Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Tiny Dancer Scene

One of my favorite musical scenes ever... its not really that big of a scene, and its not in a musical, its in a movie about music. "Almost Famous" is amongst The Dave100, kinda high up actually, and its on right now. Its one of those movies that somehow my remote finds and clicks to when I am surfing channels.

The movie is a semi-autobiographical flick (directed by Cameron Crowe, who also did Jerry Maguire, among other films) about a teenager in the early 70s named William Miller (Patrick Fugit), who is doing a piece for Rolling Stone about a band named Stillwater. William follows the band around on their tour, getting to know the band and in particular, a groupie named Penny Lane (Kate Hudson, who has never looked this good before or since) that is continually shafted by Russell, the lead singer (played by Billy Crudup), who she loves.

Penny Lane on the tour bus

The scene I speak of starts, really, when Russell is standing on the roof of a house at a party. He's a bit high, he's shouting stupidly, and while everyone is yelling for him to jump into the pool, William, the movie's other protagonist, is shouting for him to climb down. Of course, Russell jumps.

The other bandmates are a little agitated at his flamboyancy, and how he gets all the attention and so on... he's on the bus, they are all sitting, disgusted, with William and Penny Lane in the back. Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" begins to play, first as a movie tune heard over the film, and then one of the guys starts with, "Jesus Freaks... out in the streets... handing tickets out for God..." and then Penny Lane sings, "...turning back, she just laughs..." and then Jeff (Jason Lee, who you could make a case for being one of my favorite actors) sings along,"...the boulevard is not that bad...".

One by one, they start singing, and finally Russell, upset until this point, sings, "Hold me closer Tiny Dancer... count the headlines on the highway..."

First of all, just about everyone likes this song. This is one of those songs that somehow, people end up singing along, and I for one love to sing this one in the car. This was Elton John at his pre-gay, pre-upset at the world best. The film has a few more of his tunes in it, but this scene stands out.

Here's what I love about his scene... its all about the music. It says that no matter what goes on, no matter who hates who right then and there, the music brings them together. Perhaps Crowe just put the scene in there for fun, but I don't think so. I think this scene is a turning point in the flick, showing that no matter what, the music brings them together.

The scene ends with William saying to Penny Lane, "I have to go home." She smiles, puts her hand up as if to say, "Shut up. Sing along." The she puts her head on his shoulder. Again, its a pivotal moment.

You'll also hear the tune slightly over the final, awesome scene. Just thought I'd share.


  1. I just heard this song yesterday in the car. I turned up the volumne and sang along loudly. It's right up there with Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond) for me. Where it began...
    I can't begin to know...

  2. How can you not? It just... well, it just is. Random trivia--Elton John attests to the fact that this song wasn't that popular in his concerts until this movie came along, and now its the most requested out of his entire list.

  3. Thanks for the Dumb Blog shout out! You are too kind!


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