By: Legacy Staff
12 months ago
Gary DeCarlo, singer for the band Steam on their hit song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," has died at 75 from lung cancer, according to multiple news reports.
A friend of DeCarlo's confirmed the singer's death to TMZ, saying that the singer died at a hospice in his native Connecticut.
DeCarlo was in the band The Glenwoods with Paul Leka and Dale Frashuer. After the band broke up, Leka moved on to become a producer/songwriter with Mercury Records. Leka invited DeCarlo to record some singles for Mercury.
Mercury decided to release the song "Sweet Laura Lee" as a single from the recording session. Needing a B-side for the single, Leka, DeCarlo and Frausher revived a Glenwoods song they wrote called “Kiss Him Goodbye” and recorded it as "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” for the B-side. DeCarlo also played percussion on the song.
The song became a surprise hit when a DJ in Georgia played it and requests for the song flooded the station. The single made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in December, 1969.
The song was attributed to the band "Steam," although at the time there was no band with that name. The band seen on the cover of the single and that performed the song on a promotional video were hired for their image. The singer in the video was lip-synching DeCarlo’s lead vocal. The “fake” Steam band went on tour and performed live.
Steam dissolved in 1970 due to DeCarlo’s unhappiness with the false aspect of the band. DeCarlo told the website classicbands.com in an interview, “People don't like to be fooled." “You're paying money to go out and see these guys perform and they're not the real deal. So obviously I walked away from it."
The song has become a popular anthem at sports events, especially when a visiting team loses a game to the home side.
In 2014, DeCarlo released the album “Long Time Comin’” which included a new version of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."
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