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'Cause that's my number, 634-5789
August 2, 2006 9:37 AM   Subscribe

During a 1987 radio broadcast, Dutch comedian and writer Wim de Bie decided to take Ry Cooder up on his offer and give him a call. Hilarity ensued (RealAudio). Note: the song is played until about 1'55", phone conversation follows.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (27 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
2002 blog entry (in Dutch).

Full disclosure: mentioned twice before in comments, including once by myself, but I felt it deserved its own FPP.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2006


867-5309
posted by doctor_negative at 9:47 AM on August 2, 2006


Yes, I linked that too, doctor, no need to worry.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:57 AM on August 2, 2006


I hadn't heard Ry's version of that classic tune. I like it even better than the original. Ry has such a way of taking an old tune and making something completely different from it, like he did with Little Sister. Ry is one of my favorites.
posted by wsg at 10:10 AM on August 2, 2006


Mr Cooder is a class act.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 10:15 AM on August 2, 2006


Whoops, didn't see the subject of that post.

I was also trying to find a link to a Peanuts strip where Schultz has Charlie Brown dialing the number of his (Schultz) business manager or agent, which also resulted phone calls (early Sunday morning in this case). Anybody have a reference?
posted by doctor_negative at 10:17 AM on August 2, 2006


I really enjoyed this! I wonder if he got any more calls.

I cut the song off of the beginning and encoded to MP3 for the Real-aversive: Wim_de_Bie_calls_Ry_Cooder.mp3
posted by zsazsa at 10:33 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Thanks Debbie!" ha ha ha...
posted by letitrain at 10:34 AM on August 2, 2006


Kick-ass job, zsazsa, thanks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:51 AM on August 2, 2006


de Bie's dutch accent makes me cringe.
And Cooder is pretty cool.
posted by jouke at 11:09 AM on August 2, 2006


I remember that strip, doctor_negative. It's where Lucy hits Charlie Brown's croquet ball so far away he calls for them to let him know when it's his turn. I recently read the story behind the phone number. Maybe it was Bill Melendez's.... I can't remember. But yes, Schultz intended it as a prank.
(Now I want to find the strip and call the number)
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:16 AM on August 2, 2006


There should be a "girls" tag as well...
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:22 AM on August 2, 2006


de Bie's dutch accent makes me cringe.

Yeah, it's almost quaint, isn't it? Although I also think it really fits De Bie (and his generation). Who am I talking with? ;)

There should be a "girls" tag as well...

Alright, "desperaterockstars" added. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:31 PM on August 2, 2006


So, does anyone have an opinion about how this conversation ever came to be? Some evil little voices in that other thread suggested it might have been a hoax, prompting me to spout off about the prevalence of telephone hybrids in the late eighties.

I don't think it's a hoax. Wim de Bie is a funny man, but IMO one who consequently clearly demarcates his instances of irony or silliness.

However: if Everything2 serves us no lies the song was (as wsg notes) written by Steve Cropper at a much earlier date than 1980. So what's the deal with Cooder's phone number? The obvious solution would be that he recorded and released his interpretation (on the Call Me album mentioned), then opened up a phone account under that number just for fun, to see if anyone would dial it. Seems a bit of a hassle though, having to change your phone number just for that, but okay. Unless it was rerouted to his own phone number, if that was possible at the time, but then he wouldn't have known immediately what De Bie was talking about (unless the confusion was edited out, but it doesn't seem like it). Or he could have had two phones in his house, one using his "normal" phone number and one for the magical 634-5789 one, but I digress.

Also, am I right in assuming that to dial a phone number in the United States from abroad in 1987 one would have to include an area code that goes before the 7-digit number, as in (212) 634 5789? How did De Bie know which one to dial? One possibility is that he knew in what town or area Cooder lived at the time and looked up the corresponding area code. Still, there's no mention of this.

As you can see, I've been thinking about this for a while. If the hive mind produces no enlightenment on this pressing issue, I might just have to see if I can email De Bie for an answer.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:52 PM on August 2, 2006


Thanks Dr-Baa, I think you may be right about Bill Melendez.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:57 PM on August 2, 2006


Hey, that's a good idea: email de Bie and get him on mefi.
posted by jouke at 1:04 PM on August 2, 2006


I'm sure I've come across a website in the past that dialed that number for every area code in the us and documented the result. Still searching - google doesn't help....
posted by Sk4n at 1:18 PM on August 2, 2006


Wim de Bie is the only man who can have a Dutch accent and be charming, it somehow just fits him. It's funny to hear the surprise in his voice to actually speak to Ry Cooder, he obviously didn't expect that. I've heard that Americans actually think the Dutch accent is cute.
posted by Zombie Dreams at 2:26 PM on August 2, 2006


Okay, I bit the bullet and emailed him, I'll keep you guys posted.

Damn you, Metafilter, for making me obsess over decades-old radio broadcasts. I hope you're happy.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:40 PM on August 2, 2006


Thanks for reposting this, GoodNews. I saw the link ages back, in a long post about the blues (was it the discussion of The House Carpenter?) and kept meaning to go back to it to enjoy it again. I had the album on a crappy and short-lived C90, taped off a friend's vinyl, when Borderline came out, and the post provoked me into buying it on CD. Hadn't heard it for about two decades, and it's a better album than I realised in my teens (almost up there with Chickenskin Music and Bop Till You Drop). And now I'm going to have a beer and listen to the radio chat on my iPod, so thankyou to zsazsa as well.
posted by MinPin at 3:03 PM on August 2, 2006


(no it wasn't The House Carpenter, was it... it was Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground)
posted by MinPin at 3:05 PM on August 2, 2006


I'm sure I've come across a website in the past that dialed that number for every area code in the us and documented the result. Still searching - google doesn't help....

I remember a website that did that with 867-5309. Pretty amusing stuff.
posted by Dr-Baa at 3:08 PM on August 2, 2006


Thanks Dr-Baa, I think you may be right about Bill Melendez.

Well, it turns out I was kinda close. It was Lee Mendelson. He talks about it in his book, Charlie Brown & Charlie Schulz.


posted by Dr-Baa at 3:31 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wim de Bie simply rocks ;-)

good post, GNFTI, i really enjoyed it when it was posted by WdB way-back-when and still love that conversation.

god, how i miss Van Kooten en De Bie on TV these years.....
posted by Substrata at 3:44 PM on August 2, 2006


I remember when Crispin Glover gave out his phone number in a magazine interview.

I was very tempted to call, but I figured plenty of other folks were doing so and I didn't wanna hassle the guy.

He's probably an interesting cat to talk to, though.
posted by First Post at 4:35 PM on August 2, 2006


That's awesome.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:15 PM on August 2, 2006


Very fun post, goodnewsfortheinsane. I adore Ry Cooder. Maybe I will give him a quick jingle now that I know it's possible.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:27 AM on August 3, 2006


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