Timothy Patrick McMahon

Yes, THAT Timothy Patrick McMahon!

Bad Music, part one – or “I miss Napster”

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I miss Napster.  I miss how easy it was to find any song you could think of in an instant.  I know that there are plenty of ways to still find music online, both legally and illegally, but in my mind, nothing will beat the simple elegance that was Napster.

When Napster was around, I took it for granted.  I would download plenty, but didn’t properly save my musical finds.  At the time, I would burn music to CD’s, so I could play my stuff in the car or at work.  Instead, I should have filled hard-drive after hard-drive with data.  (though, keep in mind just how small and expensive drives were a decade ago.)  If only Napster and the iPod had crossed paths, then maybe I would have done a better job of archiving the mp3’s and other audio files I had stolen.  (Napster peaked in usage in February of 2001.  The iPod wasn’t introduced until October of that year.)

Anyway, I mention my longing for “the olden days” of the internet because all I have left from Napster is a handful of cd’s of really bad music.  But, it’s bad music I love.  Songs, that no matter how many times I hear them, I never get sick of them.  Mostly early 80’s pop.  Many from one hit wonders.  Let me take a few moments to share some of these songs with you.  (more later)


This song is from Broadway, so it must be good, right? (I hope CHESS gets a US revival someday.  I would love to actually see it.)  I love the sarcasm in Head’s voice.  I love the double entendre and the Cold War imagery. (who ever thought the days of living under the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction would be considered the good old days?)  I just love this song, simple as that.

MR. ROBOTO by Styx

So bad, yet so good.  My fifth grade music teacher used this song to teach us musical theory.  (I wonder if this is why I didn’t grow up to develop any musical talent.)   But as annoying as this song is , it is pretty ahead of it’s time.  Not musically, but scientifically.  It predicted the tech-infused world we all live in now.  You may not want to admit it, but I know many of you are secretly Kilroy.

PAC-MAN FEVER by Buckner & Garcia

This song screams Fourth Grade to me.  Whenever I hear it, I can’t help think of that year and my friends from Saxtons River Elementary School.  Fourth Grade  was the year that I discovered “popular music”.  (Casey Kasem’s Americas Top 40 was required listening to each weekend back then!) And this song was a big hit that year.  At least in my mind it was.  (Sadly, I never heard the full album of arcade inspire music by B&G until much later in life.)  All these years later, my love of the Top 40 may have faded, but I still loves me some video game fun!

MANEATER by Hall & Oates

Another Fourth Grade song.  This was the first song I ever bought with my own money.  I still have the 45, even though I don’t have a working record player.  This is another song that I think can’t be considered a bad song, simply because it’s from H&O’s.  They are the best selling musical duo of all time (take that Simon and Garfunkel!), so they must have been doing something right all those years ago in the recording studio, right?  You see my logic here, don’t you?  Anyway, songs like this make me miss the days of saxophone solos.  Other then Springsteen, does any one use the sax anymore?  Anyone new?


Along with PAC-MAN FEVER and MR ROBOTO, I’m seeing a nerdy trend here.  No wonder I’m into MC Frontalot and other nerd-core artists these days.  I could be wrong, but I think this may have been the first video I saw on Mtv.  (I just want to note, I never had Mtv as a kid.  We didn’t have cable.  I had to watch it at friends houses.  I used to get my music video’s from Friday Night Videos, once a week, and sometimes at the end of Entertainment Tonight, as the credits rolled at the end.  -Do they still do that?)  Anyway, this song is a classic, and one I know I will never tire of.  I can’t pay it a hire tribute then that.


It still saddens me whenever I remember that Falco is dead.  But he will always be alive in my memory thanks to this song (and thanks to DER KOMMISAR and VIENNA CALLING).  Twenty plus years later and I still sing along in the same faux German gibberish.  I’m not including the original music video here, but rather the longer Salieri Edition.  Because this version brings to mind junior high friends in Grafton Vermont.  You see, before the terms “mash-up” and “re-mixes” had been coined, we used to use two tape recorders and a microphone (pre-Beck, mind you) to craft our own versions of songs.  There was a version of this song made by some pals who changed “Amadeus” with “Tim McMahon” (same amount of syllables), and who made the opening time-line lyrics about the girl I had a crush on at that time.  When I’m alone, I’ll sometimes sing my own song to this tune.  Sad, i know, but hey, there ya go.

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

December 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

Posted in Me, Music

One Response

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  1. […] simply post more “Wiki-Person of the Day” entries, or I may take inspiration from my recent post about bad music, and simply post more horrible songs that I like, or I may even continue my bad habit of reposting […]

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