Prolific rock/R&B drummer/musician Steve Ferrone (Average White Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) joins to delve into the backstory of helping write/craft the official theme song for the New York Cosmos – the latest chapter in our irregular series devoted to Tim’s longstanding fascination with the North American Soccer League’s most famous franchise.
Pop music aficionados know Ferrone as part of the “classic” mid-70s lineup of AWB (along with Hamish Stuart, Alan Gorrie, “Onnie” McIntyre, Roger Ball, and “Molly” Duncan); as a two-decade+ member of the Heartbreakers (1994-2017); and from a prodigious body of studio session work with a literal who’s-who of pop music’s biggest talent (Chaka Khan, Rick James, Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, and the Bee Gees, just to name a few).
But long-time Cosmos soccer fans may also remember Ferrone’s semi-invisible hand in the creation and performance of the club’s rhythmic anthem that blared from the Giants Stadium PA system after goals and anchored the team’s WOR-TV telecasts – recorded under the AWB nom de plume of the “Cosmic Highlanders” via Warner Communications corporate sister Atlantic Records.
Besides the circumstances of the song’s origins, Ferrone regales Tim with stories of: how he stepped into the Average White Band during a critical time in the group’s then-young life; the musical magic of Atlantic and its founder-brothers Ahmet & Nesuhi Ertegun; how the “Cosmos Clap” came about; and the original song idea Cosmos management had in mind for the club’s official theme!
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