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On occasion, when playing this song live, lead singer Bradley Nowell would sing: "Lord knows I'm weak, won't somebody get me off of this tweek?" which implies that the song is about trying to kick addiction, with the "Big, blue whale" being the drug, thus: "I swim, but I wish I'd never learned." Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996. (thanks, Mark - Desperate Hot Springs, CA)
A "Badfish" is a term used to describe a person who exposes someone else to heroin for the first time. (thanks, Vanessa - Covina, CA)
The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.
Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"
When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.