Buckner and Garcia: Pac-Man Fever (1982)

 |   |  1 min read

Buckner and Garcia: Pac-Man Fever (1982)

Few things guarantee a short career more than a gimmick song cashing in on some pop culture trend.

There were dozens of songs about hula hoops in the late Fifties (one even by the great Teresa Brewer, see clip), Beatlemania (one by the young Cher under another name) and Rubik's Cubes.

Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, two songwriters from Akron, Ohio, had previously breached the lower rungs of the US top 100 under another guise with Merry Christmas in the NFL (Howard Cosell as Santa?)

But they didn't initially write this song about Pac Man.

Having had a whiff of success with a sports song they actually wrote Puck-Man . . . but with a simple sideways shift they cashed in on the craze for the big video arcade game of the moment.

Incidentally, their cash-in album of the same name included Do the Donkey Kong, Froggy's Lament (about the game Frogger), Hyperspace (about the game Asteroids) and so on.

It was a concept album in fact which sampled sounds from the various games.

Alarmingly this inane song (which some have said nods towards Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever, but that seems pushing it to me) got to number nine on the US charts and sold well over two million copies. The album even went gold (over half a million sales).

Buckner and Garcia continued to write jingles, novelty songs, some extra verses for the theme to WKRP in Cincinnati and so on.

They even re-recorded the whole Pac-Man Fever album in '99 when it was going to be issued on CD but Sony wouldn't allow them to have the original version.

It might have been a one-hit wonder for them, but it certainly proved lucrative. But Lennon-McCartney they weren't. 

 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

John Lennon: Real Love (1979 demo)

John Lennon: Real Love (1979 demo)

When, in early 1994, the remaining Beatles (aka the Threetles) got together to work on the demo of the late John Lennon's Free As A Bird they at least had the bare bones of a vaguely interesting,... > Read more

Eddie and the Hot Rods: Teenage Depression (1976)

Eddie and the Hot Rods: Teenage Depression (1976)

As their name suggests, Eddie and the Hot Rods were never really part of the UK punk scene although -- like fellow pub rockers Dr Feelgood -- they were often lumped in with it during the late... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Drive through America's southern states tuned to country music radio stations and you'll hear it; Letters from Home by John Michael Montgomery. It's real catchy, was still in the top 20 of the... > Read more

Portico Quartet: Isla (Real World/Southbound)

Portico Quartet: Isla (Real World/Southbound)

This second album by the British quartet confirms why they are one of the most interesting things on the British improv/jazz scene: and not because they are fiery adrenalin-infused post-bop... > Read more