Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Hooters: I'm Alive

One of the biggest viewed commentaries on this site was back in early November when I featured the Hooters doing their hit from 1985, “And We Danced.” I am going to let the music do most of the talking today as we ponder the band’s 2008 single “I’m Alive.”

One of the reasons I like this song is that it is upbeat and the video is fun to watch. From the Hooters’ first studio album in 13 years, they enlisted fans to send in videos lip-syncing the vocals and playing air guitar (and other instruments). The concept worked. Although the song never made it to the charts, it still is worth of inclusion.

Christmas Card sent to me by the Hooters in 1985

Still fronted by Eric Baziian and Rob Hyman, the Hooters remain high energy performers. Nothing has changed since their hits of the 1980s and they are very much alive. According to Hyman, both titles of the album, “Time Stands Still,” and the single are testimonies to the longevity of these Philadelphia rockers that have withstood the test of time.

The song briefly pays homage to some of the band’s influences with the reference to The Who’s “Summertime Blues” and the inclusion of a Who poster. A subtle allusion to the Beatles occurs with what appears to be a drawing of a “Yellow Submarine.”

As with several of their songs, there is a biblical reference with the line “as I walk through the valley of the shadow.” Previous interviews with band members have indicated that none are particularly religious and their tune “Satellite” was critical of the shady nature of televangelism. Since the biblical references tend to be Old Testament, it may be that Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian are drawing from their own Jewish roots.

Wait a minute, isn't Bazilian an Armenian name. Well, it certainly follows the naming pattern of Armenian surnames. You will also find his name among lists of performers of Armenian descent. In 1986, I even asked him if his name was Armenian and he said it was. Now, it's very possible that it was easier to agree than rather to explain that his ancestors were actually Lithuanian Jews and that somehow the original surname was corrupted at Ellis Island. His own website debunks his supposed Armenian descent and sets forth the truth about his ancestry.

Notwithstanding the lack any past or present religious connection, they confess that the discussion of spiritual matters often occurs in their midst.

Unplugged version with Eric Bazilian on Octave Mandolin

Live Version for German Television; 2007


I've got a condition for which there is no cure
I'm in a position that everyone prays for
Got a sound in my head that could wake up the dead
Like The Who singing Summertime blues
Got no thorn in my side, got no secrets to hide
I'm completely and utterly amused

I'm alive, I'm alive
It's a beautiful day and I'm happy to say
I'm alive, I'm alive
And wherever I go it's amazing to know
I'm alive

From running fast as fast as I could getting nowhere
I'm standing incredibly steadily somewhere
Got a hand on a jug and a girl that I love
And it's driving me out of my mind
I'm a bird on the wing with the world on a string
And I'm feeling incredibly fine

I'm alive, I'm alive
It's a beautiful day and I'm happy to say
I'm alive, I'm alive
And wherever I go it's amazing to know
I'm alive

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