Pinhead

Album: Leave Home (1977)

Songfacts®:

  • Part of this song was inspired by a 1932 horror movie the band saw when they were on tour in Ohio in 1976. The movie was called Freaks, and the band saw it in an art house theater. At the end of the movie, there's a scene where the sideshow freaks rise up and take over, shouting, "We accept you, one of us, Gooble Gooble." This gave The Ramones the idea for their "Gabba Gabba Hey!" chant, which became their trademark phrase and a rallying cry for their fans.
  • Studio engineer Ed Stasium (from Hey! Ho! Let's Go! The Ramones Anthology by David Fricke): "We had fun with 'Pinhead.' They had this 'Gabba gabba hey' chant and I started messing with the vari-speed control on the tape machine, just as a joke. I'd speed it up and slow it down, and Dee Dee's going 'This is cool!.' It ended up being on the record. You can hear a little chipmunk voice going 'Gabba gabba.'" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Katie - Goulburn, for above 2
  • A track from the second Ramones album, this song is about a dimwit who sees a nurse he fancies. The group didn't spend much time developing stories in their songs, and often sung about various mental disorders. Not everyone was in on the joke, but they were not out to offend: they just thought this stuff was funny.
  • The children's TV series Yo Gabba Gabba! borrowed its title from the Ramones' "Gabba Gabba Hey" chant.

Comments: 3

  • Spencer from Mcbride, Canadagabba gabba we accept you we accept you one of us...
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoFWIW, the freaks do have a victory of sorts at the end of the movie, but that's not when they do the chant. The chant occurs in the middle of the flick and is directed at a "normal" woman as a way of announcing that they accept her as a result of her marriage to one of their group, a midget. The woman recoils in horror at the idea of being considered one of them because she is a despicable character who has only married the midget because she has heard he has big money. The audience is more privy to this information than the freaks up to this point of the movie, but her reaction to their acceptance helps show them how she really is. But I shan't give any more away! I will only add that this song blew my mind (years before I knew anything about the movie) and played a major role in my accepting and embracing and making my own PUNK ROCK!!
  • Ralph from Newton, MaThis will always be a favorite of any Ramones fan. In concert, they always had a guy dressed up as a side-show pinhead come on stage carrying a sign that said "Gabba Gabba Hey!"
see more comments

Editor's Picks

MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.