It's not often that fans get the opportunity to collaborate on a song with a rock band that has had the success that FOGHAT has obtained. But that was exactly what happened to a gentleman by the name of Phil Dessinger, when he won a contest asking fans to add lyrics to the originally all-instrumental tune, '495 Boogie', from Foghat's latest CD, Last Train Home. And today, July 9th, fans can hear the winning version, dubbed 'The Word Of Rock N' Roll', which is issued via the band's own label, Foghat Records. The track is now available via iTunes.
'The Word Of Rock N' Roll' lyric video:
The contest entries were narrowed down to the final three by the band and judges Ken Dashow of WAXQ FM Classic Rock Radio in NYC and Jeb Wright of ClassicRockRevisited.com and then put up for voting by the fans.
As Foghat explained in a statement: "Thank you to all of you who entered the ’495 Boogie’contest. What great lyrics! What an extremely difficult choice. We seriously like all three of the final entries (and many of the others), so for us they are all winners! But the votes are in and it was a VERY…VERY close contest."
'495 Boogie' (the most downloaded track on Last Train Home) was recorded in two takes. It came out of a jam with Roger's brother, Colin Earl, who came up with the song, Jeff Howell on bass and Lefty Lefkowitz on harmonica. Eventually, just for fun, Classic Rock DJ Charlie Ocean from Mobile, Alabama, added lyrics to '495 Boogie' renaming it 'Big American Blonde', and sent it to the band. Realizing that this was a very cool idea, Foghat decided to run a contest and invite their fans and all songwriters to add their own lyrics to the tune. Sadly, Charlie Ocean passed away on July 6th, 2011, which led to the idea being put on hold. But eventually, the group felt it would be a fine way to pay tribute to their fallen friend, resulting in the contest running from October 2012 through February 2013.
And the lucky winner turned out to be Mr. Dessinger, whose back-story is an interesting one. The son of an original member of the CBS Orchestra through the golden years of live radio and TV, Phil followed his dad to all of the shows and grew up at what is now called the Ed Sullivan Theater. He has seen everybody perform from SOPHIE TUCKER to THE BEATLES. He has written songs for a UNICEF-Special Olympics global campaign, an Off-Broadway rock musical and a series of independent artist projects.
Due to such anthems as 'Slow Ride' and 'Fool For The City', Foghat has remained a classic rock radio staple since first appearing on the scene in the 1970's. And the band continues to rock on today, as evidenced by their aforementioned latest album, Last Train Home, which was comprised of both original tracks and some fantastic re-worked blues classics. And Foghat's winning streak continues with the upcoming release of 'The Word of Rock N' Roll'.
"CONGRATULATIONS PHIL DESSINGER! Nice Job! Great lyrics…great story! Great positive song: 'Love my life, come on! May be a grind, but I’m strong'."