Is it any wonder the host of The Tonight Show and the house band The Roots had fun jamming on Styx’s ever-catchy Top Ten hit?
by Mike Mettler
The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon broke out into song early into the April 15, 2016 airing of the 11:35 p.m. (EST) NBC talk show with a line familiar to many Styx fans the world over. “I’ve got the 12 o’clock news blues!” Jimmy sang, right when he sat down at his desk after completing the night’s monologue. As many of us know, that’s one of the first lines of Styx’s 1981 Top Ten hit single, “Too Much Time on My Hands.” Written by Tommy Shaw, “Too Much Time” is one of the key tracks on the band’s #1 1981 album Paradise Theater — or Theatre, depending on which part of the album sleeve you’re looking at — and it’s usually the second song played in every current live Styx set.
Fallon then says to show announcer Steve Higgins, “I’m obsessed with this Styx song! It’s a great song. We were looking at the video on YouTube — it’s a fantastic video.” Jimmy shows the beginning of the song’s classic of-era ’80s videoclip, doing a little bit of play-by-play (“Look at the technology here… look at this dude’s jumpsuit!”) before singing the line again, this time with the show’s house band, The Roots, kicking in behind him. “That’s a jam!” Jimmy exclaims, before asking Higgins if he thinks the line meant 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. “It looks like it was at noon,” Higgins replies. “The singer has the news blues. Tommy Shaw has the 12 o’clock news blues — not the 12 o’clock Blue’s Clues. That’s a totally different thing.”
After announcing the show’s first commercial break, Jimmy and the band continue to riff on “Too Much Time” in a slow-blues kind of jam, with The Roots’ rapper Black Thought later doing some vocal freestyling after the “Thank You Notes” segment by incorporating the earlier reference to Blue’s Clues, the popular kid’s show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2006.
Tommy Shaw saw the show, and he tells Styxworld exclusively: “I was impressed with Jimmy’s vocals — and the band did a fine job too.”
Would he be open to going on The Tonight Show and singing “Too Much Time on My Hands” with Jimmy himself? “I’d love to sing it with Jimmy, yeah,” Tommy says. “I’d do that!”
All we can say is… stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can watch the full episode here on the official Tonight Show site; the first “Too Much Time” segment begins about 8 minutes into it.