This ominous song is partially inspired by a story by a US taxi driver who explained to frontman David Bayley the damage she imagined she'd done on an "epic super-bender." Bayley explained to NME that the American had overdid the crystal meth and cocaine she took to help with all-nighters as a long-haul lorry driver and blacked out for a month. The woman then feared the worst when she woke up in a strip club in the wrong State. "She thinks she's killed someone, basically," said Bayley, "but she's not sure. Isn't that mad?"
The song samples the flute line from the Carpenters' 1970 track "Mr Guder,"which is about the futility of being uptight. All the samples on How to Be a Human Being were chosen carefully. "I only like using samples if they bring a context," Bayley explained.
Pete Townshend never had a #1 UK hit with The Who or as a solo artist, but he did produce and play on a song that hit the top spot there: "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman, a group he assembled.
The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."