LFO Singer Rich Cronin Dies: Why We’ll Always Be ‘Summer Girls’

It was with a sad heart that we learned yesterday that LFO singer Rich Cronin died from leukemia at the age of 35.

If you were a teen in the late ’90s (like me), LFO’s 1999 hit “Summer Girls” was probably getting steady rotation in your Discman. Don’t even try to deny it: That song is mad catchy. With lines like “I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch, I’d take her if I had one wish,” it was a hard song not to like. In fact, the tune namechecks practically all of my favorite things: Macaulay Culkin and “Home Alone,” Chinese food (It doesn’t make me sick!), Billy Shakespeare, Cherry Coke, “Footloose,” and the list goes on.

While I haven’t stepped foot into an Abercrombie and Fitch for the better part of a decade, the song still signifies that lazy high school summer I spent working at the Dairy Queen—something I was reminded of just a few short weeks ago.

I, along with four gal pals in their mid- to late-20s, crammed into a minivan headed for the Catskills and one final August weekend getaway. Accompanying us on our journey was my friend Jean’s iPod, an impressive repository of tunes, to say the least. As we curved our way up the mountain road, bopping along to the mega playlist that had been composed just for the occasion, an audible squeal arose when the familiar beat of “Summer Girls” began pulsing from the speakers. After a very brief discussion of the meaning of LFO’s name (Jean and I yelled, “Lyte Funky Ones!” in unison), we began a rousing van singalong. And while we all had jobs, rent payments and adult obligations waiting for us at home, for those few, brief moments, we were all just summer girls.

What memories does “Summer Girls” remind you of, Crushers?