Messed Up In Memphis

Album: Sounds Like Life (2009)
Play Video


  • In our interview with Darryl Worley, when we asked him to talk about this song, he laughed and said, "What's to talk about? You've got the story!" Okay. Sounds like someone who's been headed south for a long time and whose head has finally run smack into the concrete sidewalk. Close enough? Maybe...

    According to Darryl, "It's sort of a compilation of different evenings, days and nights spent in that town over there. There's a real cool vibe about Memphis if you know how to go and experience it, with Beale Street and the Blues and the whole bar-b-que. Marc Cohn had that song 'Walking In Memphis.' I always loved that. You sort of could smell the bar-b-que smoke in the air. And you just felt like you were there. And we were trying to sort of re-create that atmosphere and give people who had never tasted that Memphis kind of late-night vibe, give them a little flavor of what it is all about. I took a bunch of my own personal experiences and some others that had been shared with me, and just let it into that crazy song. I love the groove."

    But what, exactly, did he "mess up" in Memphis?
    "Oh, that," he says. "Well, it's sort of a double entendre. It's messed up by showing up late again. Obviously, if you listen close to the lyric, he showed up late for a date, she was already gone, and it sounds like he'd been trying to coax this person to come and see him there or whatever. The guy's obviously not at home. He's sort of lost out there in Memphis. And so he proceeds to get a little more 'messed up' in Memphis, messed up in a sort of a different way. And then he probably takes that 'messed up' to a whole 'nother level, before it's all said and done. So this guy's really messed up in Memphis."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Alan Merrill of The Arrows

Alan Merrill of The ArrowsSongwriter Interviews

In her days with The Runaways, Joan Jett saw The Arrows perform "I Love Rock And Roll," which Alan Merrill co-wrote - that story and much more from this glam rock pioneer.

Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG's, Blues Brothers)

Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG's, Blues Brothers)Songwriter Interviews

Steve Cropper on the making of "In the Midnight Hour," the chicken-wire scene in The Blues Brothers, and his 2021 album, Fire It Up.

Philip Cody

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A Timeline

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty

Rob Thomas of Matchbox TwentySongwriter Interviews

Rob Thomas on his Social Distance Sessions, co-starring with a camel, and his friendship with Carlos Santana.