Some readers of my new book, “Only Love Can Break Your Leg“, might have noticed that there is a theme for the chapter titles. Most* are based on titles of songs by renowned Boston area recording artists. Here I humbly present you a playlist drawn from those titles to inspire your reading of the book. (I beg your indulgence for shamelessly citing my personal connections to some of these.)
- When Things Go Wrong – Robin Lane and the Chartbusters (Ms. Lane is a local legend. I once had the privilege of meeting her and checking her daughter into the children’s Sunday School class I was leading at the time.)
- Same Old Song and Dance – Aerosmith, Boston’s original bad boys, from their second LP
- Love Stinks – J. Geils Band (Mr. Geils himself briefly attended my almost mater, WPI.)
- Freeze Frame – J. Geils Band
- City Lights – Livingston Taylor (This is a little known gem by an underappreciated Taylor; his brother James sings harmony on the song.)
- Just What I Needed – The Cars (They hit it big while I worked for WEA, the parent company for their label, Elektra. I worked with the wife of one of the band members, who attended my wedding. I actually got a ride home in the couple’s car, which was THE car from the album.)
- My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars
- Dream On – Aerosmith’s breakout hit from their eponymous first album
- Roadrunner – Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (This song, like the band, was decades ahead of its time. Members of the band went on to play for The Cars and The Talking Heads. I used the band name, not the song, in a chapter title.)
- Dirty Water – The Standells (This is a classic one hit wonder… but what a hit!)
- Musta Got Lost – J. Geils Band
- I’m Shipping Up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys, featured in the Academy Awards’ Best Picture and Boston-filmed “The Departed”
- Rocky Mountain High† – John Denver
- More than a Feeling – Boston (The ultimate air guitar anthem. While I was working for another record label, the now defunct ABC/Dunhill, one of the salesmen brought in Boston’s demo tape. We rocked to it for weeks. Unfortunately, the label didn’t sign them. The album—eventually released on Columbia—went on to become the biggest selling debut LP ever.)
- Let the Good Times Roll – The Cars
- Happy Together – The Turtles (This song wasn’t drawn from a chapter name. The book contains a scene at an “oldies” concert, i.e. a concert for people like me. In my first rendition of the story, that was the artist playing. The story’s original name was a paraphrase plucked from the song: “Me for You”. I still like the ambiguity of that name but it was too close to the name of a book and movie released around the same time.)
- “Big Night” soundtrack – To enhance your appreciation for the North End setting of some of the book, the sumptuous soundtrack to this magnificent movie—the greatest foodie movie ever—is highly recommended.
And, of course, I’d be remiss if I neglected the twin songs that inspired the current book title:
- Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Gene Pitney
- Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Neil Young
Rock on! And read on!
* It wasn’t practical to name all the chapters after local songs. It would have required either extensive research involving even less well known songs or changing the content of the chapters. Neither prospect appealed to me.
† Okay, so it has no connection to Boston. But I did I use it in a chapter title. Besides, I like the song. 🙂