Psychedelic Furs Approve of Band’s Use in ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ Not So Much ‘Pretty in Pink’

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  • Richard Butler
    British singer, songwriter
  • Luca Guadagnino
    Italian film director
  • John Hughes
    American filmmaker (1950-2009)

Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” made the already iconic Psychedelic Furs ’80s classic “Love My Way” iconic once again in 2017. It’s most famously used in the summery gay romance as Oliver (Armie Hammer) and Elio (Timothée Chalamet) dance an endless night away in an Italian club, and when the film was released it jumpstarted the biggest streaming week ever for the song.

In a new interview with USA Today, the band’s co-frontman Richard Butler looked back on their output’s use in pop culture, in both “Call Me By Your Name” and John Hughes’ 1986 Brat Pack favorite “Pretty in Pink,” named after another one of their hit songs.

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“Once I heard ‘Call Me By Your Name’ had ‘Love My Way’ in it, I went to go see it,” Butler said. “I was surprised the amount of times you hear the song in [the film], and there’s that one scene where they’re talking about the band and someone says, ‘Yeah, we went to England to see them last year. Richard Butler’s great.’ It makes you feel really proud, to be sitting in a cinema audience and hear the name of your band.”

Butler said that while “Call Me By Your Name” director Guadagnino never reached out to him directly about including the song, he is still “really pleased with the way the song was used.” However, that wasn’t his experience with Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink,” Butler said. “John Hughes, God bless him, he got the message completely wrong — or maybe misinformed people about the message of ‘Pretty in Pink,’ and made it seem somewhat triter than the actual song was. Whereas ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ it was the perfect use for that song.”

As for his gripes with “Pretty in Pink,” Butler said the song’s use “was very literal. [The song] wasn’t about wearing a pink dress — I mean, pink was my metaphor for somebody naked. The message was very different. The message [of the song] was from a very sad girl in a very sad situation.”

Still, Butler said he doesn’t regret the spark in fandom ignited by “Pretty in Pink.” “It was a mixed blessing, really. It broadened our fan base, I suppose, but a lot of people were put off by that whole Brat Pack vibe and thought it was a sellout somehow on our part. They maybe think we had more to do with it than we did,” Butler said.

Here’s that iconic scene from “Call Me By Your Name.”

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