rock & roll hall of fame

Tune Tuesday: April 30, 1979

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Blondie Image One
Frank Infante, Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, Debbie Harry, Clem Burke & Nigel Harrison
Photo Credit: recort.nl

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Heart of Glass by Blondie. Written by Harry and Stein in 1974-75, its working title was Once I Had A Love. The inspiration for its writing came from The Hues Corporation‘s song Rock the Boat.

From The Guardian:

Heart of Glass was one of the first songs Blondie wrote but, it was years before we recorded it properly. We’d tried it as a ballad, as reggae but, it never quite worked. At that point, it had no title. We just called it “the disco song”. Back then, it was very unusual for a guitar band to be using computerised sound. People got nervous and angry about us bringing different influences into rock. Although we’d covered Lady Marmalade and I Feel Love at gigs, lots of people were mad at us for “going disco” with Heart of Glass. There was the Disco Sucks! movement, and there had even been a riot in Chicago, with people burning disco records. Clem Burke, our drummer, refused to play the song live at first. When it became a hit, he said: “I guess I’ll have to.” The lyrics weren’t about anyone. They were just a plaintive moan about lost love. At first, the song kept saying: “Once I had a love, it was a gas. Soon turned out, it was a pain in the ass.” We couldn’t keep saying that, so we came up with: “Soon turned out, had a heart of glass.” We kept one “pain in the ass” in – and the BBC bleeped it out for radio. ~Debbie Harry

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As far as I was concerned, disco was part of R&B, which I’d always liked. The Ramones went on about us “going disco” but, it was tongue-in-cheek. They were our friends. In the video, there’s a shot of the legendary Studio 54, so everyone thought we shot the video there but, it was actually in a short-lived club called the Copa or something. I came up with the phrase “heart of glass” without knowing anything about Werner Herzog or his movie of the same name, which is a great, weird film. It’s nice people now use the song to identify the period in films and documentaries. I never had an inkling it would be such a big hit, or become the song we’d be most remembered for. It’s very gratifying. ~Chris Stein

Blondie Image Two
Photo Credit: nypost.com
An Oral History of Blondie

From CityBeat:

In season one, DJ Johnny Fever not only plays Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” on his broadcast but, home audiences actually hear him announce the band’s, and the song’s, names. It was fantastic promotion for the up-and-coming Blondie, whose huge breakthrough album, Parallel Lines (with other seminal singles like Hanging on the Telephone and One Way or Another), came out the same month WKRP in Cincinnati debuted. The band reportedly gave the show a Gold record plaque celebrating the album’s major sales numbers as a “Thank You” card. It can be seen in the background as set design on several episodes in later seasons.

From NPR:

Unlike many DJs from that era, Fever played punk as well as rock and soul. The range of music on the show gave this fictional radio station a better playlist than most of the era’s real ones. […] although the show helped break Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” big, the exception, in Fever’s case, was disco. “I asked him to play one disco record and he threatened to throw himself in front of Donna Summer‘s tour bus,” Travis complains in “Baby, If You’ve Ever Wondered,” from season two.

As of April 20, 2011, Heart of Glass is #259 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Awards & Nominations
Best Selling International Single (Juno 1980)
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2006)
Grammy Hall of Fame (2016)

Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

[Verse 2]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using, please don’t push me aside
We could’ve made it cruising, yeah

[Bridge]
Yeah, riding high
On love’s true bluish light

[Verse 3]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

National Ohio Day

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National Day Calendar Ohio Image

November 2 has four celebrations. Today is National Ohio Day and recognizes the 17th state to join the U.S. Nicknamed the Buckeye State, Ohioans also claim Birthplace of Aviation (North Carolinians dispute this, good-naturedly) and The Heart of It All. It’s largest city, Columbus, is also its capital and, apparently, it is the only state with a State Rock Song.

Admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803, it’s name is taken from the Ohio River which is a Seneca word, Ohi:yo’, meaning “good river”. Ancient remains indicate cultures going back as far as 13,000 BC and, one in particular, the Pre-Columbian Adena, left behind the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, a U.S. National Historic Place & Landmark. Known tribes were the Petun, the Erie, the Chonnonton, the Mingo Seneca, the Lenape, the Shawnee and the Iroquois Confederacy. All native tribes were eventually removed either by request, payment or, eventually the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

National Day Calendar Ohio Quote Image

Ohio is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum, the Loveland Castle and the Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie.

Ohio State Official Image

Notable Ohioans/Buckeyes:
Tecumseh – Chief of the Shawnee (March 1768 – October 5, 1813)
George Armstrong Custer – Officer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876)
Phoebe Ann “Annie Oakley” Mosey – Sharpshooter (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926)
Wilbur & Orville Wright – Inventors (Wilbur…April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) (Orville…August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948)
Charles Milles Maddox Manson – Murderer (November 12, 1934 – November 19, 2017)

Extensive List of Other Buckeyes

Also celebrated:
National Deviled Egg Day (Yum!)
National Jersey Friday (First Friday in November)
National Broadcast Traffic Professional’s Day (Observed on November 2 unless it falls on a weekend, then the following Monday)

Ending the post with, of course, Ohio’s State Rock Song:

Cheers and enjoy!