Chart Week: November 2, 1985
Song: “And We Danced” – The Hooters
Chart Position: #23, 13th week on the chart. Peaked at #21 the week of October 26.

(Fear not, music trivia fans! After a long dry spell, I’ve got three, maybe four, of these posts queued up for the next couple weeks.)

“Who the fuck are The Hooters?”

Those were Bob Geldof’s comments in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine after promoter Bill Graham forced him to include the band on the Philadelphia stage of Live Aid.

For Graham, one of the most powerful people in music, it was an opportunity to showcase a band that seemed poised to break out in front of perhaps the biggest-ever worldwide audience for a concert. Being a local band from Philly gave their presence a nice little hook.

I would imagine much of the worldwide TV audience understood Geldof’s comments, though. Unless you were from Philadelphia, you probably had no idea who The Hooters were, and would have wondered why they were sprinkled in between Queen, The Who, Paul McCartney, Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, Madonna and other legendary or of-the-moment artists.

The Hooters did have a pretty good run for a few months. They hit the top 40 three times with tracks off their Nervous Night album, and a fourth song – ironically their most-played song on Spotify – just missed the top 40.[1]

While the effect of the Live Aid performance on their career is debatable, there is no doubt their name helped them stand out. The band used a Melodica keyboard harmonica as part of their unique sound. They called that instrument a Hooter. I guess after enough beer or weed or whatever, you can talk yourself into thinking that’s a great thing to name your new band after. I remember hearing that explanation often on MTV and the radio during their brief moment of popularity. But I guarantee a lot of teenage dipshits listened to the band solely because they thought they were named after tits. I remember there was tons of giggling about the name on my Little League team in the summer of ’85.

I bet a lot of people still giggle when they hear the band’s name. That’s a shame. Nervous Night was a decent album. Today it sounds very dated because of the production, but the singles remain pretty solid. And The Hooters at least made an attempt to sound different from standard pop of their era, blending elements of ska, reggae, and folk into their sound, and building it as much on mandolins and the Hooter as traditional guitar and drums.

“And We Danced” is a prototypical mid–80s pop-rock song, though. Those big, crashing guitars up front; the driving beat; the shouted-out vocals. Every stereotypical element of being a teenager in the 80’s seems wrapped up inside of this track. I’m still shocked it was never used in a movie or show that took place around prom night, with The Hooters banging this out on stage while hundreds of kids lose their minds on the dance floor.[2]

This could blend in with dozens of other songs not terribly different from it. But because it was performed by The Hooters, the band with perhaps the silliest name of a very silly decade, it has achieved some measure of timelessness.

  1. “All You Zombies,” the first Hooters song I remember seeing on MTV.  ↩
  2. For example, movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Just One of the Guys, and Better Off Dead.  ↩