"Hands Off The Man" is a warning to ladies to stay away from a certain foxy fella known as the Flim Flam Man, a con artist who "pays his monthly rent with daily charm."
According to Nyro's friend Barbara Greenstein, the horn-laden tune could have been intended for the 1967 film The Flim-Flam Man
, starring George C. Scott as a shady character not unlike Nyro's ne'er-do-well. But Alan Merrill
, lead singer of the Arrows, thinks the tune is likely about her Uncle Gary, who was married to Merrill's aunt for awhile. "He was an actor/artist/dreamer/ladies' man," Merrill explained in Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro
by Michele Kort. "A good-looking charmer. A fun guy to be around. His plans to succeed always seemed to fall through, though, and that sometimes got him in serious trouble."