Dinner At Eight

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  • Rufus wrote this song about his father (Loudon Wainwright III) after a row they had over dinner.

    In 1976, when Rufus was just 3 years old, his parents split. His mother, the singer Kate McGarrigle, took Rufus and his younger sister Martha and moved them Bedford, New York to Montreal in a U-Haul van, which Rufus sings about in the line, "In the drifting white snow you left me."
  • Rufus' father says he wasn't offended by this song - he was actually proud of his son as he considered it some of his best work. The two have a complicated relationship which is amplified by their profession: they write songs about each other that serve as a strange form of family therapy. In 2012, Rufus appeared on a song with Loudon called "The Days That We Die," where they seem to come to terms with each other, admitting that neither man will ever change.
  • Rufus Wainwright explained to The Guardian in 2005 why he penned this blow-by-blow report of a confrontation with his father, Loudon Wainwright III.

    "We had just done a shoot for Rolling Stone together, and I told him he must be really happy that I got him back in that magazine after all these years," he recalled. "That sort of kicked things off. Later in the evening he threatened to kill me. So I went home and wrote 'Dinner At Eight' as a vindictive retort to his threat."
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Comments: 2

  • Elle from Seattle, WaThis is a song about Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus' father. He says on his Want DVD that he wrote it after he and his father did a shoot for Vanity Fair, and Rufus said to Loudon that he (Rufus) had got them on the cover, and Loudon reacted badly ("it was great until these old magazines got us started up again"). They didn't talk for some time. Rufus wrote the song early enough that it could have been on Poses, but he wasn't ready to release it then, and so, with his father's blessing, it was included on Want One instead.
  • Andy from New York, Nyis father and mother separted when he was thee. He had a confrontation with his father about this in a resaurant and it ended with his father threatening to kill him. He went home and wrote this song. Abandonment by his father is a reoceuring theme
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