In 1981, “In The Air Tonight” didn’t even crack the US Top 40. So why is it so popular today? What did Phil Collins mean when he sang about someone drowning? How was “the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in history” created? How is it still influencing songs today? What does TV’s Miami Vice and a drumming gorilla for a candy bar commercial have to do with any of this?
Imagine being the opening act for Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix – all before your 21st birthday. Jim Peterik did it and not only had one of the fastest-selling singles from a major label but also went on to co-write some of the biggest rock anthems of the 80s. It all started with a hot girl, an anti-drug pamphlet and a fumbling audio engineer.
Can a one hit wonder be a hit – twice? This is more than a rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story. It’s about how one person’s kindness can make all the difference. So why didn’t radio play Benny Mardones’ song?