What Time Is It?

Album: Pocket Full of Kryptonite (1991)
  • A track from the first Spin Doctors album, the 5-million-selling Pocket Full of Kryptonite, "What Time Is It?" came out of an improvised jam when the band was playing into the early morning at a Columbia University fraternity. "We were playing a party at Delta Phi," lead singer Chris Barron said in a Songfacts interview. "We played a couple of parties for these guys, and it actually was 4:30 in the morning and we were like, 'Should we play some more?,' and the crowd was like, 'Yeah!'

    I turned to Darren Green, who was a friend of the band, and I was like, 'What time is it?' He said, '4:30,' and then Eric just busted into that riff. I started singing, 'What time is it? 4:30,' and then off the top of my head, 'It's not late, it's early.'"
  • The song began as a party jam, but the verses are political. Early on, the group played around with political material to go along with their band name - a "spin doctor" is a political operative who frames a story in a certain way. Chris Barron had President George H.W. Bush in mind with lines like:

    President, he sweat through his talcum
    Newspaper man, he watch like a falcon

    By the time the song was released, the United States had invaded Iraq in the first Gulf War.
  • This song is often believed to be about marijuana, with the singer having missed the 4:20 smoke time, but insisting they can spark one up anyway, since "it's not too late."
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