“My dad saw Dan Marino”: rock songs about the famous Pittsburghers



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Photo: Courtesy of ATO Records


Pittsburgh appears in a lot of music, and not just native bands like Wiz Khalifa and the late Mac Miller. While the city itself has appeared in songs ranging from James Brown’s “Living in American” to Loudon Wainwright III’s “Ode To Pittsburgh”, some musicians have focused specifically on area celebrities. Pittsburgh City Paper found a few rock songs that pay homage to artists, actors and, in one case, a famous footballer who grew up here.

“Dan Marine” -MJ Lenderman
“My dad saw Dan Marino in a Harris Teeter in South Carolina near the coast.” So begins “Dan Marino”, a track from Asheville-based solo artist MJ Lenderman’s 2022 album. boat songs. The grungy, country western-tinged tune recounts a chance encounter with the former Miami Dolphins quarterback who originally grew up in Pittsburgh and whose name still adorns local landmarks (see: Dan Marino Field in Oakland) .

In a few lines, the song starts with Marino seemingly missing his glory days after seeing Tom Brady on a box of Wheaties, only to recover when he steps out on a boat and sees – what else? – dolphins. “But I think Big Dan will be fine, ’cause he’s a Hall of Famer,” Lenderman sings, setting an eerily reassuring and comforting tone to the song.
Andy Warhol -David Bowie
The late Pittsburgh-born pop artist got his own track on Bowie’s iconic 1971 album Hunky-dory. With jangly acoustic guitar and stripped down percussion, listeners are treated to a more cynical take on Warhol, with Bowie singing lyrics like,Dress my friends just for show, see them as they really are.”

The song has developed quite a reputation over the decades, with the British magazine, Far Out, highlighting how much Warhol disliked Bowie’s ode. “I brought the song to The Factory when I first came to America and played it,” Bowie later recalled, referring to Warhol’s famed New York studio. “And he hated it. I hated him. He said ‘Oh, uh-huh, okay…’ and then he just walked away.” Oops.
“Jeff Goldblum” – Mattiel
Pittsburgh seems to produce some delightfully weird actors (see also Michael Keaton, who will return later in this play), with Goldblum being the king of this weird breed. Mattiel, an indie duo based in Atlanta, Georgia, declared their love for the jurassic park actor and #daddy heartthrob with a track from their 2022 album Gothic Georgia. “He came to meet me in the bathroom, kinda like a younger Jeff Goldblum,” sings lead singer Mattiel Brown, only to compare the unnamed subject to Ichabod Crane, his “Sleepy Hollow baby standing in the rain.” .

“Well, my crush on Jeff Goldblum is very real,” Brown says on the website. Gothic Georgiathe label, ATO registrations. “He inspired the words – but it’s more of a dream where a Jeff lookalike meets me in a bathroom.”

I don’t know how Goldblum, an anxious gentleman who stands at 6’4″, would feel to be on the same side as Crane but, clearly, Mattiel has a type, and we support him.
“Michael Keaton” -Rozwell Kid
The rock band Rozwell Kid may be based in West Virginia, but their song about Keaton is a perfect tribute to the Pittsburgh native who moved on from Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood on the big screen. The track from their 2017 album Precious art follows two young friends whose love for Keaton’s Batman films leads to fantasies about the search for the actor’s house. “You’re in Hollywood, we’re leaving the house for good, and with my walkman, I’m gonna walk, man, straight to your door and ring the bell and say how awesome you are,” Jordan Hudkins sings, his voice enhanced. by guitars, drums and synths reminiscent of the power pop of the 1990s.

Do you have a favorite song about a Pittsburgh celebrity? Let us know at awaltz@pghcitypaper.com.

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