Rome 56 Mashville

The essence of a great pop song became clear to me in 1978, when the Shirts from Brooklyn hit the Dutch Top 10 within a matter of days with Tell Me Your Plans, an Arthur Lamonica song. It was the first international break for the band, as the song did not draw massive attention in the USA or the UK. As their record company promo man I accompanied the Shirts during this lightning visit to Holland. In two days we saw all the TV studios, all the radio stations and spoke to all the music journalists and concert promoters in the country. When we finally arrived back in Amsterdam, exhausted and proud, we heard a paper boy on his bike sing this Shirts’ song. First I cried with emotion - so did some of these tough New Yorkers in their leather jackets - then I realized there is no better and faster means of communication than a great pop song. The rest is history: Tell Me Your Plans still has regular airplay in Holland and acquired a monumental pop status here. 

What is the secret of a great pop song? If we knew, we would all be rich and famous. A great pop song sounds good in any interpretation, be it acoustic, electric or performed by a classical choir. A great pop song mesmerizes you on the spot, like a pretty girl you suddenly see on the dance floor. The verse makes you recognize her charms, on the bridge she meets your eyes and smiles back, during the chorus you dance with her. Whatever happens next is hidden in the solo or is the theme of another great pop song. Arthur Lamonica has proved his impressive songwriting talent for over 35 years. When in the morning I’m woken up by a melody in my head – which happens about every morning - it’s very often an Arthur Lamonica song. That is the risk you willfully run when you listen to his contagious songs, regardless if it’s Mashville or any of the previous Rome 56 CDs. With Arthur Lamonica the Song is King, and he is a most valiant servant.

Wouter Meijer - Amsterdam
copywriter, inventor, bass player on the Rome 56 Tour of Holland 2013