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Jimmy Fallon: The stories behind the songs

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On Being ”Neil Young,” with the Boss

I told Bruce Springsteen I do this impression of Neil and he was like, ”Yep, that’s right, I’ve seen it, it’s funny.” So I said, ”I’m thinking of doing a version of Willow Smith’s ‘Whip My Hair,’ have you heard it?” And he said, ”I can honestly say I am not familiar with that song.” I just wanted Bruce to sing, with me as ’70s Neil, and he was like, ”Well, I want to be ’70s Bruce!” So he brought the actual sunglasses from his Born to Run tour. He really got into it.

On Wooing Sir Paul

McCartney is my idol. It’s a true story that when he wrote ”Yesterday,” he originally wrote ”Scrambled eggs/Oh, my lady, how I love your legs,” just so he could remember the cadence and the rhythm. I had this idea where he would sing the full song [as] ”Scrambled Eggs.”… He said, ”Only if you’ll do it with me.” And then I passed out, because a Beatle just asked me to sing a duet with him about eggs and waffle fries.

On Getting Dave Matthews to Do the ”Walk of Shame”

We were doing this college show with the President of the United States, like one does, and Dave Matthews was the musical guest. The song is about when you hook up and you have to walk across campus the next morning in the same outfit and your hair is all messed up. When he came out to sing it he was pointing at himself, as if to say, ”This is my walk of shame — having to sing this song with you.” He’s so great.

On Slow Jamming the News with a Real Newsman

One of our producers came up with the idea to turn a news story into a sexy R&B song. It was just me and the Roots on the first show. Then we did it with Diddy, and then Brian Williams saw it and got jealous. He did it, and then it went viral. He’s in the same building [NBC’s famed 30 Rock] — so now we hunt him down and take him away from his serious job every time we want to do it.

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