MARQUETTE - Local musician Bill Etten was told by his publisher that the tune he wrote nearly 30 years ago, "We Go Green Bay," is still a hit, but the publisher had a suggestion.
"Chris Wood, who sells Packer CDs through his company, Tailgate Tunes, said it's one of the most popular songs downloaded off his site along with 'The Bears Still Suck' but he said it might be time for an update," Etten said. "Some of the locations mentioned in the first song are no longer there."
Thus the creation of "We Go Green Bay 2," an updated twist on a song which received much airplay in the 1980s and still is downloaded frequently by Packers fans.
"Today, places such as Shopko Liquor do not even exist so we thought it would be fun to update the song with lyrics that would be 'timeless' for fans of the Green Bay Packers," Etten said. "Rather than lyrics about places to go while in Green Bay, the new lyrics are now about the Packers playing against the Vikings, Lions, and Bears - all division rivalries."
"The new version includes lyrics such as for The Vikings 'they blow their horns and thump their chests, but they still know the Packers are the best'. For the Chicago Bears, 'Chicago hot dogs who depend on luck' ... All of the lyrics are lighthearted and poke good natured fun at the other teams and their fans."
The original "We Go Green Bay" by Bill Etten and The Heritage Band back in the mid -1980s was a regional hit sprung from a discussion between Etten and his friends Jon "Rob" Labby and Ed Wales, who wrote it in just one night.
The updated version is a collaboration between Etten and Derrell Syria, a local musician who's part of Conga Se Menne and other bands.
"The music is a bit different from the original," Etten said. "My good friend Derrell Syria came up with a catchy melody and played all the instruments on the recording. Derrell and I worked very well together and I couldn't have completed this project without him."
In fact, Syria provided the recording facility.
"Derrell has a very well equipped studio in his home, and we did the recording there," Etten said. "We had some help with the 'crowd yelling' from Derrell's son Ethan, friend and fellow musician Jim Graham and my wife, Carol."
Last season, Etten struck a deal with Fox Sports when the network wanted the opportunity to use the song in its coverage of the Packers run to the Super Bowl. While the song didn't get used then, Etten is talking to network honchos about it again.
"The contract we had with Fox last year expired. We are currently talking to them about the new song," Etten said. "We hope to have something in place by the time the Packers play their first playoff game, (Jan. 15), however, it is still up to the network on whether they use it or not. They have their choice of a lot of different songs to use so it would be great if 'We Go Green Bay 2' is chosen but there is no guarantee."
Etten is hoping some radio stations pick up the song as well.
"Elmer Aho has been playing it on his Saturday night show and that's great," Etten said. Aho's show, "American Country Gold," airs on WFXD 103.3FM starting at 7 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information on this song and other Green Bay Packers music, visit www.gbtailgatetunes.com.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.