Fred Schneider, What Are Ya Doing With Those B-52’s?

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Brad Barket / Getty Images

Brad Barket / Getty Images

[pullquote quote="We weren't really a band at the time." credit="Keith Strickland"]

Stop the presses – the B-52’s had no idea what they were doing.

The band that brought you such songs as “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire,” and “Private Idaho” had no clue what they were doing.

Shocking, right?

Fred [Schneider, B-52's frontman] said we were, so then we had to be one, and we had to shore up some songs.” Keith Strickland, one of the founding members of the The B-52’s,  tells Rolling Stone.

“I think we [ended up] with about six, which were ‘Rock Lobster,’ ‘Planet Claire,’ ‘Lava,’ ‘Killer Bees’ and ‘Strobe Light,” says Strickland, referring to their 1977 debut in Athens, GA.

They went on to admit to barely knowing how to play their instruments.

Goodness, that is so new wave.

So is getting your start on Guiding Light.


We don’t know about you, but our lives have been turned upside-down with the knowledge that the B-52’s are not the wordsmiths we all assumed they were. Who else but a genius can come up with lyrics like:

Here comes a stingray
There goes a manta-ray
In walked a jelly fish
There goes a dog-fish
Chased by a cat-fish
In flew a sea robin
Watch out for that piranha
There goes a narwhal
Here comes a bikini whale!

ALL with their own call-and-response animal noises.

Who else but a genius can dream up lyrics like:

Ahhhahhahhahh
She came from Planet Claire
I knew she came from there
She drove a Plymouth Satellite
Faster than the speed of light
Planet Claire has pink air
All the trees are red
No one ever dies there
No one has a head
Ahhhahhhahhahh
Some say she’s from Mars
Or one of the seven stars
That shine after 3:30 in the morning
Well she isn’t
Ahhhahhhahhahhahhahh

That’s the entire song, B-T-Dubs.

Who else but a genius can be heavenly sent lyrics like:

Living in your own Private Idaho
Underground like a wild potato.
Don’t go on the patio.
Beware of the pool,
Blue bottomless pool.
It leads you straight
Right through the gate
That opens on the pool.
You’re living in your own Private Idaho.

Dream officially crushed. You may re-start the presses.

[Source: Rolling Stone]

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