Rock Chain #6: Hang On, Sloopy

Rick Derringer

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

Rick Derringer first recorded “Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo” when he was a member of the Johnny Winter Band, although the most famous version of the song was to appear in his debut album All American Boy .The song was also recorded by  Joe Lynn Turner and Suzi Quatro.

Suzi Quatro whose biggest hit “48 Crash” was written by the songwriting partnership of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, most commonly associated with The Sweet.

The Sweet, who in 2012 released a very interesting album called New York Connection with only songs that had something to do with New York City. Among the songs is “Because The Night” a partnership featuring Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith that became a smash hit in the mid-90’s with 10.000 Maniacs.

10.000 Maniacs was one of those bands that enjoyed a brief period in the spotlight thanks to their MTV Unplugged. The band’s lead singer Natalie Merchant later became a solo artist, but quotes seeing Styx when she was 12 as inspirational.

Styx whose tour bus just caught fire while they were in Philadelphia is currently on a co-headlining tour with Foreigner.

Foreigner whose founder and leader Mick Jones was the guy who produced Van Halen’s first album with Sammy Hagar on vocals, 5150.

Van Halen, legend has it, had their first demo produced by Gene Simmons in an attempt to sign them to Kiss label at the time, Casablanca.

Gene Simmons whose first song learned on an acoustic guitar was called Hang On, Sloopy, by a band called The McCoys.

And who was the guitar player with The McCoys? Rick Derringer.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

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