These songs do not exist

by birtanpublished on July 2, 2020

The name of this show is This Exists So this
is probably breaking our own rules, but there

is a song — a song that reached the Billboard
charts in 1979 — that does not exist

We're not talking about John Cage's 4'33",
unquestionably the most famous silent piece

of music

4'33" is three movements ostensibly of silence
— lasting four minutes and thirty three seconds,

this most famous of Cage's works is intended
to challenge the very concept of music by

making accidental environmental sounds its
focal point But it has sheet music It exists

Rock 'N' Steady does not exist There is no
score There are no funny YouTube videos about

it or TED Talks debating its merits as cultural
commentary But in 1979, it debuted at 106

on Billboard "Bubbling Under" chart

Credited to the band DA and the label Rascal
Records, Rock 'N' Steady wasn't just a one

week clerical error It spent three weeks
just outside of the Hot 100, peaking at 102

before disappearing

Music historian Joel Whitburn has spent years
trying to figure out who DA was, who Rascal

Records was — going so far as the visit an
old address credited to the label, and finding

only an empty office

Here's where the astonishing conclusion would
go if there was one But literally no one

knows how this happened Was the song a fake?
Is it just lost to time? Rock 'N' Steady might

be our mysterious piece of non-existent music,
but it's not entirely alone Tell me if this

sounds like Mick Jagger Singing about nookie

The Masked Marauders were a joke, the wholly
non-existent basis for a phony review that

Greil Marcus wrote for Rolling Stone Supposedly
a supergroup consisting of Jagger, Bob Dylan,

Paul McCartney, and John Lennon, the joke
took on a life of its own when readers started

calling record stores looking for the album
So Marcus recorded one, Warner Brothers released

it, and sold 100 000 copies

"Grunge speak" was as real as the Masked Marauders
— in a 1992 New York Times article about

grunge and the success of Sub Pop Records,
someone who worked at the label invented a

whole secret grunge language, like "cob knobbler"
and "swinging on the flippity-flop" The Times

printed it

More recently, an art student uploaded a fake
Vampire Weekend cover and legit music outlets

like Complex and FACT all reported it like
it was the real thing I'm still waiting for

Lemon Sounds Because they also uploaded this

So those things don't exist I guess this
show is a lie

Do you think Rock 'N' Steady exists? Have
you ever thought something was real that wasn't?

Let us know in the comments, and subscribe
for new episodes of This Exists every week

Now please enjoy my performance of John Cage's
4'33" in its entirety

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