What Do All The People Know

Album: The Monroes (1982)
Charted: 59

Songfacts®:

  • The Monroes were a New Wave band from San Diego. They were destined for rock stardom, but when their Japanese label abandoned their US market, the song fell off the pop charts. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Guy - New York, NY
  • Bob "Monroe" Davis, the band's bassist, gave Blurt Magazine the backstory on their signature hit: "The [title] itself, 'What Do All The People Know,' I owe to my dear ol' Mum. She grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan and was always concerned with what other folks thought. Ya know, she'd say to me, 'People don't do that' or 'Who does that?' when something I did wasn't what she considered the norm. A funny example comes to mind: it's a Woody Allen movie, perhaps Annie Hall. During this particular scene, he's in the middle of an argument with Diane Keaton and he [suddenly] notices she's putting mayonnaise on corned beef. He stops arguing and [says], 'Mayonnaise on corned beef?' You might not have to be a New Yorker to grasp the subtlety of that brilliant piece of comedy - but if you are, you totally understand what I'm talking about. Thus it was with my Mom and so the inspiration for the line, 'What Do All The People Know.'"
  • This features vocals from Davis and lead singer Tony Ortiz. "Listening to bands like The Beatles taught me that having just two voices was not a weakness but could be an enormous strength," Davis explained. "When Tony Ortiz and I sang together there was a certain blend, a certain magic which was unmistakable. A third harmony might have even gotten in the way."
  • The Monroes made their national TV debut on The Merv Griffin Show.

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