We all know and love Stephen Colbert, first for his undying commitment to truthiness, and second for his role as host of the Colbert Report. But as we all know, before he decided to preach the gospel of America from behind a news desk, the man was best known for his ’80s new-wave group, Stephen And The Colberts, and its “Billboard-eligible” smash hit, “Charlene, I’m Right Behind You” (please follow that link and skip to 0:48, if you’ve got one humorous bone in your body). Looking back on the song, Colbert says, “It did not win me a Grammy, but it did win me a restraining order.”
On his show this week, Colbert has been running a summer concert series called “StePhest ColbChella ’011″ (featuring Bon Iver, Florence And The Machine and Talib Kweli). Being around all of that music must have reawakened Colbert’s first love, because he’s now reviving his long-dormant career as a recording artist. He’s going for a Grammy this time, and to show that he’s serious, he has enlisted the help of “guitar god” Jack White, who knows a thing or two about what it takes to win one of those (he’s got nine to his name). Throughout the week, the two have appeared together in a series of segments for the show, and at long last, Colbert and White have revealed the product of that collaboration. Meet Colbert’s new single: “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” (Third Man), in which our hero confronts, at long last, those twin demons of love and rejection that have plagued him for so long.
Colbert performed the song on his show last night, backed by now-labelmates the Black Belles (watch the video below). The 7-inch single is available from the record’s dedicated website, HaveYouSeenOurCat.com, or (if you’re in New York City today), swing by the pop-up Third Man Records store, located at the Lot at The High Line (30th St. and 10th Ave.). Colbert will be there, performing the soon-to-be smash hit, and White will be there to sell records from the rest of the Third Man roster. You can even buy the limited edition of Colbert’s single, which comes in tri-color red, white, and blue vinyl.