Late last week, Blender writer Russ Heller was prepping to enter a plexiglass soundbooth in an attempt to set a world record for repeatedly listens to Starship’s 1985 smash hit “We Built This City” — the song deemed worst song ever last year by editors of the magazine. To set the record, Heller had to listen to the song 324 times in a 24-hour period.
Well, he did it. FishbowlNY caught up with bad music’s answer to David Blaine:
FBNY: How did you prepare?
Heller: I vehemently boycotted hearing the song beforehand. Everyone I told about the event tried to play it for me, but keeping it fresh was important. If I was already sick of the song going in, I was doomed.
FBNY: Did you ever come close to quitting?
Heller: I was always going to finish. If this was worth doing it was worth doing right. I did have some moments during the night when the physical and mental strain, combined with my absurd situation were a lot to handle. I think insanity might be a natural defense mechanism. I’m still seeking confirmation on whether that guy in the costume with the glowing red eyes was imaginary.
FBNY: What was the toughest part?
Heller: Sitting in a chair for a whole day is remarkably difficult. I was stiff three hours into it. Blender was very attentive to keeping me comfortable though. Anything short of earplugs was provided.
FBNY: Did you sleep at all?
Heller: This wasn’t the first all-nighter for me. I probably could have snuck a nap after the gates closed, were it not for the blaring song and my dedication to the principle of the challenge.
FBNY: How do you feel?
Heller: I’m glad I made it. It has taken a few days but the fog in my head has lifted. Blender said it best: I feel awesomely stupid.
FBNY: Do you have a better appreciation for the song and/or lyrics?
Heller: I have a better appreciation for why Blender voted it the worst. You really need to take it apart. This song wouldn’t have been a hit if it didn’t have a catchy chorus and it is really easy to ignore the rest. Digging deeper you have lyrics about playing a snake, corporation games and a traffic report. Good hook though.
FBNY: What’s next?
Heller: Would you believe that nobody has called yet to option the movie rights? That could be because I changed the answer tone on my cell phone so people hear “We Built This City” when they call. I should really get around to changing it back before my friends stop talking to me for good.