Nobody's Off The Hook

Album: Release the Stars (2007)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by the singer Teddy Thompson, who is the son of folk musicians Richard and Linda Thompson. In a 2008 article published in The Guardian, Teddy Thompson said: "I'm tempted to think my parents may have written me into a song before, but there's nothing that's direct like this. It's a huge honor. I'm friends with Rufus and a fan of his music. He played me the song in the studio. It was a lovely moment. Then he said, 'And now I'm going to play you the song I wrote about Brandon Flowers from the Killers!' That's Rufus. There's a line that refers to when we first met - 'Looking like a teenager.' I was very sheltered and well-behaved, younger than my years, probably. Rufus was the man about town. But I was just getting into the never-ending-party party whereas he was right there and he went a bit too far. I was 19, I'd only just moved to America. We met as kids at the odd festival, but our parents didn't really run in the same circles because we were in England and his parents were in Canada.

    I didn't know many people like that - bohemian, quite hippyish and dressed flamboyantly. I think he fell in love with me, maybe in a not so platonic way! It could have gone a different way if I'd been more receptive.

    I think the lyrics are about the party never being quite over. I also took it to mean I'm not off the hook as far as dealing with the demons is concerned. Rufus has been through the bad drinking and drugs, been to rehab and so on, and maybe there's a little nudge to me saying, 'You're not quite off the hook yet, so watch out!' Funnily enough, I wrote a song called 'You Made It' ... about Rufus."
  • Thompson and Wainwright have frequently collaborated on each other's work. For instance, Wainwright appeared in the music video for Thompson's 2008 song "In My Arms." The English singer-songwriter supplied backing vocals on "Tiergarten" from Wainwright's Release The Stars album. Thompson's father, Richard, also played acoustic guitar on the same song, plus three other tunes on the same set.

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