As a guy getting up there in years by way of being in my 30s, not to mention my musical tastes leaning toward the eclectic side (no, not the electric slide, the eclectic side — that’s another story altogether), I will freely admit that not only to I own a few Lionel Richie albums, but I will also listen to them from time to time. I am sure that will elicit some guffaws and snorts from some of you whippersnapper hipsters out there, but try to not choke on your Pabst Blue Ribbons over it.
Nevertheless, the news that the Nashville Predators use Lionel Richie’s #1 hit from 1983, “All Night Long (All Night),” as their celebratory music in their locker room following wins surprises me just a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great song and all, but I just don’t see a bunch of hockey players getting into an impromptu conga line and chanting along to:
Jambo nipe senti moja
Hey jambo jambo
Way to parti o we goin,
Jambo nipe senti moja
Yeah jambo jambo
Nor do I see them wanting to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever, for that matter, either, but apparently, it be true.
“Every year they pick a song and this year it was Lionel Richie,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “Half these guys don’t know who he is. They think he’s a new artist.”
The origins of the decision to play the song are murky at best. Jerred Smithson’s iPod is used for locker room music. But Smithson said he takes suggestions from players for songs, and mentioned goaltender Pekka Rinne asked Smithson to purchase it. Rinne denied these rumors.
“It was kind of a fun song and it got everyone in a good mood and laughing,” Smithson said. “We’ve kind of stuck with it a little bit.”
Others on the team said enforcer Brian McGrattan found the song on Smithson’s iPod and decided it would be the team’s tune.
McGrattan would neither confirm nor deny these rumors to The Tennessean but said Smithson had most to do with the song being played in the locker room.
“It came on one morning in the room and everybody started howling,” McGrattan said. “The next game we won and it was the victory tune, so it kind of stuck.”
Interesting. Well, no matter which way you slice it, the fact that the Predators chose to take the Wayback Machine in order to find their victory celebration music is alright in my book. Everybody sing, everybody dance and so on and so forth.