No more pencils, no more books

Jun 21, 2012

It all began in 1635 in Boston—the nation’s first public school, the Boston Latin School. There were only 9 students enrolled back then, but they had the distinction of enjoying the very first summer vacation. That got us thinking about school-day songs, and we found that there are more songs about the end of school than about school itself.

Vincent Furnier graduated high school in 1966, but decided to forgo further education to pursue his love of music. Dubbing himself “Alice Cooper” he went on to deliver the definitive summertime anthem “School’s Out”. Our favorite version is his performance on the Muppet Show, mainly for the numerous explosions:

Alice Cooper spoiled his wicked, wicked image by making this ad for Staples office supplies that condones the whole going-to-school thing. Can you say “licensing fee”?

Eddie Cochran was already out of school when he released “Summertime Blues”. The song has been copied by many groups including Blue Cheer, The Who and…Olivia Newton John? (It’s true) But our favorite is the original performed live here by Eddie Cochran:

Chuck Berry had an interesting high school experience. He gave his first public performance at Sumner High School in St. Louis, but while still in school, also served a prison sentence for armed robbery. Oops. He was in his thirties when he released “School Days” in 1957, and it was one of his biggest hits. Check out his stage entrance in this live performance of the song: