*Very* fast-talking rock tune?

Our local classic rock station played this song when they first went on the air and I haven’t heard it since. As a matter of fact, the DJ made a big deal of the fact that he was only going to play it once and that would be it, so if we wanted to tape it to get ready. I have no idea who did this song or its name (hence my appeal to you), but it starts off at a normal pace, and somewhere in the middle, the artist does an incredibly fast talking part. Not really rap, but it’s like he has just gotten high and has to talk that fast, and it isn’t speeded up with effects. I believe the song actually has to do with getting high, but like I said, I only heard it the one time and that has been 10 years ago. Have I given you enough information to help answer this question? the only other thing I can provide is that this song must have been recorded in the 70’s.

Thanks for your help


Could you post a few lyrics from the normal-speed part? That would make this a whole lot easier.

I’m 95% sure the song you heard is “Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)”, a top-10 U.S. hit by Reunion – can you say “one hit wonder” – in 1974. (You can listen on-line to the song at the Real Audio Music Room.) As quintessential “bubble gum” music, this is the last thing any self-respecting Classic Rock station would play more than once, but it’s also a perfect example of the kind of feel-good pop hit Everclear sings about in “AM Radio”. The song’s structure is a lot like Billy Joel’s later “We Didn’t Start the Fire” except that instead of international events, the high-speed parts are mostly about the 60s/early 70s music business–“At the end of my rainbow, lies a golden oldie”.

The lyrics for your perusal,


Lead singer was Joey Levine of bubble group Ohio Express fame.

An interview with our hero,


It was also covered by Tracy Ullman.

If there’s a popular music question you can’t answer, when no-one else in the world can help, and if you can find him, it’s time to call Mr Music,


I have it on one of my K-tel records.

Sorry y’all, but that ain’t it. After giving it some more thought, the “story” of the song is about a guy who is part of a crew on a ship, and I think he smokes the rope (hemp). I have also sent an e-mail to the station on where I first heard this song, so if they know what it is, I will post it here. “Life Is A Rock” is a good guess, but it isn’t as long a song as the one in question, and it keeps that fast meter all the way through the tune. I know we’ll all be glad to finally know the answer, and before you ask, no I haven’t been shooting too much Ovaltine! :smiley:


You should’ve taped it. :slight_smile:

I was in my car at the time.:stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t remember a fast-talking part, but smoking rope sounds like “The Legend of the U.S.S.Titanic”, lyrics here, by Jaime Brockett. Very popular at the turn of the 70’s despite the gratuitous antisemitism. There used to be a site on simplenet.com dedicated to the song, but simplenet seems to be defunct or having problems; my browser can’t bring in any of its sites right now.

Oh, it was midnight on the sea
The band was playin’ Nearer my God to Thee
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well

Oh, yeah, now I remember the fast-talking part: “He looked at the ticket, he looked at Jack/He looked at the ticket/He looked at Jack/HelookedatthetickethelookedatJack…”

The only “very fast-talking rock tune” I can recall off hand that would have been on the radio at that time was a Guns’n’Roses song. Not the one off of Appetite for Destruction, but rather from one of the albums after Use Your Illusion I/II. Not a big GNR fan, so I only recall it as being very fast, very incoherent and very annoying. I think the video on MTV had a “follow the bouncing ball” routine. Being GNR, it would make sense to have a rope-smoking reference.

And that’s it. I thank you very much for your reply and I can now see why they played that tune only once. Not only because of the references contained in it, but also because of the length. 13:17 was a long time to go without a commercial. After listening, I realize the song is rather frantic almost all the way through, isn’t it? :smiley:

I guess it doesn’t take much to make me happy, but finding that song was like finding an old friend. Thanks again for your effort, and thanks to everyone else as well.