CLEVELAND – It’s become a tradition here in Northeast Ohio.
Every spring, that catchy I-X Indoor Amusement Park tune invades the minds of Clevelanders, who catch themselves humming it for weeks.
You know the words... Sing along if you wish.
"So cool, so fun. If you're not here you're the only one."
It’s been around for nearly a quarter of a century, but who is the brain who composed unforgettable earworm?
A former rock musician, turned audio engineer, turned jingle writer, George Sipl is the man behind the song. He took on the gig as his first major project in the jingle writing business and never looked back.
"What a thrill. To turn on the radio and go, 'Oh my god, it’s that song again,'" Sipl said.
As far as the vocals go, Sipl said it was an easy decision. He pegged Billy Sullivan from the start. A musician currently working out of Chicago, Sullivan is still in awe of how long his brief studio session has endured.
"It was only intended to be used one year and they’ve been using it every year ever since," Sullivan said.
But where did it all come from?
"At that particular time, there was a song that was very popular called, She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals. That hook, 'She drives me crazy,' it used to go through my head all the time," Sipl explained. "Short bursts of guitar, da dum da dum dum. I grabbed that idea."
Sullivan said he recalls Sipl giving him some direction before he recorded.
"It should be kind of rock. It should be up-tempo. It’s supposed to be the teen version, so I kind of took that direction and we did a few takes and the rest is history."
As popular as it is in Cleveland, the tune actually isn’t George’s best-known work.
"For the best car insurance rates in town, call 1-800-General-Now, kind of tops it out because that’s a national,” Sipl said.
Still, the I-X Indoor Amusement Park jingle is one of his favorites. A song written and recorded 24 years ago that is still just as catchy today.
"I think people still like it. They love to hate it. 'Oh, I hate that thing, I hear it once and I can’t get it out.' Thank you, I appreciate that."