Tommy James is confronted with an inconsistency in the 4-decades-old recording of "I Think We're Alone Now." He doesn't really have an answer to this fabulous pop-culture gotcha — which I heard a few minutes ago on XM radio "60s on 6" — so he drifts over into telling the story how he got his first hit, which wasn't "I Think We're Alone Now" but the almost equally sublime "Hanky Panky." This story has fascinating resonance with the issues we're facing today with illegal uploading and downloading on the internet. It turns out that Tommy and his band were stuck as a local band somewhere between Detroit and Chicago. Then one day he got a phone call telling him his song had hit #1 in Pittsburgh. How could that be? Someone had made 80,000 bootleg copies of the single and they sold right out. And that's how he got his start.
Can I infer that Tommy James and the Shondells will appreciate my embedding this here?
ADDED: Here's the group's official site. Buy some of their stuff.
AND: Fans of the old — defunct? — Audible Althouse podcast will remember — episode #64 — what my personal favorite Tommy James song is. Hey, I want to suggest it as a campaign song. Maybe for Barack Obama.