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Rock ’n’ Roll Radio S.O.S.

I was planning to write a movie geek Spasm, but my head is still spinning from the recent events that have made our world feel like an alternate universe.

Instead, my mind is focused on the radio.

While we the people endeavor to reconcile our moral disgust of a bigoted and sexist man with a steadfast and solemn respect of the office to which he has been elected, I challenge rock ’n’ roll radio stations nationwide to pledge to do the citizenry a solid favor and take the admittedly classic but egregiously overplayed ditties listed below and place them all on year-long moratorium. Doing so will help usher along the national healing, if for no other reason than we’re all sick and tired of hearing these tunes.

Considering recent events, a lot of us could use not only a reprieve from them, but also a good hug.

Where to begin…?

Bon Jovi – “Livin’ on a Prayer” & “Wanted Dead or Alive”

Yes, we’re kicking this list off with a tie. All due respect to the Jersey-born rockers, but both of these well-worn Regan/Bush-era hits could wither to dust and disappear for eternity and I doubt too many folks would ever miss them much.

Station programmers take note: by the third note of either song on the radio, I’ve already switched the dial.


Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”

Give it a rest, guys. Not even “White Wedding” is as played out, and when I was a deejay I played that one to death. Dig deeper: A lot more “Hot in the City,” and maybe some “Eyes Without a Face.”


Steve Miller Band – “The Joker”

For the love of all that is good please retire this song and its grating guitar-riff wolf whistle. Dig deeper: Nothin’ wrong with a little “Abracadabra” every now and then.


Boston – “More Than a Feeling”

Could we all just agree to not play any Boston for a while?


Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama” & “Free Bird”

Yes, yet another tie, for I could not decide which one I’d most rather never hear again. Thinking about this some more just know provoked a bit of reflux, so let’s keep moving.


Van Halen – “Jump”

Just about anything from this band, plus or minus David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar, would be a more welcomed substitute. Dig deeper: “Beautiful Girls,” if only because its use in the original broadcast versions of the Schmidt’s Gay Beer SNL commercial spoof is forever embedded in my memory. Too bad the DVD uses a different song.


Derek and the Dominos – “Layla”

Um, yeah, if any and all future encores of this indelible classic could be restricted only to screenings of GoodFellas, that would be great. Dig deeper: Eric Clapton’s sober acoustic version is a darned good classic in its own right.


Joe Walsh – “Life’s Been Good”

Maybe it’s a generational thing—or maybe it’s simply because in 1978 I listened predominantly to John Williams’ score for Star Wars—but this rock ditty does absolutely nothing for me whatsoever. Instant dial-switcher.


Pink Floyd – “Hey You” & “Comfortably Numb”

Our third tie, and a well-deserved one. For such bleak and unpleasant downers, these harrowing cuts from “The Wall” seem to get the most radio play, even more than the nearly-but-not-quite-as-worn-out “Another Brick In The Wall.” Dig deeper: If you must pillage “The Wall,” at least spin “Young Lust,” but anything produced before this album would be preferable.


The Eagles – “Hotel California”

Barf, barf, barfity-barf and forever more a giant chunky barf. The Dude in Big Lebowski has it right: sometimes we just can’t take the [bleeping] Eagles. Especially this wrist-slasher of a downer that just won’t die. Please make it go away for good.


Thank you for your consideration. Let the national healing begin.


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