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In this song, a man is in trouble with the law after murdering another man who said something insulting about a woman who is either his wife or lover (Talk about overreacting!). The man is lonely and scared. He's tired of running and hiding from the Indiana police, and he misses his wife/lover and their child.
On early copies of this song, it opens with the wail of a police siren, which is later heard during the instrumental bridge. The siren sounded (for its time) so realistic that some drivers pulled over to the side of the road when they heard the song on their car radios. When the confusion was discovered, Rare Earth (the record company that Taylor was signed with) gave radio stations (particularly those that were too skeptical and/or scared to play the song) a second version without the siren. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2)
When this song hit the charts, Taylor become one of the few white artists to score a hit for Motown Records. He was already a successful songwriter for the label, with a hand in writing the hit "Love Child
." "Indiana Wants Me" was his only American hit, but in England, he also scored with "Gotta See Jane," "There's A Ghost In My House
" and "Window Shopping
Indiana wanted him because he defended his lady's honour, apparently with a gun. In the July 6, 1974 issue of Melody Maker, Taylor explained the inspiration for the song.
'I was living in a fleabag hotel and one night I heard these sirens and somebody was breaking in a store below. I looked out and police had surrounded this store and I turned my tape-recorder on. I saw Bonnie and Clyde a couple of times and with those two things that's how I came to write "Indiana".'
Although there are no sirens on the later release of this song, it does include a police radio. Along with "There's A Ghost In My House
" this was unarguably Taylor's biggest hit, and unlike "Ghost..." it sold well on both sides of the Atlantic, topping the singles chart in his native Canada.
This was released on the Rare Earth label backed by "Love's Your Name" and also on Tamla Motown backed by "Gotta See Jane". (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3)
Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"
The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.
La La Brooks of The Crystals
The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."