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How David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti And James Marshall Wrote James Hurley’s “Just You”

James Hurley's “Just You” was written by David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti and James Marshall on the set where it was performed in Episode 9. Here's the origin story...
This post was published a while ago. Please keep its age in mind and if you find any errors, feel free to comment.

James is still cool. He’s always been cool.
—Shelly Briggs

Maybe even more unthinkable than “The” Nine Inch Nails playing the Roadhouse, was James Hurley’s staged reprise of season two’s “Just You” in The Return’s Part 13. But his performance wasn’t meant to troll the fans. David Lynch always believed in James.

“David really wanted to reprise the song from the get-go, from the early idea of having multiple acts perform at the Roadhouse,” Twin Peaks music supervisor, Dean Hurley, told KEXP. “And James Marshall was excited to do it.”

Twin Peaks music supervisor, Dean Hurley, talks “Just You” on KEXP

Here’s a little known fact: the song was originally written on the set where it was performed in Episode 9. “I play guitar a lot and I used to bring my guitar to the set,” James Marshall explained at the 2013 Twin Peaks Festival. “David Lynch heard about it and said, ‘Would you be comfortable doing a song on the show?’”

Angelo Badalamenti composed and recorded most of the music for Twin Peaks in New York, but happened to be in L.A. around the time season two went into production. So in-between takes, James, David and Angelo went to the Hayward house set because it had an upright piano (the one Alicia Witt plays in Episode 8). What happened next can be found in Brad Dukes’ must-read Reflections. Here’s a snippet:

Angelo has that vibe – he’s so bubbly and energetic and fun when he’s working. He said, “Okay, James, what do you think?” and I said, “Well, I’m thinking fifties, but… you know that longing, sort of like doo-wop but haunting slow love ballad, like “Only You.” That type of thing, but really longing. It’s kind of like John Lennon with his slap echo.”

So Angelo starts doing fifties rock n’ roll on the piano and everybody had their necks up, searching for the words. David starts singing, [in the style of The Platters] “Only You…” and Angelo’s singing “You” and playing chords and David sings, “Just You…” and then “Just You-ou-ou-ou-ou” and I-i-i-i-i-i.” [laughs]

So we were having fun and cracking up and searching for the words and David began finishing the words “together, forever.”

Unfortunately for James, who was looking forward to playing the guitar himself, the instrumental was already recorded when he arrived at the studio two weeks later. Adding insult to injury, the song was recorded in the key of C. “I wanted it high falsetto, but it was ultra-high falsetto. It took three extra takes. If only it had been my key!”

Dean Hurley explains: “It is in part because of the instrumental’s original key and this separate addition of the vocals that attributed to the eventual vocal-pitched effect. In order to accommodate the three actor’s performance to the prerecorded track, the tape speed was reduced during recording and later returned to its original speed.”

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the original scene with Lara Flynn Boyle and Sheryl Lee, and the reprise with backing singers Kelsey Bohlen and Rachael Bower in Part 13, although David Lynch reused the original recording with Lara Flynn and Sheryl. Both performances are met with tears, but the most recent one isn’t followed by a spine-chilling appearance of BOB. Instead, we see a lonely Big Ed finishing a take-out cup of soup. Nothing scary about that… but didn’t he seem distracted by his out-of-sync reflection for a brief moment?

“Just You” – Original/Reprise


James Marshall on writing “Just You” with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti

“Just You” (key corrected)

“Just You” lyrics

Just you
And I
Just You
And I
Together forever
In love
Just you (just you)
And I (and I)
Just You (Just you)
And I (And I)
Together forever
In love
In love
We go strolling together
In love
We go strolling forever
Oh oh oh
Just you (just you)
And I (and I)
Just you (just you) And I (and I)
Together forever
In Love
Just you
And I
Just you
And I

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.

What's your response to this?


  1. Igor Vukomanovic says:

    I asked James Marshall the very same question during Twin Peaks festival back in 2004. Will dig up the video material and share it, might have some more details?

  2. Avatar photo Pieter Dom says:

    Yes, please!

  3. Rob B. says:

    *sigh* I wish that song had been allowed to die a nice, quiet death. That scene in the original series was the one time I was rooting for BOB.

    • John Abram says:

      I’m really not sure why there is such a hate on for this song – its creepy saccharine nature seems perfectly Lynchian to me.

      • Rob B. says:

        It is indeed Lynchian, I will give you that. For me, though, the song is just so whiny, the musical equivalent to nails on a blackboard. Plus, I’ve never been fond of James as a character; I would have been quite pleased to learn that he had died in a motorcycle wreck during his “rideabout” after Maddie’s murder. I haven’t been watching the new season. Has he improved at all?

  4. Pieter you went and made me buy another book. You have to stop this. Reflections is so great though, I could only stretch it out three days before I gave up and binge read to the end. Gah.

  5. Richard S. Shannon says:

    I want to hear the damn song, not an interview

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