Billy Squier – “The Stroke” (45 Single)

Back in 1981, Billy Squier came screaming on to the scene with the classic track, “The Stroke”.  This was the song that introduced me to him and kept me a fan all these years.  The song did fairly well on the charts reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the song comes from his second album ‘Don’t Say No’ which went on to be a triple platinum selling album.

Now admit it.  You have always thought this song was about masturbation, didn’t you?  “Put Your Right Hand Out / Give a firm handshake”…always led you to believe that Mr. Squier was manhandling his little…”guitar” for lack of a better word.  Ok, I didn’t want to say dick, so there, now I have said it.  However, the song is actually not about that at all.

The song is about the Music Business and how it treats it’s talent.  How with “the stroke” of a pen, the musician signs their life away and becomes the property of the record label. They promise them the “big break”, get their music everywhere (“spread your ear pollution”) and promise fame and fortune.  However, when the hits dry up, the label drops you (“when you’ve found you bled me / slip on by”).  And when you look at the song from that perspective it is really a great song…okay…when you look at it the dirty way it is also a great song…either works!


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MTV Debuted 35 Years ago today – August 1st, 1981

It is hard to believe, but it was 35 years ago today that MTV debuted and changed music forever.  It also changed me forever.  When we got cable, MTV was the channel I had to watch.  It was the channel that shaped my music tastes and helped make me so obsessive about music.

It allowed us to not only listen to our favorite music, but actually get to see our favorite artists.  We no longer had to wait for American Bandstand to come on or get the latest music magazine to see the artists.  We could watch them every day, all day in their videos.

The first video played on MTV was The Buggles – “Video Killed the Radio Star”.  This was the most appropriate opening video they could have possibly chosen.  Although it didn’t really help their career as I couldn’t name another song they did.  It did make them famous forever for being known as the song that was the first video on MTV.  If you want to see a list of all the videos played on the 1st day, click on this link to wikipedia.

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