T-Bone

Album: Re-ac-tor (1981)

Songfacts®:

  • This song, with the lyric "Ain't Got No T-Bone," refers to a common response to the waitresses at the Bella Vista Restaurant from the cook Art Morris when they asked about the T-Bone steak. On busy weekend nights some of the menu choices would become unavailable. "Ain't Got No T-bone" was a well known rant when the restaurant was busy and the stress levels high. Mike Warner, who worked at the Bella Vista at the time, told us: "Art Morris could be rather grumpy and dismissive - 'gruff' would describe him well. Pegi Morton, Neil Young's love interest, was a waitress at the Bella Vista (and at Alex's down the road). Neil may have heard Art when he yelled this phrase to the waitresses - but more than likely, this is a story that Pegi relayed to him and he found inspiration in. I'll never forget walking into the meat locker and seeing the flat of T-Bone steaks separated with waxed paper. The meat delivery was weekly and sometimes it just didn't last the whole week.
  • Neil and Pegi had a son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy, the same condition that effected his first son Zeke, who he had with Carrie Snodgress. When he wrote this song, Neil was going through a grueling program to treat Ben which took 12-hour-days, 7-days-a-week, and involved the whole family. And that's what this song means: Sometimes you have a healthy kid, and sometimes you have a disabled one. Sometimes you get T-bone, and sometimes you don't.
  • Pegi Young started making her own music when her son Ben got older. When Songfacts spoke with Pegi, she said of her time at the Bella Vista: "I remember Art yelling at me because I was a vegetarian and he was like, 'You're eating bunny food. You eat like a rabbit.'"
  • Young gave a more comprehensive account of meeting Pegi in his 1992 song "Unknown Legend," where he sings:

    She used to work in a diner
    Never saw a woman look finer

Comments: 1

  • Mark from Jefferson City, MoWhere's the lyrics? J/K!

    Love this song!
see more comments

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