FINDING THE HOOK.
(For readers unfamiliar with music business phrases:
A "hook" is a part of a recording that grabs public attention.
All hits have a hook.)
* * *
It was ten minutes to one AM in Nashville, by the studio clock.
The pickers were tired and ready to pack up and head out.
They were also bored cross-eyed
by the three songs they had just recorded for the new singer
The material would have been more interesting if it had been terrible,
but it was just amazingly mediocre...
in fact it should be in the Guinness Book of Records under "Mediocre".
Now the singer was insisting on getting in one more song,
and there was no escape.
The union says they are hired for the full three hours.
They did one quick run-through on the fourth song,
and the vocalist began to sing.
The harmonica player found it hard to play while yawning.
As they were heading into the second bridge the singer got unexpected gas,
and the rather obscene sound was picked up by the microphone,
in living stereo, with reverb,
and it bled through all 24 tracks.
It did wake the musicians up.
They all looked suspiciously at each other,
because there was no dog to blame.
The engineers tried unsuccessfully to get the noise out during the mixdown.
In their frustration and excitement, mistakes were made,
and the first three songs were accidentally erased.
The singer was ready to cry,
because he was quickly running out of money,
and his potential career depended on one single track with a fart in it.
The only course he could take was having a few hundred copies pressed
and sending them to radio stations,
hoping they would not notice that part of the record.
A couple of overworked deejays were busy and did let it slip by.
Calls started to come in.
Listeners were asking to hear it again because they couldn't believe their ears.
Some of the more vulgar ones thought it was funny,
and others could relate to the recording artist's embarrassment
and gave him a sympathy vote.
This, of course, is how popular records come to be.
Critics argued about it, some saying that it was artistic integrity,
and others condemning it as a bad influence on their children,
who apparently had never heard such a sound.
In some places the song was banned, which is a sure way to get a hit.
Although the real title was "You're So Sophisticated",
the public called it "The Fart Song",
and that's how it will go down in music history.
The singer had a few more chart entries until he ran out of funny sounds,
and tried to switch to straight ballads.
Nobody took him seriously.
He's been depressed ever since,
but thanks to that unfortunate little outburst,
he can sulk while sitting on his yacht.
He'd found the hook.
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan...
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.
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