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blatantly bad 70s music: shannon (henry gross)
Nov 6th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

hey. i have a great idea. let’s write a top 40 smash hit. the topic?

a dead dog.

from the what the hell were they THINKING file: henry gross, a founding member of Sha Na Na, struck it out on his own and made an album. one of the songs on it was titled skin king. well, where do you go from there?

you change record companies, of course.

gross moved over to another record company, where he wrote this little ditty about the passing of beach boy carl wilson’s dog, shannon. i guess once you write a song with a title that might sound like a film vehicle for ron jeremy [warning, kids: don’t open that last link up at work or the bells will go off], where else do you go? as we learned as english majors reading john donne, there’s nothing closer to sex than death. so of course, in the classic tradition, gross made the leap… into an irish setter’s demise.

you old folks might remember the long distance dedication moment on kasem’s american top 40? well, someone wanted kasem to dedicate shannon to the requestor’s deceased dog snuggles. apparently, all hell broke loose when his coworkers programmed something upbeat before the doggy downer:

…I want a goddamn concerted effort to come out of a record that isn’t a fucking up-tempo record every time I gotta do a goddamn death dedication! It’s the last goddamn time; I want somebody who uses his fucking brain to not come out of a goddamn record… that’s up-tempo and I’ve got to talk about a fucking dog dying!

nothing like a dead-dog song to bring us all together.


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