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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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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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