My 'genius' famous original classical-rock, theater-rock, progressive, rock "'Stravinskyan-rock" song and composition fully orchestrated by me, from 1970/1972!!! Pulsating, hard, edgy, aggressive, dissonant, choral rock song by me, totally!
Charts #110 in subgenre today
Previous peak charts position #94
John David Thomas (John Thomas)
1970 by John David Thomas (ASCAP)
November 12, 2017
Story behind the song
I composed this in 1970 during a thunder-and-lightning storm that happened at 321 North Irvington Avenue in Indianapolis one night, while I was "home alone"!!! A lightning bolt hit a power transformer next to my house and scared the living daylights out of e, prompting me to immediately compose this on the piano there!!! Here, in 1972 |I composed and arranged/orchestrated this for 24 vocalists (me as the lead singer), 8 trumpets, 2 drummers and drum kits, 12 percussionists, 2 bass guitars, grand piano and multiple keyboards. I fully notated all of this music! This song received it's world-premiere in March 1972 in Emens Auditorium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana fofr 2 sold-out shows there, with the Ball State University Singers (24 of them) singing with me singing lead vocal and also brother Paul on drums and singing accompanying vocals and Jim Sanders on electric vass guitar and vocals also. I played a 9-foot concert grand Steinway piano! The 24 singers were rehearsed by Larry Boye. I was credited in the program notes there with being the composer - arranger - conductor of this work the 2 days it was performed. It received a rave review in the Ball State Daily News student paper by Linda Huffman, music critic who said "Special congratulations should go to John David Thomas (me) for his music composition, "Death of Rock and Roll". The audience at totally spellbound as the psychedelic music and light show unfolded! This song earned me an offer of a national staff songwriter's contract for one yeaar with Tree Publishing Co. of Nashville, Tennessee in 1971! Offer made by a Judy Thomas from CBS Records of New INVALID ork City, who was the A&R rock mmusic rep at CBS, who signed major rock stars to their rock contracts in New York. She said, "I have never heard a song like this before. (It is fantastic!) I want to use this song to launch a major new rock band on the West coast (L.A.) and have it do for them what Quadrophenia did for The Who!!! Make them superstars!
Take me on your head
I know I'm dead
But I don't care
Lead me through the Straits
The Pearly Gates
Are waiting for me.
Death of Rock and roll
How could you be such a drag?
Death of Rock and Roll
You turn me on like a wet paper bag