Story By: G. H. HARDING
David Letterman

BYE, BYE DAVE --- Yep, he announced it last night, right before bringing guest Johnny Depp on, he’s retiring next year; after a 22-year run at CBS – and more than 30 years as a host. For my money, and I’m a Johnny Carson-fan from way back … Letterman’s been just stupendous. While Leno was mostly corny (although I did love his last show), Letterman’s humor was always of the caliber where you had to think for just a second.

Clearly, he always had the best writers; the best band around; and, really catered to the new and upcoming acts … from the newest comic in town, to the next band on the edge of national recognition. He’s had so many acts on the shows, but bands like The National and My Morning Jacket, so benefited from exposure on the show. He was also never one to shy away from some of the older acts in town like Don Rickles and Regis Philbin. It was a class act all the way.

As the always brilliant Brian Lowry said in Variety yesterday, “With all the pressure to attract younger demos, CBS had the incentive to consider options for a hand-off. Yet Letterman is rightfully the most admired creative talent late night has ever produced — and certainly the most influential in terms of other comics. Whatever might be gained ratings-wise in hastening Letterman’s departure, in other words, simply wouldn't have been worth the grief or ill will.”

“Now Letterman can take what amounts to a protracted victory lap (he left the exact date vague, based on a transcript of the show), to be followed by perhaps the most interesting question about the intensely private comic’s plans: Will Letterman emulate Carson one more time by walking into the sunset, hanging up his spurs and essentially disappearing from public life, or will he continue to perform in the way, say, Bob Hope did?”

No question this is a generational shift in late-night TV. The pundits are already figuring out who may replace him. Stay tuned.

My take: he’s out … he’s given enough. We were lucky to have had him at all.

KERR REIGNS SUPREME --- Radio-gadfly Jim Kerr is celebrating 40 years of being on-air in New York City. His show, The Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show, airs weekdays from 5-9 a.m. on Clear Channel’s Q104.3, New York’s Classic Rock.

At age 21 Kerr began his radio career as the morning show host at WPLJ New York; a position he held for 15 years. His radio career includes morning shifts at WPIX, WYNY, WXMV, WQCD and Y107. Kerr has interviewed the biggest names in rock including Robert Plant, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Brian May, Mick Jagger and countless others.

His interview with Elton John last week was just brilliant.

Kerr is a member of the board of directors of the AFTRA Foundation and in 2013 was elected vice president of the New York Local of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is an active member of the community, serving on the board of directors for Heartshare Human Services, and he is a seven-time host of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Radiothon. In addition, the mayor of New York City and governors of both New York and New Jersey have honored him for raising millions of dollars for civic and charitable groups.

I've known the Detroit-native for years, through his numerous NY-moments and was re-acquainted with him when he MC’d Micky Dolenz’s BB King’s show two years back. He also MC’d a Dolenz-presentation at NY’s Planet Hollywood when the Monkee-man gave the fabled emporium a signed original script from the TV show. He’s a class act all the way: an encyclopedic-knowledge of all things music and a valued source in the industry.

HOLE IN ONE --- In an interview with the Quietus, Courtney Love has said that the classic line-up of her band Hole have begun rehearsing again. "I started playing with Patty and Melissa and Eric, just to see how that was," Love told the website. "We already played like three or four times in the last week."

Hole became famous as part of the grunge movement of the 90’s, with Love as front woman. The mordant, confessional and melodic songs of their 1991 debut and hit 1994 album Live Through This expanded into hard and glossy glam-rock on 1998's Celebrity Skin, which made the top 10 in the US and garnered four Grammy nominations.

After the band disbanded in 2002, bassist Melissa Auf der Mar released a solo album and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins, guitarist Eric Erlandson formed a band with actor Vincent Gallo and drummer Patty Schemel made a documentary about her life, Hit So Hard. Love, meanwhile, re-formed the band with new members in 2009, but in 2012, after a brief reunion of the original line-up for a two-song live set, she declared "Hole is dead."

Love is also best remembered for her relationship with Kurt Cobain, and this week announced plans to oversee a stage musical based around his work, with the blessing of their daughter Frances Bean. Next week, she'll appear at Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Ohio, meeting band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselić for the first time in 20 years. In May she plans to tour the UK and release a new single, “Wedding Day.”

CLOSING NOTES---- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti didn't waste any time, after Letterman's announcement, in getting a letter out to CBS president Les Moonves, in urging him to re-locate The Late Show to L. A. Aside from showing somewhat poor manners, even for a mayor, it's not a bad idea, what with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers here in N. Y.

"As a longtime fan, I was saddened to hear of David Letterman's retirement," Garcetti said in a letter to Moonves on Thursday after the comedian told a Late Show audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan that he would retire next year.

"But as Mayor of Los Angeles, I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS' next late night show to our city -- the entertainment capital of the world," Garcetti added.

The mayor and other film industry supporters are still smarting from NBC's decision to move The Tonight Show this year from Burbank back to New York after more than four decades in Southern California, a move that cost more than 150 jobs locally and symbolized the region's vulnerability to runaway production. NBC took advantage of tax breaks offered by New York state to lure more film and TV production ...

The Sting/Paul Simon show is not over. Simon is set join Sting at the annual Rainforest Foundation concert– this is the 25th anniversary– set for April 17th at Carnegie Hall. The show will also feature James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, opera great Renee Fleming, hornmeister Chris Botti, and Ivy Levan. She recently joined Sting on Late Night with David Letterman for a wild version of the Beatles “Drive My Car.”