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Behind The Song

Dig deep into the lyrics of classic rock songs and the storytellers that created them in "Behind The Song," a podcast by The Drive's Janda Lane. Hear what was happening behind the scenes while some of the most iconic songs in rock history were being written.

Latest Episodes

How Joe Walsh’s “In The City” went from Warriors to Eagles

“In The City” is best known as an album cut on 1979’s The Long Run, an album the Eagles cobbled together after many months and on the heels of their epic Hotel California album and tour. But it was first co-written by Joe Walsh for the soundtrack to the cult classic film The Warriors, and it’s his version you hear in the unforgettable end scene. Find out how this song came to be recorded by both Joe Walsh and the Eagles after the film was released in this episode of Behind The Song! 

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Why Van Halen took their time with “Right Now”

“Right Now” by Van Halen is an inspirational song about living in the moment, but it took a long time to come together. Released on 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, their third after Sammy Hagar joined as frontman, it was purposefully written without a trace of reference to fast cars, girls, or partying. The video for the song was so ahead of its time – dealing with world issues and cultural hot button topics – that Hagar was afraid that the lyrics he had so painstakingly penned would get lost in the concept, at first. And of course, there’s the incomparable Eddie Van Halen playing piano on “Right Now,” a musical note that has its own backstory. Unpack it all in this episode of Behind The Song! 
Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel: 
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When Billy Squier Rocked Christmas on MTV

In 1981, the launch of MTV coincided with the rise of Billy Squier, and the two were a match made in pop culture heaven. The year ended with a singalong performance of his holiday single, “Christmas Is The Time to Say I Love You,” filmed at the MTV studios in New York City and aired as MTV’s first Christmas special. All five original MTV VeeJays were a part of the choir: Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, and the late J.J. Jackson, and the moment captured both the energy of those early MTV true believers and the spirit of the season. In a twist of irony, it was another video released a few years later that got Squier into hot water with his fans! Unwrap the history in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/@behindthesongpodcast
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How Joan Jett embraced her “Bad Reputation”

“Bad Reputation” is a song Joan Jett wrote while being rejected over and over by people in the music business, after realizing that she herself had gotten a bad reputation simply by being in her scandalously young former band, The Runaways. She and her producer, Kenny Laguna, were turned down so many times by record labels in the US, in fact, that they finally decided to take matters into their own hands to release her debut solo album. Dig into the very rock ‘n roll story of Joan Jett’s rise from LA teen rocker to a platinum-selling member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/@behindthesongpodcast

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane
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Supertramp’s singalong hit about the ideal gift

“Give A Little Bit,” the opening track on Supertramp’s 1977 album, Even In The Quietest Moments….is a song that appeals to our better angels, with an idealistic message of unity and generosity. Written by Roger Hodgson when he was still a teenager, the song went on to become one of many worldwide hits for the band, has been used to represent charities ranging from UNICEF to The Red Cross, and even ended up being a princess’s favorite song. Take a closer look at this singalong song and its unifying beauty in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/@behindthesongpodcast

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane
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The country song that became Def Leppard’s only US #1 hit

When you think about Def Leppard, country music is probably the last thing that comes to mind. This band helped usher in the second wave of British heavy metal and made it appealing to the masses with a polished, pop element to their songs that are all a far cry from the country genre. But on their fourth album, 1987’s Hysteria, an album created after the horrifying car accident that took drummer Rick Allen’s arm, the band said yes to recording a little song that their producer Mutt Lange brought to them, an acoustic number he had originally written as a country tune that became “Love Bites,” their first chart topper in the US. Unpack the lyrics and history of this song and the incredible triumph of the Hysteria album in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane

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When Sting became the “King Of Pain”

When The Police recorded their final album, 1983’s Synchronicity, they were the biggest band in the world, but they were on the brink of disintegrating Personal conflicts with each other and drama in their personal lives would play a part in their breakup, and at least one of the songs, “King Of Pain,” was written by Sting about the misery of divorce. The fact that the album went on to top the charts is a testament to the musical magic that this three-piece rock band from London were capable of, even in the throes of their own demise. Unpack the lyrics and history of this incredible song in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane
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How Pink Floyd and Bob Ezrin built The Wall

Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album, The Wall, stands tall as a body of work. A true rock opera, it tells a tale of a war orphan who grew up to become a jaded rock star, growing increasingly isolated behind a mental wall…which closely mirrors Roger Waters’ own life experiences. This epic undertaking may very well never have happened without producer Bob Ezrin, who was brought in to help the band flesh out the concept, and he’s responsible for pushing for the release of “Another Brick In The Wall Part II” as a single, one of the few songs released outside of album form by Pink Floyd. Find out more about Ezrin’s part in building The Wall in this episode of Behind The Song.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane
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David Bowie’s mad, marvelous Moonage Daydream

When David Bowie wrote “Moonage Daydream,” he didn’t actually write it for himself. Yet, the song became the pivotal hinge on which the rest of his ingenious album, ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’ swung. A deep cut on the album, it is the title that director Brett Morgen took for the documentary film about Bowie’s kaleidoscopic career, and for good reason: when Bowie freaked out in a moonage daydream, we all did after his fashion. Find out why this song is an important star in Bowie’s constellation of music in the 100th episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane
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All Apologies: interpreting Nirvana’s last goodbye

“All Apologies” by Nirvana is the last song on the band that rocked a generation’s third and last album, In Utero. If the last song on an album is an indication of what might come next in musical terms from a band, fans may have had many more textured, beautiful, dynamic songs like it to look forward to, had Kurt Cobain not died at age 27 just months after it was released. Like many of his songs, the lyrics are often misheard, and even those misheard lyrics seem to make sense when he sang them. Unravel the lyrics and story of this haunting and timeless song, forever a reminder of a once-in-a-lifetime talent gone too soon, in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Host: Janda Lane
Music Producer: Christian Lane

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ
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Who is “Angie” by The Rolling Stones about?

The song “Angie,” released on The Rolling Stones’ Goats Head Soup album in 1973, has been the subject of much debate over the years. Is there an actual “Angie” and if so, who is she? Unravel the many rumors about the namesake of this classic tune in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

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How “Killer Queen” set the stage for Queen to grab the crown

When the band Queen set out to make Sheer Heart Attack, their third album, much was at stake. They were embroiled in a battle over royalties with their management, and guitarist Brian May had become extremely ill while on tour as the supporting act for Mott The Hoople. Broke and finding themselves working under pressures that could have dashed their rock star dreams, Freddy Mercury somehow wrote “Killer Queen.” The whimsical song about a high-class call girl ended up being their first smash hit in the US, and its success finally helped propel the band to headliner status. Take a closer look at this killer song in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

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Janda co-hosts afternoons with Seaver on The Drive.

Janda is an enthusiastic transplant to Chicago, having recently arrived from Los Angeles. She has hosted radio programs across the country, including at KCRW – Los Angeles, 91X – San Diego, Soundbreak.com – Los Angeles, KNDD – Seattle, WAVF – Charleston and WEND – Charlotte. Her experience also includes work behind the camera as a video director and producer and as a music curator.

Janda’s interests outside of radio and music include all kinds of film and TV shows, thriller fiction, food, her family and her cats Ollie and Liam. When she has any spare time, she studies traffic maps and practices saxophone and guitar. Her favorite artist of all time is David Bowie, and her favorite color is red.

Janda says, “I’m thrilled to be here in Chicago, the best city in the world, and at The Drive, the best station with the best fans in the world!”