Originally published February 2, 2021
Okay, hate is a strong word. I don’t hate allll the songs/bands listed below but all of them will forever be affected by their moment in pop culture for better or worse.
What Stewart did to Winger is the opposite of what Wayne’s World did for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” There’s no question that the car scene from that timeless classic launched a second life (and incredibly Bohemian Rhapsody has had 3 lives) amongst a new generation of fans hearing it for the first time in 1992. This post isn’t about that song and its impact because, well, that’s been done to death. But what about other songs/artists that movies and/or shows have helped/hurt along the way? Bands/songs that were ‘Stewarted.’ Below is a list that is by no means comprehensive of such songs/bands. If I’ve missed any, feel free to let me know.
#1 Stairway to Heaven, Wayne’s World – Being just 12 when I first saw Wayne’s World I had no idea why the store clerk putting a stop to Wayne busting out the intro to a song I had never heard of was so funny, but I’m sure I laughed because I thought I was supposed to. Still, the song and the connotation that came with it – that it’s overplayed – stuck with me from that point on. I like Stairway to Heaven (though it may be Led Zeppelin’s 20th best song?) but I’ll forever remember that I shouldn’t like it that much due to that beaten down clerk who had had enough.
#2 The Eagles, The Big Lebowski – I don’t think I ever had the movie completely memorized but there was a point in my life where just about every social situation I was in, a line from The Big Lebowski ran through my head. I was fiercely loyal to that movie and therefore, The Dude, so when the scene when El Dudarino lets the hilariously short fused taxi driver know that he’d like to listen to anything else but the Eagles in a way that only the Dude could say it, from that moment on I swore the band off. I had already been on the fence about them but that scene sealed the deal. I’m sure the other Little Urban Achievers out there feel the same way.
#3 Baby I Love Your Way, High Fidelity – I never liked this song so when a movie about the struggles of being an armchair, pompous, amateur music critic dedicated a scene to take a shot at Frampton, I felt vindicated. I guess the oldest Cosby girl somewhat saved it by her live rendition in what is a memorable scene but not enough for me.
#4 I Got You Babe, Groundhog Day – I can’t properly critique this entry. I love that song and I don’t care who knows it. Hearing it on repeat every morning at 6:00 AM for the rest of my life would wear on anyone, though, so I’m sure there are people out there who now hate the Sonny and Cher hit because of its overuse in Groundhog day and I don’t think I can blame them.
#5 Goodbye Horses, Silence of the Lambs – This is the song Buffalo Bill is dancing to in Silence of the Lambs when, um, he’s trying on his ‘clothes’ for the first time. I don’t need to say anymore.