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Magic Bus


The Who

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is about a man who wants to buy the bus that he takes to get to his girlfriend every day, but the driver does not want to sell it.
This song is a staple of Who concerts and has been sung in many different versions.
A version nearly 8 minutes long can be found on the Live At Leeds album. (thanks, Zach - Boston, MA)
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Comments (19):

After Moonie died they never played it live again.
- Philip, Waterdown, ON
Wiki claims the song was written in 1965 and first recorded in 1968. Madeline's suggestion that it refers to a form of LSD seems consistent with the lyrics. As to which came first, the lyric or the drug, it is difficult to tell.

But, during the late 60's and early 70's, there was a bus called The Magic Bus that travelled from Amsterdam to Kabul, Afghanistan. The cost was absurdly low compared to today-something around $50. Of course, is was adorned with psychedellic images and, perhaps a statement of the obvious, quite a trip! But, like the name of the brand of LSD, the name of the bus probably came from the song. Only Mr. Townshend knows for sure.
- Joseph, Champaign, IL
I remember I had a single with a foreign language cover version of Magic Bus when I was a kid. Unfortunately it was a white label copy, so I never knew who's version it was.
Can't even tell the language. The chorus sounded something like "eco eco cooba-eh, cooba oh coooba-eh".
Any idea whose version that might have been?
- Gerald, Vienna, Austria
Listen to a lot of who songs. Their songs are often about simple things. This song is what it is. No underlying references, just a kid in love. And the bus he rides.
- animal54mt, abbotsford, BC
The Bo Diddly rhythm is compelling when played by Pete on his Gibson J200. Though I would have preferred to hear Moon playing his kit rather than the clave and bongos.
- Guitorb, Warsaw, IN
This song is most likely about Ken Kesey's LSD touring bus. He traveled the country in the 60s promoting the drug LSD. The Who only took LSD once, however.
- Ben, Baltimore, MD
am i hallucinating, or does this sound exactly like "my generation"?
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
yes and no, ur all right but listen to the song and it says "i smoke 6 bunts a day" But if u listen closer it just doent say magic busa all the time it says magic dust some times.

so he wants hes bus and dust which was LSD,cocaine.and thats how he trick the govern.
- jo, strong city, Algeria
I am not sure how old any of you are, but Magic Bus was a type of LSD in the early 70s. It has nothing to do with an actual "hippie bus".
- Madeline, Grass Valley, CA
this song is about the rising cost of drugs the term "magic bus" is the high u get off drugs
- Jessica, jamaica, NY
Well, as usual with The Who it's not the lyrics, it's definitely the arrangement. I think most Who lyrics are pretty lame. It's the instrumental that's so compelling.
- Heather, Los Angeles, CA
craig why don't u shut up. i think this is a great who song, even if the lyrics are weird. the live at leeds version is really cool. u can hear how they fool around with themselves onstage when pete says "ok you can buy the magic bus for one hundred!... (and u expect it to be 100 bucks but)...english pounds" thought it was funny.
- Kiyoto, Vancouver, Canada
This song was featured in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film "GoodFellas".
- Rory, Charlotte, NC
8 minutes us nothing. When the did Long Beach, CA in '71 they stretched it out to over 15 minutes.
- Jack, Riverside, CA
Stupid lyrics, however, this is still a great song. John Entwistle wasn't too keen on playing this live because "it's 8 minutes of A".
- Robert, Cambridge, NY
After much airplay, the song was eventually banned on Baltimore radio when rumors circulated that Magic Bus was a drug reference.
- Wayne, Edgewater, MI
The song is about a hippy bus that they do all kinds of different things in! That's what the sixties were all about! And they sure didn't want to sell it!
- P J, OKC, OK
I wanna listen to that 8 minute version!
- Johnny, Los Angeles, CA
I had a 1974 VW bus, bright orange, when I was a newlywed in 1983. Of course, we called it "The Magic Bus!"
- Ron, Bentonville, AR
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