Steam was a pop/rock band from Bridgeport, Connecticut with a short-lived but spectacular run that became best known for the chart-topping "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (1969). This oldies classic was written and recorded by studio musicians Gary DeCarlo (June 5, 1942 - June 28, 2017), Dale Frashuer, and producer/writer Paul Leka (February 20, 1943 - October 12, 2011) at Mercury Records, with DeCarlo providing the lead vocals. Although "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" was credited to Steam, there was no actual band by that name at the time of its release. After the song's runaway success, Leka assembled a band for touring and performing known as Steam that consisted of Bridgeport-area musicians Ray Corries (drums), Mike Daniels (bass), Hank Schorz (keyboards), Jay Babins and Tom Zuke on guitar, and Bill Steer as lead vocalist.
Steam followed "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" in 1970 with "I've Gotta Make You Love Me," which reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "What I'm Saying Is True," which became a minor hit. Beginning in 1977, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" took off in popularity as a sports stadium anthem when the organist for the Chicago White Sox, Nancy Faust, played the song after White Sox sluggers knocked out the opposing pitcher. The fans sang along and a new tradition was born nationwide. "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," which later also became a hit for The Nylons in 1987, has been recorded over the years by numerous other bands and artists, including The Supremes, The Belmonts, Dave Clark & Friends, Donna Summer, and Bananarama. By the beginning of the 21st century, sales of this sporting events fixture had exceeded 6.5 million. This song also became a part of the movie soundtrack to the hugely popular "Remember The Titans" (2000).
After Steam disbanded in 1970, Paul Leka continued on as a top songwriter and producer, with many gold records to his credit. Prior to forming Steam, he wrote and/or produced for such bands and artists as The Left Banke, The Peppermint Rainbow, and The Lemon Pipers (for whom he co-wrote the smash 1967 hit, "Green Tambourine"). Gary DeCarlo began performing again in 2012 and released an album in 2014, "Long Time Comin," which includes a new version of the smash hit that made Steam famous.
- Gary DeCarlo discusses Steam's complicated history, the making of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," his current projects, and other topics in an interview with Gary James of classicbands.com.
- The New York Times remembers Paul Leka and Gary DeCarlo.
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- Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye 1969
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for the Nylons (1987).)
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