Sometimes when you send stuff out on the web you never know what is going to bounce back. I had made reference to the song “Undercover Angel” last week in a post about my experience at a 1977 ZZ Top concert. The term I used was “Great then, deadly now.”
Well, about an hour after it went online, a comment was posted that read “Personally, I still find “Undercover Angel” quite lively. Thanks for remembering, AO.” The “AO” is Alan O’Day, the man who wrote and performed the No. 1 hit. He was good sport about the whole thing and agreed to answer a few questions for us about what he’s been doing since hitting the top of the charts back in 1977:
30 Days Out: What was your biggest hit?
AO: “Undercover Angel” was my biggest hit as an artist/writer, but I also wrote “Angie Baby”, a No. 1 song for Helen Reddy, and co-wrote “Rock’n’Roll Heaven” which was top 3 for the Righteous Brothers. I’ve also written & produced for Disney, National Geographic, and even Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies. So I’m a writer first, and an artist second, I guess.
30 Days Out: What was the inspiration, if there was one, for “Undercover Angel?”
AO: On one level it was a sexual/spiritual fantasy song (although it was NOT about masturbation, as some people claimed), on another level it was a carefully crafted attempt to create a hit song. On yet another level it was a positive message to go out & find your dream lover. BTW, it was also banned in Peoria!
30 Days Out: What are you doing now?
AO: My wife & I are living a contented, grateful life in Los Angeles, and I’m traveling often to Nashville where I’m writing, co-writing, recording a new CD, and occasionally performing. In LA I also provide tutoring for beginning songwriters on a limited basis.
30 Days Out: Are your albums/singles available on iTunes or some other digital venue?
AO: I’m excited that I may be able to make my albums from the ’70’s available digitally by the end of this year, as well as releasing my new CD. Meanwhile I have a song on an album that’s currently doing very well in Japan, a co-write with Japanese superstar Tatsuro Yamashita. And I get e-mails from fans of my music all around the world, which make my life pretty awesome.
Alan O’Day official website
Purchase Alan O’Day at CD Baby