There were two song titles in our August issue:
The first was a short item in Inbound called "Back on the 'unchained' gang?" It was a call for musicians to perform at Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' EDGE conference as part of a rock band called "CSCMP Unchained." The article title hearkens back to the Pretenders' "Back on the Chain Gang."
The Pretenders was formed in March 1978 by American musician Chrissie Hynde. Hynde, born in Akron, Ohio, in 1951, moved to London in 1973. Having studied art in college, she initially got a job at an architectural firm, but Hynde, who had always loved music and had played in bands during college, soon left to write for the well-known British music weekly New Musical Express. That gig was also short-lived, though. Her next job was at the clothing boutique Sex, run by clothing designer Vivienne Westwood and her husband, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. This was in the mid-1970s, just before the punk scene got going. Hynde played in bands with members of future punk bands the Clash and the Damned, but eventually returned to Akron, a scheme to qualify for a work permit by marrying Johnny Rotten or Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols having failed.
By the time Hynde got back to London, it was 1976 and punk rock was getting started. She toured in a band with Mick Jones, later the Clash's guitarist, but what she really wanted was her own band. That finally happened in '78, when she met bass player Peter Farndon. They eventually settled on guitarist and keyboard player James Honeyman-Scott and drummer Martin Chambers to fill out the group. Hynde played guitar and was the band's lead singer and main songwriter.
"Back on the Chain Gang" was released in 1982. Hynde originally wrote the song about Ray Davies of The Kinks, with whom Hynde had been romantically involved. But by the time the Pretenders recorded the song, the song's meaning had changed. Half the original band was gone. They fired Farndon less than a week before the recording date because of problems caused by his drug use. Then, two days later, Honeyman-Scott died of a cocaine overdose. Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers were left to record the track with session musicians. "Back on the Chain Gang" became a tribute to Honeyman-Scott. The single hit the top five in the U.S. and the top 20 in the UK. It was later released on the 1984 Pretenders album Learning to Crawl.
The second song title made its appearance in our feature about deciding how to approach lift-truck battery charging, "Start me up: Opportunity charging or fast charging?" It echoes The Rolling Stones hit from the '80s, "Start Me Up."
The song was originally recorded as reggae-ish song during the sessions for 1978's album Some Girls, with the title "Never Stop." The song didn't make it onto that album, but was reworked, retitled, and released in 1981 as the first single from the album Tattoo You (most of whose songs were rejects from other albums). The single reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100; according to Billboard, it was one the Stones' 10 biggest Hot 100 hits of all time. Reviewer Stewart Mason called it "the last great Rolling Stones song"—but added "The riff and the backbeat are so good ... that it's easy to ignore the fact that, really, the song doesn't actually go anywhere... . Although the whole thing is over in a concise three and a half minutes, the song is so static that it feels much longer." The song was hilariously parodied in the 2003 faux folk (fauxlk?) documentary A Mighty Wind.
SUBMIT DECEMBER ANSWERS BY JAN. 15
There was only one song-title reference in our December issue. If you think you've figured it out, send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Pacific time on Tuesday, Jan. 15. If you don't have a copy of the magazine handy, you can look through the headlines in our mobile version or online. If you guess the answer, you'll be entered into our drawing for a three-pack sampler of Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' Organic Coffee. Hints for November's answers: Jerry Reed, The Presidents of the USA. (Please note: Previous contest winners may not enter for the next three months.)
1980s promotional video of "Start Me Up"