Oct 252011

Paul Leka

Yes, as it must to all men, death came to Paul Leka, co-writer of the immortal “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye),” a #1 hit for imaginary group Steam in 1969, as well as the writer/producer of  psychedelic bubblegum classic “Green Tambourine,” and more. Read all about it here and watch “Steam” in their “performance” of “Na Na Hey Hey,” a rare case of a band becoming more faceless after you see them than they were before.

NEXT: Rock Town Hall’s Official Eulogy…


  14 Responses to “He Was a Great Man, but Did They Play It at His Funeral?”

  1. Leka, ya damn fool. His name was Paul Leka.

  2. I personally think “Na Na Hey Hey” is one of the all-time greatest one-hit wonders. Yeah, it’s a near-bubblegum musical trifle, but I can’t help but love the groove, the languid vocals, and the shimmering sound. By the way, the Steam “group” in the video is apparently six guys who had nothing to do with the song – sort of a live-action Archies. You think they could have picked a lead singer who didn’t look like a pudgy cross between Beau Bridges and Meathead from All In the Family.

  3. BigSteve

    And that one guy in the right looks like it’s the first time he’s ever touched a conga drum.

  4. alexmagic

    “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” and “Green Tambourine” is a hell of a bubblegum one-two punch for some guy even those of us here had probably never heard of and apparently, none of us still have never seen. Tambourine is a pretty great cheesey, radio/kid friendly repackaging of a Pictures of Matchstick Men kind of song, all things considered.

    And I agree with tonyola that, for what it is, Na Na Hey Hey is pretty great. And the mod’s description of “immortal” is right. That thing is going to end up having a near “Happy Birthday” kind of legacy, and how many other pop songs can claim that? As long as someone, somewhere is getting thrown out of a place, that song will live on. And it doesn’t even need musical accompaniment; much like the “Aiiiir-ball” chant, entire crowds can and will simultaneously synch up to chant it in tune together.

  5. All credit for this fine rememberance goes to misterioso – and The Great 48, of course.

  6. misterioso

    I have my doubts whether he is even touching it in the clip.

  7. misterioso

    Not to speak ill of the dead, but unfortunately he also produced several Harry Chapin records.

  8. Interesting. I would not have expected the love for Na Na Hey Hey. Personally, I can’t frigging stand that song. That chorus is incredibly grating.

  9. That sounds consistent.

  10. alexmagic

    You only hate it because you hear it playing in your mind each and every time you get schooled by me in a thread.

    Like you did just now, son.


  11. If that frigging song gets stuck in my head, it’s on mofo!

  12. The Archies never had this stellar collection of vests, especially the conga player’s…fine, fine threads man!

  13. tonyola

    These guys were ahead of the fashion curve. Remember the somewhat dorky ’80s fad of wearing a shirt completely buttoned up but with no tie? The lead singer here (or in this case lead syncher) has that sad trend beat by at least a decade.

  14. tonyola

    Can’t blame Leka for Chapin’s lyrics and overripe singing, though.

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