Song of the Week: Long Haired Guys From England

This week’s Cereal Killers’ selection, like pretty much all our songs, is based on a true story. Or series of stories, as the phenomenon described in the tune happened to us repeatedly.

The title and the first line were Jay’s. I remember him singing me his original couplet and punchline as we walked across Kraft Avenue in Bronxville to rehearse or record at The Loft: “All the girls in the music biz/are high class whores with a business whiz/but they only wanna fuck/long haired guys from England.” I don’t think we ever debated the second line — I’m pretty sure I just said the title was great but that line had to go. While I’m not particularly proud of what replaced it, I do find it endearing that possessing a credit card once seemed like a sure sign of adulthood to us.

When I asked Jay if he minded my sharing that original lyric with the world, he said only this: “Why would I object to the sharing of artistic genius?” But there was a smiley face emoticon at the end of his email.

Sandy reminded me of something I’d forgotten: that we wound up touring with several long-haired guys from England after the song was written but before it was released, leading to some misconceptions about its intended target. I’ll let him explain:

“Even though the song existed long before we crossed paths with The Wonder Stuff, no band better embodied its true meaning. In the few shows we did together before they dumped us from their bill, they would even introduce themselves as ‘the long haired c***ts from England.’ Some say that song had a lot to do with their ‘firing’ us, but we prefer to think it’s just because they were tired of being out-rocked each night.”

UPDATE: Continuing his tradition of sending in his rememberances AFTER I’ve published that week’s song, Tommy just emailed me this:

“Our producer Paul Fox had this great idea for us to get drunk, bring in strippers and attempt to perform “Long Haired Guys From England”, which he thought would capture the true essence of the song. Who were we to disagree? We did what our producer told us to do. As the tape rolled, we were having the time of our lives and really believed we were recording an awesome rendition of the song. The next day we listened back. What we thought was our recording masterpiece sounded like….shit. Being kinda pissed that we didn’t nail LHGFE in our fun stupor, I remember arming ourselves with our instruments and banging this song out in one or two takes. The only way this song was meant to be recorded! A basic straight ahead rocker that to this day never fails to charge us up, or the crowd. “

14 Responses to “Song of the Week: Long Haired Guys From England”

  1. Sandy Says:

    Oh, forgot to mention: Producer Paul Fox hired actual strippers to dance with us when we recorded this basic track in the fancy LA studio we were tracking. I remember listening to the playback of these versions the next day, and they were suitably useless.

  2. sandy Says:

    Also, Tim, KRAFT Avenue. Really?

  3. tim Says:

    Typos happen.

  4. trapink Says:

    I remember looking forward to seeing the band open for The Wonderstuff in Atlanta — the morning of the show the newspaper ran a brief saying that Too Much Joy was no longer on the bill.

    Fortunately TMJ returned to town for two other shows, headlining both — I recall hearing “Sort of Haunted House” live before Mutiny was released.

  5. Terry Says:

    Love the recording notes! Keep’em coming!

  6. Dave Says:

    You really did OUT ROCK The Wonder Stuff. At least at The Metro in Chicago. The ironic thing is, The Wonder Stuff put on a great show when they opened for The Mission U.K. at the Vic. I had Son of Sam I Am on tape and was looking forward to seeing you both. But there was absolutely NO doubt that you OUT ROCKED them. I recall their headline show…Miles was a pit of a pretentious prick.

  7. Doug Mashkow Says:

    Having once scored an invite to a POP WILL EAT ITSELF(!) afterparty at Limelite with my New Music Seminar “press” credential, I can attest that LHGFE is Gospel truth.

  8. @studiesincrap Says:

    The Wonder Stuff put out a new record recently. Please do us all the favor of our-rocking them two millennia in a row.

  9. @studiesincrap Says:

    Out-rocking! Goddamn autocorrect!

  10. ryon Says:

    I think that would be a great idea!

  11. RobFitz Says:

    I remember seeing the Wonder Stuff open for Siouxie and the Banshees in Chicago, I believe at the Vic. When there set was over, they hadn’t played many of the songs that they were “known for” at the time. Backstage I asked the lead singer about it, and he went into this long diatribe about having a few albums out and not wanting to play the same stuff every night. My only response was to ask him “who do you think you are the Grateful Dead? You have like two albums out!” At that point he stormed off. What a D-bag. Would have loved seeing you blow them away live. Please come back and play Chicago.

  12. K-Lee Says:

    http://www.westnet.com/consumable/1996/08.02/c080296.txt
    Great Interview with Tim, who happens to talk about The Wonder Stuff. Lol

  13. TMJ road dog Says:

    I think it was pretty obvious why we got kicked off the tour…a little something of a riot on the Sunset Strip!

  14. Rob Says:

    I remember my Kenosha, Wisconsin college television music video show (ridiculous that, both a music video show & it’s locale) interviewing Too Much Joy between “Sam” and “Killers”, and TMJ performing an acoustic “Long Haired Guys”, with someone who was not Tommy banging on Jay’s empty guitar case for percussion purposes. What was amusing was the guys being interviewed (in pairs) by future top 40 jock Dan Kyle and crossing and uncrossing their legs in unison (with eerie zombie-esque robotic looks on their faces) whenever Danny did it. It was noticed in the studio, and on glorious 3/4 video tape upon subsequent viewings by the rest of us, and always drew a laugh, yet to this day, I’m not sure Mr. Kyle caught on.

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