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Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) by Styx
Album: Pieces Of EightReleased: 1978Charted:
This song tells the story of a man who is sick of being mocked for being jobless. He tries to get a job and when he is denied, he tries to persuade people into hiring him.
Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw wrote this song and sang the lead vocals. It's a good example of his songwriting philosophy, which is to write songs people can relate to and enjoy.
A short clip of this song was used in the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy
This is one of the song Styx plays at just about every concert. On their 2011 tour, it was their opening number, as with unemployment in the United States over 9%, the song was more relevant than ever.
Tommy Shaw came up with the guitar riff after a pot-fueled deep sea fishing trip. He explained to The A/V Club that their cab driver gave them some potent weed on the way to the boat, which put them in a daze. Says Shaw: "When we booked this fishing boat, we said, 'We are going to be partying. Because we just finished this tour, and we have a cooler and drinks, and I hope you don't mind if we party.' Well, we smoked this pot, and by the time we got on the boat, we were paralyzed. We were, like, stone quiet for the first hour and a half. We finally started coming around a little bit and told [the boat owner] what happened. He's like, 'I wondered what happened to you guys, because you said there was going to be this big party, and you guys haven't said a word.' We're all sitting there in this daze from this pot, and the boat was making this sound: 'mmm mmm mmm.' You are moving slowly when you are trolling through the water. The engines are at really low RPMs. The sound just sort of tattooed itself onto my psyche. And when I got back to the room, I got the acoustic guitar and wrote the music to 'Blue Collar Man.'"