Raising Awareness

I never really cared for Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever.” The main riff always reminded me of a warped version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” But that’s not the only reason. Besides being uninspired musically, I could never take it seriously after I found out that Cat Scratch Fever was an actual disease. Of course I’m keenly aware that Ted Nugent wasn’t actually writing about subacute regional lymphadenitis (the less said about his true intent the better). But what if he was? What if The Nuge wanted to draw attention to this relatively benign illness because he felt strongly about raising awareness of it in the public consciousness? What if that trend caught on? What if it became trendy for 70’s rock artists to record songs about relatively harmless medical conditions? Imagine a world where these were real songs…

Rush – “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (parts I-IV)”
It may seem a bit wordy, but it would probably fit right in with their prog-rock 70’s epics.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Halitosis”
They’ve already got a song called “That Smell” so this doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

ABBA – “Alopecia”
If anyone could make a song about total hair loss catchy, it’s ABBA. The Broadway musical they’d eventually make based on the song would probably be a hit too.

Kiss – “Gout”
The fact that it also rhymes with the word ‘shout’ makes it a lyrical no-brainer. Perfect for a band that never met a bad lyric they didn’t like.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Conjunctivitis”
Those guys seem like they might need an alternative explanation for their bloodshot eyes anyway.

Blue Oyster Cult – “(Don’t Fear) The Head Lice”
There was a lot of hair in that band. The Reaper was the least of their concerns.

Rod Stewart – “Tooth Decay”
His work did became progressively more saccharine as the 70’s wore on. I imagine that this song would fit nicely on 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun.

Well, that just about does it for this week kids. Be sure and join me next week for What if 80’s Music Videos Only Starred Dachshunds. And be sure to check out my upcoming book, Wild Side: The Sociopolitical Impact of Glam Metal on the 1988 Presidential Election.

One Comment on “Raising Awareness

  1. Motley Crue would have to sing about mental illness. Because we all know what “Dr. Feelgood” was prescribing, and why.

    Van Halen would write a ballad about chlamydia. Because David Lee Roth.

    Def Leppard was all about diabetes. Come on, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is just a little too on the nose.

    Poison was obviously aware of tetanus. If “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” then you better get a shot before she breaks up with you.

    Michael Jackson was a proponent of healthy stress release and self-gratification. Two words: “Beat It.”


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