As someone who grew up outside of Boston and adores Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, I fully support the current proposal to make the Modern Lovers' song "Roadrunner" the official state rock song for Massachusetts (in fact, the woman who created the proposal, Joyce Linehan, was my boss right after high school, when I interned for Sub Pop Records at their Boston headquarters, a.k.a. her house in Dorchester). Since moving away from Boston to New York, I've also spent a lot of time living in New Hampshire, not far from where Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, was born (and still owns a large house and some wacky vintage cars, at least according to Oprah).
I mention this because there are some Mass. State reps who are challenging "Roadrunner" with counter-proposal to make the state song Aerosmith's "Dream On," which isn't just a far inferior choice content-wise—the Modern Lovers' song talks about the joys of driving on route 128 past the Stop & Shop, something any Masshole has done millions of times in their lives, while Aerosmith are whining about mortality or some crap—but also geographically incorrect in terms of the artists involved, since Richman, the lead singer of the Modern Lovers, is from Natick, MA, and at least half of Aerosmith are from southern NH.
And while that may seem nitpicky, where you were born is a huge deal in New England, because even if you live in the same town for 40 years, if you weren't born there, you'll always be considered an outsider. Richman is often viewed as an oddball and an outsider in the world in general, but as a Masshole and a genius, he's the real deal. Steven Tyler, as we all know, is just kind of creepy and gross.
Then again, I don't think "Dream On" should be the official song of anything, except maybe what they play during the funeral scene of the imaginary, extremely dark sequel to Wayne's World. I propose that if New Hampshire wants to go creepy and gross, they celebrate the works of the state's creepiest and grossest native singer, the late GG Allin, by choosing his song "Don't Talk To Me." It doesn't mention the state at all, but being left alone is the dream of many Granite State residents, and very in line with the whole "Live Free Or Die" ethos. Plus, it's one of the few Allin songs that doesn't mention murder, feces, racial slurs, or some delightful combination of all three, and then some.
It's not like there aren't songs by NH artists, about NH—the lush "Listening to Otis Redding At Home During Christmas," by Okkervil River, or, if you prefer something harder, "New Hampshire's Alright If You Like Fighting," by Scissorfight—but GG Allin, originally named Jesus Christ Allin, was a true original, for New Hampshire and the universe. (If you'd like to learn more, see Hated, the GG Allin documentary made by Todd Phillips, who'd use everything he learned filming a screaming man covered in shit years later to make Old School and The Hangover.)
For now, we all, especially those who vote in Massachusetts, should focus our efforts on giving "Roadrunner" the honor it deserves. Then we can work towards insuring GG's legacy, or at least locking Aerosmith from having an official song in any state, in New England or beyond.