March 2, 2022

Eye of the Tiger (w Dave Bickler of Survivor) - Episode 905

Eye of the Tiger (w Dave Bickler of Survivor) - Episode 905

Movie Month returns with one of the all-time iconic soundtrack songs. From Rocky III (and pretty much every Rocky movie thereafter) comes Survivor's signature hit, "Eye of the Tiger." Original Survivor lead vocalist Dave Bickler joins us to discuss this song's journey to the big screen, why the movie version differs from the album cut, and oh yeah...being the voice of the single most successful radio commercial franchise of all time, Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius!"

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Transcript

I'm Rob Alley J P. And we're punching, we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music history. We're going to tell you what makes them great, why we think they're awesome and why you should too. J.P. how are you doing today, man? Doing fantastic. It's movie month. Oh, are we back like any Stallone series?

We're back with the sequel. Technically it's number three in the Rocky Farron franchise, but for us, it's our second Rocky coverage. So we're going backwards. Exactly. So for all things, Rocky, we had Robert Tepper, no easy way out from Rocky for season seven, episode sixteens. If you want to go back and hear all things, Rocky here, all things Tepper and I'm not going to compare the two.

I'm not going to compare no easy way out. And this song that we're covering today as they're both legendary, but let's just say. Any fighting movie song that gets any more radio play or any more cultural reference than this one, because I can't from Rocky three, put your American flag box and shorts on stared at Clubber Lang AKA, Mr.

T's eyes. And let's do this thing. And I pity the fool that says no to that. Let's do it. Kick it. Rock. This is Eye of the Tiger by.

and it's cramping up already from it guitar part.

I love how the face changes, pedal tone, to change him with the chords.

love that they throw the word survivor in the lyric, just the band name.

So good. That is Eye of the Tiger by survival. From the movie, Rocky three, the 1982 album Eye of the Tiger. It went number one on the billboard hot 100 for six weeks and went to the billboard top tracks, UK cashbox, Canada. All over the world, top five or 10. It is the number two billboard song for all of 1982.

Do you want to get, I looked it up the female version of this song. If this is like male workout song, number one, physical by Olivia Newton-John. It's such a funny juxtaposition. It really is. It really is good. I, throughout my life, I've been consistently surprised by the humanness of physical, by Livia Newton.

Jontay I just didn't get it. I think it's because it's about work. Like the video is so how working out, you know what I mean? Like I just, I just go this camp people can't like if Jane Fonda sang it's that song. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But we're not talking about the female version. Nope. We're talking about bracing, our testosterone and sweating and working out and fighting and running in short shorts, hugging on the beach.

That's right. Running with a black friend on the beach is what we're doing to. This song won the Grammy at the 1983 Grammys for the best rock performance by a duo or group. And it was nominated for song of the year. Do you want to know what one song of the year, what beat Eye of the Tiger for song of the year?

1983 Grammys. So it'd be another 1982 song. You'll never guess it. I don't know. It's Willie. Nelson's all always wait. It's thanks, Willie Nelson. Thanks for stopping by. Wow. Yeah, it's good. Smell the weed from here. Let's see Oscar nomination for best original song. You want to take a guess at one? I do know this.

Go for it. This is where we belong from officer Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warrens. The ultimate soundtrack song stress Jennifer Warren, that we talked about in our dirty dancing episode with our good friend, a Frankie that's right. Frankie Previte number one for six weeks on the billboard hot 100 keeping Rosanna by Toto and hurt.

So good by John Mellencamp from hitting the top spot. During that time, let's talk about how he lost the, those two. Just barely. That's kind of the Rocky story. Just ended up just a little short. Oh no, no, no. This kept those from going number one. I know, but I'm saying back to the other two, the other two, but then it surpasses.

So it's like, oh man, I've just been a little short my whole time, but then you get the victories. That's good. It's the Rocky story in song? It is the Rocky story in song form. It is number 26 on the billboard all time, 600. Yeah. Made the list and not just made the list. Number 26. That's ha I mean, come on.

That's like your debts, chubby checker, looking over his shoulder from the number one spot. You know what I mean? He could see you in the rear view Chevy checkers, the guy you're fighting, or is it the guy you're racing? Number 26 on the billboard on town, 600 between number 25. How deep is your love by the BG?

And number 27, we found love by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris play. There you go. That's it. That's the number 27 billboard song of all time. Apparently that's a weird. One day, somebody is going to explain some more of that to me, I guess, really one day somebody's going to put a hat and then they just like put all these songs in a hat and just started drawing.

Like, I think the problem is I'm just out of pop culture, music, music, music, podcasts. I just like Rihanna. I understand Rihanna is huge. I didn't realize that song is bigger than Eye of the Tiger in some way, if you would have told me anyway, there are a hundred categories, you know what I mean? And, or, or like, I don't know, maybe a hundred would be too big, but like, if you told me there's, you know what I'm saying?

There's like, if they were like, let's talk about salt, let's have a category of songs that find love and hopeless places, then it would rank a little higher. But other than that, what list is it going to be? All time billboard compare these two songs. I'm going to go, well, obviously the tigers gave that one away, but and it beats it.

My one slot, I just, that's always a surprise to me that some of these songs sit in that, you know, thing the Rocky four soundtrack featured two songs by the same band with different lead singers, because the Rocky four soundtrack also featured Eye of the Tiger with lead singer. Dave Bickler from survivor who we're going to talk to hang around.

You're going to like this guy, you're going to loop her fun. And he's, so he's done so much more than his work with survivors that we get to talk to about him. You're going to love it. Should we go ahead and say the other thing that if you don't know from his time was survivor the play a sampling. If we can find one, let's do one let's.

You guys will remember this while you're looking this up. These are. But light presents real men of genius, real man of G Mr. Giant, taco salad and vendor

ground beef, re fried beans, guacamole, cheese, sour cream. And if there's any room left, a few shreds of lettuce creation that baffles to the human mind, a 12,000 calorie salad.

Here's your taco salad healthy. Of course it is. It's a salad. Isn't it.

Crack open. A nice cold bud light conquistador of a calorie. You put the face in Fiesta, Mr. Chan.

Yeah, that is Dave Bigler. He is the voice of the real men of genius slash real American heroes brought to you by Anheuser-Busch wasn't it, bud? I think it's bud light, but they own it. I think so. I've got a little, I know about beer. So yes, stick around. We're talking to Dave Bickler about his time in survivor and the experience of being the real men of genius guy and all things in between.

And so to finish my original point, there was a lead singer change in survivor. And so the Rocky four soundtrack featured two survivor songs, but both of them had different lead singers, not just a band with two lead singers, which happens sometimes, but it featured both iterations of, of, you know, so it had Eye of the Tiger with Dave Bickler and then burning heart with Jimi Jamison.

So both of them featured on the Rocky four soundtrack, but I, the tiger is the theme for. Rocky three. I mean, it is not only the like musical theme, it's the theme of the movie. It is Rocky finding re refinding his what's the word I'm looking for? His focus, you know what I mean? His devotion and all these things, he's going soft.

He got protected and he got his title, took from him by Clubber Lang the meanest dude in movie history. Possibly question mark Clubber Lang is terrifying. He is in the ring on the streets, dude in the gym, no matter where in the warehouse, wherever you find that guy, that's right. When you ready for a real man, you know what I mean?

Like, Hey woman, a woman, like he's seriously. When he's the shots of him. I was a little scared of him as a child. The sh the shots of him when they're boxing, close-up on his face when he's wearing the mouth guard and stuff. And he is just relentlessly beating the pulp out of Rocky. I, I, you know, dude, I mean, come on.

Hey, beat that man. So bad, so bad, so bad. I must be honest. Rocky is ripped in three. Like he is like shredded Stallone is so ripped and the, yeah, but they raise the intensity of each fodder from one to two from two to three. And not to say that Drago's one up, but from four, five Tommy gun, Kevin would've stepped back.

I don't count five. I've tried to watch. I did watch five again. I think what last year, maybe when we, even when we were prepping for our Robert Tepper episode. And I just don't, I can't count it. I can not allow that into what I think about the Rocky movies and just can't do it not rings outside Rocky three though.

It could be my favorite. Yeah. I, maybe I go, it goes back and forth. Same. It's a, by the way, I have a shameful admission. Okay. Okay. I have not yet seen. The new Rocky four director's cut. Okay. And I haven't either, and I'm a huge hockey fan, so I probably can't believe it. So I, I felt like I got duped a little bit because I didn't realize that it was only going to be in theaters for one day.

Okay. It showed one night in theaters, like one showing all around the country. It was like a special event. I thought it was going to be just rereleased in theaters. You know what I mean? And now you see it now, whereas it's now it's on you know for purchase, it's not even on streaming services or anything, but you can, you know, buy it on iTunes or, you know, whatever's on Amazon.

Yeah. I will. I must, I shall definitely own that, but I just don't get it. It was like, we're talking about three. So you get a pass. That's right. That's right. Let's see a little bit about the song itself. It was. And, and how it ended up on Rocky three. So the original tempo track for the rough cut.

If I don't, I think we talked about this a little bit in our in our power of love episode that like sometimes the director will put in a track as a sort of a placeholder and go, this is the feel I want musically for this scene. And I think they wanted to actually use the song that you're talking about, but didn't get permission right on another one by I believe.

So that was the plan. They were like another one bites. The dust was the feel that Stallone wanted. And and it either didn't work or fell through somehow. And he had heard he had heard the song poor man's son by survivor and asked survivor then to supply this theme song for Rocky three. So and interestingly enough, the three songs with the longest tenures at number one in the decade of the 1980s were Eye of the Tiger.

Okay. Another one bites, the dust and physical. Oh, wow. How about that? Yeah. Longest, longest number ones of the decade was three. So it kind of makes sense that they're all in there, you know, it's, it's kind of ironic. They're all in there together with this rocket. Let's see a little bit from song facts. Jim Peterik one of the writers of the song regarding the origin of the song, he said, when we got the initial rough cut of the movie, the scene that Eye of the Tiger appears in was cut to another one, bites the dust by queen Frankie.

And I are watching this, the punches are being thrown and we're going, holy crap, this is working like a charm. We called Stallone and said, why aren't you using that? He said, well, we can't get the publishing rights to it. Frankie. And I looked at each other and went, man, this is going to be tough to beat.

We had the spirit of, we've got to try to top this. So I started doing that now, famous dead string guitar and started slashing those chords to the punches we saw on the screen. And that whole thought whole song took shape in the next three days. That's pretty cool. I would love to have the opportunity to craft a song like that for a specific scene in a movie.

It's one thing to have. You know, it's always especially if you've got a template to go off of something like that, like here's the story. Just put something around. I feel like, I feel like I'm a girl. I'm a great a imitator. If you give me a point to focus on and sort of mimic, I can, I can pretty much do it.

You're listening to this episode. Just go ahead and send us a message and send us a pre-release of Rocky 42. That's coming out and we'll, we'll lay it down. Prayed for, yeah, we can be, we can have it in time for creed for Expendables five. Yeah, it was I was trying to the specialist to the specialist.

Wow. Yeah. Demolition man. Six. I love it. Demolition, man. I loved him. Listen, watch it recently. So, yeah, I, that, that's such a cool thing. Cause you know, you have, when it comes to soundtrack, you have, the soundtracks are usually called music from an inspired by the motion picture Rocky three. Right? I would love to be one of the music forums that appears.

And of course there's, I assume there's financial benefit to being actually in the movie as well. Double whammy. Cause you'll get paid by the movie and paid by the album sales and sale residuals from yes. You know, movies. Showings and purchases and all that kind of stuff. So that's a pretty, pretty sweet deal to be able to be like, be the theme song for this movie that's going to play, you know, and the Rocky movies, you know, they don't skimp on the tie.

It's not a deal where like, oh yeah, my songs in that movie. Oh, where is it? Oh, it's playing in the radio in the background. And when they go through the gym, you know, or whatever. No, no, no, no, no, no. It's out front and he's like, dude, here, this, it turns into a music video for three minutes, you know? And here's the song.

The, the, the songs really are part of the storytelling, you know, Stallone movies. Yeah. That's very cool. Okay. At this point, In my notes. It says we should probably meet the band. Okay. Let's meet them. Let's do it. Hey, let's meet the man. It's time to meet the man.

we're going to meet the band of this iteration of. That played on Eye of the Tiger. Rob has mentioned Frankie already. That would be Frankie Sullivan on lead guitar. He's the only member of survivor that's been stable since 1977. His idol get this, I think is perfect. It, his idol is the great Muhammad.

Ali has a giant poster of him still hung up in his house. And what better guy to write the song for Rocky than a guy who's idol is Muhammad Ali. Yeah. So I think that's wonderful. Go ahead. Read. Have you seen, have you seen the clip of Stallone at the Oscars interrupted by Muhammad Ali comes from behind and says like, you still like, yeah.

Points a finger at them. And then they, like, they do a little, you know, it looks like, yeah. And I'll tell you the a good documentary. I cannot remember if we talked about it on number four, but go watch the real Rocky, which is the story of Chuck Wepner, who says that Stallone took his story. Really good.

So go. John Rob mentioned Jim earlier on on grand piano and electric guitar and vocals, legendary songwriter, vocalist, and songwriter of odds of March their song vehicle, you know, the, the popular bow buys cover, you know, vehicle course vehicle also wrote high on you. Search is over. I can't hold back for survivor.

Had some great days, bam, Cub, lamb, Cub lamb. Here's what you may not know. He. Hold on loosely and rocket into the night for 38 special let's play a little of either one of those, I guess, hold on loosely or

this just like a slow down. He's like, I'm tired of playing that fast. Let's slow that down.

I'm on base. Steven Ellis it's either Stephen or Stephan. It's S T P H a N. I'm going to go Stephan Stefan, Stefan, I don't know. It's probably Steven. Wasn't that? The name of articles? Alter ego font. The font hill. There we go. I'm on base, had two different stints with survivor. He left in the mid eighties and came back in the nineties.

It was also in a band called club med.

On drums, mark drew bay. I can't find another thing of note on this guy other than he's still on. I put other than I put other tan I'm into, right. Other than other tan he's on LinkedIn. So there's that you can you can, you can hire him to be your drummer. He's like the spotter Reiko of Rocky one, the first guy he fights, he's like a notable character, but not so much after that.

So spider Rico on drums, AKA mark drew bay, and then lead vocals. Dave Bickler man, this guy's great. Oh, y'all are gonna love, love chatting with him. Cool. To come sit with us for a minute. I got a couple of notes. One. I want to talk about why this song has a special place in my heart. That happened later in life.

So I played guitar for Spanish. There for a while to where my, my wife and each year for a few years, stint there, I got asked to play like their version of youth camp. But the thing about Spanish church, youth camp, and like Tennessee, everybody from the Tennessee area comes to Chattanooga in Spanish churches.

There's not a whole lot in each state, so it's multi states. So it's North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and it's big. Like it's big and I'm the white guy let's just get like, and it's not like I can blend in. So the whole thing's in Spanish. I know I'm the, I'm the white guy up there and play guitar the first night.

It's kind of cool. Second night comes up and it's like, I, you know, I don't really know why I've been here other than I've been the guitar player. I don't get all the jokes. Like I don't get anything. They have a different speaker each night. Well, the speaker comes back before the second night and he's like, Hey, he's like, I want to do a sermon on, or like a thing at the, at the end of us, he's like through the preaching.

And when I'm speaking, I want like an intense fighting scene. He's like, does anybody know like a boxing? And this is through Spanish and I'm trying to pick up as much as I can, like just anybody know a good and they're like, JP Love's Rocky. Like J.P. you don't need the Rocky songs. I'm like, dude, I know all the toddler.

And they're like, teach it to us. So in the back on this box piano, it's just a box piano in the back. I'm like, here's the chords. So see monitor be flooded, ain't flat. And I'm showing them how to do it. And I'm like, I'm going to do that. And we're going to have this, like this, we'll just put it together.

And so I got to play auditory in this huge arena with all these pastors doing this font and sequence, he calls kids up on stage and does like, anyway, super cool. And I said, I felt like I saved. And then the next year I got to play the Star-Spangled banner on the 4th of July. And it was kind of cool. But anyway, that was, so that was really neat for me that I got to teach these guys this song at this big moment.

So that was, that was kind of fun for me. So all y'all that went to Spanish camp. That's right. Everyone's like, that was you. You're the, you're a L L L got the logo, all the Spanish. I know in one phrase right there. That was wonderful. Go ahead. Let me, yeah, let me play you something important. When you're talking about teaching people, this song, okay.

This is one of the most important things about this song is this one hit that's offset. This is how, you know, if somebody knows this song or not. Okay. You get this one. Okay. So you've got your opening riff.

The first two are the same

here. The next one's the same. And the same, this next one. The second one is late right here. This is early. No, that's the same. But that second hit, that second hit is, is offset. Right? And, and if, if you just tell somebody to play this song by themselves without any help and they play that, you know, they actually know the song, right.

If you, if I'm just going to go ahead and say it, if you play it the same way, both times, you're a hack. I don't care. I don't care if, if I heard Steve Luther play it the same way both times, I will tell him to his face. You're a hack. Look at there. Get outta here, meet me in the ring. Gear up, buddy. I'll tell you.

One thing I do like too, is the film version has the tiger growls. Whereas the album version does not, and anytime we can ride a tiger, let's write a tiger. Play a little Ronnie James Dio, holy diver. And let's ride that tide.

oh, I got it. His wife wrote a book.

love that. Anytime we get Teddy, Ronnie James Dio reference, we can throw. Thank you for having the tigers to be written. That's right. Okay. One of the other things that I wanted to point out musically about this song, it's, it's, it's not super hard to follow, it's it truly in a minor key it's in that C minor thing.

And I love that the the chords that come in at the beginning, when you get the, you know, you've got the hits but then you've got the, the chords that come in and play a little bit more legato instead of. Jack Jack got there. Bam, bam, bam, bam. You know what I mean? They got a little more meat on the bones and they are like minor seven chord.

They've got it. They keep a B flat in there that it's not fully just a C minor chord. It's it's got a little more space in it. I love that. Here's the other thing that I love. So listen to the bass. The bass is going to go pedal tone. Here

was the base of staying on the same note. These chords are moving around C minor, a flat B flat oversea. Now the base is going to move to the chords.

basis moving all the way down.

I love it. It's a nice little change, but it's a difference in feel and it, it keeps that it keeps the verse moving in a, in, you know, in a certain way. Cause nothing else changes except for that. I also love by the way, I can't not point this out that that Phil is a little bit rushed. The drum feels a little bit rushed between the converse.

Yeah. This, listen, listen. You'll never not hear it. Spider Rico and drums, everyone.

that's right. That's undeniably, right. We're not on a click here. You know what I mean? It's all fields. And so but anyway, I've always loved that. Let's see. And then let's go to the second verse where we've got these harmonized guitars. This is great.

Come on. That's beautiful. If scorpions had patients that right there, scorpion said, patience, take that Michael Schenker. Wow. What a bird? A bird. By the way, I love Scorpio.

It's phenomenal if scorpions patients. Oh gosh. I got to stump the genius. Let's do it. Let's stop the genius. Genius. The genius genius. Genius. All right guys. Lapsing in my notes. All right guys, though, Rocky is the third of the Rocky saga, if you will. So I'm going to do famous trilogies, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to have three ways.

You can get points. So I'll love it when it gets complicated. Okay. So there's three ways you can get points. I'm going to give you the tagline for the movie. Okay. If you get it off of that, you get three points. Okay. If you don't get it there, I'm going to give you an actor. That's not necessarily the lead, but as a popular character.

Okay. And then if you get it that you get two points and then I'm just going to give you a ROMs width. And if you don't get it with the ROMs with, I've never done this and you suck, may I suggest an edit? Sure. I think it will be more difficult for me. Okay. If you give me the actor first. No, no, I don't think so.

I think I'm going to not know the taglines to a trilogies popular trilogies. Eh, I don't know the actors there's cause they're like side characters, right? Not the main character, but they're popular movies. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Let's try it. Let's try it. We'll do it this way. Trilogies. Okay. Good plan. That's a good, that's a good plan.

Do trust your gut. Okay. I might mix it up for each one. Okay. That's good. Okay. Okay. I'm going to go with this one first. We're going to the tagline. Okay. Pro from the brother of the director of ghost. That's so funny from the brother of the director of ghosts. So sounds like a comedy, right? You're not going to say that.

What I'm thinking, trying to think of comedy trilogies. And I also don't know who directed ghost. Okay. So that is not helpful to me as a context clue from the brother were there? No. Mm yeah. Oh no. Okay. All right. Okay. Actor slash actress, Priscilla Presley. Oh, dang it. That's what I was going to guess. The naked gun Brahm. Would've been baked, ed MUN naked Guthrie.

I, you know what, what I was about to say when you started counting was my guess would be hot shots, naked gun 33 and a third. It would've had to have been, that's why I didn't get the naked gun because I was like, no, those came out before ghost. At least a couple of them did. Yeah. The brother of the director of ghosts one.

Okay. Next one tagline run for cover, run for cover. I'm going to have to put these on a time limit. Yeah. Gremlins. No, not grumbling actor, David graph. I don't even know who that is. David graph, David graph, David graph, graph graph, graph, graph, graph, run forever. David graph, run, run, or cover over to cover the well I'd cover the, I don't know.

Give me, give me the run. Okay. Let me look this up right there. Making sure I don't botch this. No. Okay. Here we go.

police academy back in training for cover, for cover. All right. So we got one point. This David graph, David graphs to show you which one it is. I'll just spin it around and show you who it is. I'm trying to think. And there were like eight police academy movies. So it could have been like. It's so many different catheters or is he the little shrimpy guy?

No, that's not true. Yes Tackleberry yes. Okay. Okay. Never knew his actual name. There we go. All right. We're doing better than Elise academy. All right. I got a shift in my mindset. I'm thinking matrix. That's where I was like, dude, I'm going to get these taglines, right? Here we go. They've saved the best trip for last, but this time they may have gone too far.

They've saved the best trip for last, but this time they may have gone too far. And this is the third of a trilogy. The third what's funny is immediately I think of like road trip. True. It is not road trip. Okay. Actor Thomas Wilson. Oh my gosh, back to the future. PAC Dutta mutual AFRI, back to the future three.

Good job. So we got to there, you would have gotten that tagline. They've saved the best for last, but this time they may have gone too far. Wow. How about that? Okay. All right. I'm trying to mix these up, man. This one is easier. Spoiler alert. They didn't, it all works out in the end. Alright, here we go. He's still evil.

He's still deadly. And he surrounded by fricking idiots. That's gonna have to be Austin Powell, Austin Powers. There you go. Seth green would have been the actor, Boston Bowers been bold. Bamber in gold member. So we got three on that one though. Right? Goodie. And we got one more. Okay. One more, one more to complete the, I had a number in mind.

I was going to see if you could get this many points and this'll be, this'll be the test to get it. Okay. All right. I think you'll get there. This is an easier tag on maybe Hector's pretty easy. I don't know which way to go with this. If you don't want to pause it and you find a less significant aggregate Ving Rhames thing, Rams, a mission, impossible mission.

Impossible. Yeah. The tagline was the mission begins 5 0 5. So an easier one to go out with 11 points. I was like, if he gets more than 10, he's done pretty well. All right. I feel, I feel pretty good. Finished strong, a little, a little disappointed in my performance, but I'll, you know, just an everyday thing for me.

Seven out of 15. That's pretty good. That's good when you put it that way, it sounds, but now if you worked at the percentages though, it's like what? It's 78 80 growing. I don't know. Hold on. What's 11 divided by 15. It's about 0.7333. That's a 73. I barely passed barely past glass. Alright. How'd y'all do at home.

Let us know how you do. Let us know if you got to all of them from the taglines. If you knew from the dirt, from the brother of the director of ghosts, I was this close. I was so close, dude. The clock, the clock beat you on that one. All right. Let's see. A few more facts on survivor formed in Chicago, 1978 by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, who we've mentioned Peterik was originally the guitarist and vocalist for the ides of March, as you said, great initials by then, right?

J.P. that's true. Then the Jim Peterik band, the inner liner notes of his 1976 album with the Peterik band described him. As you want to guess, described him as quote. A survivor. Wow. All right. That's good. That's tricky. Yeah. So this song depending on who you ask may have stemmed from an incident where in Jim, Peterik had a brush with death, two original members of survivor Gary Smith and Dennis Keith Johnson had also been part of the band chase with which Jim Peterik had also worked.

And in August, 1974, the chase band experienced a tragic loss when their plane crashed killing leader, bill chase, and several members of the band. It was one of those sort of day. The music died territories where he was supposed to be on the plane, but you know, or could have been on the plane, but it wasn't in 1984, Survivor lead singer.

Dave Bickler was having problems with nodules on his vocal chords and the rest of the band didn't want to wait for him to recover as they had just released. I have the tigers follow-up album caught in the game, so they replaced them with Jimi Jamison, who was part of the band from 1984 to 88. And that era also produced the hits.

A couple of that. You mentioned moment of truth. I can't hold back high on you. And the search is over. And then of course burning heart, which was also in Rocky four. There've been a lot of lineup movements, including the return and departure again of Dave Bickler in the nineties, and then a second tenure of Jimi Jamison in the early two thousands.

Meanwhile in the two thousands, Dave Bickler co collaborated on the massive bud light commercial campaign, real men of genius, which itself has sold a hundred thousand copies. There's a CD of the real men of genius jingles that was officially released and yes, and it is a gold. That's awesome. That's so great.

That is fantastic. You can steal it. I don't know if we ask him that I wrote this question down. I don't know if we ask him or not. Would you rather open, like as a musician for the Clubber Lang Rocky fight or have them open for you? Would you rather be like, I'm the headliner and Rocky Clubber is opening for me or would you rather be the band that opened for that?

You understood what I'm saying? That's your question. Would you rather be in a band that opened before this fight? Like I'm like I'm the opening act for the Clubber Lang or would you rather them be the fight that opens before your rock show or you play, oh, I got you. Like, they're the, are you the draw or are they the dry?

See. A weird idea, but worth exploring to have fights about oh five before rock show, get everybody all riled up and get and betting and gambling. And what if it's one that ends in like a round it's like everybody's mad. They spend all this money and then you just go get it, take all your aggression out on.

Freaking do it. Now, if you're a coffee shop, you're freaking Chris. Isaac's not going to get up there.

And then you just put it on the thing Fillmore and Chris Isaac tonight. That's amazing. I told them to put puppet show first. Ah, that's awesome. You know, and how cool is it because not only was I Eye of the Tiger is not only. You know the theme to Rocky three, but it becomes in essence, the theme to all the Rocky movies, right?

Like, you know, after the fact and you get it's even, it's the opening credits of a Rocky four, you have the, the two boxing gloves slowly inching toward each other with the American flag and the, and the Russian flag. And then they come together and explode. That's all happening to the backdrop. I, the tiger and the American flag boxing gloves stands in their Russian when explodes.

There you go. So the album in June, 1982, went to number two on the billboard top 200. It was held back from the number one spot, I believe by the self-titled album, by Asia, which is a little surprising. Yeah. Either that or Mirage by Fleetwood Mac. I couldn't tell the heat of the moment on that Asia album.

It's gotta be probably almost had to be it's their only album right now. Either that, or, or Mirage by Fleetwood Mac. I couldn't tell exactly from the chart information that was available to me for free. So I wasn't going to pay for it. It's one of those. Choose your poison. That's right. Okay. I have a couple covers that I want to mention.

Okay. Can't not mention the weird Al parody, the rye or the Kaiser. Why don't we go ahead and listen to a little bit of this since there's no. Well, before that, that is on in 3d, which is the one that had eat it. So like that long ago. Okay. Lower key. And you'll notice it's an accordion, not a guitar

roll onto the Verve. This is the theme to Rocky 13, by the way, weak what a disgrace. The champ got too lazy. Ain't gone offline out. He's just taken up the face, sold his gloves, threw his eggs down the Dre.

The works down the street, be bought the neighborhood

beautiful inside. Maybe y'all hear him say

lots of great references in there about how he like goes up in the back and beats up on the liver worst and you know, all the great, great, funny references, but that's what it's listed as the theme from Rocky XII on the album, which is even funnier. Then there's also a reference. It's not a cover per se, but it is a reference and the song is used in the 2000.

19 moving. I think Shizam Shizam was Zachary Levi, a great movie. Want to do better movies immediately. My head went Kazem

shazamm the captain Marvel, but not captain Marvel, not captain Marvel for Marvel, but the original captain Marvel, who is now called Shizam that is owned by DC. Very confusing. If you look at the original one. Oh, that's right at a convention, right? Yeah. Anyway, there's a scene where he's sort of first figuring out his powers and they start playing that and he's going hands lightening from my hands lightening from my hands.

And he's pulling lightning from the sky, you know, and making them light on line in front of my hands. And it's, it's a great, very funny song. And then there's one more that I have been waiting to play and it got even better. Just recently, it just moments ago, this moment actually got better because this is a mashup cover.

I promise we don't go looking for these things. They find us. This is called holy tiger. Parenthesis. The Eye of the diver? No, this is a mashup of DEO and survival references in the same episode. How did this happen? You're going to go, oh my God. Not ready. Holy tiger. The Eye of

this is from the task master on YouTube, by the way, shout out.

I love it.

You can see your stripes.

that's great. That's awesome. So we get, let's get to the core.

here. We got the lyrical overlap,

the task master on YouTube so much for that there made my day. That was so good. It's probably the highlight of season so far. I love it. All right. We're going to talk to Dave Bickler and we'll be back at the end to tuck you in, but. Make sure you go to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and follow us there at all of them at Great Song pod.

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All right, let's go talk to the voice behind Eye of the Tiger and the real men of genius commercials, Dave Bickler and we'll be back. This is the Great Song Podcast, ladies and gentlemen, as promised we are here with Dave. Bickler the man in your head for this. When you think of intense training and getting a hyped up for anything in your whole life, you've heard the voice of Dave Bickler singing Eye of the Tiger.

Immediately. You start sweating when you hear his voice because of the power or for fear, because now you've got to go work out. Yes, Dave, thank you so much for joining us today on the Great Song Podcast. Excellent. Okay. Since you mentioned workout this one wasn't even on the board, must you work out to your own songs or you like, I need to go work out.

Do you put on the tag and you're like, I'm going to go do this thing. Definitely not think how weird that would be.

Having said that it's one of the things that makes like Eye of the Tiger have an seemingly infinite life, because, you know, And it seems to be a thing, right. I think for, for, for motivation, for working out, for getting fed for yeah. And people will never run out of the need to be motivated or the needs, you know, work out or, you know, I mean, God knows I could use a little of that myself.

I mean, let's be honest. So I'm interested in, no, I didn't realize really until we started researching that the that the original version of Eye of the Tiger that was in Rocky three was actually the demo that you guys produced and that you had to then rerecord it for your album. Can you tell us a little bit about that story and how it came about?

And I understand that the, maybe trying to get the feel of the second time around wasn't quite as easy. Can you tell us. You know, I don't remember. Well, I'll tell you the story of why that happened is that, you know, this came up kind of suddenly so that's just alone. Production was already well along, you know, they, they work on a strict schedule.

Right. You know, for the most part. And the, he decided he wanted it. He hadn't had the music settled for the opening sequence. He had, he had you know another one bites, the dust, you know, was, was, was in place, but they couldn't use that or they could, it wasn't right. I'm not sure what that, what the exact reason was, but they were going to use that and he wanted to ride.

He wanted something, you know current, you know, you want it to where he was looking for a rock band. And he knew the president of our record company, Tony Scotty, Scotty brothers records. And he played them our second album premonition. He liked that. So can you guys, then they rent me a song, but time was, was, was really ticking.

A couple of weeks literally to get it together. And so Frank and Jim went in the, you know, they got together and they sat down. I started working on that song. They came up with, they came up with this song. We went to the studio. We'd never heard it. The band had never heard the song that came in, brought it in and showed us to us.

We all learned our parts sort of, and formulated it that evening. We were at CRC in Chicago and I had to listen to the melody and lyrics and we, I got in front of the mic and started singing and, you know, and then later on he put like the piano thing that you had, you had that stuff. I remember sitting there and doing that thing.

That's pretty cool. That's pretty cool. Ripping off. Yes. But put cool. And so yeah, it was really rushed and the demo went out. I mean, he really liked it and it just turned out that we had to get out to California. We were going to make a, make an album, but we heard that process up and we got out there, but there was no, no way we were going to get that done in time for the, for the movie deadline, you know, for that music to be in the demo.

So they just used the demo, you know, and I didn't even know that until later I didn't realize I didn't actually realize did you, were you okay with that when you, when you found out, oh, when you realized, oh, this is the demo version, did that, we were you like, I wish they hadn't done that or were you fine with it?

No, no, it was okay. I thought the demo was pretty, pretty darn good. You know? But when you go into the studio to record the album, you want everything to be consistent in Canoga park, which is a, you know, a lot of great people that were recorded. There was the captain. The captains just to build that studio is a great place where the need console and it was so you wanted it to be consistent, the sound that drum draw track there and all that stuff.

So, so we, we recut the sign and I don't remember it being a problem though. It kind of just something about that. Someone just seemed to roll off a log for us, you know, as far as the, when we recorded, it sounded, you know, the same. Really? Yeah. I got a follow up question since you talked a little bit about gear and I'm going to tie it into the video.

So first of all, how color payphones and that video, and aside from this video, how often did you power walk at that speed during that? And do you, you sing into a 57 in the video do you prefer to sing into a 57? Is that your mic of choice or was that simply a. That was a prop. Right. You know, so yeah, that's what, that's what they, they thought would be a vocal mic.

50 sevens are kind of there. They sound great, but they're a little tough because they don't have the same kind of pop filter that a 58 Scott, you know, it was a little more buffer. So yeah, you can really get some serious close-ups out in a 57 when you're singing like this thing into a 57, that's his mic of choice.

Hey man, it works. It works for, you know, they, they, they sound fantastic. A 57 can record basically any instrument and sound good, including a voice. Why mark was so sweaty on drums versus the west of you guys at the video. I don't maybe, maybe cause all that walking around San Francisco. Yeah. If he would work out more regularly with this song, the backdrop, he wouldn't be right after that.

He became very fit. What's the what's the worst cover version of Eye of the Tiger that you've ever heard. So we're covered vision or best or best, but preferably worse.

I don't know. I can't, I can't, I couldn't tell you what the worst was. I've heard, I've heard some pretty terrible ones. I've heard some pretty terrible, and I've heard some really great ones, you know, like young kids playing, it sounded great bands, you know, the school band playing sounded great. Heavy metal bands doing versions of it.

There were killer, but I, I, my memory is not good. I can't remember specifically which ones I wish. I, I wish I had actually kept copies of those things so I could listen back. I've heard some good ones and I've heard some really terrible ones. Yeah. It's one of those songs that like you know, like a bar band might go, yeah, we should do Eye of the Tiger and then they get into it.

And the, and the lead singer just realizes I do not have this, but then the. And there's something about the rhythm to it too, that you got, it's got to stay. It has to stay simple. Like it is, you know, for the most part, it's, it's a very, very simple beat that kind of has a certain swing to it. And I think if you start straying outside of.

It starts to sound a little weird and your guitar players got to stay in the pocket. That's a lot of geographic. You got to stay there. That was really carefully done.

Well, you mentioned earlier about the premonition album. I love that album. And there'll be parts of these interviews where we just gush over things that we love about you. So sit by while I talk about things that I don't really like, but I did have a question how you did, why you put Chevy nights as track one and in summer nights as track two, that seems like an interesting track placement with both different nights back to back, all of that summer nights.

So in retrospect, that's too many nights and weekends, but actually musically, it works. It flows well. That's correct. That's good. And I think that's, that's the reason why eventually we overrode the too many nights and by the way, speaking of summer nights at it, like I said, as power ballad heaven, I love it.

And speaking of power ballads, I love your version of ever since the world began off the Eye of the Tiger album. I think it's great, huge song. Also well, we'll get to other things that I really like, but you want to talk about the real men of genius. Let's get that. Yeah. So, oh yeah, the real, the room and a genius.

I mean the craziest thing, you know, I, I got a call from my friend, Sandy, Toronto in Chicago. We've been doing jingles together there for Pete formed his own production house. You know what to do. Jane goes and they came to him and said with this concept, And said, we're looking for an eighties rock singer guy.

And he said, well, I, I know, I know one, I know an eighties rock Sayer guy. So I came in to do the demos and I, when I heard beat stacker, I was just on the floor. You know, he was dripping with sarcasm, you know? No, nobody does it like Pete does. And so I thought it was really great and funny. And we, we created my little character, you know, that, that, that first session, my look, my, my answers, screaming, answer, guy, whatever that is.

Do you have a favorite one? Do you have a favorite robot? Yeah, I like Mr. Giant pocket knife and vendor that that's

all the tools and it gets funnier as it, as it goes, there's like 220 of those that we made. And some of them are still in the can that they've never been, oh man. Some of that, there were a lot edgier, you know, some of those, I think they just said, nah, but probably get away with them. Now. I like giant taco salad, inventor like that one.

I like the 10,000 calorie salad or whatever

it was, it was fun doing those because we normally in commercial work, you, you get a script and that's, it, it stick, you stick. Those guys would come in all the creative guys from DDB. And we would just throw that out. They would try different stuff, you know, and throw out lines and everybody was throwing out line.

So they were created that way, which is very unusual for a commercial. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's really interesting. What was the original number that they were intending to do? Were they, did they go in knowing, okay, we've got 200 ideas for this or did they start with a smaller number and we, wow. These are really working.

Let's do some more. Funny, you should ask that. I don't think they realize that they would have nobody ever thought it would go on for like 10 years, but, but the first session had eight, Mr. Put long hot dog and thinner. That was one. I remember one of the very, very first ones. So there was eight of them, which is, that was kind of unusual.

I thought, cause normally I didn't walk in. Eight commercials, you know, for start, they do one for a pilot, like, and then see if the agency like do more, they knew they knew going in, they had something they're like, we're going to put it. I think because Pete was so they tried Charlton Heston for that part.

And they thought, you know how funny, how funny it would be for child nested it'd be that serious, but he was too serious. It was terrible. It sounded terrible. He wasn't funny. That's Moses it, wasn't funny at all. That's good. I I really liked the cotton, the game album to counter that said, I think that that's a fantastic supporting cast too, with you guys on that with with Richard PEI, Mr.

Mr. , I mean, that's a killer killer, man. I liked the album a lot. No, in that song, you can just hear Richard popping out of there. Absolutely. Now I was just, it was a Gog. I was like, this guy is just too much. And then later on, Mr. Mr. G's, I know right now, the video for Cod in the game, the casino one, when you're the thin Todd, the, and the, the new hats here, probably not your best video, you don't actually come into the second verse, which is how involved were you in the video production of your music videos?

I said, Rob, he had zero taking this cause they don't put nothing in it. And you're the voice it was handed to to us. Yeah, I think I, I think I had, I think I'd have had a couple of drinks too, but at the time I was doing, you know, because I was, I was very nervous about doing that stuff. You know, that stuff was very nerve wracking.

Well, you pull it off. You do great, nice and loose.

I'll give you a highlight on top of that to follow it up with a really strong, positive, I think over and over is perfection in terms of your vocal performance on that. And I really under the radar survivor track, I love it. And children of the night is probably your strongest vocal performance in my opinion.

I really like it. So yeah, I really, I, I have his famous famous site for that. So for sure, I really, I really liked that. I just recently a rec league and who was our tour manager for a long time. He sent me, he had some tapes that were from, from from a club we played of, of us playing that song when it first came out.

In fact, no, before it was released, we were playing it in the club before we went out to. So I'm pretty good. What, who are the voices I'm curious, who are the voices that sort of inspired you? I know your, your vocal sound and style, you know, sort of led into a wave of other vocalists who were like, trying to be that who, who was that for you when you were coming up?

Who were the, who were the voices that you went? Hm, that's kind of something I want to take and make my own. Well, the two, the two Pauls Paul McCartney and Paul Rogers really influenced me you know, But everything I heard really, you know, I bet the bands I loved, you know, then rolling stones and cream and Jimi Hendrix.

And we, there was a band I was in when I was in high school week, it was a very unusual group because we played, we played that stuff. We played, you know, all those racks, but also do soul music and stuff. You know, James Brown and Wilson pick it. And Sam and Dave and you know, those guys, we would do those songs too.

So I got, I got stumped from that and got soul and blues and, you know, I liked all of that stuff, man. That was great. You can hear it in your vocal cause you, cause you're versatile. Like it's not, you're not just a powerhouse strong vocalists. Like you, you run the gamut on that. So you can hear the influences singing in your head.

You know, it's sort of timing stuff and when you don't sing and when you do and all that, how you get between notes and all that, that's great. Where the where were you and the other survivor guys flattered by the weird Al Yankovic parody of, I loved it.

Oh man. That was one of the best versions. It wasn't, it wasn't as a different thing completely. Right. But if it's so funny. Yeah, that's great. That makes me happy. Everything pretty much everything he did was I loved pretty much everything. That's great. In terms of, I do want to give you a chance to talk about the dark light, dark light album, which I love.

I like fear the dark. Your Mo your voice is meant to be sung over chunky guitar. I mean, it's just meant for that. Tom, it's a little edgier and light sounds like the most survivor to me. But talk a little bit about like the, the dark cloud album for. Yeah, it was, it took me a long time to make that record just because you know, I, I first I tried to figure out how do I make this record?

I don't, I don't have a band around me, you know, I gotta, I gotta find players. And and how do I put it together? You know? And the first thing I, I realized that first thing I had to have was great drum tracks if you're making a rock and roll record. So I have a friend Jeremy holiday, he was working at Sony.

I met him, did a show with Jim Peterik of the a world stage show with him. And I met Jeremy and he, I asked him if he could recommendation for anybody to play drums. And he said, well, I, I think this guy, Ryan oil, he was the guy you want to want to look at. And I'm like, you know, Ryan from collective soul.

And so I, I I went to his website and listened to his drums and I, I said, that's, that sounds, that's the guy, you know, he just a fantastic rock tremor, you know, and really great players. And he, he was, at that time, he, he was doing the remote thing, but I, I called him up and said, I gotta, I got to come out.

He's in California. I got to come out, come out there. And I'm actually, I was in New York. I gotta go. I gotta come out there and work with you in person because I, I want to be there. And we had so much fun doing that. That's great too. My gym was, he played the drums and we replayed everything, you know, on top of that.

That's awesome. Fantastic. Yeah. That's great. Great sound an album. It's a little bit for people who may not be familiar with dark light yet, it feels a little bit, obviously it's a little more modern sounding. You know, it feels more right now. And I feel like it's a little bit heavy. It's got some more, well, I should, I should continue this story.

Then at, then I, then, then I was looking for a place to, you know, finish it and, and mix and all that stuff. And then another friend of mine turned me on to Steven Dakota said that the sound spot productions in, in, out here, she's in New Jersey, about an hour away. No, you know, he's got this it's, it's like you come into his house and it's like a normal house, except there's 11 knowing then Mike's around and stuff and guitars.

And then you go in the back and there's, there's a need console and all this incredible outdoor gear, outdoor gear. And so he really helped me to shape that. And he played, he played a lot of guitars on. And well, I should mention Brad Smith by day. So from Glen Mellon, that was, that was a plus. But he really helped us then to finish it and not get into shape.

And we changed some arrangement stuff and did all kinds of stuff. And so he, he was, he was you know, Steve working with Stevie was just fantastic. And I put together the mid to late nineties dream band. It sounds like under you, then if you've got collective solo drums, you got blind melon on base, then you're you're you're up.

That's awesome. No kidding. I felt very fortunate to have those guys, you know, it was just really, I was really amazed by that. And Brad Smith just said, Brian said, he's a friend of mine, you know, Brad Smith he'll come over, he'll play bass. And he came down to the studio too, and he listened and gave, you know, tracks and, you know, he was, you know generous with his knowledge.

It was just, you know? Yeah. That's awesome. All right. We got to know, we both wanted to know do you still have the bra from the Eye of the Tiger video? I got, I do have, I do have one of them. I had a couple of them. I still have one. Yeah. It's so I don't where it gets so hot. No, it's made a wall. It's like an, it's like a British, you know the soldiers from the fifties or something, you know, from a surplus.

Was that a, was that your fashion choice or was that like a directorial thing from the, for the. Yeah, that was my, it was my idea. Well played. Cause when I see you, right. Anytime I see a thumbnail of the video, it's you in the Baret, you know, so that's part of the, I CRE I Connery, I just made up a word it's part of the iconic imagery of the video, I guess I'm trying to overcome like my insecurities with the Tufts.

Well, you've been so great. Thank you so much for spending the time with us. I hope you've had a good time. W if there's there's anything you want to speak on, feel free, and then I've got one more question at the end. If there's anything you wanted to tell our listeners where they can find you or what they are what you have coming down the pipeline or anything, or, yeah.

Yeah. Well, I'm working on a new record and you know what, I'm pretty far along. We're getting in the studio in this month and oh, go on with Stevie and stuff. So it's good to. Working title this gateway. And you know, you look out for it. I'll let you know it, that you can find me on Facebook.

Of course, Twitter and Instagram and all that stuff. We got one question that we ask everybody. So you're on tour, either solo work or what's survivor, and you go into a gas station. What is your gas station? Snack food of choice. And while you're thinking of your answer, I'll tell you mine. I'd get a three Musketeers bar when I was growing up.

Wow. I lost mom throw out there when I was growing up, my mom would say, you can have any candy bar you want. That's the most answers. They're all the same price. So I would get a three Musketeers bar. What is your, a gas station? Snack food. I like it. Three Musketeers part, but a snicker is even better and some peanuts and you're, you can get all the energy you need or keep

solid answer. Nobody ever debates the Snickers answer and a bud light. That's right.

That's hilarious. All right, man. Thank you so much. We'll be in touch. Thanks you guys. You guys are fantastic, man. Holler. Anytime I appreciate that. You guys shoot me right up, man. Hey, what you're doing? You're a rockstar. Keep going. Thanks guys. Thanks. This is the Great Song Podcast. And that was Dave Bickler what a voice?

What a guy, I can't believe I say this all. I'm going to say, I got to stop saying this. It just hits me every time that I can't believe we get to do this. I can't believe we get to talk to these people and hear the stories behind these amazing songs, you know, from the people themselves talking about Barets and I, I mean, come on, who gets to ask Dave Bickler about his Baret?

We just did, you know, I mean, come on. All right. Season nine rolls on movie month rolls on. This is just week one of movie month. We're just getting started. We'll be back next week with another song from another great, maybe great film from another film, a great song from a film coming next week, and we'll see it in with another Great Song until then.

I'm wrong. J.P. and as a music.