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

Brews Springsteen: Shoot Me in the Dark (1988)

Brews Springsteen: Shoot Me in the Dark (1988)

More correctly this should be attributed to "artist unknown" but this bent cover appeared on an SST album from the late Eighties of which I only have a test pressing. Others on it are... > Read more

The Sound Symposium: It Ain't Me Babe (1969)

The Sound Symposium: It Ain't Me Babe (1969)

In his liner essay to the new Bob Dylan Bootleg Series collection Another Self Portrait, the writer Greil Marcus makes a disparaging comment about the string arrangement on the original version of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JEFF HEALEY INTERVIEWED (1989): Keeping the future open

JEFF HEALEY INTERVIEWED (1989): Keeping the future open

Sitting in his Sydney hotel room, Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey talks lovingly about his collection of 11,000 78rpm records (“I bought another 30 or 40 today in a shop near here.”)... > Read more

THE MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM AWARDS (2017): Hats off to those behind the scenes

THE MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM AWARDS (2017): Hats off to those behind the scenes

This time a year ago Elsewhere interviewed Teresa Paterson about the work of the Music Managers Forum, an industry organisation of people dedicated to improving the professionalism of music... > Read more