Only in America can a guy make a living with a song about Jagermeister.
Ah, the Jager song!
The Jager song was originally written by the legendary Frank Chase, who spent decades perfecting the art of singing and drinking in clubs and bars along the Killington, VT access road. Only three verses long, it was passed on to a young Sean and Jamie one late night at the Wobbly Barn, who made it a regular part of their raucious acoustic sets throughout New England in the early 1990s.
Somewhere one late Thursday night in Shannon’s Pub in Springfield, Massachusetts, young Lee Totten heard the first three verses and, inspired, wandered to the Hob Nob between sets with the band and an assorted cast of characters (we’re talking about you, Al Diaz, Jason, Dougie, and Jay Smith) to have his first Jager shot. It didn’t go well – he raced to the front door and proceeded to vomit on the sidewalk. Undeterred, he cleaned himself up and went back in for a second.
As his own musical career led him down a path of late nights in clubs and bars everywhere from New York city to Boston, Worcester to Northampton, Lee discovered that the more Jagermeister he and his friends drank, the more strange things happened. Rather than forget about them, he simply wrote them all down (although the names have been changed to protect the innocent... in most cases). The end result was a new take on the Jager song - a dozen new verses, an Alice’s Restaurant style rambling narrative and a drink-along anthem.
Then one night at an open mic in Grunions in downtown Hartford, Lee and the band were debuting some new songs to an audience that seemed less than impressed.
"Fuck it," Lee told the band. “Let’s just play the Jager song.”
So they did.
Radio 104 deejay Kevin the Afternoon Guy happened to be there and went up to Lee afterwards and said “If you record that, I’ll put it on the radio.”
The next week Lee and the band drank a bottle of Jager and recorded the first acoustic version of the Jager Song. True to his word, Kevin the Afternoon Guy played it every Friday on Radio 104, and Lee Totten officially became known as "The Jager Guy".
A true professional, Lee has committed himself to continuing to drink Jagermeister to ensure more verses will always be written.
(Rumor has it Frank Chase can still be found singing and drinking on cruise ships headed down the Mississippi towards New Orleans. If you see him, tip him outrageously and offer to pick up his bar tab. It’s the least you can do for the man who started it all.)