A hypnotic buzzing circular guitar riff is the inescapable hook of "Rebel Rebel," whose protagonist's flirtation with glam rock androgyny mirrored David Bowie's own persona in the early-to-mid-'70s. It's been speculated that transsexual rock singer Wayne (aka Jane) County, whose song "Queenage Baby" also includes a line wondering if someone's a boy or a girl, might have been an influence on the composition. "Rebel Rebel"'s lead guitar was played by Bowie himself, who later declared, "It's a fabulous riff! Just fabulous! When I stumbled onto it, it was 'Oh, thank you!'"