When the news was released that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson came down with coronavirus while shooting a film in Australia, it drove home that anyone, even one of our national treasures, wasn’t immuned to this horrible and rapidly spreading disease. One might presume that the celebrity couple had the option not to reveal that they had been hospitalized in isolation and were being treated abroad. But instead, they shared their diagnosis with the world.
They are now self-isolating at home and, of course, Hollywood’s Everyman is openly talking about his experience dealing with enforced solitude.
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Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs. Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch. Bad news: My wife @ritawilson has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points. But I have learned not to spread my Vegemite so thick. I travelled here with a typewriter, one I used to love. We are all in this together. Flatten the curve. Hanx
Hanks and Wilson, who are both 63, made the trek Down Under so the rock ‘n’ roll-loving Baby Boomer could play Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker in filmmaker Baz Lurmann‘s yet-untitled biopic. Hanks, a six-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner, was most recently up for an Academy Award for playing Fred Rogers in last year’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
This week, he and Wilson sent out an update on their condition via Twitter:
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) March 23, 2020
Wilson, however, took to song and Instagram to express her current state of mind. The singer-actress posted a four-minute video with her rendition of rap group Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” while holding a copy of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel “Ender’s Game.” The caption on the clip? “Quarantine Stir Crazy.”
The “Forrest Gump” star’s upcoming film’s connection to music got me thinking about one of my all-time favorite moments involving Hanks, whose 1996 directorial debut “That Thing You Do” was an ode to the AM radio days of one-hit wonder bands. It was when he introduced the British Invasion band the Dave Clark Five when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
“Joy, youth and glory are fleeting. Lust lasts but a thousand days. But joy is eternal said the old lady from Cleveland.” That is how he began his seven-minute speech at the podium to a riveted crowd. “Those years passed in a wink of an eye but that joy is still in the heart. It’s in the sinews, it’s in our human genome pounding out in four-four time the message to be joyful is to be alive and joy was in the music of the Dave Clark Five.”
He continued: “The Dave Clark Five were sensations in particular ways, not the least of which was their echewing of animals and minerals in their choice of name. The Dave Clark Five are one of the few British bands of the day that never replaced their drummer. I mean, what were they even been called? True, the quintet never became household names but they did display unforgettable if simple mis en song.”
Watch the video above to witness, yes, pure joy pouring out of Hanks as he pays homage to his childhood heroes. He goes on to mention their feats on the charts and sold-out concert tours. But nothing beats Hanks in fanboy mode as he basks in a litany of wonderful rock minutia and nostalgia.
Here is hoping both Tom and Rita beat coronavirus just like Dave Clark beat his drum. Hard!