Singled Out: Foghat's Boogie Train
"I COUNTED TO 4 AND OFF WE WENT! Actually it was my brother Colin (Earl) on piano who came up with the basic idea for it('495 Boogie'). He is a boogie king! It was done in one take, and I believe the only overdub was by our friend Lefty Lefkowitz on Harmonica. Lefty was an electrician in Local 3 in NYC and was working at the time of the original recording.
We released it on our recent Blues record "Last Train Home" in 2010. It ironically enough turned out to be the most downloaded track on the album.
Then Classic Rock DJ, Charlie Ocean from Mobile, Alabama, added lyrics to "495 Boogie" renaming it "Big American Blonde," and sent it to us as a joke! (It was a bit risqué even for adult ears). It was his idea that we run a contest and invite fans to add lyrics of their own.
Sadly, Charlie Ocean passed away on July 6, 2011 so we put the idea on hold for a bit, until October 2012. At that point we figured the contest would be a great way to honor our fallen friend, so we went for it.
The contest entries were fantastic! Then we narrowed it down to the final three along with judges Ken Dashow of WAXQ FM Classic Rock Radio in NYC, and Jeb Wright of ClassicRockRevisited.com and put them up for voting by the fans.
The first place winner, Phil Dessinger, wrote a song called "The Word Of Rock N' Roll". Great lyrics, something that any traveling rock and roll band could relate too. The contest was so close we decided to release the 2nd place winner as well. These terrific lyrics just happened to be written by a man named Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tom Mix.
Tom wrote the lyrics while he was deployed in Afghanistan as a MARSS B300 pilot in B Co Task Force ODIN. (ODIN stands for Observe, Detect, Identify, and Neutralize). He had previously been deployed to Iraq twice before (MEDEVAC pilot in 06-07 and Brigade Safety in 10-11). Tom is currently in a 'Warrior Transition Unit' in Fort Polk, Louisiana. These units are designed to help wounded or injured soldiers recuperate and return to duty or to be able to transition to civilian life.
When I first met Tom we discussed two things: Fishing and Arkansas. This lead to our chat about 'Fishing For Freedom'. Fishing For Freedom is an organization that brings together warriors with volunteer boaters for a day of tournament bass fishing. I think any day spent fishing is a good day. If we can help some of our wounded warriors in any way, even just having some time on the water, dangling a line and relaxing, I think it's time well spent.