Over the past thirty years, Kool and the Gang’s "Celebration" has commemorated countless sports victories--and inspired at least one indie rocker. After an injury kept guitarist/vocalist Zach Rogue bedridden for months, he picked up his Sears Silvertone guitar and recalled some sunny, summer days at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
"I went back to my happiest moment and I remembered when I was a little boy and I’d see the Oakland A's play," he says. "When they won, at the end of the game, they’d play 'Celebration' and it was the best feeling! Everyone was celebrating and cheering and life was that simple and happy. I felt excited again, in a way I haven’t in a long time. I wanted to write a song that made me feel like that."
The resulting song, the title track to Rogue Wave's Brushfire Records release Permalight, is a joyful affair. With its programmed dance beats and keyboard blips, the band sounds like they're in a happy place, even though they laid down tracks in the home of the blues Oxford, Mississippi--and you couldn't fault them for feeling blue.
During the past few years, the band has endured two career-threatening medical crises and the death of a close friend. It's one of the most moving and triumphant stories you'll hear in rock and roll. And it's documented in the award-winning film D-Tour, which aired recently on PBS.
In fact, their story is so big, that Erik is taking two Morning Sessions to share it. Tune in at 9:20 a.m. Friday for Zach Rogue's personal story.
Rogue Wave performs at The Ottobar on Thursday, July 29th.