This song is about a deranged killer named Ed Gein who was from Plainfield, Wisconsin. He would go to cemeteries at night and dig up graves, removing the bodies of women who resembled his mother. Gein would then dismember the bodies and use the skin to make lamp shades and other assorted items. He was also a murderer - one day he killed Bernice Worden, a clerk in a hardware store, and gutted her body out like a deer in his barn. When police arrested him they found a human heart on the stove along with other body parts throughout the house.
A track from the band's second album, lead singer Shannon Hoon wrote this song after reading a book about serial killers that included Gein. He wrote this song believing that there are two sides to everything and is showing the humorous side to the Ed Gein story.
Blind Melon wasn't the first band with a song about Gein; Slayer released "Dead Skin Mask" about him in 1990.
Suggestion credit: Chris - Slidell, LA
In our interview with Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn, he talked about coming up with the track to this song: "While writing songs for the Soup record, I has buying different instruments, and doing some songwriting experiments with them. I bought a banjo, so I wrote 'Skinned' just for fun. I never imagined Shannon would choose to write lyrics over that music. It was odd and really just so I could learn how to play banjo."
Christopher Thorn brought a recording rig with him on Blind Melon's tours, so it was his room that Shannon Hoon would visit when he wanted to lay down a vocal idea. "I remember being on tour in Middle America and him singing the vocal to 'Skinned,' Thorn said. "I thought it was hilarious and sick at the same time."