Big Time Operator

Album: This Beautiful Life (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a retro-swing band from California led by Scotty Morris. On this track from their third studio album, Morris indulges in vices like drinking, smoking, and gambling,"'Cause I'm a big-time operatin', never-ever hesitatin', sinner VIP." Like a throwback to Sinatra's Rat Pack, he enjoys his activities with an air of sophistication, rolling his cigarettes and wearing pressed collars and fancy ties.
  • The band, who came to prominence after being featured as the lounge act in the 1996 movie Swingers, takes issue with the "retro" tag. "I've never thought of our music as retro," Morris explained in a press release. "We're an alternative to retro. We're high-octane nitro jive - loud, wild, total edge. Back in the '40s, swing was punk rock, the black juke-joint music white guys heard and said, 'This is swingin'.' What we do is wild and swingin', '40s music with a '90s twist. We're as influenced by Black Flag as Count Basie."
  • Morris sings, "I like mixed drinks, I likes what I thinks." What's his favorite mixed drink? Gin and Tonic.
  • The band name was inspired by blues guitarist Albert Collins, who signed an autograph for Morris that read, "To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy."
  • Around the time the album was released in 1999, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy also recorded the theme song and incidental music for the sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun (seasons five and six).
  • In the Friends episode "The One Where They All Turn Thirty" (2001), this plays during the flashback to Monica's surprise party. The song was included on the show's 2005 soundtrack album, Friends: The Ultimate Soundtrack.

    It was also used on Malcolm in the Middle in the 2006 episode "Bomb Shelter," when Malcolm dances with a clumsy girl who keeps hurting him.
  • This was used in the 2000 animated movie Rugrats In Paris.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?