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Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Finally, the secret of Steam

For decades I have been mystified by the group Steam.

In 1969 they recorded one of the enduring classics of rock ‘n roll and Philadelphia Eagles fans.

I had assumed for many years that Cher was the singer, but only learned it was Steam in the 80s.

Huh?

Man, but the singer sounds so much like Cher, it’s uncanny.

Now I’ve been gobsmacked by truly astounding news: there was no such group as Steam.

Read the following, from a website about the history of rock:

    1969 – A fictitious group called Steam was given credit for the chart topping tune “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”

    The song was actually recorded by Gary De Carlo, who intended it to be the “B” side of his first single.

    Gary didn’t like the song and when record executives wanted to issue it as the “A” side, he insisted it be released under an assumed name.

Well.

So a guy sang it.

We now must ask, “Who is Gary De Carlo?”

So back through the wormhole into cyberspace I went, and returned with this revelation:

There was no Gary De Carlo in Steam.

Instead, try this review of Steam’s album on amazon by one Andrew M. Bergey – whose amazon nickname is “bubblegummer,” which is plenty good credentials by me – of Thornton, Colorado:

    The story goes that after singing “Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye” for the group Steam, Garrett Scott wanted very little to do with the group.

    “Musical differences” usually gets the nod in these situations but personality conflicts may have played a part.

    The back cover of their only album has a small picture of Scott with his arms folded looking a bit um… steamed.

    You do the math.

    In some sort of arrangement that only the 70′s could produce, Scott stuck around long enough to co-write all 10 songs on the album.

So now we must ask, who was Garrett Scott?

Once again, a round-trip ticket to cyberspace.

What’s this?

What have we here?

Well, for one thing, the superb, complex lyrics for the song:

    INTRO:
    |C / / /|Eb / / /|Bb / / /|C / / /|

    C Eb Bb C

    Na na na na, na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

    VERSES:

    C F6 G C F6 G

    He’ll never love you, the way that I love you

    He’s never near you to comfort and cheer you

    C Am Dm G

    ‘Cause if he did, no no, he wouldn’t make you cry

    When all those sad tears are fallin’ baby from your eyes

    F E Am D

    He might be thrillin’ baby but a-my love (my love, my love)

    He might be thrillin’ baby but a-my love (my love, my love)

    C F Fm

    So kiss him (I wanna see you kiss him. Wanna see you kiss him)

    So kiss him (I wanna see you kiss him. I wanna see you kiss him)

    C

    Go on and kiss him goodbye, now

    Go on and kiss him goodbye,

    CHORUS:

    Eb Bb C

    Na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

    C Eb Bb C

    Na na na na, na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

    CODA:

    Eb Bb C

    Na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

    C Eb B C (fade out)

    Na na na na, na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

But also the news that the song was “sung by Steam featuring Garrett Scott,” and written by De Carlo/Frshuer/Leka [I gotta tell ya, I'm a little suspicious about that Frshuer person: are they sure it's not spelled Fershur? But I digress].

Wouldn’t it be great if it turned out it WAS Cher singing?

About bookofjoe

  • http://expatcat.typepad.com felix

    All I remember reading about this song was that it was a guy goofing off with half a song in the studio, which is where all the na-na-na’s came from.
    Someone said hey, that’s kinda interesting, and they then concocted the name Steam in order to release the song.
    Good luck in your quest.

  • Dude

    I met a guy in Connecticut, named Don Super.
    He claimed to have been the bassist for Steam, and that the song was wrote around the drum solo.
    hmmmm.

  • songlover
  • ladystar

    I happen to know an orginal band memeber. This whole article is half wrong. He name was john Konchek, e played the organ and his brother played the drums and was the lead singer

  • HIS Nephew

    Gary Decarlo is my great uncle, and his stage name was Garret Scott

  • myassisdragin

    PBS had a special last weekend, December 3 2011 and Gary Decarlo was on stage singing Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

  • myassisdragin

    Darn, hit the wrong button.
    Gary looked like he was quite short and obviously showing his age somewhat but boy he sure could sing still and I hope he keeps on singing for many more years.

  • dBassy49

    There seems to be someone out there calling himself Gary DeCarlo the lead singer of Steam and he looks/sounds like a tired 70 year old man way past his prime! LOL

  • DeeJayJoe

    He’s on a few videos on youtube and seems like a senior who should now give it a rest!!!! Plenty of flats and sharps and the PBS special was overdubbed with the original song …….with dozens of backing singers to help. Maybe he should stick to karaoke in small bars…..Just sayin’

  • musicmankevin

    Garrett Scott is Gary DeCarlo’s stage name.