Once again I turn to the obituary page to find inspiration for today’s post.
I was eleven years old when I become obsessed with top 40 radio and one of the first songs I remember gravitating to was Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy about a neglected youth. I would later figure out that Harry Chapin and The Who covered this theme more effectively but it was the perfect introduction to a vaguely epic song with a big guitar solo, uplifting keyboards and earnest vocals.
Most of you probably know Andrew Gold as the guy that wrote “Thank You For Being a Friend” the theme to The Golden Girls. His version hit #25 on the charts but I think over time “Thank You” probably made more money than the #7 charting “Lonely Boy”. I am mostly thankful for Andrew’s contributions to many of my favorite Linda Ronstadt albums including Heart Like A Wheel and Hasten Down The Wind. Here’s a great version of Linda with Andrew and Kenny Edwards (another recent musical loss) singing “When Will I Be Loved” . Click on the picture to hear “Lonely Boy”
Also passing away this weekend is Martin Rushent. You might not know the name but he produced the album DARE by Human League. That album contained “Don’t You Want Me”. In 1982, I listened almost exclusively to a little known radio station called KROQ and thought anything played on that station would never be played anywhere else. Well along came “Don’t You Want Me” with its “A Star Is Born” type lyrics of a woman trying to escape the clutches of her boyfriend after she becomes a bigger star. It changed the sound of top 40 radio for the next few years and made KROQ a player in the LA radio market (for better and for worse). I should also mention that Martin was responsible for some fine punk rock records by The Stranglers and The Buzzcocks. Click on the image to hear “Don’t You Want Me”.