Costa Mesa / Marvin Gaye - Coincidence?

#1
Hello. I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if my post is covering all-too-familiar territory, but I couldn't seem to find anything regarding the specifics of my post anywhere else on the web, and this seems to be the only forum with current discussions of "The Sopranos".

I am finally catching up with this popular show, thanks to HBO GO - as well as HBOSIG's recent re-broadcasting of the series from beginning to end - and I have just begun the "final" season (or, rather, the first part of the final season).

Anyway, I'm just wondering about the Marvin Gaye reference that was NOT mentioned in the series' episodes.

For example, while Carmela is in the hospital after Junior shoots Tony, she views a television news report that likens Tony's shooting with that of Marvin Gaye, who was shot by his father. I believe, at some other point, Vito refers to the shooting as Tony getting "Marvin Gayed".

But I wonder if the creators - or fans - realized that Marvin Gaye performed his final concert at Pac Amp in Costa Mesa, the city where Tony has his delusional business trip.

Since Costa Mesa is not exactly a world-renowned location, it's possible that the creators used it specifically because it ties into the Marvin Gaye history, but so few people would make that connection, I wonder if it was just a fluke coincidence.

Still, the notion of Gaye's last concert in Costa Mesa could also be a parallel to Tony's last season.

Anyone?

Re: Costa Mesa / Marvin Gaye - Coincidence?

#2
Welcome to the forum, WinkyDink. That's a very interesting fact you brought out that I don't recall hearing mentioned here or anywhere else before. I don't really have any opinion about whether the coincidence is intentional, but I do agree that Costa Mesa is not a place you hear mentioned very often, and yet it was prominently referred to several times in Join the Club. So that would only tend to strengthen the possibility of a deliberate connection.

I don't think Chase and company were overly concerned about people catching little facts like that as long as those pieces enriched and added texture to the story from their own perspectives. While I and many others have likely read too much intentionality into certain coincidences throughout the series, there's also probably a couple dozen "little" things that the writers made very subtle references to simply because it felt good to them and added tiny bits of value to the tapestry. This could be one of them.

In any case, it's interesting speculation.:-)
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Costa Mesa / Marvin Gaye - Coincidence?

#3
Now THIS is why I still come back to this board six years after the cut to black....

Wow, what a find!

I'm a huge Marvin Gaye fan. Every year on his birthday, I sit in on my buddy's soul/R&B show and play nothing but Marvin for three hours.

He was a fascinating and complex man. For further reading, I recommend any fan check out "Divided Soul" by David Ritz. I've read another biography, Trouble Man, but never caught the Costa Mesa reference.

All I can add to this is that I'm sure Chase is a big fan. and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he knew that Marvin's final concert on the ill-fated Sexual Healing tour was in Costa Mesa. Poor Marvin, all coked out and paranoid, was reduced to stripping down to his underwear during that tour. And of course moved back in with his parents after the tour. So sad...

Other Marvin/Sopranos connections that come to mind: Let's Get it On is featured in a Sopranos episode; I think it might be the season four (or was it five?) episode when Chris and Paulie kill the waiter in AC.

Also, CCR's version of "Heard it Through the Grapevine" is played during the background of one of the final episodes ("Second Coming" maybe?).

Anyway, thanks again for this nugget. It blew me away.

To quote some other artists' song: "It goes on and on and on..."
"When my time comes, tell me, will I stand up?"

Re: Costa Mesa / Marvin Gaye - Coincidence?

#4
WinkyDink wrote:Still, the notion of Gaye's last concert in Costa Mesa could also be a parallel to Tony's last season.


Like I mentioned in my previous post, you nailed it here. That Sexual Healing tour was Marvin in full downward spiral mode. The man was going down slow, and he knew it.
"When my time comes, tell me, will I stand up?"

Re: Costa Mesa / Marvin Gaye - Coincidence?

#5
FlyOnMelfisWall, thank you for the warm welcome.

Thank you, also, for your reply. After watching the episode, I became obsessed with the Marvin Gaye references, so I researched the backstory of his death. Having previously worked at Pac Amp and, hence, in Costa Mesa, I'm sure you can imagine my fascination with the episode.

I am only surprised that I haven't found anyone else mentioning this bit of trivia.

mutualdream, thank you also for your reply. I am so glad that I was able to contribute to your memories and, possibly, further enjoyment of "The Sopranos" and its trivia. Thank you for the info about Marvin Gaye moving back in with his parents. I didn't see that mentioned in the articles I read, though I was wondering why, at the time of his death, he was sitting on his mother's bed, when he and his father had been estranged since he walked out of their home years before.
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