(Waiting for the) Night Boat (live) :: Simon Le Bon and Smashing Pumpkins
(Waiting for the) Night Boat was originally written by Simon Le Bon when he was waiting for a ride from the night bus home. It is spooky and atmospheric, unlike most of the other songs on Duran Duran’s self-titled debut album. It is instrumental until about two minutes into it.
In 1998, Simon Le Bon joined Smashing Pumpkins onstage at Shepherd’s Bush in London for their cover of (Waiting for the) Night Boat, as part of the MTV special Five Night Stand. It is an incredible rendition, the late 90’s Pumpkins sound giving the song a powerful edge that ups the sensuality of the song by quite a lot. Simon’s voice works well here, especially towards the end where he starts to wail as the guitars screech and scream.
Editor’s Note: I have a collection of Duran Duran music videos, on VHS, that contained all of their videos for their self-titled and Rio albums. My friends and I watched it countless times, so much so that we had every moment on-screen memorized. The collection included banned from MTV versions of Girls on Film and The Chauffer, which had adult content, nudity and more than a small dose of sexual situations. Night Boat, though, was something different altogether. It played out like a mini-horror film, included part of Mercutio’s speech from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and had the band, one-by-one, turning into zombies. The zombies were patterned from the Italian horror film, Zombi 2. My friends and I were both enthralled, and frightened, by the video, both feelings blending together and mixing into a very heightened state of teenage arousal.