Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, No...

I was running around work today like a crazy person when I heard my boss' line ringing. Since she'd stepped away, I ran over and grabbed it. "Hello - So & So's office..." And a husky masculine voice on the other line said, "May I speak to her, please? It's Eddie Grant." So I yelled for my boss, who was around the corner. "It's Eddie Grant!"

She said, "Oh, goody!" and started to sing, "We're gonna rock down to - ELECTRIC AVENUE..." as she went back into her office.

I was surprised."It's THAT Eddie Grant?"

"Of course," she replied.

"Wow," I said. "I thought he was dead."

"Oh, that's nice, Mo!"

"No, really, I swear I'd heard that he got killed over drugs or something."

"Oh no, he's not like that at all!" she gushed.

I should tell you that I work in music publishing and we administer Eddie Grant's work. It's not unusual to get calls from well known songwriters. However, I was convinced this guy was dead. I hopped on the internet to find out that not only was he totally alive, but did a hell of a lot more than just that one song. He was in a biracial British ska band called the Equals in the 60's which scored some chart toppers (now that's first wave, kids), he did production for the likes of Prince Buster, had a label in the early 70's promoting reggae, and owned his own recording studio. During this time he had a heart attack which nearly killed him (hmm, maybe that's where I got the idea) not due to a party lifestyle, simply a hectic one. He was well established by the time the 80's hit, having also pioneered soca music and become a political singer, and then he hit on that Killer on the Rampage formula that got him those gold records and stuff.

After that all faded, he had already started a studio in Barbados. He was also mentoring rising soca stars and created ringbang, yet another style of music. He started a music publishing company which mainly consists of old calypso and Carribean artists, and provides their back catalog to a thankful audience.

This does nothing to change the fact that "Electric Avenue" is one of three songs I hate more than anything else in the world. The other two are "Carribean Queen" by Billy Ocean and "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Really. I hate them all. Very much.

Sorry Eddie.