Hello there! This is another installment in our recurring series, Tim’s Cover Story Goes To The Movies. This week we will discuss the song Smokin’ In the Boys Room, one of the great ‘bad boy’ songs.
You are watching: Who wrote smoking in the boys room
We will first direct our attention to the original version by Brownsville Station. Next, we will discuss the movie Rock and Roll High School, where this tune was featured. We will then review covers of this song by Motley Crue and by LeAnn Rimes.
Brownsville Station and Smokin’ In The Boys Room:
The band Brownsville Station was formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1969. Their leader and lead vocalist was Cub Koda. Other original members of the band were guitarist Mike Lutz, bassist Tony Driggins and drummer T.J. Cronley.
Here is a photo of Brownsville Station circa 1970. From L: T.J. Cronley; Cub Koda; Tony Driggins.Embed from Getty Images
Initially Brownsville Station focused on covers of songs from bands that inspired them. They were particularly focused on ‘roots’ rockers such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis. However, they soon began writing their own material.
The song Smokin’ In the Boys Room was co-written by Mike Lutz and Cub Koda. It was initially released on the band’s 1973 album Yeah! The tune describes a group of high school boys who are determined not to get caught while breaking the rules by smoking in school.
The song begins with an intro by lead vocalist Cub Koda. Koda addresses the listener and promises to share some of the wisdom he has absorbed from his time in school. “How you doin’ out there? Ya ever seem to have one of those days where it just seems like everybody’s gettin’ on your case? From your teacher all the way down to your best girlfriend? Well, ya know, I used to have ’em just about all the time. But I found a way to get out of ’em; let me tell you about it.”
Koda then launches into the song.
Sitting in the classroom, thinking it’s a drag Listening to the teacher rap, just ain’t my bag. The noon bell rings, you know that’s my cue I’m gonna meet the boys on floor number two!
Smokin’ in the boys’ room Smokin’ in the boys’ room Now, teacher, don’t you fill me up with your rules But everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school.
Checkin’ out the halls, makin’ sure the coast is clear Lookin’ in the stalls, “No, there ain’t nobody here!” My buddy Fang, and me and Paul To get caught would surely be the death of us all.
Smokin’ In the Boys Room became one of the iconic ‘bad boy’ tunes. A salute to teenage anarchy — copping a smoke while holed up in a high school toilet — resonated with young men across the country. The irreverent attitude celebrated in Smokin’ In The Boys Room became an anthem for rebellious teenagers.
The song rose to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at the beginning of 1974, and it also hit #3 on the Canadian playlists. Smokin’ In The Boys Room went on to sell over two million records. The hit propelled Brownsville Station to stardom, and for a short while the boys cashed in on their newfound fame.
So here is Brownsville Station in a live performance of Smokin’ In The Boys Room.
This took place on a Midnight Special broadcast; I believe that it aired in early 1974. Cub Koda rocks away on lead guitar and lead vocals. Koda is seen in his trademark gigantic round glasses, while he sports a shirt reminiscent of a Footlocker shoe store employee. Meanwhile, Tony Driggins thumps away on the bass while drummer T.J. Cronley keeps time for the band.
Alas, Brownsville Station never really re-captured the magic of their one big hit. Although they placed seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 singles, no other single record scored in the top 20.
In 1977, the group released a song called The Martian Boogie. It was regularly played on “The Dr. Demento Show,” a weekly radio program that featured weird and unusual tunes (and was the show that first made Weird Al Yankovic famous). However, Martian Boogie stalled out at #59 on the Billboard pop charts.
The group issued their last album in 1978 and disbanded in 1979. After that, Cub Koda fronted a couple of other bands, but then became best known for his contributions to rock music history.
Koda had a famous collection of ‘roots’ rock music such as doo-wop, rockabilly and the blues. He was a regular contributor to the AllMusic Guide.He also wrote a popular column (“The Vinyl Junkie”) for Goldmine magazine and co-authored the book Blues For Dummies. In addition, he hosted The Cub Koda Crazy Show for Massachusetts radio station WCGY during a period in the early 80s.
Cub Koda died of liver disease in July 2000; he was 51 years old. However, Koda’s outsize personality and ‘wild man’ image were inspirations to some later artists such as Alice Cooper, and Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band.
See more: Identify The Perfect Cube Root Contained As A Factor In 54., Cube Root Of 54 Simplified
The Film Rock and Roll High School:
The 1979 movie Rock and Roll High School was produced by Roger Corman, the king of the low-budget film, and directed by Allen Arkush. Below left is a promotional poster for that movie.