Chateau Jean Georges la Jean Georges in Paris

RORY: You’re the graduate. You get to be pampered.

LORELAI: Okay, then I would like to go to Chateau Jean Georges la Jean Georges in Paris.

Lorelai refers to French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (born 1957), who arrived in the US in 1985, and moved to New York the following year, earning immediate plaudits for his innovative approach to classic French cuisine. Having already opened ten restaurants around the world, his first American venture was the bistro JoJo in New York, opened in 1991. He has since gone on to command numerous other restaurants in the US and internationally.

His restaurant Jean-Georges opened in the Trump Tower, Manhattan in 1997 to critical acclaim, and his Paris restaurant opened in 2001, the year before this episode broadcast. It is actually called Market, and it serves French-Asian fusion food.

I don’t think it’s quite as fancy as Lorelai imagines – it is decorated simply, and the dishes are fairly reasonably priced (considering it’s a tourist trap in Paris). I think she is imagining it to be like the Jean-Georges in Manhattan, which is haute cuisine, very sophisticated, and costs hundreds of dollars per meal.

David Lee Roth

JESS: It’s where David Lee Roth got busted.

David Lee Roth (born 1954), retired musician, singer, songwriter and radio personality, best known as the lead singer of the rock band Van Halen, previously discussed.

In 1993, Roth was arrested for buying $10 worth of marijuana from an undercover police officer in Washington Square Park, and paid a $35 fine. The incident made headlines and became something of a punchline.

Mick Jagger

RORY: Okay, here’s an interesting question for you – “Have you given any thought to how children will work into your future plans?”.

LORELAI: Oh, well, uh, they’re not gonna stand in my way, that’s for sure. I mean, I plan to have some, of course, but I’m just gonna knock ’em out and, uh, have Nanny catch ’em and care for ’em, make sure Mick Jagger doesn’t come anywhere near them and then just return them to me when they’re twenty-one.

Sir Michael “Mick” Jagger (born 1943), English singer, songwriter, actor, and film producer who has achieved international fame as lead vocalist and founding members of the Rolling Stones, previously mentioned. His songwriting partnership with Keith Richards is one of the most successful in history. Jagger’s career has spanned over six decades, and he is known for his distinctive voice and energetic live performances. He gained press notoriety for his romantic involvements which is why Lorelai says she’ll make Nanny keep him away from her (imaginary) children.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and in 2004 into the UK Music Hall of Fame with the other band members. As both a member of the Rolling Stones, and as a solo artist, he has reached #1 13 times, made the Top Ten 32 times, and the Top 40 70 times. He was knighted in 2003 for his services to popular music.

Of course, this casual attitude to children is the exact opposite of Lorelai’s real mothering style, which is deeply protective, and, if anything, rather too involved in her daughter’s life. Although even in a joke, she is concerned about shielding them from unwanted influences.

Jessica Hahn

LORELAI: Instead, I got pregnant. I didn’t finish high school, I didn’t marry your father and I ended up in a career that apparently Jessica Hahn would think was beneath her.

Jessica Hahn (born 1959), model and actress. She accused televangelist Jim Bakker of rape while employed as a church secretary. After the 1987 scandal, Hahn posed nude for Playboy, appeared in several television shows, including Married … with Children, and was a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show on radio in the 1980s through to the 2000s.

John Nash

RORY: That diploma hanging on the wall is going to make this all worthwhile, trust me.

LORELAI: I guess, unless I turn into John Nash and start drooling on people.

John Nash (1928-2015), mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. His theories are widely used in economics. Nash is the only person to win both the Abel Prize and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Sciences.

In 1958, Nash began showing clear signs of mental illness and spent several years in psychiatric hospitals being treated for schizophrenia. His condition slowly improved in the 1970s, allowing him a return to academic work by the mid 1980s.

John Nash’s struggles with mental illness and his recovery were highlighted in the 2001 biographical film, A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard and based on the 1997 best-selling Pulitzer-winning biography of the same name by Sylvia Naser, with Russell Crowe starring as Nash. A Beautiful Mind was a commercial and critical success, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Ramble On and John Bonham

LANE: I’ve almost nailed the fill in “Ramble On”. I just have to stop hitting my face with the sticks when I pull my arms back.

RORY: John Bonham had that same problem.

“Ramble On”, 1969 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, from their album Led Zeppelin II. The lyrics were influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, previously mentioned. It is regarded as one of of Led Zeppelin’s greatest songs.

John Bonham (1948-1980), English musician, best known as the drummer for Led Zeppelin. Esteemed for his speed, power, fast single-footed kick drumming, distinctive sound, and feel for the groove, he is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rock drummers in history. He has influenced numerous drummers, including Dave Grohl and Neil Peart. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 as a member of Led Zeppelin.

Even though Lane is being allowed to practice on real drums twice a week, she is getting in extra practice by banging on Lorelai’s pots and pans, to show how keen she is.

Michael Landon

LANE: [runs up behind them] Hey, wait, stop!

LORELAI: Oh look, it’s Michael Landon.

Michael Landon, born Eugene Orowitz (1936-1991), actor and filmmaker best known for his roles in the television series Bonanza (1959-1973), Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982), and Highway to Heaven (1984-1989).

Michael Landon made an autobiographical television film in 1976, called The Loneliest Runner. The story is about a teenage boy named John Curtis, based on Landon himself, who still wets his bed. His mother publicises his problem by hanging the stained sheets from his bedroom window for all to see.

Every day, John runs home from school to take the sheets down before his friends see them. He starts running with the junior track team to channel his anger and forget the shame and hurt of his dysfunctional family life. Ten years later, he is a gold-medal winning Olympic champion, who credits his mother for his athletic success. Landon plays the adult Curtis himself.

Like John Curtis, Michael Landon wet the bed until he was 14, and his mother Peggy hung the sheets out to shame him. He had Olympic ambitions as a javelin-thrower, but a shoulder injury ended his athletic career, which propelled him into acting.

His unauthorised 19991 biography by Aileen Joyce, Michael Landon: His Triumph and Tragedy, relates that the bedwetting was brought on by the stress of having a suicidal mother. As a child, Michael Landon had to save his mother from drowning herself during a beach vacation.

Lane’s Drummer Heroes

RORY: And even if you do buy a drum set, where are you gonna play it?

LANE: I don’t know, I don’t know any of this. But I will figure something out, because I am Keith Moon, I am Neil Peart, I am Rick Allen, with and without the arm, because I am rock ‘n’ roll, baby!

Keith Moon (1946-1978) [pictured], English drummer for rock band The Who. He was noted for his unique style of playing and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour, and addiction to drugs and alcohol. His drumming style emphasised tom-tom drums, cymbal crashes and drum fills, and was one of the earliest rock drummers to use double bass drums. He had a reputation for smashing his drum kit on stage. He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1982, and is regarded as one of the greatest drummers in history. Keith Moon used a DW drum kit with Zildjian cymbals.

Neil Peart (1952-2020) Canadian musician, songwriter, and author, best known as the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush. His drumming was renowned for its technical proficiency and his live performances for their exacting nature and stamina. Initially inspired by rock drummers like Keith Moon, Peart became influenced by jazz and swing bands. He was inducted into the Modern Drummers Hall of Fame in 1983, making him the youngest person to receive this honour. He used a DW drum kit.

Richard “Rick” Allen (born 1963), English drummer for the hard rock band Def Leppard since 1978. In 1984 his left arm was amputated after a car accident but decided to continue drumming, although he didn’t perform live again until 1986. He uses Zildjian cymbals.

Lane had already talked about becoming a drummer, but I think we are meant to assume that this dream has solidified for her – not I’d like to be a drummer, but I am a drummer. It does seem slightly odd that her drummer idols are now from classic rock bands, when previously she looked up to drummers in punk and alternative rock bands. The writer seems to have chosen drummers who used the same equipment Sophie has for sale in her store.

Rory gives Lane very little encouragement in her drumming dreams, although the questions she asks Lane are quite reasonable. It’s disappointing though that she tells Jess he can do anything he wants, and to reach for the stars, while Lane gets cold water poured on her ideas. Either she only encourages boys that she’s attracted to (Dean also got a lot of unwanted encouragement to improve himself), or she only encourages academic goals, not creative ones. Happily, Lane’s mood is not dampened one little bit by Rory’s reality check.

Mickey Hargitay

BABETTE: I met this guy once – gorgeous, tan, looked just like Mickey Hargitay. We had coffee, he gave me a pamphlet. Next thing you know, I’m wearing a muumuu, playing a tambourine, jumping up and down at the airport.

Miklós “Mickey” Hargitay (1926-2006), Hungarian-born bodybuilder, actor and the 1955 Mr Universe. He was married to actress Jayne Mansfield from 1958-1964, and they made four films together, including Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957). He is the father of actress Mariska Hargitay.

Babette sometimes alludes to the terrible experiences she had with men before fortunately meeting Morey, which she has no compunction about sharing with Rory. The previous season, she told Rory about the time she got pushed out of a car, and this season she tells Rory about how she was lured into a cult! For such a bright and bubbly character, she has a very dark past.

I think the cult that Babette is describing are the Hare Krishnas, who tended to recruit new members at airports in the 1970s, and often used tambourine music and dancing to attract interest. They didn’t actually wear muumuus, but Babette might have thought their orange robes looked like muumuus.

Sal Mineo and Chachi

TAYLOR: Rory, you don’t have to explain a thing to me. I know that there is absolutely no way that you would be involved in something like that if it weren’t for that Sal Mineo wannabe, believe me. Chachi, and Chachi alone, will be held responsible for that incident, okay?

Salvatore “Sal” Mineo (1939-1976) [pictured], actor, singer, and director. He is best known for his role of John “Plato” Crawford, in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause, previously discussed. Like Jess, Plato was abandoned by his father and is neglected by his mother, and although treated as a juvenile delinquent, is a sad, lonely boy, desperate for love and affection, and the target of bullies. Plato has a tragic ending, perhaps a bit of wish fulfilment from Taylor.

The role of Plato was played as if the character was a gay teenager in love with James Dean’s character, Jim – the original script even had them sharing a kiss – and Plato is commonly identified as the first gay teen in cinema. Sal Mineo was himself openly bisexual, and unfortunately, like his character, Sal Mineo’s life had a violent ending, as he was murdered in an apparent random mugging.

One fan theory, possibly controversial, suggests that Jess too may be gay or bisexual, and that this is a hint of it – although there’s nothing to disprove that, it seems more likely that Taylor is simply clueless about gay subtext in films.

Chachi, character from television sitcoms Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, previously discussed.