“Nobody hurts and nobody cries.” – Kim Mitchell
Let’s just call today’s piece for what it is – a semi-tribute to a singer I had never even heard of until about a month ago. It’s a rabbit-hole-fluff sort of piece. If you were looking for deep, or thought-provoking, or inspirational, you won’t find it here today. Instead, you’re getting 800 words about an artist you’ve probably never heard of unless you happened to live in Canada at some point in your life.
I’ve listened to a lot of 80’s music, and still do to this day. I know a lot about various bands and artists and their songs. I’ve probably heard and would recognize any top 20 hit from the decade. But occasionally a song comes on that makes me stop for a second and go “whaaat… who is that?… I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song.”
That usually leads to me turning the station and never wanting to hear the song again. It typically occurs with songs that might have cracked the charts in the U.S., but never climbed into mainstream play on the local radio stations.
This occurred to me again the other day with a song that made me stop and go “who is this guy, and what is he singing about? Soda?” It’s rare when any 80’s song or lyric makes me laugh or do a double take, but that’s just what a Canadian singer with terrible 80’s hair did to me.
“Might as well go for a soda. It’s better than slander, it’s better than lies.”
The singer’s name is Kim Mitchell and the song is a rare gem called “Go For Soda.”
The tune is actually pretty catchy, and during the 80’s apparently served as an anti-drinking and driving anthem endorsed by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). It has been featured in an advertising campaign for Mr. Pibb, and been featured in the hit 80’s TV show “Miami Vice” (if you have any desire, it plays through the first two minutes of this episode from season two called “Buddies”).
I will warn you that the chorus has the potential to get stuck in your head. So if you’re like me, and inclined to occasionally wake up at two in the morning with a chorus of a song running through your head, this is a definite candidate for that!
When you watch the video at the end of this piece you’ll notice Kim jumping on an old school remote control for the television. I love that part of the video because it reminds me of the box I used to have in my bedroom in the mid to late 80’s only I had the other variation which instead of buttons had a slider to switch between channels.
The box with the buttons or slider plugged directly into a cable box by the tv with a long cord so you could actually change channels from your chair or bed or couch as long as the cord was long enough.
I vividly remember laying in bed at night with that cable box and flipping between the 30 or 40 channels that were offered with that “remote.” It was the early days of MTV and the later years for “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. Unfortunately, there was no on/off button so I still had to get up to turn the tv off. What an inconvenience!
“Might as well go for a soda. Nobody drowns and nobody dies”
Mitchell garnered his first bit of musical popularity as the lead singer of a Canadian group called Max Webster that enjoyed modest success across Canada. He opted for a solo career in the early 80’s.
So when I heard “Go For Soda,” I also thought to myself that I hope this song has an awesomely 80’s video somewhere. And, I couldn’t have been more pleased when it popped right up upon my search for it. It’s one of those videos that is so bad, I wanted to watch it again a few more times. Now, get yourself ready to “rawk” with Kim Mitchell and “Go For Soda”…
Thanks for the rabbit-hole indulgence today and I hope you listen to some more Kim Mitchell. Try “Patio Lanterns,” “Rock N’ Roll Duty,” or “Lager & Ale” for a few more of my favorites of his.
And kids, stay away from soda. A can of coke has 39 grams of sugar! That stuff cleans corroded battery terminals, so it can probably do the same to you!
Check out the Payolas “Eyes of a Stranger”. A lot happening in the Canadian 80s.
Thanks Justine! I vaguely remember that Payolas video/song. You’re right about Canadian 80’s music!
This song definitely played on OKC radio for a bit, and I can remember kids singing the chorus on the playground at Whittier. I’m not sure if it was played on KJ-103 or the KATT (I suspect the latter), but those were the only possible choices in those days (KRXO didn’t start until 1987, and never played new music). Much like “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” also 1984, also Canadian, also had a brief burst of airplay (incl. in OK), and also really weird, to the point of seeming imagined.
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That’s a cool memory Josh. Were the kids singing the chorus after a hard fought game of 6 square or wall ball? Lol. I’ll have to look up “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” because I don’t recall that song either, but you’re right – KJ103 or the KATT were the only radio choices for us back in 1984.
We were all doing ‘soda’ back in those days, another reason for it’s popularity.
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