Sometime not long after my eventual betrothed and I cohabited, her dad sent us a Sony Dream Machine, which was a pretty great clock radio. I know, now we have the history of the world on our phones which also work as an alarm clock, but it wasn’t always so.
What was so is that we set our wakeup to WNEW, which was New York’s classic rock and somewhat-a-little free form station, even in the mid-80s. At this point I’m guessing that it was WNEW’s 20th anniversary, and they started one of those things. They counted down the 500 or 1000 or 5000 greatest songs of all time, who can remember, and while we didn’t listen all day, it was a topic of some conversation each day, because we woke up to it.
And as they counted down, as we woke up each morning, we heard songs listed as No. 324 that we considered Top 10. (I have no memory of any rankings, sadly, since it would be better if I could explain why Psychokiller should have been top 100 rather than 406th, or whatever the actual facts were, but I can’t.) In this context the last few days of this marathon were truly suspenseful. This was the best radio station I knew limning a pantheon of rock tunes at a time when that wasn’t something available all over the internet. It was something music geeks might do, and they really had no good way to know that there were so many other geeks out there doing the same things. They were a band that had yet to meet.
So, while I have no memories of specific songs, I remember commenting in the final days that they were using up all the good stuff in the countdown. There was nothing good left for number one, it seemed, the morning of the big reveal. But there was.
At the appointed hour, the appointed DJ (it had to be Scott Muni), played the Greatest Rock Song Of All Time! Here it is:
You might ask What’s my point. I might say that’s my point. Hold your head up.