The opening game for Oklahoma City’s NBA team is just months away.
Pesky public funding has been attained, arena renovations are under way, a temporary practice facility has been acquired and an opening hometown salvo against the Milwaukee Bucks is slated for Oct. 29.
By most sports media accounts ” including unnamed “sources,” anonymous confirmations, leaked schedules and fleeting glimpses of official Web site URLs ” the one-time Seattle SuperSonics seem more than likely to be branded the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Logos and uniforms aside, OKC’s team is going to need a theme song ” a courtside cry and drunken cattle call best served by a stadium.
AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” with its frenetic guitar tapping and stomp-ready drumming, is a layup, although already widely used on football fields occupied by Michigan State University, and routinely echoing office, courtesy of the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The squad could tap Yukon native Garth Brooks for one of his many Nineties country hits, but while the “The Thunder Rolls,” it doesn’t exactly rock.
But maybe another song should take the shot. Here are a few other thunder-themed tunes to be considered:
The Replacements: “Dose of Thunder”
While not exactly a pop hit, “Dose of Thunder” is uniquely infectious. Part of 1985’s “Tim,” the Minnesota indie band’s last great album, the song storms with jangled guitar jabs and feedback, which lays a bed for singer Paul Westerberg’s signature affect in a line deservedly chant-worthy: “Give me one good dose of thunder / I can feel it start to rumble.”
Mastodon: “Blood and Thunder”
Georgia’s Grammy-nominated metal marauders Mastodon storm with a fury of machine-gun drumming, intricate guitar soloing and guttural lyrical demands in “Blood and Thunder,” a “Moby-Dick” themed war cry unleashed in 2004. In the song, co-vocalist Troy Sanders demands his men “break their backs” and “crack their oars,” and urges his team to look his opponents in the eye and “aim for the brow.” Thunderous, indeed.
Duran Duran: “Sound of Thunder”
With its wailing synthesizers and disco drumbeat, this British dance track would make a ridiculously great stadium anthem for the new team. Like singer Simon Le Bon, many Okies have been “waiting for the sound of thunder” ever since rumors started swirling around the SuperSonics’ move. Those left out of the ticket frenzy or outside the Ford Center this fall might also sympathize when Le Bon notes in the song’s opening that he’s been “in the grass here for the last 10 hours,” and the franchise’s recent record might leave some aching for hours with a different type of grass.
Tom Jones: “Thunderball”
The pillars for a successful sports franchise are plainly laid out in the theme of the fourth James Bond film. They’re obvious, but important: running while others walk; acting, not talking; knowing the meaning of success; and resigning oneself to a battle, which Welsh pop icon Tom Jones figures “will go on and on and on.” To be a winner who takes all, you have to strike like a “Thunderball.”
Kiss: “God of Thunder“
Following Kiss’ breakthrough album “Alive!,” 1976’s “Destroyer” was a little disappointing and musically dull, even though the band experimented with screaming children and the New York Philharmonic in the studio. The strings didn’t make it onto “God of Thunder,” but thankfully the kids did, providing creepy moans and wicked background wailing as Gene Simmons issues what could become the best arena anthem ever: “God of thunder / And rock ‘n’ roll / The spell you’re under / Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul.” “Joe Wertz