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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

A Look Back At 2021: Revelatory Moments in Classic Rock from Behind The Song

Over the past year, the Behind The Song podcast has explored some of the most interesting backstories and lyrics in classic rock. From Tom Scholz’s fantastic caper in making Boston’s debut album to the accidental lyrics in Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” here’s a look back at the most revelatory moments in 2021’s lineup of Behind The Song episodes.

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

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney: the $15 million song

Written in less time than it takes to light up the yule log, Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” continues to be played around the world during the holiday season more than 40 years after it was released. It’s a song that showcases McCartney’s remarkable talent for creating ear candy, and it earns the former Beatle a surprisingly hefty paycheck every year. Find out all about this festive tune’s origins in the new episode of Behind The Song.

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

Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” is a love letter from a grateful Robert Plant

“Thank You” by Led Zeppelin, released on their incredible second album, shows the softer side of Robert Plant. Written for his wife at the time, Maureen, it says the heartfelt things that we often find difficult to express, and it came at a pivotal time for the band. Listen to the story of one of the greatest classic rock songs about gratitude in the new episode of Behind The Song.

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

“Eminence Front” by The Who: Pete Townshend’s midlife crisis

“Eminence Front” by The Who was recorded at a crucial time for the band, after the death of drumming legend Keith Moon and during a very rocky period in songwriter Pete Townshend’s life. Listen to the story in the new episode of Behind The Song.

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

How John Lennon’s death inspired Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe”

“Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider is perfectly spooky-sounding for Halloween season, but the song is actually about something much scarier than ghosts and goblins. Find out more about how songwriter Tom Cochrane found the courage to write the lyrics after the untimely death of John Lennon in this episode of Behind The Song.

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

The story behind Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”

“Maggie May” by Rod Stewart catapulted his solo career when it was released in 1971, and it’s based on a real life event that happened to the rock star. Find out more about this timeless tune in this episode of Behind The Song.

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

Behind The Song: Scorpions “Wind Of Change”

“Wind Of Change” by Scorpions has the rare distinction of being a history lesson within a huge rock ballad, released after the Berlin Wall came crashing down in 1989 in the band’s native Germany. In the years since, it has become a unifying theme song for the circumstances around that event, and singer Klaus Meine has surprisingly had to debunk conspiracy theories that the song was actually written by the C.I.A. as propaganda to end the Cold War. The fascination people around the world have with this song – and its iconic whistle – is a testament to the power of music.

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

Behind The Song: Neil Young “Heart Of Gold”

“Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young is his only #1 hit, a song that was recorded in just two takes with an assembly of artists in Nashville including James Taylor and Linda Rondstadt on backing vocals. It is a song that stands the test of time, written for the Harvest album when Young was just 26 years old, and its lyrics open a window into the enigmatic inner workings of one of rock’s greatest songwriters.

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

Behind The Song: Bad Company “Silver, Blue and Gold”

“Silver, Blue and Gold” by Bad Company is a fan favorite from the supergroup, but it was never released as a single. Written by Paul Rodgers for the Run With The Pack album in 1976, it offers a unique look into the mindset of the private rock star, and is one of the reasons why fans can’t believe this multi-platinum arena rock band has still never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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

Behind The Song: Don Henley “The Boys Of Summer”

“The Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley is one of the quintessential end of summer songs, and it has a surprising history. With music written by Mike Campbell and intended for Tom Petty to sing, it ended up being the lead single on Henley’s 1984 solo album, Building The Perfect Beast, and it draws its title from both a Dylan Thomas poem and a book about baseball. Dive into the lyrics and history of this song about the girl who got away at summer’s end – and that Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac – in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

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

Behind The Song: Boston’s Tom Scholz and his Rockman (Bonus Episode)

In episode 72 of Behind The Song, Janda unpacked the history of “Foreplay/Longtime” by Boston, and the incredible story of how Boston founder Tom Scholz persevered against all odds to create the sound of Boston on his own terms. Scholz, an MIT graduate with an engineering degree, went on to form his own technology company, and created The Rockman, a portable amp that impacted the sound of rock music in the 80’s and early 90’s. Dive deeper into the story of Scholz and his invention in this bonus episode of Behind The Song.

Listen to all episodes wherever you get your podcasts, and watch the video episodes on the Youtube channel at https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ. You can also follow @behindthesongpodcast on TikTok.

Behind The Song: Boston “Foreplay/Longtime”

In 1976, Tom Scholz engineered one of the greatest capers in music history when he devised a plan to record Boston’s debut album his own way, contrary to how the record label executives thought it should be done. The result was one of the best-selling albums in rock and roll history, and it all started with an instrumental track that Scholz wrote while studying at MIT years before. That track grew into “Foreplay/Longtime,” one of many hits on Boston’s triumphant first album. Host Janda Lane digs into the incredible story of Boston in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

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!”