Music styles come and go, yet classic rock endures. Why? Because we know the words and can sing along. Well, maybe we just think we know the words.
The seven-piece classic rock tribute band Radar Love plays Friday, Dec. 27 in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room. The Bay Area band is named after a hit song from 1973 by a Dutch group called Golden Earring.
“Radar Love” is a classic because it is the ultimate drive-all-night song. I’ve heard the tune hundreds of times but only today learned the correct lyrics:
“The radio’s playing some forgotten song,
Brenda Lee’s “Coming On Strong.”
The road has got me hypnotized,
and I’m speeding into a new sunrise.”
But for 40 years, the words that trumpeted in my head were “Reveille, coming on strong.”
“Radar Love” was played in one of the “Wayne’s World” movies, and it was the film’s post-pubescent characters who pointed out the confusion of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” While Hendrix referred to a hallucination, “Scuse me while I kiss the sky,” Wayne and Garth heard “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”
Many of John Fogerty’s lyrics with Creedence Clearwater Revival are easily misunderstood, including a verse from “Bad Moon,” “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
I always knew I had the words wrong to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” because I didn’t think he was singing a love ballad to the “Taxi” star Tony Danza.
John also confused me with “He shall be Levon.” I just thought someone was leaving.
The misunderstanding might just be due to his English accent. In fact, the website Keno’s Classic Rock n Roll Web Site indicates many of the misheard lyrics come from Brits.
Eric Burdon sang, “Spill the wine, take that pearl,” and I always thought it was “dig that girl.” I also was surprised to learn the real words to “The House of the Rising Sun.” “My Mother was a tailor, she sewed my new blue jeans.”
And while Mick Jagger will never be a “Beast of Burdon,” he also might not “leave your pizza burnin.’ ”
Finally, I learned that Paul McCartney’s Admiral Halsey didn’t need a bath to get to sleep, rather he “had to have a berth or he couldn’t get to sea.”
Manford Mann’s Earth Band, another British group, might have the most misunderstood lyric of them all. We all know what it sounds like. Here are the actual words: “Blinded by the light. Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.”
Radar Love, a classic rock tribute
When: 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
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