30 Seconds Over Tokyo (song)  

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"30 Seconds Over Tokyo" (1975) is the debut single by American post-punk band Pere Ubu. It was written by David Thomas, Peter Laughner and Gene O'Connor, during their stint as members of Rocket from the Tombs in 1974. Released on Thomas' independent Hearthan Records in 1975, the song received very little airplay but has earned high praise in the years since.

Background and composition

The song's lyrics are based on the Doolittle Raid of 1942, as told from the perspective of a pilot on a suicide mission. Its title was borrowed from the 1943 book Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Captain Ted W. Lawson, adapted to a major motion picture of the same name in 1944. According to Rocket from the Tombs bassist Craig Bell, the genesis of the song was a riff written by guitarist Gene "Cheetah" O'Connor, to which fellow guitarist Peter Laughner provided a corresponding riff, while David Thomas penned the lyrics. Thomas, who refers to it as a pop song, said that "30 Seconds" was "probably the last time I ever wrote in a straight narrative form".

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "30 Seconds Over Tokyo (song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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