From Innocence to Jerry Garcia

In 1995, the year that Jerry Garcia died, Squeeze the British rock band recorded ‘Electric Trains’ on their eleventh album, Ridiculous.  ‘Electric Trains’ was released as a single and it peaked at #44 in the UK Singles Chart.  Two versions of the single were released, each with entirely different B-sides and later Chris Difford recorded a stripped-down version of the song titled ‘Playing With Electric Trains’ on his 2002 solo album I Didn’t Get Where I Am.  Squeeze came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the New Wave period of the late 1970s and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s.  They are known in the UK for their hit songs ‘Cool for Cats’, ‘Up the Junction’, ‘Tempted’, ‘Labelled With Love’, ‘Black Coffee In Bed’, ‘Another Nail in My Heart’, ‘Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)’ and ‘Hourglass’.  They were not as commercially successful in the U.S., but they did have American chart hits with ‘Tempted’, ‘Hourglass’ and ‘853-5937’.  All of Squeeze’s hits were written by band members Chris Difford who wrote the lyrics and Glenn Tilbrook who wrote the music.  They were hailed as “the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne”, because of their classic 1965 pre-psychedelic Beatles-like sound that produced catchy songs during their peak of popularity in the early 1980s.

‘Electric Trains’ is about a boy that grows up from a childhood that was filled with fun and games and he enjoyed playing with electric trains.  He gets turned on to music as he enters puberty.  He likes girls and starts having sex and then he forms his own band.  His music becomes popular, but I am not exactly sure what he is saying in the end of this song when he mentions the Grateful Dead.

When I was crowned a mummy’s boy by friends I didn’t like
I made a meal of trips to school upon my father’s bike
I used to sit between his legs, perched on a piece of wood
If it ever rained on us, I’d slip beneath his hood
And at home the radio was on
From Julie Andrews to Jerry Garcia
Life was all fun and games
I was out of my head and underneath my bed
Playing with electric trains

At home the stereo was on
My head was filled with rock
I played a willow cricket bat guitar
And soloed round the clock
My records stacked up in a pile
Collected from the charts
And Top of the Pops

Kneeling with torchlight shining
Before me in my bed
My eyeballs stuck in readers wives
Pubic hairs proudly counted everyday
Manhood took me slowly
Out into the milky way

I chased the girls and made them cry
My hair grew down my back
The passing of my teenage years
Were spent down in the sack
I played guitar and formed a band
I puked up all night long

As people came to sit and stare
While I raced through my songs
The sound of music passed by me
Just like the Grateful Dead

14 thoughts on “From Innocence to Jerry Garcia

  1. Also brilliant! I’ve been reading your blog since your No Rules blog hop post when you invited an open forum. Another good song recommendation in this post.

    Thanks for running your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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