A musical shout-out to the Falcons from Hurricane the guitarist

Roger "Hurricane" Wilson on the left, Hubert Sumlin on the right. (Photo from Wilson's MySpace page)

That's Falcons fan Roger "Hurricane" Wilson wailin' on the left, the legendary Hubert Sumlin on the right. (Photo from Wilson's MySpace page)

The Falcons are preparing for the playoffs. This we know. What we also know: No playoff run is complete without musical accompaniment.

People have written songs — here’s one from 1979, suggested by famous reader Ted Striker via the invaluable Atlanta Time Machine – regarding the Falcons in the past, but these 13-3 Birds would seem to warrant an artistic flourish of their own. Into the breach, dear friends, steps Roger “Hurricane” Wilson of Kennesaw.

Mr. Wilson — I’d feel presumptuous calling him Hurricane, though he encourages the familiarity — is a bluesman of such note that his Web site includes testimonial quotes from Les Paul, who not only played guitar but invented several, and Hubert Sumlin. (If you’ve never heard of Hubert Sumlin, your life is incomplete. I advise you to stop reading this and click on his Wikipedia bio. Suffice it to say that Mr. Sumlin was the man behind the man named Chester Burnett and more famously nicknamed Howlin’ Wolf. But I digress.)

Hurricane — OK, I’m being presumptuous — is a Falcons fan from way back. He grew up in Atlanta. In a previous career he worked in the WGST and WSB booths for Falcons radio broadcasts in the ’80s. (First Brad Nessler and then Larry Munson were the voices of the Falcons when Wilson was in the background.) He also worked as a producer at CNN.

As to music: Hurricane — this according to his AllMusic bio — saw the Allman Brothers Band when Duane was still playing lead. (Another digression: I just read Randy Poe’s biography of the great squalling slideman, “Skydog: The Duane Allman Story,” and recommend it highly.) Duly inspired, Wilson picked up an axe and hasn’t let go. He has written about music, taught guitar and is now a full-time recording and touring musician.

Like all recording musicians, Hurricane pays the occasional visit to Nashville. Driving up this week, he was moved to write a song about his favorite NFL team. “Wrote it on the clipboard I keep in the next seat,” he said Friday morning. “Cut it when we got to the studio.” Hurricane’s motto: Seize the day, and also the clipboard.

(Another musical tangent: Legend holds that Sky Saxon, leader of the immortal garage band The Seeds, wrote the classic song “Pushin’ Too Hard” while waiting in the car for his girlfriend to finish grocery shopping. But the car, as best as anyone has discerned, wasn’t in motion at the time.)

Back to Hurricane: His song is entitled “Go Falcons Go!” and differs from the regrettable “Super Bowl Shuffle” foisted on the American public by the 1985 Bears in that it makes no attempt to be trendy. Hurricane’s effort is a straight-ahead blues-rocker that contains unadorned lyrics, with one exception: In Verse 2, Wilson gives a backhand to the Dirty Bird dance craze.

Sings Hurricane: “Don’t make the same mistakes/They made in ‘98/Leave that ol’ Dirty Bird alone.”

Then: “Keep your eye on the ball/And let the victories say it all/Be the best since Tommy Nobis played.”

Wilson believes the Dirty Bird, for all its first-blush charm, wound up hurting the Falcons a dozen years ago. “The Dirty Bird distracted everybody,” he said. “Guys were doing it in the end zone. The last thing I wanted to be [with this song] was a distraction. This team has kind of been free of schmaltz and pomp and circumstance.”

And it has. But still it needs a song. Hurricane — so dubbed because a friend suggested a professional musician required a more memorable handle than “Roger Wilson,” and “Hurricane” was the first good nickname to occur — has offered his take. I’d love to include the Mp3, but standards and practices currently preclude me from embedding it. (We’re working on getting a waiver.) Failing that, I direct you to the MySpace page of Roger “Hurricane” Wilson. It’s the first song in his media player. Enjoy.

Update: Mr.  Wilson informs me that “Go Falcons Go!” is available for personal download. Email him at roger@hurricanewilson.com for information.

Oh, as Lt. Columbo would say, one more thing: Hurricane can indeed play guitar. You don’t have to take Hubert Sumlin’s word for it. Just listen to the break in “Go Falcons Go!”

Oh, and one more thing: If you have a hankering to hear the old (meaning ancient) Falcons fight song — “Fly High Falcons” — your wish, courtesy of YouTube, has been granted.

By Mark Bradley

94 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

January 7th, 2011
10:51 am

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
10:52 am

rawdawg : The Jimi Hendrix of being first.

Crosstown kudos.

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
10:53 am

i always thought it was the quality of the statement, not where it fell in line.

Buck Commander

January 7th, 2011
10:54 am

Well instead of putting rawdawg in second place I put myself there. Maybe next time.

Buck Commander

January 7th, 2011
10:55 am

Well so much for coming in second, guess I will settle for third.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
10:56 am

We’re all about quality here.

Mike

January 7th, 2011
10:57 am

War Eagle, fly down the field Ever to conquer, never to yield…

Catchy song.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:00 am

I will give Auburn this: I’m a fan of that fight song. “Never to yield” is classic.

Fish Bisch

January 7th, 2011
11:01 am

better late than never
curses rawdawg!!!

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
11:04 am

Maybe they’ll play it at the Dome on the 15th.

Class & Humility: The Anti-Thug

January 7th, 2011
11:04 am

If Mike Vick were still our QB, Heaven help us, the live music accompanying this playoff game would not be something you would want your children to hear.

Mike

January 7th, 2011
11:04 am

For fellow Atlanta Falcon/Auburn fans…this has potential for being the best or worst month in my sports rooting history. Falcons 1 seed for the 2nd time ever…Auburn going for it’s first title since 1957.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh. I need some pepto, or beer or xanax. Probably all 3.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 7th, 2011
11:04 am

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
11:05 am

When the Falcons beat the Packers

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 7th, 2011
11:05 am

dang not even top ten i am rusty on my return

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
11:06 am

In the race to get to North Texas, kinda dumb phrase if you ask me. Thanks ESPN.

Dr. Warren

January 7th, 2011
11:06 am

“Fly High Falcons” refers to them as “Red and Silver,” so I wouldn’t call the song ancient, since the Birds didn’t incorporate silver until 1978. I’d say it was more like “old.”

Class & Humility: The Anti-Thug

January 7th, 2011
11:07 am

Come to think of it, if Mike Vick were still our QB, we would likely NOT even be hosting a playoff game in the first place.

Thank Goodness our Dome in 2011 is a haven for actual FACTUAL FOOTBALL FANS, as opposed to blind Vick Fanatics, and not merely a meeting place “Little Freaknik.”

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
11:08 am

Mark you feeling any better about the Falcons chances today. You were down on them so much the other day. Heretic column.

PMC

January 7th, 2011
11:08 am

Maybe “Dirty Bird” was allegorical for Eugene Robinson’s mishap.

wdm

January 7th, 2011
11:08 am

Interesting that a so-called sports writer has to write about music to produce a decent article.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:09 am

Prescient, I’d say, PMC

Hankie Aron

January 7th, 2011
11:09 am

You heard it here first, I think Seattle beats the Aints. I’ll go with Green Bay over the Philadelphia MikeVicks

PMC

January 7th, 2011
11:10 am

Also, if he’s good enough for Hubert Sumlin. It’s worth a listen to me.

Love me some Blues.

Ted Striker

January 7th, 2011
11:11 am

Nice column, Mr. Bradley.

Chris

January 7th, 2011
11:13 am

When is ESPNAtlanta going to get here? Either it will have better writers, or they will hire these guys and the AJC will hire better ones.

Either way will be an improvement.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:13 am

Ted Striker, you should know, presciently — I’m big on prescience today — provided the link to the “Falcons Fever” song from 1979. And I, being a jerk, forgot to include him in the post above.

I apologize profusely and am taking corrective action.

THE LAST THUG OF KRYPTON

January 7th, 2011
11:15 am

IF THE FALCONS WANT TO WIN ON SUNDAY THEY NEED TO QUIT MESSING AROUND AND GET V103 OR HOT 975 DOWN TO THE DOME TO PLAY SOME GOOD MUSIC TO GET EVERYBODY HYPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manny Sanguillen Was Not A Korean

January 7th, 2011
11:17 am

My favorite fight song of all time is “The Chiefs are On the Warpath (Go, Chiefs, Go)” by the legendary Tony DiPardo (Mr. Music). Ah, childhood memories.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:19 am

Regarding fight songs: I pretty much memorized “Fly Eagles Fly” a couple of months ago. Philly kept scoring against the Falcons and the song was on a virtual loop.

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
11:35 am

Mark, will you be attending the Georgia Kentucky game?

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
11:36 am

is pre-science anything like political correctness?

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 7th, 2011
11:36 am

according to all the experts i have seen on espn the past week Green Bay is the favorite in the nfc to make it to the superbowl to play the pats .
but the games still have to be played

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:39 am

I plan to be in Athens tomorrow, Coach Todd. Taking my official recruiting visit, as it were.

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
11:41 am

and i think auburn plagarized some of the wording from Tennyson

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

but probably not. nobody at auburn would ever stumble upon tennyson

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:44 am

I believe “loveliest village of the plain” is itself from a poem — Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village.”

Gritz Blitz

January 7th, 2011
11:44 am

It wasn’t a fight song, but you failed to mention the Twelve Days of a Atlanta Falcon Christmas which was written for the 12-4 1980 team. I remember listening to it on a classmate’s 45 on a portable record player during our 5th grade Christmas party that December. It can be found at the same site as Falcon Fever with the link you mentioned in your story.

clay

January 7th, 2011
11:44 am

Mike its their 1st time ever as a #1 seed. In 1998 they were the #2 seed at 14-2 because the vikings were #1 at 15-1

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:45 am

Here’s the first stanza:

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer’s lingering blooms delayed:
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, where every sport could please,
How often have I loitered o’er your green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene;
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made;
How often have I blessed the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree:
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old surveyed;
And many a gambol frolicked o’er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair that simply sought renown
By holding out to tire each other down!
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter tittered round the place;
The bashful virgin’s sidelong look of love,
The matron’s glance that would those looks reprove:
These were thy charms, sweet village; sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,
These were thy charms—But all these charms are fled.

Mark Bradley

January 7th, 2011
11:46 am

Thanks, Gritz Blitz.

Your Breath Smells like Fish Fry Tacos

January 7th, 2011
11:50 am

Bring back Travis Tritt and “FALCONS FEVER”

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
11:51 am

i wonder how many auburn people ever heard of oliver goldsmith.

todd grantham

January 7th, 2011
11:53 am

this song’s pretty good too:

From the hills of Georgia’s northland

Beams thy noble brow,

And the sons of Georgia rising

Pledge with sacred vow.

‘Neath the pine trees’ stately shadow

Spread thy riches rare.

And thy sons, dear Alma Mater,

Will thy treasures share.

And thy daughters proudly join thee,

Take their rightful place,

Side by side into the future,

Equal dreams embrace.

Through the ages, Alma Mater,

Men will look to thee;

Thou the fairest of the Southland,

Georgia’s Varsity.

(Chorus)

Alma Mater, thee we’ll honor,

True and loyal be,

Ever crowned with praise and glory,

Georgia, hail to thee.

southpaw

January 7th, 2011
11:56 am

Clay–
It’s still their 2nd time as #1 seed. In 1980, the Falcons, Eagles, and Cowboys all finished 12-4, best in the NFC. Philly had the tiebreaker over Dallas, causing the Cowboys to get a wild card. The Falcons beat the Eagles 20-17 on a very late Tim Mazzetti field goal, giving the Falcons the #1 seed and the Eagles the #2 seed. The Cowboys won their wild-card game, then upset the Falcons the next week. Philadelphia got the home field advantage in the NFC championship because of the Falcons loss.

El Bravo

January 7th, 2011
11:56 am

That Falcons song is awful… just saying…

El Bravo

January 7th, 2011
11:57 am

That being said “GO FALCONS GO!”

Joe Tess Fish House

January 7th, 2011
12:03 pm

How abut the 3 stooges song 4 the fight song? HAHAHAHAHA

Saints1Fan

January 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

Mark: Great Song. I think they should play this song before all the Falcon kickoffs. Also, they should play it to start the game and to start the 4th quarter. I hope they unveil it at the January 15 game. LMBO. That song SURE AS HELL won’t get anyone fired up. Lol. It is actually the opposite of your Rise Up theme. This isn’t high school and it isn’t college, there is no need for a post game fight song.

Saints1Fan

January 7th, 2011
12:19 pm

That song made me want to get depressed and sit down. Lol.

SawThat1nce

January 7th, 2011
12:25 pm

Are you sure that it’s not the saints that are getting you down?