

Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, anglicised as Enya Brennan, and known as Enya (born 1961) is an Irish singer, songwriter, and musician. Her music career began in 1980 when she joined her family’s Celtic band Clannad, and left in 1982 to pursue a solo career. She has numerous top-selling and critically acclaimed albums, with her 2000 album A Day Without Rain, and its lead single, Only Time, experiencing a great success in the US after the September 11 attacks in 2001, making it the best-selling New Age album of all time. Enya is Ireland’s most successul solo act, and has won seven World Music Awards, four Grammy Awards, and an Ivor Novello Award. She is also known for writing and performing the song May It Be for the 2001 film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

In general, Christopher is putting down music that experienced sudden mass popularity, so that many people jumped on its bandwagon. How this differs from the very popular bands which he and Lorelai favour is not particularly clear, and his music snobbery may seem rather hypocritical. He also doesn’t seem keen on world music.

“Worthy” Men

CHRISTOPHER: So is he [Max] worthy?
LORELAI: Is anyone?
CHRISTOPHER: Bono, maybe? Bryan Ferry?
LORELAI: Get serious.
CHRISTOPHER: A young Tom Waits?
LORELAI: Now you’re talking.

Paul Hewson, known by his stage name Bono (born 1960) is the lead singer and main songwriter of Irish rock band U2, previously mentioned. His songs are often about political and social issues, and he is widely known for his activism on a range of social justice causes, especially campaigns on behalf of Africa. As a member of U2 Bono has won 22 Grammy Awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and been praised and rewarded for his humanitarian work, including being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2005. We later learn that Lorelai is a fan of U2, and has a celebrity crush on Bono.

Bryan Ferry (born 1945) was the lead vocalist and main songwriter of English glam art rock band Roxy Music, achieving three #1 albums between 1972 and 1982. He also has a career as a solo artist, and continued as a soloist after disbanding Roxy Music. Known for his sophisticated image and seductive singing style, Ferry has sold over 30 million records worldwide. He doesn’t get mentioned again during Gilmore Girls, but from Christopher’s comment, it seems Lorelai had a fancy for him at one time, possibly during their teenage years in the early 1980s.

Tom Waits, previously discussed. Waits was in his twenties during the 1970s, the decade when he released his early albums: Closing Time, The Heart of Saturday Night, Small Change, Foreign Affairs, and Blue Valentine. He had a very cool, hip image, and favoured the black shirt with black jacket look that Lorelai attempted to impose on Luke. This seems to be Lorelai’s favourite period of his, and she is most enthusiastic about the idea of being with a young Tom Waits.

Lorelai Phones Christopher

While Sookie calls Jackson, and Rory sends Dean a message using her pager, Lorelai slips away to make a phone call as well. Everyone assumes that she is going to call Max, being as struck with the romance of her mother’s wedding as they are, but in fact she secretly phones Rory’s father, Christopher.

It’s interesting that Lorelai begins the conversation by pretending to be a girl named Trixie. Trix is her grandmother’s nickname, and as they are both named Lorelai, the made up nickname has a strange sort of sense.

This is the first time Christopher hears that Lorelai is about to get married, and the viewer can tell that this isn’t welcome news. Lorelai hadn’t even told him that she and Max were together, although he had heard of their relationship through Rory (Rory doesn’t seem to have updated her dad on the coming nuptials, perhaps thinking it wasn’t her place to do so).

Christopher ends by giving her very conditional congratulations, by saying he wishes her well if she has found the right guy, and that he can certainly picture her married – to the right guy. He expresses some doubts as to whether Max is the “right guy” for Lorelai.

Like Luke, he is intent on planting serious doubts in Lorelai’s mind about her decision to marry Max, but is far more successful, as he is naturally more wily and manipulative than Luke. Luke’s clumsy attempts pushed Lorelai into an engagement, while Christopher’s cleverly sown doubts will bear fruit quite soon. The tragedy for him is that he doesn’t know it until it is too late.

Emily’s Wedding to Richard

Emily reminisces about the preparations for her own wedding to Richard. She says that she and Richard have been married for 34 years, so since 1967 – the year before Lorelai was born (it’s interesting that they had Lorelai so quickly, yet never had any other children).

In The Third Lorelai, Emily complained of having received terrible gifts from Richard’s mother Trix for 35 years, so presumably that includes the year between their engagement and their wedding, and they got engaged in 1966.

Emily’s story is very romantic, with her unable to eat for the week before the wedding due to nerves, being weak in the knees and trembling, and thinking of Richard constantly. Each night she would secretly dress in her wedding finery, and glory in how safe she felt – marriage to Richard meant not only being with the love of her life, but gaining complete security as well.

Nearly everyone at the table is enthralled and touched by her story, and Sookie and Rory immediately have to contact their respective boyfriends, as if this love story brings home to them how important security is in a relationship.

Lorelai, however, acts bored and nonchalant, stuffing her mouth with free peanuts while Emily recalls her week without appetite, and even loudly yawning at one point. And while Sookie and Rory are contacting Jackson and Dean, Lorelai doesn’t call her husband-in-waiting Max, but Christopher.

True

This 1983 pop song plays while Emily tells the company the touching story about her love for Richard just before they got married, right through until Lorelai phones Christopher.

True is the title track to the third album by British new wave band Spandau Ballet. The song was written by Gary Kemp, and although it sounds so romantic, was written about his platonic relationship with Clare Grogan from Scottish band Altered Images, previously mentioned. It contains tributes to both Marvin Gaye and Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita.

True went to #1 in the US, and was #1 in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. It has been voted both one of the favourite #1 hits of the 1980s, and one of the worst songs of all time. Like Altered Images’ Happy Birthday, the song features on the soundtrack to the teen movie Sixteen Candles.

Spandau Ballet have a following of gay fans, thanks in part to the androgynous image favoured by 1980s new wave bands, and are vocal supporters of LGBT rights.

“He was my Burton and I was his Taylor”

EMILY: I must say, I admire your composure. The week before my wedding, I was a wreck.
MISS PATTY: So was I, before all of mine.
SOOKIE: How many was that?
MISS PATTY: Well, uh, there was St John, John, Sergio, St John. Three men, four times.
SOOKIE: Do you regret any of them?
MISS PATTY: Well, St John was a let down the second time, but he was my Burton and I was his Taylor. Just wish I could’ve found a little Mike Todd there in the middle.

Miss Patty is referring to actress Elizabeth Taylor, previously discussed, and her multiple marriages. She married actor Richard Burton in 1964 [pictured], then for a second time in 1975.

Elizabeth Taylor married theatre and film producer Mike Todd in 1957, a third marriage for each of them. Famously, he was her only husband never to be divorced; he was killed in a plane crash in 1958 – Taylor had meant to fly with him, but he told her to stay home as she had a cold. Although they had a tempestuous relationshop, in later life Elizabeth Taylor always claimed that she was happiest with Mike Todd than any other of her husbands.

We learn a little of Miss Patty’s personal life here, that she has been married several times, including a remarriage to her first husband, St. John. She seems to be divorced, as the marriage was a “let down”, and probably for several years at least, from the tone of Sookie’s questions.