Enough ‘Spirit’ to Get By

December 1, 2005

Howard got Norman Greenbaum, the singer who wrote “Spirit in the Sky,” on the phone and mentioned that Norman recently contacted the show so he could get a copy of The Losers’ version of his hit.

When Gary asked Norman how much money he made from that song alone, he replied that he gets six figures a year.

Norman explained that, while he doesn’t own the publishing rights to “Spirit,” he has made a fortune off of it because it’s been used in commercials and 25 movies.

In addition, Norman said that the tune has been Number One in England on three different occasions, which has also contributed to its earning power.

Norman told Howard that the lyrics to “Spirit” came to him quickly, but that he spent quite a while coming up with the riff for the song.

Norman went on to say that he’s been divorced twice, but that he told both of his now ex-wives that they could have the furniture and the children as long as they didn’t take his song.

Howard mentioned that he was honored that Norman wanted The Losers’ rendition of the song, and proceeded to play it for one last time before it was packed away.