Song Stories

“Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers”

Primus | 1991

The songs that comprise Primus' 1991 album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, are loaded with topics that remain uncommon in the rock format -- a warning against "a hammerhead shark, nose hairs and flatus" ("Here Come the Bastards"), a studly feline ("Tommy the Cat") and eating taco-flavored Doritos on a boat ("Fish On"). And "Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers" can also be filed under this category. "A tweaker is someone who is strung out on methyl amphetamines, otherwise known as crank," Les Claypool told Rolling Stone. "There's a reference in there to a guy who hung Sheetrock, and that's how he got through the day. He'd snort up speed to keep up with the younger guys." When "Tweekers" was performed at Woodstock '94, Claypool inserted in a bit of "The Star Spangled Banner" on his bass, mid-song, as a sideways Hendrix tribute.

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The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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