Mozart

LORELAI: And what if I am a really great fisher? … And all this time I’ve been sitting here with the gift to fish and I am squandering it. It’s like if Mozart walked right by the piano store and never played a note.

The composer Mozart, previously discussed.

As a child, Mozart learned to play several instruments, began composing music at the age of five, and went on an international concert when only six. He could play the piano blindfolded and with crossed hands, but is is said that his favourite instrument was the viola.

Toms and Moon

DAVE: I mean, you’ve got the potential, but you’re sloppy. I need a clean roll on the toms but powerful, like Moon.

The toms refer to tom drums a cylindrical drum with no snares, named from the Anglo-Indian and Sinhala language of Sri Lanka, derived from thammattama, from the Tamil word thappu, a type of drum.

Referring to Keith Moon, previously discussed, drummer for The Who, and one of Lane’s drum heroes.

Dave and Lane have come up with a plan to keep their relationship a secret from their bandmates – Dave will put Lane down in public, patronise her, and insult her. Lane is totally into it, as she loves zany schemes and keeping secrets.

Tipper

LORELAI: Thanks for the invite, I’m sure it’s gonna be great. Uh, so, uh, you guys have a good rehearsal. I’m gonna go on inside and write to Tipper. Great gal. See you guys later.

Mary “Tipper” Gore (born Mary Aitcheson in 1948), social issues advocate, activist, photographer and author who was the second lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. She was married to Al Gore, the 45th vice president of the United States, although they separated in 2010.

In 1985, Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center, which advocated for labelling of record covers of releases featuring profane language, especially in the heavy metal, punk, and hip hop genres of music.

Lorelai pretends she supports Tipper Gore to try to put Zack off being attracted to her. It doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps he didn’t listen.

Pamela Des Barres

LORELAI: Do you need any help, please?
RORY: I’m good, Pamela Des Barres.

Pamela Des Barres (born Pamela Miller in 1948), rock and roll groupie, writer, musician, and actress. She is also a former member of the experimental Frank Zappa-produced music group, the GTOs.

Des Barres is best known for her 1987 memoir, I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie, which details her experiences in the Los Angeles rock music scene of the 1960s and 1970s, and she was the model for the Penny Lane character, played by Kate Hudson, in Almost Famous.

Pamela was married to English actor and singer Michael Des Barres from 1977 to 1991. You may recall that Michael Des Barres played the role of Claude in “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”.

Rory calls Lorelai this as a tease because Zack is flirting with her. Lorelai does everything she can to deflect this unwanted attention, even though she was flattered when Dean’s dimwitted friend Todd fancied her, and he was a few years younger than Zack is now. She must be feeling a lot more confident about herself now.

OzzFest

RORY: It was a bat, wasn’t it?
LORELAI: Wearing an OzzFest T-shirt, I believe.

Ozzfest, music festival tour of the US (sometimes Europe and later Japan), featuring performances by heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and was held almost annually between 1996 and 2018 before being revived in 2022. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath played the tour several times over the years.

At the most recent OzzFest relative to this episode, the tour was in Hartford on July 13. As Lorelai is a heavy metal fan, and at a very loose end over the summer, is it possible she went to it, and really does have a tee-shirt? Or, if she meant the bat was wearing a tee shirt already in the garage, she (and maybe Rory) could have gone to OzzFest 1999 [1999 tee shirt pictured], which was in Hartford on June 19. If so, it means Lorelai bought her Jeep later that year.

Lorelai connects a bat to the OzzFest musical festival because in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat at a concert in Des Moines. Stories vary as to whether the bat was alive, dead, or made of rubber, but Osbourne said the bat was alive, and gave him rabies. In 2019 Osbourne commemorated the anniversary of the bat incident by offering a toy bat with detachable head for sale on his personal web-store. The site claimed the first batch of toys sold out within hours.

Bad Moon Rising

This is the song that Sookie puts on for Jackson, because it’s one of his favourites, although she is not a fan.

“Bad Moon Rising” is a 1969 song written by John Fogerty, and performed by his band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, often known as CCR. Fogerty was inspired by scenes of a hurricane in the 1941 fantasy film, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and the apocalypse that Fogery claimed was going to be visited upon us.

It was the lead single from their Green River album, received glowing reviews, and went to #2 in the US and #1 in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. It is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

Patty Cake

PARIS: We’re fencing Rory, not playing patty cake.

Patty cake or Pat-a-cake, a clapping game which accompanies the nursery rhyme, “Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Bakers Man”. It alternates between a normal individual clap by one person with two-handed claps with the other person. The hands may be crossed as well. This allows for a possibly complex sequence of clapping that must be coordinated between the two.

Fencing Class

In this episode, Rory, Paris, Louise, and Madeline have a fencing class. This may remind the viewer that Richard Gilmore was a keen fencing athlete when he was at Yale – something which Emily found very attractive about him.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the James Bond film Die Another Day had come out the previous year, in 2002, directed by Lee Tamahori, and starring Pierce Brosnan as the title character.

It has a notable fencing scene in it [pictured], where James Bond has an unexpectedly aggressive fencing bout with the villain, Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens. The fencing instructor in the film is played by Madonna, one of Lorelei’s favourite celebrities (she also sings the film’s theme song). Less than a month after this movie’s release, UK fencing clubs saw an increase in the number of people interested in taking up the activity.

Die Another Day was a box-office smash, and the #6 film of 2002. It received reasonable reviews at the time, but is now considered one of the worst of the films in the series. It was heavily criticised by Pierce Brosnan.

The fencing instructor at Chilton is played by Teigh McDonough, whose background was in the Chicago theatre scene.

Express Yourself

LORELAI: Okay. Well, do you remember the rowing scene in Ben-Hur? … I’m sorry, did that reference date me? Should I have gone with the “Express Yourself” video?

“Express Yourself” is a 1989 song by Madonna, a single released from her Like a Prayer album, witten and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray. A tribute to funk band Sly and the Family Stone, it’s an upbeat dance-pop and deep-funk song about female empowerment. The song went to #2 in the US, and # 1 on the US dance charts, becoming the #55 song of 1989. It went to #1 in Canada, Italy, and Switzerland.

The music video, dircted by David Fincher, was inspired by the 1927 Fritz Langer film, Metropolis. With a budget of $5 million, it was the most expensive music video made until then, and remains the third-most expensive to this day.

The video portrayed a city full of tall skyscrapers and railway lines. Madonna played the part of a glamorous lady, with muscular men in chains acting as her workers (slaves?). Madonna is then shown as a masochist in chains. In the end, she picks one of the workers/slaves (played by Iranian-British model Cameron Alborzian) as her lover.

It’s interesting that Lorelai implies with both her references that Emily is gaining some sort of sado-masochistic sexual pleasure from her treatment of staff.

To me, Lorelai’s reference of “Express Yourself” dates her more than Ben-Hur. Ben-Hur is a classic that had been released on DVD only two years before this episode, while Madonna’s music video was 14 years old at the time – a hit song from Lorelai’s youth.

Shaun and David Cassidy

LORELAI: [opens the flap] You will marry Shaun Cassidy and cheat with David.
SOOKIE: Well, good for me.

Shaun Cassidy, previously discussed as Lorelai’s preteen crush.

David Cassidy (1950-2017), actor, singer, and guitarist, and Shaun’s older half-brother. He played Keith Partridge on the 1970s musical sitcom, The Partridge Family.

Deciding whether you preferred Shaun or David Cassidy was a common pastime in the 1970s. The option to “marry” Shaun and er, “cheat” with David may have been a common solution to this dilemma.

[Picture shows David on the left and Shaun on the right]