MUSIC REQUESTS DURING the PANAMA INVASION

the ROCK ‘n’ ROLL ASSAULT on NORIEGA
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nsa/DOCUMENT/950206.htm
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20091022/Panama%20playlist.pdf
U.S. SOUTHCOM Public Affairs After Action Report Supplement
“Operation Just Cause ” / Dec. 20, 1989 – Jan. 31, 1990

“…But looking at pages 209-211, we laughed out loud. You probably also remember that after General Noriega took refuge in the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Panama City, American troops directed loudspeakers his way in an attempt to blast him out. Here, SouthCom Network (SCN) radio actually included the playlist of the rock’n’roll anthems requested by the troops for this purpose.

There are a few mistakes in the list, apparently. I’m told by our resident rock critic (and Senior Librarian) Pamela Morgan that, for example, the “Flesh and Fantasy” recording referred to is by Billy Idol (not David Bowie), and “If I Had A Rocket Launcher” is a Bruce Cockburn (not Cochran) song. I think you’ll agree with the Archive staff that humor is not only useful for survival in wartime, but also to survive the usually grim regime of national Security studies. SouthCom has not yet produced a Noriega Compact Disc of these songs, so you’ll have to dig them out of your personal music library, if you can. Enjoy your reading.”

MUSIC REQUESTS DURING the PANAMA INVASION

It is not uncommon for SCN radio to play requests on our live programs. We went live at approximately 0430 20 December 1989. At 0620 we joined an ABC news report in progress, followed by SCN TV audio at 0710–which was airing on CNN. At approximately 1500 we began airing all the 5 minute newscasts sent by AFRTS-BC and filled with music and information. We did not take any requests 20 December so we would not tie up phone lines. We told the audience not to use the phone unless it was an emergency or official business.

We opened the request line 21 December. Requests were light until late in the day and Friday when they started picking up. At first we received requests from kids stuck at home and a few military units. When the troops started coming in from the field, the requests became quite imaginative. Canine handlers called asking for David Bowie, “Flesh for Fantasy”, the Marine corps Combat Security Company called saying they were going on a mission and needed a song to pump them up.

The song was “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses, a song which had been requested many times already. The special Forces Combat Divers Team asked for several songs by the Doors, “Strange Days”, “People Are Strange”, “The End”. The 82nd called from the Marriott Hotel, but not for a song. They did not have a phone book and needed a number on Albrook. We played a lot of songs with the word “jungle” in it as well as such songs as “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood, and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.

On 25 December we played Christmas music. The only requests we took were for Christmas music. On 26 December the requests remained much the same as before the 25th. On 27 December someone who identified himself as a member of the PSYOPS team from Fort Bragg called to tell us what they were doing with their loud speakers. We already had reports on radio news as to what was happening. We had been receiving requests with a “musical message” for Noriega either by the words or the song title, but as soon as the media picked up on the story, those types of requests increased dramatically.

Here is a list of some of the songs requested:

(You’ve Got) Another Thing Corning, Judas Priest
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
All Over But the Crying, Georgia Satellites
All I Want is You, U2
Big Shot, Billy Joel
Blue Collar Man, Styx
Born to Run, Springsteen
Bring Down the Hammer, Georgia Satellites

Change, Tears for Fears
Cleaning Up the Town, The Bus Boys
Crying in the Chapel, Brenda Lee
Dancing in the Streets, David Bowie
Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
Dead Man’s Party, Oingo Boingo

Don’t Look Back, Boston
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Don’t Close Your Eyes, Kix
Eat My Shorts, Rick Dees
Electric Spanking of War Babies, Funkadelic

Feel a Whole Lot Better (When You’re Gone), Tom Petty
Freedom Fighter, White Lion
Freedom, No Compromise, Little Steven
Ghost Rider, The Outlaws
Give It Up, K.C. and the Sunshine Band
Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, Paul Young
Guilty, Bonham

Hang ‘Em High, Van Halen
Hanging Tough, New Kids on the Block
Heavens on Fire, Kiss
Hello It’s Me, Todd Rundgren
Hello, We’re Here, Tom T. Hall
Helter Skelter, Beatles
I Fought the Law and the Law Won, Bobby Fuller
If I Had A Rocket Launcher, Bruce Cockburn

In My Time of Dying, Led Zeppelin
Ironman, Black Sabbath
It Keeps You Running, Doobie Brothers
Judgement Day, Whitesnake
Jungle Love, Steve Miller
Just Like Jesse James, Cher
Mayor of Simpleton, XTC
Midnight Rider, Allman Brothers Band
Mr. Blue, The Fleetwoods

Naughty Naughty, Danger Danger
Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
No Particular Place To Go, Chuck Berry
No More Mister Nice Guy, Alice Cooper
No Alibis, Eric Clapton
Now You’re Messin’ with a S.O.B., Nazareth
Nowhere Man, Beatles
Nowhere to Run, Martha and the Vandelas

One Way Ticket, George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Panama, Van Halen
Paradise City, Guns and Roses
Paranoid, Black Sabbath
Patience, Guns and Roses
Poor Little Fool, Ricky Nelson
Prisoner of the Highway, Ronnie Milsap

Prisoner of Rock and Roll, Neil Young
Refugee, Tom Petty
Renegade, Styx
Rock and a Hard Place, Rolling stones
Run To The Hills, Iron Maiden
Run Like Hell, Pink Floyd

Screaming for Vengeance, Judas Priest
She’s Got a Big Posse, Arabian Prince
Shot in the Dark, Ozzy Osborne
Stay Hungry, Twisted Sister
Taking It to the Streets, Doobie Brothers
The Party’s Over, Journey

The Race is On, Sawyer Brown
The Pusher, Steppenwolf
The Long Arm of the Law, Warren Zevon
The Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix
The Secret of My Success, Night Ranger
They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Napoleon XIV (misattributed to Henry VIII)

This Means War, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Time is on My Side, Rolling Stones
Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die, Jethro Tull
Voodoo Child, Jimi Hendrix
Wait For You, Bonham
Waiting for a Friend, Rolling Stones
Wanted Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi
Wanted Man, Molly Hatchet
War Pigs, Black Sabbath

We Didn’t Start the Fire, Billy Joel
We Gotta Get Outta This Place, The Animals
Who Will You Run To?, Heart
You Send Me, Sam Cooke
You Shook Me All Night Long, ACDC
You Hurt Me (and I Hate You), Eurythmics
You Got Lucky, Tom Petty
Your Time is Gonna Come, Led Zeppelin
Youth Gone Wild, Skid Row

We continue to get and play requests for regular “pop”, “soul” and “country” music.

At 0705, 29 December we stopped playing requests and started counting down the top 40 songs from Billboard’s Top 100, Black 100 and Country 100 Charts. This was done to get a better mix of music for our listeners. We. continue to receive phone calls for requests to play for Noriega, but we explain to each caller that we are no longer taking requests and thank them for calling.”

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