|Hey Pittsburgh guys, this is the gal you've|
been whangin' the waddler to all these years!
I was lucky enough to avoid the dreaded "classic" rock radio station in Pittsburgh for many years. However, now I work ("work????"---Maynard G. Krebs) a job where I am forced to listen. Except for a sprinkling of bands that didn't exist when I graduated high school in 1979, the format and playlist, fossilized like a dinosaur turd in the radio wave equivalent of primordial ooze, is the same. Even afternoon host Michelle, with her sexy voice remains. For decades she has titillated teens calling in stammering requests for Zep. I don't know if anyone under the age of thirty (forty?) listens to WDVE but if you're picturing Michelle as some kind of divine mash-up of Loni Anderson (google her kids) and Tawny Kitain (sp?), I have to burst your lust bubble. At this point in time Michelle must be wearing support hose and a shawl. If you still want to fantasize about a particular act she would perform on you, remember that her teeth will be in a glass while she's doing it.
1) LIFE'S BEEN GOOD TO ME SO FAR or whatever the title is. No rock song should have a part in it that sounds like it was written for a tuba. You know the part I'm sure, as everyone has been forced to listen to these songs so long its like the audio version of Chinese Water Torture. I tried suing the artists, record label et al for suffering and emotional distress, but the statute of limitations had run out. Anyway, this song has a riff so constipated that every time I hear it I have to drink prune juice to get my bowels to move. (Michelle honey - don't play this song - it's what's blocking you up down there. And don't leave your seven day pill container lying around. The interns might substitute your estrogen with Oxycontin for a cheap laugh,) Then there's the written-for-tuba part, then Joe Walsh tells us about his rock star life in a whiny voice. Insufferable.
2) SUITE JUDY BLUE EYES or whatever the title is. When I was a teenage this song was played without fail on Sunday morning as we made our way to church. (My father had forsworn the elevator music station as a looming mid-life crisis gathered like some titanic emotional snowball plowing downhill.) This song is the worst kind of hippie excess AND REMINDS ME OF BEING IN SCRATCHY CHURCH PANTS! On a side note, we also heard Desmond Dekker doing "Israelites" every Sunday. Could 'DVE have actually played it? One of the coolest songs ever heard on the radio.
3) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS/BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. When I was in high school kids would say things like "I don't like Kiss for the music so much, but their show is great" or "I'm not too into Queen except for the guitar. Brian May is so great" or "Hey Kohler, what's that fag music you're listening to?" Which brings us to...
4) BENNY AND THE JETS. Is it just me or does this song last ten minutes? Ten minutes, and fully half of it is "BE - BE - BE - BENNY...BE - BE - BE - BENNY". (Kinda sounds like Shemp-ed.) Listen to the piano about three quarters of the way through. I swear Elton John gets bored with the song. Or maybe he saw Bernie Taupin sniffing up a mountain of cocaine through the studio glass and got distracted.
5) NEW KID IN TOWN. Is this the Eagles or a solo thing from one of them? Who cares. Sure "Hotel California" would have been an easy target and this song got played quite a bit less comparatively, but how high do you have to be to think this toss off that would barely be considered for a B-side in any sane world is worthy of release? (See "mountains of cocaine" reference in #4.) I always expect someone to start yodeling in this.
6) THE DOORS SONG WHERE MORRISON DOES THAT BIT ABOUT "YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD THROUGH PRAYER". I will thank the Doors for writing the song "LA Woman" which inspired Iggy to steal the middle portion and write the blistering "Head On"/"Head On Curb" for the Stooges.
7) SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN. This version by Bruce Springsteen (who by the way my friend Sean points out is for some reason called "The Boss" even though he's supposed to embody the whole blue collar working class ethos, and who the hell likes their boss???) ruins Christmas every year. Well, that and the fact that I don't still have the Creepy Crawlers assembly kid I got as a single digit kid (I do, though ran outta that plastic goo stuff 'round '69!-ed.).
8) DUST IN THE WIND. Mainly because this was Moon High School Class of 1979's class song. Could my fellow students get any more depressing? Hello, we're eighteen years old and have our whole lives ahead of us. Sure, I might be reduced to typing up a rant about classic rock songs that will end up on a blog in 2016, but I didn't know that then. The future was bright and the rest of my pubic hair had just sprouted (the day after my final gym class).
9) OPEN THE DOOR (AND LET 'EM IN) or whatever it's called. I'm sorry Sean, I know this is tantamount to heresy to put anything by a member of the Beatles on this list, and I kinda like the angle that McCartney is asking someone to answer the door because he's too stoned to get up, but this is the kind of song my father would play "mouth saxophone" to. Also it seems like it's a half hour long and indulges Macca's insidious tin pan alley prevarications. Shut the door.
10) RENEGADE. You know what's funny? This stupid song has been adopted by Pittsburgh Steelers fans as a paen to firing up the defensive team and the crowd at games. If the Steelers need a critical stop on defense, you can be sure that this song will be heard over the sound system. Now, what would you fire up a bunch of 200 plus pound steroid cases on the field with? A heavy metal riff denser than the largest black hole in the universe, right? Or, given that most of the players are African American, some hellacious rap song? No, you use this pansy song where the beginning is basically "cooed" and then breaks into a jaunty riff that sounds like men in liederhosen should be dancing to it. Unbelievable.
Well, that's it. Time to comb out my mullet and jump into my muscle car. The cracks in the foundation of the once mighty classic rock station are beginning to show, what with the aging of their audience and the competition from the internet/satellite radio outlets. Gone are the days when my friends and I could take an x-acto knife, transform "WDVE ROCKS" bumper stickers into "WDVE SUCKS" and infuriate other motorists so much they would try to run us off the road. Hell, the station even gives away a thousand bucks for listening and knowing the code word and back in their heyday they could have demanded listeners send THEM a thousand bucks and my high school would have taken up a collection. Howza 'bout sending your own suggestions for all time crappy classic rock songs care of this station, and the next time YOU have to suffer through the Doobie Brothers, take solace in the fact that when "God Save the Queen" was #1 in the Brit charts, even though the powers that be left a blank space instead of printing the offending band name/song "Hotel California" got sloppy seconds.
Oh yeah, I must add BLINDED BY THE LIGHT as 10.B) not so much for the line that sounds like "wrapped up like a douche" but for the line about "little Curly Wirly drove by in his Hurdy Birdie" or some ridiculous crap. And it was written by "The Boss". A grown man should never say "Curly Wirly! (I dunno---after all this guy believes in his soul of souls that its entirely proper for hairy forty-year-old men who think they're women to poop in restroom stalls next to eight-year-old girls!-ed.).