I'm in love with Massachusetts! And the neon when it's cold outside
February 13, 2013 7:18 PM   Subscribe


 
ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX
posted by blue t-shirt at 7:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [18 favorites]


DUNH DUNH DUNNNNH
posted by thecaddy at 7:23 PM on February 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Great choice! We also would have accepted "Massachusetts Afternoon".
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


the first two comments perfectly illustrate what happened on my husband's side of the couch when he read this headline.
posted by nadawi at 7:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


RADIO ON.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:27 PM on February 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Oh god I dont know it, its fucking ridiculous!" - John Lydon
posted by davebush at 7:27 PM on February 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Just listened to it. I've only heard the "sex pistols" version. I knew the words weren't really "this is fuckin diculous" and "I wish I had the words", but imagine my surprise to learn that Massachusetts is mentioned in the song.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:28 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


MEEP MEEP!!!

(sorry, I'll go read the article shall I?)
posted by pompomtom at 7:28 PM on February 13, 2013


It's a pretty perfect song. I'd rate it higher for Massachusetts state songs than East Coast - Fuck You!, U Mass, For Boston and Shipping Out To Boston.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:31 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


"... going faster miles an hour" always, always gets me.
posted by dylanjames at 7:34 PM on February 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Shit, forgot Mass Pike by Get Up Kids, a song so perfectly poppy I thought it was a Fountains of Wayne song. Roadrunner still wins.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:34 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just listened to it. I've only heard the "sex pistols" version. I knew the words weren't really "this is fuckin diculous" and "I wish I had the words", but imagine my surprise to learn that Massachusetts is mentioned in the song.

Yeah, I'm most familiar with the Joan Fucking Jett version. I never knew it was about MA. She says "in love with the modern world."
posted by mudpuppie at 7:35 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, well, I prefer Jonathan Richman's version of Heart of Saturday Night to Tom Waits'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:37 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hell yeah!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:38 PM on February 13, 2013


WRONG. Masshole anthem = Aerosmith jam. Next.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:38 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jonathan has moved on to loving the USA and the modern world now, but I think Massachusetts still holds a special place in his heart, and that feeling should be reciprocated.
posted by maudlin at 7:39 PM on February 13, 2013


I, too, have the Sex Pistols to thank for introducing me to the glory of this song.

"do we know any other fucking songs we can do?"
posted by scody at 7:39 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amazing Guardian article on the song.

Roadrunner is one of the most magical songs in existence. It is a song about what it means to be young, and behind the wheel of an automobile, with the radio on and the night and the highway stretched out before you. It is a paean to the modern world, to the urban landscape, to the Plymouth Roadrunner car, to roadside restaurants, neon lights, suburbia, the highway, the darkness, pine trees and supermarkets. As Greil Marcus put it in his book Lipstick Traces: "Roadrunner was the most obvious song in the world, and the strangest."

I love that he mentions Stop N Shop.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:40 PM on February 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Jonathan has also written the official songs of Boston's Government Center, Bermuda, Pablo Picasso, Walter Johnson, Wrangler Jeans, liking old things and being normal while the girl you like keeps hanging out with a stoned hippie.
posted by Flashman at 7:41 PM on February 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Perhaps it should be Boston Band, by Jim's Big Ego, though I don't think the lyrics would fly.

Plus, I have to give it to Natick's home town boy. I grew up shopping at the Stop and Shop mentioned in that Guardian article.
posted by bondcliff at 7:43 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]




It is magical. But how does Jonathan feel about this? Jonathan... phone home, Jonathan.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:43 PM on February 13, 2013


We were in Massachusetts a couple of years ago, and had to make sure we had this song and played it at loud volume. I would sure as fucking hell vote for it.

Roadrunner once!
Roadrunner twice!
posted by gingerbeer at 7:45 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


In all honesty though it's Shipping up to Boston. I know it's played out and all but The Departed kicked it off and Papelbon made it official. That's just the way it is.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:46 PM on February 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Thanks to that linked Guardian article from Charlemagne In Sweatpants:

Roadrunner (Twice) Sorry, this sounds like is weak tea, but ...

Roadrunner (Thrice) could be quite lovely. Still listening to it. This is the near-9 minute version with lots of extra lyrics.
posted by maudlin at 7:46 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


@gingerbeer beat me to the break. Definitely a fave. And it beats the slightly ugly 'put out that cigarette and drop out of BU' non-starter.

* Still, frantically searches for a Morphine song that would do... *
posted by drowsy at 7:48 PM on February 13, 2013


It really needs to be the John Cale-produced demo with JR's shout out to Mattapan and Roslindale.

This version evoked such powerful homesickness for the East Coast and - somehow, against all experience and better judgment - for Boston in particular, that it played a key role in my moving back to Allston from Portland, OR in 1996. Just before winter started, into a shitty group house. It may be one of the most mind-fogging, potent advertisements for the questionable charms of greater Boston ever written.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:49 PM on February 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Stop & Shop mentioned in the song is the one on Rte. 9 by Rte. 27 in Natick, just up the street from the McDonald's where Doug Flutie's family decided to move to Natick instead of Framingham, setting up the Hail Mary Pass and, eventually, Flutie Pass, the road that connects Natick Mall with Shoppers World.

Yes, these have been today's random Natick facts.
posted by adamg at 7:49 PM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


My wife and I went to Boston a few years ago to visit a bunch of her college friends. I really wanted to take a Jonathan Richman tour. The one guy who would've been happy to do it (and without any notes) was out of town, but I was happy that we did drive on down to Beverly.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:51 PM on February 13, 2013


Doug Flutie?? No wonder Jonathan moved to California.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:53 PM on February 13, 2013


OK, that =is= a great track, but goddamn, it's up against ABC - Aerosmith, Boston and the Cars.

Also - Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls. Dropkick Murphies. The Lemonheads. Rob Zombie. Powerman 5000. Tracy Bonham. The Bosstones.

The Pixies.

Here is a list of songs about Boston.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:54 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


This may just reflect which particular years I lived in Framingham, but shouldn't an official Massachusetts rock song be something by The J. Geils Band?
posted by Slothrup at 7:55 PM on February 13, 2013


Great idea! But Dirty Water could also work in a pinch.
posted by destro at 7:58 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Noo, not Dirty Water. The Standells weren't from Boston and the song's about BU students, who mostly aren't from Boston, either. Plus, the Charles isn't so dirty anymore, but you can still drive 128 with the radio on.
posted by adamg at 8:01 PM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 9:00 PM EST (8:00 PM Doors)
High Dive , Gainesville, FL


Hello!!! (checks notes...) Gainsville!
posted by R. Mutt at 8:02 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I they made a themed license plate for this song I would pay the extra fee to get one. I would have to go buy a car, and I would have to pay an awful lot each month to pay for parking it, but yeah, it'd be worth it.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:04 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jonathan Richman:
Friday, 15 February 2013Athens (Georgia)40 Watt Club285 W Washington


Though Friday in Athens sounds like a party!
posted by R. Mutt at 8:08 PM on February 13, 2013


If youre talking vanity plates, you're thinking of New Hampshire... We love that shit for some reason.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:08 PM on February 13, 2013


Though I am a little bit disappointed on reading the rest of the article to discover that the State Muffin of Massachusetts does not have any cranberries in it (Corn, really? Maybe, as a small tribute to Squanto.)
posted by benito.strauss at 8:10 PM on February 13, 2013


In favor! And also for New England for a shared anthem.
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm over cars. As much as I love Jonathan Richmond, I wouldn't go for this song.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:20 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was kinda hoping for Academy Fight Song by Mission of Burma, myself.

Or maybe something by Volcano Suns, like Balancing Act.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


No Place Like Home, by The Neighborhoods? Hardcore Rules by The Dogmatics?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:22 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Roadrunner (Thrice) could be quite lovely. Still listening to it. This is the near-9 minute version with lots of extra lyrics.</em

I've been a moderately huge fan for years and I'd totally forgotten that this existed. I remember seeing it listed somewhere in a catalog or the like in the pre-everything-ever-recorded-at-your-fingertips days and wanting to hear it so bad I could taste it. Thank you.

posted by item at 8:22 PM on February 13, 2013


Cranberries have been given their due.
CRANBERRY JUICE was named the beverage of the Commonwealth on May 4, 1970. This was a tribute to the great Massachusetts cranberry industry.

A fifth-grade class on the North Shore adopted the cause of making the CRANBERRY (Vaccinium macrocarpon) the official berry of the state. Their two years of lobbying, petitions, and hearings were finally rewarded on July 11, 1994.

On February 21, 2005, BLUE, GREEN and CRANBERRY became the official colors of the Commonwealth.

The school children of Massachusetts petitioned for the CORN MUFFIN, a staple of New England cooking, and the Legislature made it official on May 27, 1986. *
posted by ericb at 8:22 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Logan to Government Centre by Brand New is another good one.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:25 PM on February 13, 2013


What about the Bee Gees' first #1 hit -- 'Massachusetts?'

I keed. I keed.
posted by ericb at 8:25 PM on February 13, 2013


If only "I wanna be Jackie Onassis" expressed our collective, rather than our individual aspirations...
posted by anelsewhere at 8:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


If Roadrunner is the state song, then this Lipps & Co routine (that I featured in a post a few years back) has to be Massachusetts' state music video.
posted by item at 8:27 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or maybe Gang Green?
posted by Flashman at 8:28 PM on February 13, 2013


... but I was happy that we did drive on down to Beverly.

From Boston you drive up to Beverly. : )
posted by ericb at 8:29 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Ice of Boston of certainly not state song territory, but it's sure as hell seasonal (even if NYE is past, there's plenty of black ice out there the night before Valentines Day).

Oh Gladys, girl, I love you but oh! GET A LIFE!

posted by maryr at 8:38 PM on February 13, 2013



From Boston you drive up to Beverly. : )


Not if you can avoid it.
posted by maryr at 8:39 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Musicians I know I *should* like, yet have utterly failed to move me despite trying to force them on myself repeatedly:

1. Bob Dylan
2. Frank Zappa
3. Jonathan Richman

Carry on, nobody cares, yay rock and roll!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:45 PM on February 13, 2013


I'm over cars. As much as I love Jonathan Richmond, I wouldn't go for this song.

Why wouldn't The Cars be a good choice?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:48 PM on February 13, 2013


As far as songs about Boston go, I'm pretty partial to Marone Offering by Human Sexual Response.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


* Still, frantically searches for a Morphine song that would do... *

The song you are thinking of is actually by the earlier incarnation (Treat Her Right) -
I Think She Likes Me.
(that's what I think!)

That said, I would support Roadrunner as the official rock song of Massachusetts (my current home state). My original home state - Oklahoma - also has a pretty cool official state rock song...
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:05 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


/sheds a silent, Southern tear from the dimasspora
posted by threeants at 9:21 PM on February 13, 2013


Does half of Boston really drive black Jeep Cherokees?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:23 PM on February 13, 2013


yeah, it's gotta be J. Geils. Probably "Looking for a Love".
posted by Ber at 9:29 PM on February 13, 2013




Hmmm... no Bosstones, Lemonheads, Slapshot, Cast Iron Hike, Pixies or Letters to Cleo? Whatever.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:33 PM on February 13, 2013


Amazing Guardian article on the song.

Indeed it is. I sent it to my oldest friend last summer, along with that song and several others by Richman from over the years, trying to talk him into going to see the guy. But he wouldn't -- it was just not his cup of tea. Once again I was wasting my time casting nacreously coated sediments before bifurcate-hooved food animals neither kosher nor halal... Oh, well, tastes differ.

As for being the official rock song, well, why not ? Although I doubt Jonathan will be entirely enthused.
posted by y2karl at 9:37 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not anymore, Pope Guilty. There's no Bank of Boston Beauty Queen amymore either - BofA bought them years ago.
posted by maryr at 9:47 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh this thread is making me miss Mass. So does Valley Winter Song (Fountains of Wayne, most underrated band EVAR)
posted by sweetkid at 9:50 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Tuesday at the Bell House in Brooklyn. I might go...
posted by vrakatar at 9:51 PM on February 13, 2013


oh this thread is making me miss Mass. So does Valley Winter Song (Fountains of Wayne, most underrated band EVAR)

They'll never beat out the other contenders for best New Jersey rock song, and they face stiff competition for best Massachusetts rock song, but I know for sure nobody has written a better song about Connecticut than Laser Show.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:53 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]




Don't get me started on Dino jR.
posted by vrakatar at 9:57 PM on February 13, 2013


y2karl, your friend really doesn't know what he's missing.
posted by maudlin at 9:57 PM on February 13, 2013


Hell the hell yes. I hope this passes. I loved this song when I was in high school.

For some reason, I associate this song with the red lights on the big towers near Newton as you go south on 128.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:58 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


y2k, I will dig Jonathan with you anytime. it's been years.

Anybody know if they spin this in Fenway? I'm guessing not yet, but maybe after the bill passes.
posted by mwhybark at 10:08 PM on February 13, 2013


When I first say this post I thought they meant the song that goes, "Roadrunner, if he catches you you're through!"
posted by tunewell at 10:20 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh curses, I had a whole bunch of songs slandering BU girls lined up (OK, only 2), but then I closed the wrong tab. I'll just leave some Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo fame here and go off to bed.
posted by maryr at 10:43 PM on February 13, 2013


Hold Steady Quote-A-Matic to the rescue!

These girls at BU they all do it too.
They lie down on Lansdowne, they lose their left shoes.
These girls at BU they all do it too.
She stumbled down Lansdowne, she lost her left shoe,
and she lost all her friends, and she's crying and she needs a ride home.

posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:40 PM on February 13, 2013


Fuck the Kells.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:23 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


For some reason, I associate this song with the red lights on the big towers near Newton as you go south on 128.

I'm sure those are the radio towers his mate mentions Richman getting misty about. In those days, they were all the American-style skinny red-and-white guy-wired ones. At least one of those has been replaced by a Soviet-style oil-derrick-looking thing. Not an improvement.

The White City mentioned somewhere was most likely the place in Worcester. It was a shopping center, probably not the KKK enclave of my imagination.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:36 AM on February 14, 2013


I'd also be fine with just making Jonathan poet laureate.

I'm distressed no one's linked to the excellent JAZZ BUTCHER version (not saying it tops the original, but....oh it should be heard. loud.)
posted by the bricabrac man at 4:42 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Twilight in Boston" is the other Richman Massachusetts-focused tune that does it for me.
posted by .kobayashi. at 4:53 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


When we moved to Massachusetts in 2003, we found that the nearest grocery stores were Big Y and Stop and Stop, and were right across the street from each other. "I guess we'll try both and see what we like better," the wife said. "No," said I. "Jonathan Richman never sang about Big Y." Stop and Stop has been our grocery store ever since.
posted by Legomancer at 5:20 AM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Flutie Pass, the road that connects Natick Mall with Shoppers World.

Yes, these have been today's random Natick facts.


You forgot that the Natick Mall is situated on the site of a former Hostess Bakery where a group of refugees from Rhode Island founded the city of New Quahog.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:29 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


From Boston you drive up to Beverly. : )

Ok, I just listened to it again this morning. It's "drive on out." And it's "Bev-uh-lee-uh."
posted by hydrophonic at 6:08 AM on February 14, 2013


Stop and Stop has been our grocery store ever since.

Stop and Shop is an awful, awful grocery store, or at least as awful as a large chain grocery store can possibly be. When my mom first came to America, she worked as a nanny for the folks who owned the S&S companies. Back then (mid 1960s) it was a family owned business and it probably still was when the song was written. Eventually it got sold to some Faceless Multinational Corporation and it's been shit ever since.

Yes. I said it. Your favorite grocery store sucks.

Still, I suppose it fit the song better than "I'm in love with Roache Brothers" or "Stah Mahket is wicked pissah."

Yes, these have been today's random Natick facts.

Don't forget the GIANT MUTANT COCKROACHES.
posted by bondcliff at 6:18 AM on February 14, 2013


Why wouldn't The Cars be a good choice?

Perhaps the fact that both of The Cars' singers and songwriters grew up in Ohio would militate against it.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:26 AM on February 14, 2013


Forget Gang Green, what about Jerry's Kids?
posted by Max Power at 6:27 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every one knows Market BASKET! is the new Stop 'n' Shop.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:28 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


. . . although Ohio does keep the RADIO ON.*



* and sometimes the turn signal
posted by Herodios at 6:30 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Love that scene. Market Basket closes at 9 though. One reason it's so insanely nutso.

As far as pronunciation, in my house we tend to call it "Mahga Bahgha," which we learned from store manager announcements at our first MB in New Hampshire.
posted by Miko at 6:53 AM on February 14, 2013


ZenMaster: Hardcore Rules by The Dogmatics?

Don't be stupid!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:56 AM on February 14, 2013


If I were to walk to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Well, first I'd go to the room where they keep the Cezanne
But if I had by my side a girlfriend
Then I could look through the paintings
I could look right through them
Because I'd have found something that I understand
I understand a girlfriend.

This.

Though I realize the entire state of Massachusetts may not agree with me on this.
Girlfriend
posted by evilDoug at 7:04 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


the red lights on the big towers near Newton as you go south on 128.

Fun Fact: those are the Needham Towers, and they're a popular landmark for pilots around here.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:16 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like that its not entirely Boston centric and focuses on other parts of the state. Man I hope this happens, I love Jonathan. Dropkicks, though great and all, I just can't get behind Shipping up to Boston. It's became the new Sweet Caroline for me.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:19 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


but I know for sure nobody has written a better song about Connecticut than Laser Show.

Apparently I can't find a link for this online, but the absolute best song about Connecticut is "Connecticut's for Fucking" by Jesus H Christ and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:20 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Still, I suppose it fit the song better than "I'm in love with Roache Brothers" or "Stah Mahket is wicked pissah."

Or even "The food at Building #19 is probably safe to eat"
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:26 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hardcore Rules by The Dogmatics

Or Thayer St-- hell they even play street hockey in the video, for fuck's sake.

(except Roadrunner is perfect so never mind).
posted by dersins at 7:33 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't forget the GIANT MUTANT COCKROACHES.

Oh lord, somebody allowed the eggs of those things to escape? I saw them and all the other inhabitants of the Army Labs' roach lab, and it was really horror-movie material, The roach lab was run by a friend's mom, who was the daughter of Norbert Wiener. I doubt that she had anything to do with the flawed disposal, but who knows...


Or even "The food at Building #19 is probably safe to eat"

Mostly.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:39 AM on February 14, 2013


Anybody know if they spin this in Fenway? I'm guessing not yet, but maybe after the bill passes.

TJ, the regular music guy at Sox games, takes requests on twitter. So yeah, that's something that I bet can happen.
posted by atbash at 7:51 AM on February 14, 2013


Or Thayer St -- hell they even play street hockey in the video, for fuck's sake.

jesus. You should see Thayer St now. It's all high-end lofts, and everytime I'm down by there I wish it was still fun.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:59 AM on February 14, 2013


Saw JR this last weekend at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. All new stuff, some of it sounded like he probably wrote it on his way up to the stage. All magic. Still, I'd love to hear him do "She Cracked"...
posted by steambadger at 8:05 AM on February 14, 2013


Or even "The food at Building #19 is probably safe to eat"

Don't trust the "Chocolatey Bars" from Christmas Tree Shops, though, bargain or no.

Well played, Charlemagne and robocop, you nailed the BU chick songs. I was going to throw "We're All Wicked Liquored Up At The Downtown Upscale Irish Pub" in there too, though it really isn't as good.
posted by maryr at 8:07 AM on February 14, 2013


A million (or twenty) years ago my girlfriend had a Buick Riviera. At 80 mph on the NY thruway, it had the exact same rhythm.

Hence my love for this is like my love for that, like a reflex - I can't control it, it's just there.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:20 AM on February 14, 2013


Another Mass. resident checking in to say I APPROVE OF THIS, MAKE IT HAPPEN.
posted by languagehat at 8:24 AM on February 14, 2013


You folks saying "but what about some other Boston band over this?" are educated stupid. "Roadrunner" is an earnest, fun statement about feeling affection for our state. There is no other work that comes close to being as appropriate for an official song.

Please keep in mind that I love Massachusetts with the fervor of a zealot, but most of the bands associated with Boston suck. They suck flagrantly. There, I said it. Not all of them, but so many of them that it makes me wince to think about it.

Anyone suggesting the Dropkick Murphys should be forced to spend a day listening to the collected speeches of Tom Werner. Anyone earnestly suggesting something by Boston should be frog-marched to Stockbridge and shoved over the border. Anyone suggesting Aerosmith should be simply be welded into their '86 Monte Carlo SS and shoved into the Merrimac or the Connecticut, whichever is closer.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


You folks saying "but what about some other Boston band over this?" are educated stupid.

And that would make you the regular kind, 'cause no one was earnestly doing that.

That said, HANGIN' TOUGH, obvz.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:51 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The White City mentioned somewhere was most likely the place in Worcester. It was a shopping center, probably not the KKK enclave of my imagination.

Until 1960, White City was an amusement park. (The long-lost, long-lamented Spag's across the street was a theme park unto itself, but that's another story.)
posted by Spatch at 8:57 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


That said, HANGIN' TOUGH, obvz.

Candy Girl or GTFO.
posted by maryr at 9:09 AM on February 14, 2013


Or even "The food at Building #19 is probably safe to eat"

A few weeks ago Jerry Ellis (owner of Building 19) retweeted me and it was a highlight of this erstwhile Masshole's life.

yeah, it's gotta be J. Geils. Probably "Looking for a Love".

Wamma Jamma! Actually, Musta Got Lost has a certain poetry.

But in sincerity, Roadrunner is perfect for this. It's such a sweet, joyful song, and it's a fucking jam, and, as everyone has already said, it's full of such great inside (jokes?) details about Massachusetts. When I was a kid and we moved to Massachusetts, and would drive by the Stop & Shop, with the radio on ('BCN, baby!) I felt famous. I somehow associated that sort of thing (128! White City!) with History, in the same vein as the USS Constitution and the House of Seven Gables, and all the other exotic and wonderful stuff that was everywhere in Massachusetts, or seemed like it was, to the 12 year old me.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:30 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The White City mentioned somewhere was most likely the place in Worcester.

Shrewsbury. The other side of Lake Quinsigamond.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2013


Every one knows Market BASKET! is the new Stop 'n' Shop.

And, WHOLE FOODS is the new Johnnie's Foodmaster.
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on February 14, 2013


Not that I'd want to be alive during the process, but being welded into an '86 Monte Carlo SS and dumped into the Merrimack with Aerosmith blasting from the stereo all the way down seems like a perfectly honorable burial.
posted by mubba at 10:30 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I AM PLAYING IT NOW and I live many thousands of miles from Mass. In fact, I'm not even an American. AND I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG!
posted by marienbad at 10:38 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wamma Jamma! Actually, Musta Got Lost has a certain poetry.

You know that scene in The Big Lebowski where he's in the cab and The Eagles are on the radio and he gets into a fight with the cabbie because he HATES THE FUCKING EAGLES, MAN? That's exactly how I am about the J. Geils.

Maybe it was one too many years of listening to WBCN promos featuring the woofa goofa momma toofa or whatever he said, or the fact that they played the J. Geils every other song back then, or whatever, but if a J. Geils song ever became our state rock song I would probably move up to Vermont, where I can only assume the state song is a 47 1/2 minute version of You Enjoy Myself that opens with a Led Zep teaser and ends with a vacuum cleaner solo.

I'm not a fan of anything they've done since the 1970s or so, but I could tolerate Aerosmith. I would actually expect that to happen, especially if they let the common folk vote on it, but the J. Geils would just be a horrible, horrible thing.

Though that's all irrelevant, since I don't think there are currently any other contenders for this honor, is there?
posted by bondcliff at 10:51 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in love with Massachusetts

There are great rock songs that express love Boston, poke fun at UMass, and pay homage to other parts of Massachusetts, but "Road Runner" nails loving the whole state. I can't tell you how many times I've wished Connecticut had a rock song that celebrated it. Maybe getting to claim Charles Ives as our own means that we never get to have any decent rock songs written about us.

Anyhow, yeah, this is the perfect rock celebration of Massachusetts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:28 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


And, WHOLE FOODS is the new Johnnie's Foodmaster.

At least we still have Trucci's, just watch out for the parking lot insanity that is Wacky Wednesday.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:57 AM on February 14, 2013


You should see Thayer St now. It's all high-end lofts

Used to be artists, musicians, the homeless, and random gunfire.
posted by R. Mutt at 12:02 PM on February 14, 2013


I can't tell you how many times I've wished Connecticut had a rock song that celebrated it.

You know that John Mayer song where he sings about 'running through the halls of my high school'? He's talking about Fairfield High, where he went. I think MGMT are from CT too.
I think we'll stick with Laser Show. Though most of my childhood CT memories are bound up with the Stop N Shop next to the Toys R Us.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:02 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aerosmith should have kept doing drugs. Same with J Geils.

Jonathan Richman IS a drug.
posted by Camofrog at 3:21 PM on February 14, 2013


"Laser Show" is a greats song and the laser show it celebrates was like thirty minutes from where I grew up, so I can live with that.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:33 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a soft spot in my heart for this version...
posted by sriracha at 4:50 PM on February 14, 2013


Seeing as I spent most of the 70's riding on those roads in the family's forest green Dodge Dart, I can only endorse this proposal. I mean, I used to work at the frickin' Stop & Shop to have enough money for my own Duster to drive to Boston with the radio on.
posted by Gotanda at 5:16 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't tell you how many times I've wished Connecticut had a rock song that celebrated it.

"Let's Go" by the late, lamented Reducers works pretty well as the unofficial hometown anthem of New London: a blazing joyful paean to the prospect of getting out of the town you know you'll never escape. That's as much celebration as you'll get out of us, bub. Even O'Neill didn't manage to flee the purgatory of "Long Day's Journey into Night." He may be buried in California, but he haunts Pequot Avenue. So be it. Let's rock anyhow.

And oh, yeah, there's their own amazing cover of this...
posted by Kinbote at 6:09 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Let's Go" yt by the late, lamented Reducers works pretty well as the unofficial hometown anthem of New London: a blazing joyful paean to the prospect of getting out of the town you know you'll never escape. That's as much celebration as you'll get out of us, bub. Even O'Neill didn't manage to flee the purgatory of "Long Day's Journey into Night." He may be buried in California, but he haunts Pequot Avenue. So be it. Let's rock anyhow.

How have I not heard of these guys? They're amazing!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:25 PM on February 14, 2013


You forgot that the Natick Mall is situated on the site of a former Hostess Bakery where a group of refugees from Rhode Island founded the city of New Quahog.

Only the richie-rich fake-birch-trees part and the mall condos. The original ghetto wing, where Spencer Gifts was (and still is!) sits atop the former Natick sewer beds, where raw sewage from Natick and Framingham was pumped to air dry back in the 1950s and 1960s.
posted by adamg at 7:20 PM on February 14, 2013


The original ghetto wing, where Spencer Gifts was (and still is!) sits atop the former Natick sewer beds, where raw sewage

The original ghetto mall was torn down and rebuilt in the 90s. The area where Spencer's is now is a bit less ghetto than it used to be.

It's still a typical awful mall.
posted by bondcliff at 8:44 PM on February 14, 2013


The Reducers were amazing, but for a Connecticut state song, it would have to be The Poodle Boys: I'm on the fritz, and it's wonderful here. Oh god, it's wonderful here.
posted by Gotanda at 12:50 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The original ghetto wing, where Spencer Gifts was (and still is!) sits atop the former Natick sewer beds, where raw sewage

The original ghetto mall was torn down and rebuilt in the 90s. The area where Spencer's is now is a bit less ghetto than it used to be.


This kind of stuff makes me wish that MeFites wrote town histories, instead of retired selectmen or whoever. I have read an uncle's history of my Mom's hometown in VT, and it is some tough going. If it had more information about the varied things people did (and do) to scratch out a living, and less minutia about where the Congregationalist church was moved to and who the pastor was, it would be lots better.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:24 AM on February 15, 2013


"Laser Show" is a greats song and the laser show it celebrates was like thirty minutes from where I grew up, so I can live with that.

You grew up 30 minutes from
Dustin Pedroia?
posted by nathancaswell at 4:38 AM on February 15, 2013


This kind of stuff makes me wish that MeFites wrote town histories, instead of retired selectmen or whoever.

Have a seat, Mefites, and let me tell you all about how the Boston Scientific building used to be a brewery for Carling Black Label...
posted by bondcliff at 6:14 AM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's what I'm talking about.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:55 AM on February 15, 2013


Isn't something like that too trivial to get a bill to require it....
posted by superuser at 8:39 AM on February 15, 2013


Filtering possible snark, superuser - if you want a rationale, since a legislature is (to my knowledge) the usual body that recognizes state symbols, and a legislature acts by making law, and bills have to be introduced for a vote to create a law ... it would stand to reason that someone would have to introduce a bill to create a new state symbol.
posted by anelsewhere at 12:18 PM on February 15, 2013


I tweeted my state rep and he just informed me he co-signed the bill today. I'm in love with the modern world.
posted by bondcliff at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Attempts to contact Richman directly did not elicit a response at first. The singer is known to be reclusive and hesitant to talk with journalists. But an assistant to Richman finally e-mailed the following note to the Globe:

“I spoke with Jonathan about your request and this was his comment: ‘Thank you so much, it’s very flattering....but I don’t think the song is good enough to be a Massachusetts song of any kind.’”

posted by R. Mutt at 7:52 AM on February 16, 2013


If it had more information about the varied things people did (and do) to scratch out a living, and less minutia about where the Congregationalist church was moved to and who the pastor was, it would be lots better.

Keep in mind that back in the day, where the Congregationalist church was located would have been a Big Deal. Church would have been at the center of most people's social lives. Plus that's what would have primary documents - much, much harder to find a reliable diary that has survived to learn about daily life.
posted by maryr at 9:33 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]




I'm actually heartened to hear people saying they'd love to read honest, vivid local histories. I work in that field and you often hear that "nobody is interested in history." My general attitude has been: of course they are, just not in dry, institutional, scrubbed and sterile history. I do hope that our generation and the next generations will change the idea of what history is and should be about.
posted by Miko at 7:51 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Update: it's on, and going faster miles an hour.

And the fluffernutter has a pretty good shot for being named official state sandwich (not to be confused with Sandwich, MA)

Roadrunner up for official status: get the news you didn't even know you needed
posted by anelsewhere at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have a seat, Mefites, and let me tell you all about how the Boston Scientific building used to be a brewery for Carling Black Label...

Listen, ye MeFites, and you shall hear
of Carling Black Label, a mighty fine beer ...
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the state Department of Missing the Point, a couple politicians think a song about dreaming and praying to be taken away by the good lord would be a more appropriate state rock song because Aerosmith.
posted by bondcliff at 8:05 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess it would be too obvious to tell those chuckleheads to dream on.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:07 AM on February 27, 2013


Jim Cantwell, the rep that introduced the "Dream On" bill is from Marshfield, a town that has been home to Joe Perry, Steven Tyler and the drummer (I think) from Aerosmith for about 20 years. So I guess we know who's been contributing to Cantwell's campaign.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:29 AM on February 27, 2013


Jonathan played a show in my hometown and met Lil Bub.
posted by mwhybark at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2013


« Older Zombie-free since 1867   |   "He tends to exaggerate" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments