My hero for life

This exchange of messages on Facebook should tell the whole story:

Mike, I have a trivia/guessing game for you. The other day on the local Ann Arbor rock/pop station, I heard a song that I had never heard before, but I actually recognized it based on something I heard from you back in college. I think we were in Bolton dining hall, so this is a looonnng time ago, so you probably don’t remember talking about it. (Yes, for some reason I remember where we were sitting when I heard this from you, but some information I just read in a scientific paper this week has already left my mind. Real great.)

Anyway, we were sitting there with a few other friends, and we were talking about one-hit wonders or something, and I mentioned a certain 80’s pop band that I thought was a one-hit wonder (maybe their big hit was playing in Bolton), but you mentioned another single they had, saying, “Well, no, they also had [this song].” I had never heard of it, but for some reason my mind retained the name of the song. (Also real useful.)

I recognized it on the radio this week because the singer repeats the title of the song several times. This song definitely sounds similar to their big hit, and you can tell it’s the same singer, though he doesn’t have the most unique, recognizable voice of all time or anything. You and I and all of our friends know their big hit well. Even people who don’t like a lot of 80’s music do. Both songs are definitely more pop than rock. This song is pretty good, so I don’t know why it isn’t more well-known. It’s good enough for the radio in 2009, apparently.

Any idea which song it is?

You can have as many guesses as you like, but if you get it on the first guess, you’ll be my hero for life.

Sorry for such a late response. Apparently looking up to the top of the window and noticing that I have a message is too much for me to handle. Anyway, I don’t remember specifically how that conversation went, but it does sound familiar. That being said, I think I’ve convinced myself that I know the answer. I’m going to guess that the band was Simple Minds and that the song was “Alive and Kicking”. So, do I need to keep guessing, or am I your hero for life?


I would say I can’t believe you got it on the first guess, but actually I expected you to, somehow. Maybe I gave you too many clues, maybe your memory retained some remnant of that conversation, or maybe you’re just that good. I wouldn’t have posed this challenge to you if I didn’t think you were that good.

Still, Mike, you’re my hero. Your reward is you get to imagine me singing, “Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I wanted to be…”

You really didn’t give me that many clues. Subconsciously I must have remembered something. I had it narrowed down to two songs: “Alive and Kicking” or “Do you really want to hurt me?” by Culture Club. For whatever reason, Alive and Kicking seemed like the more plausable answer. I like this game. It reminds me of when you used to sit at my computer and play the first second of a song and I would guess what it was. Anyway, I’m glad I could help ya out.

P.S. Never, ever, ever sing Bette Midler to me…..ever.

I’ve heard “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” several times before, and I don’t like it so much. I do have “Karma Chameleon” on my computer and have for many years, though. I downloaded “Alive and Kicking” the day I heard it and I really like it. I’ve listened to it an average of a couple times a day.

Don’t sell yourself short, Mike: we played name that tune after one note, not one second, and you rocked it, for the most part, as I recall.

Oh, and I was singing the Perry Como version, not the Bette Midler one… :)


[Update for the web page: “Alive and Kicking” is a really good (’80s pop) song, as I said. Check it out.]