In Rock Star Romance, we finally reach the point in the series where Cassandra meets the rock star. Hey, no spoilers there. The series is called The Rock Star’s Wife after all. This time around, Cassie’s music selections are a bit more on the sentimental and romantic, if not sexual, side. Here are nine bands mentioned in Rock Star Romance.
I turn on the radio, and the station plays a song that’s been everywhere lately – Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” It’s on the part about the characters in the song taking their clothes off. – Chapter 1
Nelly is a rapper who started his career in the late 1990s. He’s not the typical artist Cassie would listen to, but in 2002, the year most of the novel takes place in, the single “Hot in Herre” received heavy radio play.
The single, off the album, Nellyville, released that spring and features the lines:
“It’s gettin’ hot in here (So hot)
So take off all your clothes (Ayy)
I am gettin’ so hot (Uh, uh, uh, uh)
I wanna take my clothes off (Oh)”
Certainly a song that will heighten the sexual tension that can be cut with a knife.
He envelops me in his arms, and I rest my head on his shoulder, swaying gently to the pace of a slower song – Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile” ‒ my nostrils tingling from the scent of his cologne. I wonder when I’ll find out how he tastes, and I don’t mean the taste of lips. – Chapter 3
Staind formed in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1995. Current members are Aaron Lewis (frontman and rhythm guitar), Mike Mushok (lead guitar), Johnny April (bass and background vocals), and Jon Wysocki (drums). The band has released seven albums with another scheduled for 2023.
“It’s Been Awhile” was a single off their third album Break the Cycle. The song reached the top spot on Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream Rock and U.S. Alternative Airplay charts.
Singing No Doubt’s “Hella Good” under my breath, I leave my office to make photocopies. – Chapter 5
No Doubt formed in Anaheim, California, in 1986, and have broke up and reunited twice. Current members are Gwen Stefani (frontwoman), Tom Dumont (guitar), Tony Kanal (bass), and Adrian Young (drums). The band has released six albums.
“Hella Good” was a single off the fifth album, Rock Steady. The song reached number three on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
Hella, by the way, is ’90s slang and is a synonym for “a lot,” “very” or “extremely.” To learn more 1990s slang, visit The Rock Star’s Wife Reader’s Guide.
Goo Goo Dolls
He almost quoted verbatim a line from Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” although I doubt he listens to romantic songs even if I do on occasion when I’m feeling sentimental. – Chapter 5
The Goo Goo Dolls formed in Buffalo, New York, 1986. Current members are John Rzeznik (frontman and guitar), Robby Takac (bassist), and George Tutuska (drummer). The band has released 14 albums.
“Iris” was written for the City of Angels soundtrack. It was released as a single in 1998 and included on the album, Dizzy Up the Girl. The song reached the top spot on the Billboard Adult Top 40 and the Alternative Airplay charts.
I managed to hide my tears until Yolanda turns on the radio, and Dirty Vegas’ “Days Go By” plays. – Chapter 7
Dirty Vegas formed in England in 2001. The band broke up in the mid-2000s, reuniting three years later. Current members are Steve Smith (frontman) and Paul Harris (instruments). The band has released four albums.
“Days Go By” was a single off the band’s self-titled debut album. It reached number seven on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
I adjust my head so I can see his face. He stares straight ahead, straining to hear the taxi driver’s radio. The volume is low, but sounds like Tonic’s” If You Could See.” – Chapter 9
Tonic formed in Los Angeles in 1993. It broke up for four years in the mid-2000s. Current members are Emerson Hart (frontman), Jeff Russo (guitar) and Dan Lavery (bass). The band has released five albums.
“If You Could See” was a single off the debut album, Lemon Parade. It reached the top spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
I keep a radio near my window that I occasionally turn on for weather reports and the like. I flick it on, turning the dial until I find a music station. The first one I find plays Lifehouse’s “Hanging By A Moment.” ‒ Chapter 11
Lifehouse formed in Los Angeles in 1995. Current members are Jason Wade (frontman and rhythm guitar), Steve Stout (lead guitar), Bryce Soderberg (bass), and Rick Woolstenhulme Jr. (drums). The band has released eight albums.
“Hanging By A Moment” was a single off the debut album, No Name Face. It reached the top spot on the Billboard Adult Top 40 and Alternative Airplay charts.
I vaguely hear Semisonic’s “Closing Time” on the stereo. I sing along, swaying back and forth on my quest for a toilet. The song mentions whiskey and beer, and both assault my nostrils. I laugh. The carpet’s squishy. Damn. Someone spilt their whiskey or beer. – Chapter 16
Semisonic formed in Minneapolis in 1995. The band broke up and reunited twice. Current members are Dan Wilson (frontman and guitar), John Munson (bass and guitar), and Jacob Slichter (drums). The band released three albums.
“Closing Time” was a single off the studio album, Feeling Strangely Fine. It reached the top spot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.
The DJ plays Howie Day’s “Collide.” I wrap my arms around Nat’s neck and he wraps his around my waist, and we sway to the tune. – Chapter 36
Howie Day is a singer and songwriter from Maine who began his career in the 1990s and released his first album in 2000. He has released four albums.
“Collide” was a single off Day’s second album, Stop All the World Now. It reached number seven on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart.
Which of the bands mentioned in Rock Star Romance is your favorite? Leave a comment below. Comments close after 90 days. For more information on the licenses mentioned on this page, visit https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/.
Here’s the 4-1-1
This blog is a companion piece to The Rock Star’s Wife, a series about sex, family, and rock & roll. The series has elements of chick lit, romance and erotica and is best compared to The Vagina Monologues for its frank talk of sex and its consequences. The series follows Cassandra from her teenage years into her 40s as she navigates relationships (both romantic and platonic) — all with music playing a prominent roll.
Book three, Rock Star Romance, debuts February 2024: Cassandra swore off men to recover from an amicable, but heart wrenching, breakup. Nathaniel endured a nasty, gut wrenching breakup and hasn’t dated since. When they meet, sparks ignite. Will they mend each other’s broken hearts?
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