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Leaving Las Vegas

by

Sheryl Crow



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This came out of the "Tuesday Night Music Club," a gathering of Los Angeles musicians who got together on Tuesday nights to write songs. Crow named the album after the club and gave the members songwriting credits on this and 6 other songs on the album.
The title came from a book written by John O'Brien, a friend of David Baerwald, who helped write this. Crow did not know this, and didn't give the novelist credit for the title. O'Brien killed himself after this became popular, blaming Crow for his depression. O'Brien's family knew he was deeply troubled and did not blame Crow for his suicide, but Sheryl was deeply effected by the incident and became a more private person as a result.
The lyrics reflect Crow's life, but are not literal. She left a small town in Missouri to make it in Los Angeles.
This was Crow's first album, and many fans assumed the lyrics were her life story rather than a representation.
Crow got a big break when she performed this on The David Letterman Show. She told Dave it was based on her life. O'Brien killed himself 3 weeks later.
This was the third single released from the album, but it was the first to get much airplay.
Crow used live versions and acoustic versions of this on the B-sides of some of her later singles. She could milk it because it didn't get played much when it was first released, especially in the UK. Crow's next single, "All I Wanna Do," was her breakthrough hit.
When the album became a hit, Crow had a falling-out with most of the Tuesday Night Music Club, who felt they were not given credit for Crow's success.
Crow had heard her voice on the radio before - singing the McDonald's jingle "I'm lovin' it" - but this was her first real song she heard. She told Rolling Stone in 2010, "I was driving my beat-up Corvair in Beverly Hills, and I heard it from the car next to me. I followed the car for as long as I could."
Sheryl Crow
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Comments (7):

I never thought Sheryl Crow had much vocal talent, and this song proves it. Or is she supposed to sound this bad? For those of you who grew up in the 70's, you might remember "Chuck E's in Love" by Rickie Lee Jones. LLV reminds me of Rickie singing about Chuck E.
Hideous.
- Mary O., Omaha, NE
Using the title of something else, everyone knows which work came first so it actually hurts Sheryl Crow in that regard. I always kind of thought less of this song because I thought she stole the title but apparently it wasn't like that. Good, thought-provoking song whatever the case...
- Jack, Mesa, AZ
I agree, you can't blame her for these men taking their lives. They may have said it was, but it sounds like they were probably depressed for years and musicians/artists are volatile types. No one makes someone else take their own life. Poor Sheryl though, she seems to attract suicidal men!
- Marlene, Montreal, QC
Excuse me Elson but no person can 'make' another person take their own life. Suicide is caused by untreated mental illness, not a bad breakup. We've all had bad breakups, but you never end a relationship with the notion that your ex will choose to kill themselves. Sheryl has to live with some amount of guilt, however misplaced it may be, because two people close to her completed suicides. She shouldn't need to apologize to you or anyone else for her success or her choice to end a relationship, and I'm sure Lance will be just fine.
- Kate, Minneapolis, MN
Its funny that her biggest success' was after leaving Tuesday Night Music Club not only as a singer/songrwiter but a producer (not many musicians can stake that claim) yet a single that didn't even break her is still supposed to kick up doubt? Pointing fingers for suicide is awfully ironice to say the least. Quit your yapping. Sheryl Crow's talent is unmatched and the TNMC has nothing to do with it.
- Christian, Las Vegas, NV
Just to clarify, Kevin Gilbert died of his own hand, but it was not intentional. He died of autoerotic asphyxiation, just like Michael Hutchence from INXS.
- Mike, Sydney, Australia
John O'Brien wasn't the only Crow associate who took his life as a result of her success. Singer/songwriter/musician Kevin Gilbert, who was an actual member of the Tuesday Night Music Club, co-wrote and played on other songs on the album with Crow and was even romantically linked with her for a time, took his own life in 1996.

I fear for Lance Armstrong now...
- Elson, Los Angeles, CA
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