Thunder Island by Jay Ferguson (Asylum, 1978)

Not many songs can become hits with a chorus of just “doo-doo-doo-doo”. But Jay rode the charts waves all the way up to #9 with this soft-porn tropic fantasy. Already known for leading the groups Spirit & Jo Jo Gunne, Jay went solo, keeping true to that So-Cal rock sound that producer Bill Szymczyk had been using to sand the rough edges off of the Eagles. He even had his pal Joe Walsh come in and do a slide guitar solo. I wonder if Jay had too many Mai Tais and joints one Saturday evening and passed out during an episode of The Love Boat and woke up halfway through Fantasy Island. That’s exactly how this song sounds: the Pacific Princess docking for a week at a steamy & mysterious isle.

Ol Jay finds a ‘la-day’ “in the sun with [her] hair undone“. I think everyone knows that’s the universal sign to get busy. But alas Jay is across the bay. So he spends the day laughing and a-hiding and chasing this lucky lady around the island who happens to be the color of an Indian summer. I checked my Crayola box and couldn’t find that crayon. Until a massive storm comes in and they decide to ride it out. But I’m thinking, that’s the time to take the party inside. But I guess for Jay & the Indian summer lady, wild storms turn them on, so much so that they laugh and fall down into wet grass. That might make my allergies go crazy, but for Jay, he’s revving in the red. As they wake up nice & dry, the lady’s dress is undone, but what about Jay. Maybe she was just airing it out in the sun, who knows? Just thinking about it about this chic is painful for Jay with “every mile away” cutting “a little bit deeper“.

Now that I think about it, this is just a tropical version of Lady Marmalade, assuming that the Indian summer lady wasn’t a hooker.

Side note: Jay went on to score lots of movies from the 1980s through the 2000s. But these days he pays for those Thunder Island vacations with residuals from writing the theme song to the American version of The Office.

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