Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

And Now Just The Men

Virgil sang of arms and the man, but some people just sing about men (some of whom are armed).

That sentence could qualify as a war crime.

There’s a classical allusion and parentheses. How can a sentence with a classical allusion and parentheses not be outstanding?

I dunno, but you figured it out.

Quiet or I bring back Sleepy Batman. We come now, Enthusiasts, to a short, completely biased, and totally inconsequential list of the Greatest Songs With Men’s Names In The Title. I begin by informing you that I will be ignoring all of your suggestions and choosing my own songs, some of which will be selected just to annoy you.

Why are you like this?

It’s tough love.

No, it’s just being rude.

We’ll start off with the winner. None of this building-up-to-number-one bullshit: I’ll tell you what the Best EVAR blah blah is, and then the runners-up. Feel free to ripcord out after this.

Enthusiasts, it wasn’t even fucking close. If this contest were a prize-fight, they would’ve called it in the first; if it were a presidential election, it would’ve been Reagan/Mondale. Not only is Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner the best song with a man’s name in the title, it’s also the best song…

  • …about mercenaries.
  • …about vengeful ghosts.
  • …that mention Mombasa.

Plus it’s got one of Warren’s perfectly ambiguous ending lines, second best only to The French Inhaler’s “She said ‘So long, Norman.'”

Real Zevonophiles will wonder why Boom Boom Mancini isn’t included in the list, but they shouldn’t because here it is:

Now, there have been a shitload of songs about boxers and some of them have been brilliant, so this isn’t the best song ever written about boxers in general. It is, however, the best song about Boom Boom Mancini. (Unless Tigra and Bunny’s We Like The Cars That Go Boom is secretly about Boom Boom Mancini. That shit’s my jam.)

And now we come to Billy, Don’t Be A Hero.


You’re adamant.

I’ll burn the house down while we sleep.


Watching you, asshole.

How about Tom Sawyer?

Fuck, yeah. That jam’s my shit.

There might not be a better song about libertarian-flavored rugged individualism.

Also: Geddy Lee’s giant grandma sunglasses.

Okay, I lied: this one’s from the Comment Section. Andy Griffith and the Darlings (who were a real bluegrass band named The Dillards) on the old Andy Griffith Show. The reason there was a song break on the program is because they made 249 in eight years, which is over 30 a season. There’s only so many Otis the Drunk jokes you can write.

What’s with all this hillbilly music? This is some white bullshit.”

I know that voice.

“Voice of a genius, you cracker motherfucker.”



MISTER DAVIS! Mister Davis! Stop shooting guns to make your point.

“Wouldn’t have to if you weren’t so dumb.”

I was getting to you.


“Miles Davis don’t get gotten to, motherfucker.”

Sorry! Sorry, wow. You’re very mean.

“Shut up.”


“Play my music.”


This was recorded 4/10/70 at Fillmore West; guess who else was on the bill. Phil writes about feeling intimidated about going on after Miles, which is understandable. I’m impressed they stayed at all: I would have gone home.

“Where are you going?”

“What are we gonna do after that bullshit? Choogle? Are we gonna choogle? Nah, fuck that. I’m going to grad school.”

If he was from Venus, would he feed us with a spoon?
If he was from Mars, wouldn’t that be cool?
Standing right on campus, would he stamp us in a file?
Hangin’ down in Memphis all the while.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

Cerebral rape and pillage in a village of his choice.
Invisible man who can sing in a visible voice.
Feeling like a hundred bucks, exchanging good lucks face to face.
Checkin’ his stash by the trash at St. Mark’s place.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

I never travel far,
Without a little Big Star

Runnin’ ’round the house, Mickey Mouse and the Tarot cards.
Falling asleep with a flop pop video on.
If he was from Venus, would he meet us on the moon?
If he died in Memphis, then that’d be cool, babe.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

“I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

And that’s all that needs to be said about Alex Chilton by The Replacements. (Except for noting the irony in writing a song praising a songwriter that’s better than anything the titular songwriter ever wrote.)

Lemme ask you something, though.

Come closer.

It’s important.

Is there gas in the car?

Yes, there’s gas in the car.

(I always pretend that the line “Your low-rent friends are dead” is really “Your low-rent friends are Dead.” Anyone else?)

And that’s that.

Why can’t you write like a normal person?

Normal people don’t write.

Yeah, okay.


  1. SmokingLeather

    I totally agree with the italics about “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero”

  2. Samallama

    Speaking of warren zevon and the dead, interesting reminisce about Owsley.
    Btw, watch ‘the sunshine makers “on netflix! R.i.p. Nick sands

  3. ChadB

    That one makes me cry.

  4. Luther Von Baconson

    thinking Tim was well-marbled

  5. somebloke

    It’s lines like

    “Why can’t you write like a normal person?

    Normal people don’t write.”

    that make me come back EVERY day to see what Circus is in Town.

    This place (by which I mostly mean Monsieur Thoughts, but not MERELY him) fuggen rocks.

  6. Matt O

    Jesus, you referenced Tigra and Bunny! I thought that I was the only person who remembered (and loved) that jam.

    For a long time now, I believed you were my spirit animal, but now, I’m beginning to think you’re actually my id.

    Crazy, man…crazy.

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