A Smokin’ Song
Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – Oct 15, 2023
It’s often been said that a good song passes the test of time. Such was the case for Motley Crue’s first Top 40 hit that went to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. It was actually a remake of a song that was originally released in 1973 – a song that went to #3 on the charts …
That group who originally penned and released the 1973 hit hailed from Ann Arbor, Michigan and have been considered ahead of their time. Referred to as the unheralded heroes of American glam, these hairy/scary bruisers dressed up in skintight spacesuits and thigh-high drag-queen boots. They wrote songs about beer, chicks, parties and blowing off school.
They looked like Kiss a year before Kiss did. When they switched to street-corner denim-demon outfits soon after, they looked like The Ramones a year before they did … and they rocked-up reggae way before The Clash.
In a 2022 interview, when asked how they got their name, band member guitarist, Mike Lutz, joked that they chose their name because Stark Naked & The Car Thieves was already taken.
In actual fact the name was inspired from the name of the US’s southern most city on the Texas/Mexico border where mayhem was constant. It was a rather long name and it was rumored that it was chosen because it took up most of the marquees that rock venues used in that era, thereby hogging the limelight from whoever they happened to be playing with.
Their 1973 hit, which also went to #3 on the Canadian RPM charts, sold over two million copies and was awarded gold disc status by the RIAA in January 1974.
It was a song of rebellion supporting students hoping to avoid being caught violating their school’s smoking ban. For Brownsville Station, the solution was to do your “Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.