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Pac-Man Fever – Buckner and Garcia

Pac man fever album artwork Somewhere between writing the great American novel and painting a masterpiece comes writing a novelty hit that people love for about three weeks, then curse for the rest of your existence.

Vanilla Ice experienced the wrath for “Ice, Ice Baby.”

Gerardo experienced the wrath for unleashing “Rico Suave” in 1991.

Buckner and Garcia enjoy that distinction for sharing “Pac-Man Fever” with a video-game obsessed world in 1982.

However, unlike Vanilla Ice and Gerardo’s songs, some people still fondly remember “Pac-Man Fever.” It takes them back to the early arcades with the original version of classic games like Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender and Battlezone.

And among the greats has to be Pac Man. That simple little game where you control the colored Pac-Man and eat little Pac-dots while the four ghosts chase you appealed to boys and girls–a unique phenomenon in early ’80s video gaming. And soon, millions of dollars were spent, one quarter at a time, as kids lined up to play Pac-Man and its sister game, Ms. Pac-Man.

No songwriter ever says “When I grow up I’m going to be famous for a novelty hit.” But that’s exactly what Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia (any coincidence to Jerry Garcia is purely coincidental) did. They saw the trend, they wrote the song, and soon “Pac-Man Fever” reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1982.

As you might expect, Buckner and Garcia never wanted to be known for a song as silly as “Pac-Man Fever.” But as the royalty checks piled up, I’m sure they grew more comfortable with the idea.

Nearly 30 years later, “Pac-Man Fever” is rarely heard on the radio or even on ’80s party mixes. But it’s a classic and we salute Buckner and Garcia for this classic novelty one-hit wonder.

Listen to “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner and Garcia

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Pac Man Fever - Buckner & Garcia

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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2 Responses to "Pac-Man Fever – Buckner and Garcia"

  1. Jim Barton says:

    A little-known fact is that these guys put out an entire album of songs about the video games of that era–Defender, Asteroids, Centipede and so forth.

    On Kauai, there’s not a whole heck of a lot to do (it’s one of Hawaii’s more rural islands), and even more so 30 years ago when I lived there, so I spent a lots of time in the video game arcade, which meant driving close to 20 miles to get to the nearest one. Once I moved back to the Mainland, I spent very little time in the arcades.

  2. Thank you posting our song, “Pac Man Fever” by Buckner & Garcia
    I would like to invite everyone to check out my new internet show, “The 1 Hit Wonders Show” with Jerry Buckner:

    It features interviews with the artists and producers behind the classic one hit wonder records of all time.

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