The Steel Horse Archives: Damn Yankees, “Where You Goin’ Now?” (1992)

Written by Music, The Steel Horse Archives

Jeff Vrabel is back on his Steel Horse again, and this time, he’s taking us back to a power ballad that arrived just in time for the death of hair metal.

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631b828fd7a08c190e430110.L[1]Damn Yankees
Title: “Where You Goin’ Now?”
Album: Don’t Tread
Release Date: 1992

Why You Remember Them: For a guy who expends so much effort trying to sustain an image as such a carnivorous, twitchy Amurcan, Ted Nugent is responsible for an unusually high amount of sissypants cotton-candy girl songs, many of which delivered by a band inexplicably named after a vivacious Broadway musical. To call Damn Yankees a “supergroup” would imply a world where that word could include someone from Night Ranger, yet here we are: Aside from Nugent, the group included Styx’s Tommy Shaw, looking like the Eurythmics dude that wasn’t Annie Lennox (what? too soon?), Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and Michael Cartellone, one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 400 drummers but a guy who had the sense to forge a second career in painting. “Where You Goin’ Now” isn’t even the Damn Yankees song most often played as the soundtrack to trembling hands fumbling their way around bra straps in the early ’90s — that would be the execrable “High Enough” — but thinking that the last two songs anyone gave a damn about were these would probably turn me into a goofball hunter/reality-show cartoon too.

Album Sales To Date: The band’s self-titled debut went double-platinum in 1990; Don’t Tread went platinum? Really? Jesus wept.

Humiliating Personal Memory: So like two weeks ago, I was driving around Bloomington, Ind., with my cousin, who was the one who had this on her iPod, not mine, I want to make that clear, but anyway I haven’t been able to get the damn thing out of my head since then, and now here you are. Sorry.

Key Tracks: “High Enough,” “Don’t Tread on Me,” “Coming of Age”

Best Part of Their Wikipedia Entry: Sadly, their brief article is in need of “attention from an expert on the subject.” WIKIPEDIA NEEDS YOU, JACK BLADES.

Cinema Paradiso: Damn Yankees music appeared in some of the finest films of the late ’80s and early ’90s, including Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Nothing But Trouble, The Taking of Beverly Hills and the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Nowhere to Run, which was adapted from the novel by Toni Morrison.

Pre-Nirvana Song Titles: They didn’t really have any post-Nirvana ones. After Don’t Tread Shaw returned to Styx and Nugent went off to act silly in public, and shortly thereafter Shaw and Blades recorded an album as the cleverly named duo Shaw Blades, which is lame but on the other hand they could have gone with Oklahoma!. The best they could do was get a track on the soundtrack of Tommy Boy. Everyone’s back in the warm safe embrace of their original bands now.

Sweet Christ, They Actually Covered: Shaw Blades contributed “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to the album A Classic Rock Christmas, which you do not own.

Recent News: Blades told VH1 that he and the guys had been “talking,” etc. etc. Awesome. I’ve been talking with my 401(k) guy this week, but no one wants to see me go on tour with him either.

Most Improbable Song Title: “Double Coyote,” which is also the answer to “What animal’s head is mounted over Ted Nugent’s oversized bubble bathtub?”

Arbitarily Scored Ferocity of Devil-Horns Thrust: Two. Shaw’s angelic vocals need a crossbow shot through them.

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