Chris Pine, resplendent in an all-brown outfit, has just informed the world he used to sing “Brown Sugar” in a high school cover band. This is an entertaining enough image on its own, serendipity (or careful PR maneuvering) giving us a celebrity actor in brown shirt, brown pants, brown shoes, and brown hair talking about The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” Ah, but there is more to this story.
During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Pine explained that his musical history involves forming a cover band with, for whatever reason, his math and English teachers. Then, as if this is not enough, he highlights a few of the songs they used to perform—a selection that includes Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and The Stones’ “Brown Sugar.”
“Not maybe the most appropriate for high school ...” he says before reminiscing on the band’s set list. When Kimmel asks if the young Pine knew what “Let’s Get It On” was about at such a tender age, the actor responds that no, he “was just excited [his] voice was that high [he] could hit those notes.”
Not content with the interview bounty he had collected by this point, Kimmel then asks which song Pine first remembered knowing in-depth. Soon enough, the late night band is playing the opening of “Under Pressure” while Pine holds a pen up in place of a mic, spitting a verse from Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”
There’s a lot to unpack in these minutes, which are compelling not only because Pine is a famous actor, but because any story of a student from, as he puts it, “a Jewish liberal school in the Valley” covering sexually-charged classics with his teachers has a way of grabbing attention. The interview concludes just after Pine finishes his Vanilla Ice impression, which is one of the first instances of a cliffhanger in late night history. Let’s hope that part two of this conversation continues soon, perhaps with Larry King digging deep into Pine’s past to give us the analysis it deserves.
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