Lenny Kravitz used his slot on The Late Show With David Letterman’s Beatles Week to sing “Get Back,” the Fab Four’s stories of a stoned Arizona hermit named Jojo and “another man” named Sweet Loretta Martin. Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer joined Kravitz on the 1969 rooftop classic, playing jazzy, funky keyboard filigrees à la Billy Preston.
Kravitz ducked his shoulders to the beat and yelled out, “Get back, Loretta,” as Paul McCartney had on the original version. He did not, however, repeat John Lennon‘s joke at the end of the original, asking if he passed the audition. By the end, Kravitz’s group had nestled into the same sort of bottom-heavy groove the Beatles achieved on the original. The only drawback to the performance was how abruptly the performance came to an end, but Kravitz looked satisfied as he let out a final “ooh” and smiled.
All week, artists have been stopping by Letterman to pay tribute to the Beatles, who made their U.S. TV debut 50 years ago this week on The Ed Sullivan Show in the same studio where Letterman tapes. On Monday, Broken Bells mashed up “And I Love Her” with “I Am the Walrus,” incorporating archival footage of drummer Ringo Starr into the track. Sting took on “Drive My Car” Tuesday night, with Flaming Lips performing “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” with Sean Lennon Thursday. Ms. Lauryn Hill is set to close out the week with a performance on Friday, her first TV performance in three years.
The performances all ramp up to a two-hour special, The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, that CBS will air Sunday at 8 p.m. EST. The broadcast coincides with the day, date and time that the Beatles played Sullivan. Artists including Alicia Keys, John Legend, Gary Clark, Jr., John Mayer and a reunited Eurythmics, among others, are set to perform.