Massachusetts already has an official state song, an official state folk song and even an official state polka song — but when it came time to choose the state’s official rock song, the battle lines are being drawn.
Last week, a well-meaning state representative introduced a bill that would have made Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” the official state rock song of Massachusetts. Now, a pair of Boston-area representatives have introduced a rival bill to make Aerosmith’s “Dream On” the official Commonwealth rocker.
Democratic representatives Josh Cutler of Duxbury and James Cantwell of Marshfield have filed legislation that would make Aerosmith’s 1973 hit the Bay State’s official rock son. “Here we’ve got a great South Shore band that is one of the most iconic bands in the nation, so we’re sticking up for our guys,” Cutler told the Quincy, Mass. Patriot-Ledger. While both representatives firmly believe that the state should be represented by Aerosmith and the band’s flamboyant lead singer Steven Tyler, they filed the bill as a tongue-in-cheek jab at state Rep. Marty Walsh, D-Dorchester, who is promoting “Roadrunner.”
Aerosmith, one of the most successful bands in American music history, got their start in Boston and several members still live on the South Shore. But while they’ve got Modern Lovers beat in the fame department, their song “Dream On” makes no mention of the state — while “Roadrunner” is a virtual paean to the Commonwealth, proudly proclaiming “I’m in love with Massachusetts” and name-checking local landmarks like the Stop n’ Shop supermarket chain and Route 128.
Both “Roadrunner” and “Dream On” are included on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. But which one deserves to be the official rock song of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts? You decide: