September 8, 2004

Ideas for the official Wisconsin state rock song: Part II.

On the subject of picking an official rock song for the state of Wisconsin, Hazy Dave (BSEE 78) writes:
I nominate "Rockin' Behind The Iron Curtain" by the Red Ball Jets, a Milwaukee group from the late 70's. An old Huey Piano Smith tune, IIRC, available only on a 7 inch EP they self-released back in the day, so I guess it's a bit obscure. Still, I thought it might strike a resonant chord up there in the People's Republic of Madison...

Group members included guitarist Mark Schneider from the late lamented Dirty Jack's Record Rack, drummer Rob McCuen, (nowadays an Iggy pop disciple - a much kinder word than wannabe - still haunting Milwaukee's club scene), and a singer called Molly Putz (a gym class putdown cut from the same cloth as "Violent Femme")...

I suppose anything of some national recognition by the Bodeans or Violent Femmes would be a better choice, but nothing I can think of has much to do with the state or hometown pride or anything like that. "Gimme the Car" is a bit profane for official recognition, and "Children Of The Revolution" is a cover of a T.Rex song... I'm not entirely sure if the Fendermen were from Wisconsin or across the border in the Twin Cities, but "Muleskinner Blues" was at least a national hit, a good natured novelty rocker in the early 60's or late 50's. I can't quite think of a good rockin' enough near-hit by the Robbs or the Legends, and the Spooner tune I'd choose, "Shut Up", isn't on any of their (out-of-print) albums anyway. "Johnny Stood Up" was another great Spooner song in the same boat...

Maybe the Spanic Boys' "Keep On Walkin'"? I'm not being too helpful here, but I recognize that an officially sanctioned State Rock Song would have to be much more mainstream and/or stupid than I'd prefer in order to be approved in the first place. "It's just the Good Life passing you by..." - Madison's Fire Town.

Hey, it's the "WHEREAS, Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town, and everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloopy down" bit that really makes it anyway. If it came to a vote, I expect the Budweiser song ("When you say Wisconsin, you've said it all") would handily trounce all comers anyway. This is clearly an unacceptable solution from St. Louis (pun intended), so I recommend we table the motion.

1 comment:

cfuggiasco said...

I remember Molly from UWM days. She dressed hip, new wave, stylish and tasteful. She was cool on the outside, but a little sad and vulnerable too and her real name was Carry. I cannot remember her last name. Red Ball Jets have not thought of them in ages...most excellent.Thanks. Carl Fuggiasco