Radiohead's "Paraonid Android" was written after a confrontation in a Los Angeles bar with an irate woman.
"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" is a rare hit with the band's name used as a verb: "Everybody Wang Chung tonight." The band says it can mean whatever you'd like it to.
"True" by Spandau Ballet is about chief songwriter Gary Kemp's unrequited love for Altered Images singer and Gregory's Girl star Clare Grogan.
Marilyn Monroe is the subject of Elton John's "Candle In The Wind," but the song is really a look at how we react to celebrities who die young.
David Gilmour really was "Learning To Fly" when he co-wrote the Pink Floyd song - the aviation jargon came from his lessons.
The instrumental "YYZ" by Rush got its title from the transmitter code for Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, near where the band is from.
Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.
On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."
The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."
Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?
Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?
Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.
I was confused about truth and lies at the very beginning of Covid. I prayed in despair for truth that God reveal what is truth in the matter. My cousin visited for the first time ever and we talked about how coincidences are not coincidental at all. She went home the following day. Next day my husband and I chat for a moment as he was making his way to work about Jim Carey and his role as Andy Kaufman in the Movie man on the Moon. Shortly after he leaves. I begin going through my books on a bookshelf and from my first Bible falls a movie ticket. It’s the stub for the movie Man on the Moon when I saw it in theaters in 1999. On the back I wrote the three people I went to see it with and the town which was Plainview, Texas. One of the names was my cousin who had just visited. I called to tell her about the coincidence of mine and my husband’s convo and the fact I stumbled across the tick just within an hour later not even realizing I had that possession. As I told her about it I shared the part that we watched it together when I visited her in Plainview. She was shocked because when she got home the night before from our visit she watched a movie with her kids, she was telling them about Jim Carey and decided to watch Man on the Moon because she vaguely remembered enjoying it. She said she was trying to remember who she saw it with and I call her the very next day with the answer, literally pre planned 21 years earlier by no coincidence. The next day was my sons 16th birthday so with Covid in full effect we were limited to options for celebration so he decided we would order burgers from fudruckers. As we sat in the parking lot waiting for our burgers to be cooked I told him about this crazy Man on the Moon story. He was also shocked. After the story the food was ready so I went inside to pay while he added his fixings to his burger. There was music playing inside but I didn’t notice until we exited into the strange silence of Covid and no one being in public that the song on the speakers kept playing in my subconscious after we exited. It was REMs Man on the Moon. We went back inside to verify it, and in fact it was that song. We literally lost our s--t with amazement. So when I get home I tell my husband and my neighbor. The next day all day the words C to D kept playing over in my mind compulsively without any idea why or what it even meant. My husband being a songwriter, I asked him what C to D was thinking it sounded like a musical reference but unclear why it’s stuck in my head. He had no idea outside of it possibly being simply music notes what it meant or why it kept nuancing my thoughts. The next day it was still replaying in my head so I googled C to D Man on the Moon, just a shot in the dark, and the first article to populate was The Rolling Stones article mentioned above about it originally being called C to D interlude. My mind was blown. I rushed to call my neighbor and best friend to tell her about this recent mine blow and she said I’m literally in Academy Sports buying my nephew an inflatable bumper car for the pool and I can’t figure out which batteries it takes. It’s saying I can use C or D and I can’t make sense of it and you call me to tell me about a mind fu@$ regarding C to D. Regarding my prayer and the lyrics of the song my conclusion was that reality is of our making and we are in a time of false reality and no coincidence because coincidence implies it’s outside of our control when we create our reality based in lies or truth it’s our decision... anyways.
Also after reading the comments I see that Stipe also received this as a message from a higher power and only delivered the message given to him. One more thing, one of the first microbiologist to buck the narrative of Covid saying it’s a hoax and only real because we choosing gullibility to believe it is real claimed it has never been proven or seen under a microscope and contradicts every scientific fact regarding viruses prior to its inception. Well his name is Dr. Andy Kaufman. Dr. Kaufman is also a psychologist that clearly recognizes the manipulation being played out on a gullible world over trusting and lacking curiosity for truth. Another funny non coincidence is that Dr. Andy Kaufman’s theory is called Operation MoonShot... you can’t make this s--t up!!!!!
The fact that you criticize another’s perspective of a Hollywood recording thanks in part to the work of Stanley Kubrick and liken his view point (which has myriad of scientific evidence to support his claim) to that of believing in “Santa Claus” tells me you’re probably not mentally fit to have such a conversation with other adults. Science has always been about testing the the theory, which he’s accomplished. Challenging the belief or narrative (hypothesis) is the foundation of science !! Literally!! Yet time and time again I see and hear science fan boys/girls who in their cognitive dissonance reject any sort of contrary viewpoint and seek to silence the “dissenter” or put them on an attempted condescending level of childlike proportions, as opposed to taking up the very essence of science they claim to love and hold as religion. Ironically their/ your behavior reveals your inner workings far more than you know, as hypocrisy and ignorance are the walls that have been used to hold up the very low ceiling of your mind. Furthermore, it’s not even a clever analogy. We all know Santa Claus as lied to your children by millions of warped minds tends to describe (lie to your children, while raising them up to not be liers? Insanity I tell you!) . How do we know it’s a lie? Because we perpetuate the story and put ourselves in it and carry the lie out by having to take on the role as “Santa” that night and put the gifts out, eat the cookies, drink the milk, then tell the children come morning that it was a fat guy with “flying reindeer” and elves. You yourself, all of you who teach such rubbish only to take it all away at another time ARE THAT LIE. YOU ARE THE CONSPIRACY. YOU’RE THE HOAX! You gave the easiest example of conspiracy to debunk as you are the conspiracy himself. Are you an astronaut? Have you been to the moon? Did you see it first hand with your own eyes? The same eyes that lied t your children about fat man and looked at them with the same eyes and said I love you? Did those eyes see the Moon or Mars? No. So you defend something that you actually can not even back up with clear and irrefutable evidence, yet whip people across the back with it as though it were truly facts. The thought of that alone , IMO shows how inhumane you are, how ignorant you’ve chosen to live your life, and how pathetic a life that is by trying to force your theory on others.
As to the site that facilitated this thread, REM fans, and just lovers of this song, like me... I apologize for my comment and the vibration it gives off. Great song, great band, great comments from so many of you. I have convictions that are only what they are called because I stand behind them. And for those who have a mind of their own, they will understand that those convictions have zero to do with a moon or astronauts.
With that said, Jonathan Winters was arrested in the early '60s for climbing the mast of a ship in a harbor somewhere (a trawler I believe) while having a mental breakdown and when the police asked what he was doing he said he was the "man in the moon".
Forgive the length of my take on this. It took me 20 years to get it all cohesive in my mind. My favorite REM song.
For iimagery, I see a design borrowed from visual art: "iconography" - here, it is a study of pop images, myth images, true history images, and religious images. Collectively: a personal iconography by Stipe about himself and the broader themes via Kaufman. Stipe borrows a lot from visual arts up and down the REM catalog. For proof, look no further than my verse 3 comments.
For Themes, I agree with any who said: belief v disbelief, star v fan, dogma v inquiry, life/afterlife.
As background, Stipe introduced the song on one tour, and his intro got recorded live, as (roughly) "this next song is about a journey, one we are all going to take, we had to pick one person to go with us; we picked in my opinion the greatest comedian of the 20th century". I *think* it is in Roadmovie (Monster tour). So that seems to be the single seed that grew up into this amazing tree.
verse 1: personal, pop imagery -
Mott the Hoople and Andy each dealt very differently in perceptions. Ian Hunter broached the star/fan boundary in his stage swagger - glam, but rough and not intending any of-the-era ambiguity (Simon Frith: the ballad of Mott, 1991). Mott kept it real and the fans identified. Andy? He incited his fans. He needed the wall between star/audience, the wider the better!!! Maybe Stipe identifies with both? Maybe he even does things a bit like each would, in the song?
The games list, to me, reinforces a universal need for suspending disbelief, and also a time when we accept rules as a given. By Line 5 the speaker shifts to dialogue with someone off camera (" let's play... Let's play..."). Line 6 "See you in heaven if you make the list", "You" may be universal, but I also kinda think its aimed at Andy, in part because "Making the list" is entertainment lingo that Andy would know, but I had to research. It means being an official invitee to a private party. So, immediately there is a clear satire on the rules for getting into heaven (with the church- as institution- being the rule maker).
Verse 2: myth and historical imagery-
Moses/staff Newton/apple, are types of myth. The first is dogmatic, the second is a popular - and false-- historical tale. Per "It crawled from the South" (1997), the "asp" image was stolen from a film reviewer's pun about Liz Taylor's "behind" as Cleopatra. So here, Stipe has nonsense 'up his sleeve'. Line 4 aligns with scientific inquiry opposite of dogma (historical note: Darwin never openly rejected his faith, but he was not at all devout either.)
Verse 3, (someone asked earlier & I saw no reply) - pop art and religious imagery
" Here's a little agit...". Agit is probably Agit Prop, a form of visual art which uses agitation and propaganda techniques for its message (e.g., Soviet poster campaigns under Lenin). Aso, I believe the line ends in "nether-believer"(not " never believer"). I think it is fair to see Stipe dropping a hint about what is to come next, and for whom.
"Here's a little ghost for the offering". I can think of 2 possible meanings. 1) A board game called Little Ghost, origin 1960, basically a Caspar knock-off, aimed at children. I am on the fence because it is not as well-known as the other games. 2) it is pure wordplay: reworking " giving up the ghost". Giving is like giving for an offering, but, here he is giving the idea of what a ghost is. Why is the ghost "little" ? Maybe just to mirror the line above. Maybe it figuratively means "not a lot". So, it subverts church institutional orthodox "giving". I like how #2 mirrors Verse 1, line 6. But it could be another inside joje we dont get, or something ekse.
"Truck stop/St. Peter's" I love the guy who said it questions why everyday things can't be religious as well. Agree! I only add that the contrast echoes the idea from "the list" (what is less exclusive than a truck stop?).
"Mr. Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling (wrestling bears)". The parenthetical is vague. I dont think Andy claimed he could, or ever did, wrestle a real bear. But ... I hear from the interweb that " bear" is alternative orientation slang that one might conclude quite aptly fits many pro wrestler body-types, especially of that era. Thats way better than what I was gonna speculate.
Chorus- to me the 'if' conditionals and double negatives explain themselves: The first 2 lines arent necessarily one question. One is fragment, one not. Cool.
The message the song carries to me is to question things from time to time. It is not always true what they show us in TV and it is worth double-checking. Having doubts is not always a bad thing.
20 years ago I was rather thinking it is irony for narrow-minded people who are always against and always smell a rat... maybe the first impression was right but I like my newest interpretation.
"Man on the Moon" reminds me of my grandmother and my belief that if I can believe in all the things I see on earth, then I have to believe in heaven and life after death.
Believing in Andy Kaufman's comedy begs the ultimate question in life: In the ultimate game of life, do we believe in heaven? Where do we go after we die? Michael starts out saying this song is about the Game of Life. He talks about growing up playing those simple childhood games and watching Kaufman's comedy as a child and then he says, in the real game of life, we die like Kaufman. He is asking "Andy, where are you?" "Where did you go after you died?" "See you in heaven if you make the list? Then he says, "Did you hear about this one?" He's asking, "Are you already in heaven?" Are you still living on after death?" Here's a word "for the never-believer," who doesn't believe in heaven. He says, "the gall of Darwin" to believe in evolution and to say God (and heaven) doesn't exist and you believe that, just as you believe Kaufman's stunts. If they can put a man on the moon and you can believe that and that Moses parted the Red Sea and if you can watch Kaufman's stunts and believe that, then you have to believe in heaven and that Kaufman is in heaven "goofing on Elvis" living on, just like Elvis, whom so many people believe is living on and spotted every day. He's saying that some believe Elvis is spotted everywhere like at truck stops, but can't believe he's in heaven with St. Peter. Michael says actually he's in heaven living on and so is Kaufman, doing the same thing he always did with us, goofing on someone.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...... the song is about the blurring of fact and fiction but in the context of people, as well as me, for who can believe almost anything on their TV screens or papers (or bible) it's ridiculing us, for our tenacity to be easily persuaded, especially so by emotional force. And that's the other clever notion of this song, it is serious but it is also jokey with the Andy Kaufman talk demonstrating for a figure such as Kaufman to ridicule people's willing to immediately lose their brains to watch Elvis (yes great performer but in another light) and be emotionally controlled, to watch a wrestler, etc then even believing Kaufman faked his death, an obvious rumour which, well, doesn't seem be true. The songs American campfire feel around the beautiful pine trees is possibly ridiculing the whole of Western Culture.
The Chorus 'If you believe, there is nothing up my sleeve, then nothing is cool' is quite evident of Stipe playing with the listener in irony to show that some listeners may try to see if there is something up his sleeve but when their isn't it is boring to them, so they reinvent 9/11, moon landings, people's deaths (Hendrix) because their lives are that plagued by boring daytime routines, TV controlled imagination and no spirituality that they have to resort to this so then they can feel good or have something interesting.
The campfire is the ultimate irony (of which it could also be a bar, room, whatever, a meeting, whatever) as the acoustic guitar might display, the impassioned performer trying to persuade and win the hearts of the few there, by being egotistically tender, hypercritical, overconfident, and yet people believe! They take it seriously! This song according to Ann Powers is also joking about human endeavours by placing them alongside boardgames, 'Twister... Risk.' Powers may be intending to show that what is the point of these life long endeavours when people don't care or more accurately don't care to believe it. It also may demonstrate humans sense of "self-importance", who will find us, are we the greatest, in clear complete ignorance of their brother species. In essence they should really just have one, not try t 'classify' everything and be joyous, work hard and do it for the meaning of itself: fulfillment. In other words, look at many perspectives, explore.
The Chorus line 'If you believe, They put a man on the moon, Man on the Moon' seems to indicate with the passionate, emotional tone of delivery that they (band) know it is so because the evidence is irrefutable, I mean I won't go mad but this is billions of dollars to NASA with countless research for the moon landing (in short what is the point of faking that?), if people only went to their website for climate change... AS well. Stipe's tone is urgent, 'you know this? They put a man on the moon, isn't that amazing?!' Julia Gillard was Australia's first female prime minister, and she had the courage and warrior-like strength to take all the scared (because they are scared they will lose tradition, lose their strength because they are actually very weak, etc), misogynistic bulls--t dished out to her. Including to have some incredible policy decisions in three years (which shows how pointless and destructive politics are when you focus solely on appearance, gender and personality instead of ethos and policies), isn't that amazing?
The lyrics are satirising people's gullibility to believe anything, any of the adverts that proclaim you need them when you don't that don't give you anything, cults, religion, you name it. Of course here you can criticise me but I hope you do because it is the only way I and you will learn not to be gullible and 'face the music', face the facts and learn with humility and self-ridicule.
The other lyrics are supporting details, of which Andy K. is the poster child. For example, the first verse and the "yeah-yeah"s represent tedium. The Game of Life, Andy really wrestling, Fred Blassie, Twister, making a list and going to heaven, yawn (or yeah-yeah-yeah). Groovin on Elvis, locked in the punch, Man on the Moon? Everyone knows that!
Moses should be boring, too - unless you don't believe he just walked with the staff of the wood. Newton getting beaned is boring - unless you consider the fact he developed the theory of gravity from this event. Perhaps an asp is responsible for Cleo's demise - unless we use a little imagination (nice suicide ref earlier). Darwin has the gall to ask, disbelieves and look what happens.
If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then Moses walked with a staff, Newton got beaned and Darwin was a s***-stirrer. But ... if you think there's more to the story, cool stuff happens.
IMO, of course.
So, what does this mean?
If you don't believe they put a man on the moon, it means you believe Hollywood produced the hoax.
I assume then, that 'if you believed they put a man on the moon' implies the believer is fooled by Hollywood.
How does this connect to Andy Kaufman/the film? At one point his girlfriend and him joke about the real Andy Kaufman.
Well, "if you believed they put a man on the moon...If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool."
I think the song is based around a skepticism of truth, extraordinary truths. The ultimate question being is the comedian the actual Andy Kaufman. Other ones included in the song, debate the existence of heaven, evolution, moses, and newton's apple.
The central skepticism is one against production, man on the moon/andy haufman. Both of which might just be acting/hollywood lies?
Minutes before launch, the bewildered crew are removed from the ship and flown to an old U.S. Army base deep in a desert. They are then informed that whether they like it or not, they will fake the TV footage from Mars. Initially they refuse, but the authorities imply that their families will be murdered if they do not cooperate.
St. Peter being the guardian of the Pearly Gates
"If you believe they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.
If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool"
refers to the fact that some people believe the Moon landings were faked by the US government so that it would look like we were ahead in the space race. There was even a book written about it (I forgot the title). Does anybody know if Andy Kaufman ever did any routines about this theory? I have a friend who thinks the Moon landings were faked, and what do you know? His name is Andy.
Here's a little ghost for the offering. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling [wrestling bears]. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."