Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Coolest Song that Nobody Has Ever Heard

Well, at least nobody I've ever talked to.

Back in 1980 or '81 I guess it was, I was a junior high kid back in St. Louis, and the best radio station in the entire midwest was K-SHE 95. Of course, my parents were uber-religious at the time and we weren't allowed to listen to K-SHE. I guess it had something to do with their logo, a pig smoking a 'cigarette', but other stations like KWK played pretty much the same stuff.

But forbidden fruit always tastes better, so I always listened to K-SHE when nobody was around. Having learned from the famous 15 W-LAC incident that Sherry and Cyndi endured when I was a child back in Nashville, (a family legend to this day), I was smart enough to change the radio station back to something more 'acceptable' once I was finished listening. Of course, at the time, my daily uniform was a pair of Levi's big bell jeans, a black concert shirt, and a leather belt with a Rush 2112 belt buckle. Yeah, I was a dork, I own it. So what. Everyone was a dork in junior high.

Anyhow, one day I heard a song that just blew me away, you know, one of those visceral moments that everyone has that they never forget. At the time, I thought it was the greatest rock anthem ever released, and I had to find out what it was. Now, this was back in the day before the internet and playlists weren't available and stuff like lyricfinder.com and Google hadn't been invented yet.

If the DJ didn't say who the song was by or tell us the name of it, we had no idea. The only way to find out was to call the station. And back in 1981, we didn't have touch-tone phones yet, either. And anyone who was a teenager back then can attest that whenever you called a radio station, you got a busy signal. Or if it *did* ring, nobody would pick it up. So it was a royal pain in the ass to keep calling.

Eventually, I found out the name of the song, and it stayed in on-air the rotation for a few months, but then, just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. I didn't hear it again for over 20 years! But once the Information Age took hold, I was able to dig that song out from my memory and find it on the internet.

Ladies and Gentleman, Peter Frampton's Breaking All The Rules:

The video here is kinda cool, some random guys doing a sky-surfing montage, but the song is where it's at. Put on some headphones, turn it up, and enjoy. It kicks serious ass.

And if five people tell that they have this song on their iPods already, I'll be shocked. In over twenty years of conversations, not one single soul I've ever talked to about Peter Frampton had ever heard of this song. But it's still just as good today as it was 25 years ago, and I think it's his best effort. Way better than that famous Do You Feel Like I Do? song.


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