John Howell’s column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stuck in ‘Paradise,’ wondering about power of satellite

Is it possible that songs heard over satellite radio have more staying power than those heard through other media? As in staying in your head long after you’ve heard them? Stuck there days later?

That would explain why “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” has been going around in my head for days. Ever since my last visit to New Orleans when I turned the Direct TV (Dreck TV) channel at home to a satellite station that featured ‘70s music.

I listened to the 1977 Meat Loaf classic in its entirety for the first time in years. It would certainly not be the last time, not if you count the number of plays that have gone around inside my head since.

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Not that I’ve minded. Much. But it’s been over a week now.

You either already know the story — boy meets girl, parks in car by lake at night, in heat of passion boy vows marriage and lifelong fidelity in exchange for immediate consummation of his lust and spends duration of vow marveling at having been so rash, something like that — or you don’t already know the story, in which case, don’t bother catching up after 30-odd years.

“Paradise…”, written by Jim Steinman in three parts with Michael Lee “Meat Loaf” Aday, singing the male vocals/playing the male lead.

In the middle, New York Yankees legendary announcer Phil Rizzuto recorded the boy/girl interaction as a play-by-play game description as the boy gets way past first base and is sliding in home when Ellen Foley, Meat Loaf’s female counterpart, speaks up (“Stop right there!”)

Most of the foregoing information was all extracted from Wikipedia, so you can correctly assume that I’ve become obsessed. (I also checked it on Conservapedia. They never heard of it.)

So now for the antidote. For $1.29 I downloaded the eight-minute, 28-second song from iTunes. Hair-of-the-dog reasoning. Which brings me back to the original question: Is there a secret power in satellite radio signals that indelibly imprints these songs on listeners’ ears?