I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide

Album: Degüello (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by Texas blues musician named Joey Long, who was good friends with the band. As Billy Gibbons tells it, Long didn't have a driver's license, but he always had new Cadillac that his beautiful wife Barbarella used to drive him to gigs.

    The song is confabulated so Long is enjoying the company of a few lovely ladies during this ride, all wearing nylons, spike-heeled shoes and smoking Lucky Strikes - he was living large!

    Long, who died in 1995, wasn't as rich or famous as he's made out to be in the song, but he was one of the most acclaimed blues guitarists in Texas and a mentor to Gibbons, who cites Long's playing on the Barbara Lynn track "We Got A Good Thing Going" as a formative influence.
  • Billy Gibbons played what he described as "a multi-stringed mandolin-like instrument from Parral, Mexico" that Joey Long gave him on this track. "If you listen closely, you can hear close-miked mandolin-sounding rhythm accompaniment," he told Guitar World. "The lead track was played on a custom-made, half-sized, real short-scaled guitar tuned to G. It was actually standard tuning cranked up three steps, which remained quite playable thanks to the guitar's short scale.

    The song's tail end alternates between three distinct effects created by two pedals: an Echoplex doubler and a Maestro octave box alternating every third bar between having the octave up and the octave down."

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