Thursday, April 10, 2008

Guilty Pleasures Part Twelve - Unsavory Stadium Rock/Unsavory College Deejay Edition

Have you ever noticed this? A lot of the songs that get played to fire up the crowds at professional sporting events are a little, shall we say, dubious?

It's a constant source of amusement to me that one of tonight's contestants is played at stadiums all over the country - "Blitzkrieg Bop," by the Ramones. Now the Ramones are great, of course -- pure dumb fun, almost the poster boys for the Guilty Pleasure aesthetic. And they played a role in one of my all-time favorite memories of being a college radio deejay, about which more after the vote. But the line that you don't hear at the stadium is crucial to the song.

Hey ho, let's go

Shoot 'em in the back now

That hardly seems sportsmanlike, now does it?

Another nominee for tonight is a truly odious fellow, Gary Glitter. But his song "Rock 'N Roll Part Two" still gets played all over the place.

Go figure. Oh well, on to the contest:

First, live from CBGB's in 1977, the Ramones offer "Blitzkrieg Bop"

Next, from back in 1972, Gary Glitter's "Rock 'N Roll Part Two"

Then, from 1977, Queen's "We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You," featuring the late Freddie Mercury in two very different guises and all his theatrical glory.

Now, back to the Ramones. One lonely Saturday afternoon in 1985 I found myself at the helm of WBCR-FM, the Beloit College campus radio station. The sky had started to darken and suddenly the ancient UPI teletype machine in the back office began going berserk. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for Rock County and a funnel cloud had been spotted about 2o miles northwest of Beloit. So what did I do? I immediately went back to the stacks, pulled out "I Don't Want To Go Down To The Basement" and put it on the air. Then I said the following:

"It's 3:25 and you are listening to commercial-free 90.3, WBCR-FM in Beloit, Wisconsin, your stateline alternative. That was "I Don't Want To Go Down To The Basement" by the Ramones, but I suggest that you consider going down to your basement because the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Rock County."

Good thing no one ever listened to WBCR. And another reason why people generally don't trust the public airwaves to 21-year olds.


Gino said...

no contest.

i was a big fan til 1984, went to several concerts.

freddie: such a flamboyant fairyqueen of a man, but so rock n roll.
and brutally shy when not on stage.

Anonymous said...

great songs. I don't really think of any of them as guilty pleasures, but who cares. It's your blog.

I am going with Blitzkrieg Bop. I love the entire "Ramones" album. So raw and edgy, and made for about $5000. My personal favorite is Beat on the Brat. Another song you probably will never hear at a baseball game. Too suggestive with all that lumber around.
BTW, Blitzkrieg Bop was originally titled Animal Hop, and the line in the song you referred to was originally "You can hear'em shouting in the back." Both were changed in the studio.


Strolling Amok said...

I'm not voting for Queen because of the lack of quilt factor. One of the greatest bands ever.
I really hate to vote for a serial child molester but the irony of RnR Part 2 becoming the unofficial NFL anthem is just too good to pass up. Is Mr. Glitter out of prison yet? Hope not.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't "Beat on the Brat" what Randall Simon of the Pirates tried to a few years ago at Miller Park? Or maybe it was the Italian Sausage? (Gino will know)

Mr. D said...

It was the Italian, NW. I don't know if Simon is still in baseball, but if he returns to Milwaukee he can take a shot at the chorizo next time.