Jan 232013

Townsman machinery ran a similar thread not too long ago on strange sounds on records. Bachman Turner Overdrive’s awesome lunkhead anthem “Taking Care of Business” came on the radio this morning and I couldn’t help but dig it. At the 47-second mark, when they sing “And if you take your time you can get to work by 9…” some low, fluttering sound enters the mix. Real simple question: What’s that sound?

While that song is fresh in mind, is there a better lunkhead anthem than “Taking Care of Business”? To be fair, it’s probably not fair to characterize the song as being targeted at lunkheads, which the Urban Dictionary so sensitively defines as, “A very inoffensive, PG way of calling somebody a fucking retard.” But the spirit of the song goes deeper than “down to earth.” I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Taking Care of Business” I get in touch with my inner lunkhead. That can be a good thing.

If we were to construct a 12-song compilation album entitled Lunkhead Anthems, what other 11 songs would best serve the need we all have, now and then, to get in touch with our inner lunkhead?


  54 Responses to “What’s That Sound…and Lunkhead Anthems”

  1. I nominate Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo by Rick Derringer.


    A word of warning about the video: you may catch a contact coke buzz from it so refrain from viewing it if the drug test where you work.

    Also, is Rick Derringer Rock’s Shortest Guitar Player? Judging from how big the Les Paul looks in his hands, I’m left with the impression that both Prince and Malcolm Young would tower over him.

  2. Weird, I never noticed that noise before.

  3. Suburban kid

    Side 1

    Takin’ Care of Business
    We’re an American Band
    Cum on Feel the Noize
    Keep on Rockin’ Me Baby
    Born to be Wild
    I Love Rock n Roll

  4. Suburban kid

    That is a good call.

  5. Yes, especially We’re an American Band

  6. I agree that “We’re an American Band” makes it. “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” probably works, too.

    Which version of “Cum on Feel the Noize,” or does it matter?:) Slade (the band) was all about the Lunkhead demographic.

    I think the lunkheadedness of “Keep on Rockin’ Me Baby” is a little too internalized for this comp. It’s probably the song lunkheads listen to in the privacy of their own room, those rare times when they draw the shades and look inward.

    I must rule out “Born to Be Wild.” That song kicks off my Peace Warriors compilation. The Peace Warriors have exclusive rights to that tune.

  7. bostonhistorian

    I always figured that noise was the people in the background changing from handclaps to drumming the ryhthm on their bell-bottomed denim dungarees.

  8. 2000 Man

    I love Lunkheaded music. Takin’ Care of Business is pretty awesome, but I like Let It Ride more.

    Don’t count out Suzi Quatro. 48 Crash is lunkheaded bliss!

  9. “Let it Ride” is DEFINITELY in!

    I’ll have to check out that Quatro song. I know she’s got lunkhead cred.

  10. Suburban kid

    Either version of Cum on Feel the Noize, but seeing as we’re rock nerds, Slade’s. On the other hand, I want Joan Jett’s version of I Love Rock and Roll on this album, not the original version.

  11. I can’t stand the band, but do we need to include KISS’ “Rock ‘n Roll All Night”?

  12. misterioso

    Some good choices here. May I nominate “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by (The) Scorpions.

    And, surely, “Smoke on the Water.”

  13. A few songs that get Midwestern lunkheads worked up are:

    Foghat — Slow Ride
    Nazareth — Hair Of The Dog
    Head East — Never Been Any Reason
    Molly Hatchet — Flirtin’ With Disaster

  14. H. Munster

    “No Fun” by the Stooges, but not so much if you take it in the context of the whole album.

  15. misterioso

    Good Lord, yes, esp. the Foghat and MH.

  16. misterioso

    I’ve posted this before, but this clip of MH playing “Flirtin'” on Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert is one of the Greatest Things Ever, esp. around 3:45 when they line up in triple lead guitar formation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgNAfSENE68 “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

  17. 2000 Man

    No, Detroit Rock City or Shout it Out Loud.

  18. 2000 Man

    I don’t like the Urban Dictionary’s definition of Lunkhead. It’s not something said to anyone you don’t genuinely like. It’s affectionate, for people that are just lunkheads.

    I nominate Black Betty as the Lunkhead Anthem of All Anthems, though. It’s pure awesome. Joe Walsh should get Rocky Mountain Way in there, too.

  19. This may have to be a double album — where’s my Bic lighter?

    Golden Earring — Radar Love
    Blackfoot — Train, Train

  20. You are right . . . Black Betty ROCKS and so does the name RAM JAM.

  21. Man, this is when music was REAL and not sung by pussys and men had balls . . . oh wait, I meant that for a YouTube comment.

  22. Definite contenders – and it doesn’t get much more lunkheaded than “Smoke on the Water.”

  23. This is shaping up to be a double album, which may be necessary to sort out the stems and seeds!

    “Slow Ride” is definitely in. The other songs are also STRONG contenders.

  24. YES! “No Fun” is IN!

  25. BigSteve

    Loverboy– Working for the Weekend

  26. I agree with ALL you say, 2K, especially the Urban Dictionary definition. Webster’s definition wasn’t much better. I couldn’t find a definition that expressed the slightly lovable qualities of a lunkhead, as we seem to know them.

  27. Is our album entiled Bic’s Best?

  28. I think this could make it!

  29. misterioso

    I think we’re looking at a boxed set.

  30. misterioso

    Did anybody else grow up listening to WCOZ in Boston, the home of ‘Kick-Ass Rock & Roll?” Because it seems to me that we are re-assembling their playlist from the late 70s.

  31. Suburban kid

    Mountain – “Mississippi Queen”

  32. Suburban kid

    There must be an REO Speedwagon song that fits here.

  33. Ridin’ The Storm Out

    Before they sold out, man

  34. Bronzed Nordic God

    Mod, this will be an awesome compilation. However, you are entering a crowded marketplace.


  35. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m surprised we’ve gone this long without mentioning AC-DC. “Shook Me All Night Long” seems like a good candidate.

    How’s about Terrible Ted’s “Free For All” ?? I know it’s anthem ’round these parts.

  36. cliff sovinsanity

    That Head East song is pure Tractor Rock.

  37. Mmm, that is a lunkheaded competitor! Eddie Money’s face shows up alongside the Urban Dictionary definition of lunkhead.

  38. 2000 Man

    It has to open up with Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. “That’s my jam, maaan!”

    But no way can Head East get in there. It was way too regional until radio consolidation. I remember the first time I heard it I thought it sounded like The Cars with a chick singer.

  39. In light of Bronzed Nordic God’s discovery, how can we differentiate our lunkhead comp? For instance, rather than getting stuck in the ’70s through early ’80s, can we frame it in a historical perspective, tracing the roots of lunkhead rock into more modern times?

    Is there a first lunkhead rock song? Did they have such songs in the ’50s or ’60s, or is something like “Smoke on the Water” or “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida” the beginning of rock ‘n roll that fully conjures the lunkhead’s plight?

    Could we track lunkhead rock into the at-least partially tongue-in-cheek works of hardcore bands? I’m thinking of Black Flag’s “Six Pack,” for instance.

  40. bostonhistorian

    Kansas “Carry On Wayward Son”
    Free “All Right Now”
    Thin Lizzy “Jailbreak”

  41. cliff sovinsanity

    I don’t know if “lunkhead” is the right term but some of the 60’s Nuggets bands were wonderfully dumb. I’m thinking “Talk Talk” by Music Machine.

  42. Will the compiliation not have a obligatory ballad? And wouldn’t “Beth” nicely fill the lunkhead bill by playing with the boys all night rather than going home to his woman?


  43. 2000 Man

    Louie, Louie is the grandfather of Lunkheaded songs. I think the genre was born out of Frat Houses circa Animal House. I think Lunkheaded is a fine line. An offshoot would be the Jock Jam, which appropriated Gary Glitter’s Rock N Roll Part II. I think just because something is dumb doesn’t make it lunkheaded, because I’ll proudly embrace my lunkheaded roots, but the lunkheads I knew could tell the difference between the awesomeness of Smokin’ in the Boys Room and the Paint by Numbers dreck Smokin’ by Boston.

  44. jeangray

    I dunno. I was thinking that “I Fought the Law” might pre-date “Louie, Louie” as the grandfather of Lunkheaded Songs.

  45. ohmstead

    BH – I wrote the post below before I saw yours…great minds…

    After having listened to clip of “the sound” about 100 times I am experiencing audio hallucinations…I am now hearing sounds that aren’t even on the track and “the sound” itself is morphing in my head…it’s got to be some kind of muffled percussion…or maybe it’s just one of the Bachmans rhythmically slapping their bell-bottomed jeans…does anyone have the physical liner notes that might provide a clue?

  46. misterioso

    Wow. Beaten to the punch.

  47. misterioso

    Have you seen the rather pathetic ad for some insurance company that features Eddie Money?

  48. misterioso

    I was thinking last night about the close relationship between Lunkhead rock and Jock Jams. Clearly, there is an almost total overlap. (“We Will Rock You,” anyone?)

  49. For a more recent lunkhead homage – tho maybe too much tongue in cheek to be pure lunkhead – I must knominate Cracker’s ‘Teen Angst’:


  50. That ad is spectacular! I don’t think Eddie Money was acting…I’m sure the family in that spot either bolted out the door as soon as the cameras stopped rolling else wound up in a crawl space ‘with somebody’s dachshund nipping at their pancreas’…

  51. Today’s modern lunkhead probably listens to Eminem. How about “I am / whatever you say I am / if I wasn’t / why would would I say I am? / The ray-dio won’t even play my jam / I don’t know, it’s just the way I am”.

    If we’re sticking to rock n roll I like Thorogood’s “If You Don’t Start Drinking I’m Gonna Leave”.

  52. “Paradise City”


  53. Definitely late to this one, but these are all Lunkhead classics:

    Queen–“Fat Bottomed Girls”
    Blue Oyster Cult–“Godzilla”
    Brownsville Station–“Smokin’ in the Boys Room”
    Bob Seger–“Her Strut”

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