Saturday Night Live alum Jimmy Fallon is working on an album of all-new songs for Geffen Records, EW.com has exclusively learned. On Monday (April 23) night, the jokester performed ”Car Wash for Peace,” his first single from the upcoming record, for a star-filled audience, which included former President Bill Clinton, U2’s The Edge and Adam Clayton, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Michael Stipe, and Patti Smith.
The boldface names gathered at Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60 in downtown New York City for the Food Bank for New York City‘s 2007 Can-Do Awards Dinner. Fallon and The Edge both received honors for their extensive work on behalf of the Food Bank, which combats hunger by supplying food for programs that provide over 250,000 free meals each day. An auction following the ceremony raised nearly $1.5 million for the charity, including $85,000 from The Edge’s limited-edition Gibson Epiphone guitar and $200,000 from a set of gigantic bottles of Venetian wine, each labeled with a custom painting by Bono.
Fallon told EW.com about his plans to release ”Car Wash For Peace” — which he’d recorded earlier in the day with producers Mark Ronson (Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse) and Justin Stanley (Beck, the Vines) — as a teaser single for his upcoming Geffen album. He expects the single to hit iTunes next month, with all profits going to charity. (A Geffen representative confirmed that Fallon is in the early stages of recording an LP for the label: ”We’ve heard some music, and we can’t wait to hear the rest.”) Fallon is trying to convince several major talents to join him for cameos on the record. ”I’m asking a bunch of people,” he said. ”Pete Townshend will probably be getting a call from me. Why not?”
The album will be Fallon’s second, following 2002’s Grammy-nominated The Bathroom Wall, but the star insists that that disc’s mixture of spoken-word comedy routines and bona fide songs does not reflect all that he is capable of. ”It was my stand-up that I had when I first started the whole game, [which] wasn’t that great — I just wanted to put it out there,” he said. His new material, by contrast, will reach farther musically: ”It’s gonna be pretty trippy, pretty psychedelic.”
And probably pretty funny. Some of the songs he’s working on include ”My New Friend’s Girlfriend,” ”You Spit When You Talk” (”It’s hard to tell [someone] when they’re your friend,” he explained), and ”Your Baby Is An A—hole” (”Because I’ve been on numerous planes where I wished there was a song”).
Fallon gave attendees at the Food Bank Awards a taste of what’s to come. Shortly after accepting his award from celeb chef Mario Batali, Fallon surprised the crowd by picking up an acoustic guitar and strumming ”Car Wash.” ”Gotta put down those guns/Pick up a sponge,” Fallon sang before launching into his catchy chorus: ”Car wash for peace/There’s trouble in the Middle East/There’ll be no more wars, or dirty cars/Car wash for peace!”
Former president Clinton sang and clapped along, laughing riotously and covering his face in amused abandon. After Fallon played his final notes, The Edge shot up from his seat to lead a standing ovation.
Clinton allowed himself a few affectionate wisecracks when he took the stage a few minutes later to present The Edge’s award. ”I’d like to congratulate all the other honorees… except Jimmy Fallon,” he said in a mock-pained tone. ”I worked so hard when I was President — for eight long years — for peace in the Middle East. And if you hadn’t withheld that song from me, we’d have made it! I might never go outside without a sponge in my hand for the rest of my life.”
High praise, indeed.
See PopWatch for more on the Food Bank for New York City’s starry, starry night.