Needham Gets Shout-out in Proposed State Rock Song 'Roadrunner'

Rep. Martin Walsh is looking to celebrate the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts, through a song which features a Needham shout-out.

Massachusetts already has a state polka ("Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts," anybody?) and a state glee club song among its eight anthems, but the state that produced The Pixies, Aerosmith and The Cars is missing something: its own rock song.

But that could change soon. Rep. Martin Walsh (D-Dorchester) filed legislation last week to make "Roadrunner," by The Modern Lovers the state rock song. In "Roadrunner," Natick native Jonathan Richman croons about Stop & Shop, Route 128 and "the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts."

"Can you feel it out in Needham now? Out on Route 128, by the power lines?" Richman asks at one point in the song.

And "Roadrunner" could be the only rock song featuring the line "I'm in love with Massachusetts."

“This is about acknowledging an artist from Massachusetts who’s obviously had a very good career and one of his masterpieces outlines our Commonwealth. Why not recognize the people that have helped us become such a great place?” Walsh told the Boston Phoenix

To drum up enthusiasm for the bill, Walsh and publicist Joyce Linehan, who came up with the idea of making "Roadrunner" the state rock song, started aFacebook page on which people could show their support. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had 1,318 "likes."  

Novelist Nick Hornby even chimed in, encouraging fans to "vote" by clicking like on Facebook.

Not everyone is on bouard however, as the Phoenix blog points out: Richman is flattered, but doesn't think the song is good enough to be official.

After all, if Ohio and Oklahoma can rock their own rock songs, why can't Massachusetts?


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