Styx : Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
On September 9, 1978 Styx entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts with "Blue Collar Man", the first single from their 1978 triple platinum album follow-up to The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight. The song would peak at US #21.
Songwriter Tommy Shaw told AV/Music the riff came from a boating adventure that included some very strong weed:
By the time we got on the boat, we were paralyzed. We were, like, stone quiet for the first hour and a half. We finally started coming around a little bit and told [the boat owner] what happened. He’s like, “I wondered what happened to you guys, because you said there was going to be this big party, and you guys haven’t said a word.” We’re all sitting there in this daze from this pot, and the boat was making this sound: “mmm mmm mmm.” You are moving slowly when you are trolling through the water. The engines are at really low RPMs. The sound just sort of tattooed itself onto my psyche. And when I got back to the room, I got the acoustic guitar and wrote the music to “Blue Collar Man.”