The song mourns the loss of strong figures in culture and mentions people that Hugh Cornwell had great admiration for: communist leader Leon Trotsky, comedian Lenny Bruce, art forger Elmyr de Hory and Don Quixote side kick Sancho Panza.
And speaking of Lenny Bruce, music legend Al Kooper's memoir Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
tells of Bruce's influence on Kooper. Lenny Bruce's wife Honey and daughter Kitty stayed with Kooper briefly, causing Al Kooper to woolgather about the time at age 16, when he'd gone to Carnegie Hall at a midnight show to catch the legendary comedian. "The stately old hall was packed with jazz musicians, hookers, beatniks, and Manhattan-dwelling yuppies (the kind of white people who went to Harlem for 'kicks'). At the stroke of midnight, Lenny strolled onstage to a thunderous ovation. He walked up to the microphone, did a 180, unzipped his fly, and began to vent. And I mean vent. He had probably retained all day to achieve the effect, urinating nonstop for what seemed like close to five minutes. People went nuts. Some of the yuppies were literally nauseated and walked out of the more expensive seats (lest they should get wet). He shook off, zipped up, turned around to a standing ovation before he even opened his mouth, and slowly shushed the audience. His first words? 'Okay! Now that we got ridda da squares, let's get down to business!'"