Microsoft’s opening act since Windows 95: Weezer

Band to help Microsoft open more retail outlets, one right down the street


The radio ad caught my attention: Microsoft is opening a retail store in the nearby Natick Mall on June 8 and the ceremonies will be followed by a free concert that evening by ... Weezer?


[For sale: The nuclear fallout bunker of your dreams.]

I shouldn't have been surprised, as it turns out that Weezer has been Microsoft's house band of sorts for going on two decades. The mall store openings appear to be a steady gig; for example, there was one Sept. 29 in Newark, Del., and shows are planned in Portland, Ore., June 21 and Schaumburg, Ill. June 22.

But a look at the band's Wikipedia page showed me something about the Microsoft/Weezer relationship that was genuinely surprising: It dates back to Windows 95, the installation CD for which includes Weezer's most famous music video, "Buddy Holly." You'll remember that video as the one where the band plays at Arnold's Drive-in Diner from the TV show Happy Days, which ended its decade-long run in 1984. And, of course, a clip of that installation CD can be found on YouTube.

Weezer's "Buddy Holly" was by no means the most famous song associated with Windows 95: That would be the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up," which headlined the new operating system's advertising campaign.

Now if Microsoft could only get the Rolling Stones to play a store opening ...

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