Congratulations — you’ve made it two full weeks into Mellowmas 2009! Your reward? A pathetic, half-hearted rehashing that probably wasn’t even amusing to the people who recorded it!
Tommy Tutone — Santa Jenny 867-5309/Santa, I Got Your Number (download)
Jeff: Sleigh bells! How unusual! I’m almost positive this track hasn’t even been re-recorded.
Jeff: Dude, Tommy Tutone just started off by saying “ho, ho.” Poor Tommy Tutone.
Jason: Dude, he couldn’t even come up with original Christmas lyrics. He’s just singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” over “867-5309”! This is so, so, so pathetic.
Jeff: He might be the only artist we’ve ever covered who doesn’t even have enough of a career to make a full-length Christmas album. All he can do is re-record his one hit. Even Wing made a Christmas album.
Jason: Oh no. Now he’s doing original lyrics. “Santa, I’ve sent my e-mail!”
Jeff: Yeah, what poetry, huh? Do you think Tommy Tutone hates this song yet?
Jason: I’m sure Tommy Tutone has gone through cycles. Like, he loves it, he hates it, he loves it, he hates it.
Jeff: I wonder if he gets mad when people call him Tommy Tutone when they ask for the check.
Jason: I bet he gets to a point where he feels like he’s finally accepted his lot in life…and then he winds up getting angry all over again. Oh no! A guitar solo! To “Carol of the Bells!” And another “ho ho!”
Jeff: They clearly put a lot of thought into this arrangement. It must have taken an entire afternoon.
Jason: I bet I know how this started.
Jeff: With Tommy Tutone’s mom drinking heavily while he was in the womb?
Jason: Ha! They were doing a concert around Christmas-time, and someone in the audience requested a Christmas carol. And they didn’t know one. So they just did “867-5309” — you know, because I can’t imagine they rehearsed any other songs — with Christmas lyrics. And everybody cheered, because it was a spontaneous moment.
Jeff: Wouldn’t it be funny if they responded to every request by changing the lyrics to “867-5309”?
Jason: Ha ha ha ha!
Jason: We should go to a Tommy Tutone concert and request they do “Christmas in Sarajevo”!
Jeff: If I ever go to a Tommy Tutone concert, you have my permission to kick my ass. And the only thing I’m requesting is that he retire.
Jason: So I bet the band went backstage afterward, high-fived each other and went, “Now how can we make money off of this? Everybody loved it! We could release it! We could make a million dollars off of this! We could finally afford dinner from somewhere other than Long John Silver’s!” So they released it. And not a creature purchased it. Not even a mouse.
Jeff: I don’t know the story behind this, actually. Maybe it was a fan club thing. Maybe we’re being unfair.
Jason: I looked on his website. I couldn’t find anything about it.
Jeff: Yeah, I can only find places where it’s for sale.
Jason: It’s a bonus track on his latest release, The Singles. Which probably could have just been called The Single.
Jeff: Ha! His rather defensive Wikipedia page takes pains to point out that he had another top 40 hit before “867-5309” — “Angel Say No.”
Jason: His Wikipedia page is defensive? That’s awesome!
Jeff: The last line in his bio: “In 2009, Tommy played Nashville and met with Phil Summers.” Ha ha ha ha ha!
Jason: “They had some chicken.”
Jeff: “In 2009, Jeff went to Ireland and smoked Cubans.”
Jason: I feel bad. I’ve totally been calling him “Tommy Tutone,” even though that’s not his name. According to Wikipedia, this is a common misconception.
Jeff: One of many common misconceptions about Tommy Tutone.
Jason: And wait a minute. Who is Phil Summers? Is he a musician?
Jeff: Who cares?
Jason: I’m trying to figure out how it relates to Tommy Tuto-er, Heath’s career.
Jeff: Maybe Phil Summers is the guy in Nashville who has the number 867-5309.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha! And Tommy was trying to buy it back. Dude, he named this track “Santa Jenny 867-5309.”
Jeff: That’s what’s known as hedging your bets.
Jason: And the band couldn’t even be bothered to re-record the instruments. I’m so happy this is a part of Mellowmas. I feel like it’s exactly what I’m looking for every year: blatant begging for money. “Please, how can I use this holiday for my own financial gain?”
Jeff: I keep going back to the idea of Tommy Tutone slapping all kinds of different lyrics on “867-5309.”
Jason: Any other ideas for songs to sing to that tune? “Enter Sandman”? “I Want Your Sex”?
Jeff: Well, I’m thinking he can record a Christmas album, and just do like a dozen carols to the tune of “867-5309.”
“Do You Hear What I Jenny.”
“Carol of the 5309.”
Jeff: “Little Drummer Jenny.”
Jason: “O Come All Ye 867.”
Jeff: “867-5309 to the World.”
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Jeff: In all seriousness, if I had $10,000 to burn, I’d offer it to Tommy Tutone to make that album.
Jason: And every track would have to start with him going “Ho ho!”
Jeff: He’d have to come out of the bridge with it, too. It would be in his contract.
Jason: I was thinking about raising money for some charities in 2010, but maybe I’ll just raise money for the Tommy Tutone Fund.
Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Jason: Won’t you please think of Tommy Tutone this year?
Jeff: Does he know it’s Christmas?
Jason: Maybe we could get Wing and Tommy Tutone to do a Christmas album together.
Jeff: I was just thinking that.
Jason: “Baby, It’s 867-5309 Outside.”
Jeff: She could sing the melody to “Carol of the Bells.” Imagine her voice singing that tune? I just got chills.
Jason: She hasn’t done it already?
Jeff: Given that we’re both clinging to sanity, I kind of think the answer has to be no.
Jason: I only remember her much-loved version of “Ca Si Na Mu.” Maybe she’ll record “Jenny Ca Si Na Mu” next year.
Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Jason: “867-5309 to the World” is inspired. I’m still chuckling about that. Tommy Tutone, are you listening? We’ve got the future to your career right here at Popdose!
Jeff: I hope Tommy reads this. Does he have a computer?
Jason: I’m sure he at least owns a word processor.
Jeff: Maybe the staff break lounge at Safeway has wi-fi.
Jason: Tommy Tutone, cleanup in aisle 5. Ho, ho!
Jeff: No, no…aisle 867-5309!
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!