In what is arguably the greatest year in Rock and Roll, 1971, Australian long-hair Ross Wilson came up with a little finger picking guitar riff that he figured someone else MUST have played first. "I was playing that riff, 'der-na-lang-dan-dan-da-na' over and over and over and over. " he told "1001 Songs" author Toby Creswell. "I'd go around to people in the house in this place we were staying in England going 'you heard this riff before?' cause I thought I must've pinched it from someone. It seemed really really good, I started to think this is going to be called "Eagle Rock".
Wilson says he got the title from an old photo of rural blacks in the American South dancing in a juke joint. The caption read "Some negros 'cutting the pigeon' and 'doing the eagle rock'"
The song spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Australian charts and is said to have inspired Elton John to write "Crocodile Rock".
The video is great too. Couple this with Bowie's "Let's Dance" and you've got a pretty good picture of what it's like to visit an Australian diner.