Interpretations:Bastard Wants To Hit Me

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i have always thought of this song, which i Love, like this: John is walking outside, along a storefront of some sort. he sees his reflection in a window, and instinctively waves. he sees his reflection and is shocked by how he looks... he writes this song on the drive home, and records it a few hours later....

seriously, think about that... i dont think this song is about anybody outside of John Linnell.

scottyc35


I think it's about a bastard who's trying to hit someone...



Narrator, a weak, introspective sort of man (thus the voice adjustment), is heading to his car in the parking lot when a burly man sees him and shouts "Hey! I know you, punk! Get back here!" or some such while raising his fist menacingly. He must be mistaken, since narrator "do[es]n't know that guy" but he's to meek to say so, so he just runs to his car and gets in and drives away, the burly man presumably chasing him the whole time. (There is a scene like this in Matchstick Men, except the burly man has the right car.)


Yet another song about paranoia from Linnell, and a good example of his well documented fear of having his personal space invaded. (Mr Tuck)

I think you may be onto something, Tuck. On closer inspection of the lyrics, I think Linnell may well be addressing his fear of dealing with fans - a fear that is sometimes perfectly understandable and sometimes a bit irrational. "He says he knows me, but I don't know that guy" sums up the awkward feeling that a famous person sometimes gets when confronted with people whom he doesn't know personally but who know lots of things about *him*. "He's waving at me, but he looks kind of mad" - "mad" as in angry, or "mad" as in crazy? Possibly both, considering the next line... "Some crazy bastard wants to hit me, he's waving me over so he can hit me" - it sounds like John's paranoia is taking over, and he's putting his own spin on the situation (maybe the guy who's waving at him has an imposing physical presence, which might make John feel insecure with his own slight frame, but he doesn't really look as deranged or threatening as he appears to John). He wants to get out of this unbearably awkward situation as quickly as possible - just to hop in his car and drive far, far away from this nutty person who keeps waving at him (possibly just to get John's attention and ask for an autograph, but John is too fearful for his own safety to take his chances and find out what this "crazy bastard" really wants). Of course, that's just my own take on this song - I may be reading too much into it. -- GR
At the Sep 2004 gig in London, Linnell said it was based on a real event. That might well add to this theory -- mattl

I think this song is about Road rage, and Linnell being scared of the guy


I actually thought this was about extreme paranoia, that someone seeing someone wave at him in a friendly manner would set him off into thinking "He's waving me over so he can hit me".

(this graf another writer): "Who the hell is he? I can't believe this is happening." But it's not happening. It's all in the narrator's mind.
I'm not precisely sure what's wrong with me, but this, along with Wearing A Raincoat, is one of my two favorite songs on The Spine.
YEAH DUDE I loved this song too! - Doctor Masonstein
What can I say, I love this bastard of a song too! Something about the way Linnell sings it, and the pitch correction, and the melody... --An orangutan
The catchy melody and "pitch correction" effect calls to mind a poppy, happy Cher song, and I love the way that contrasts with the paranoid, threatened lyrics.

Mayhaps Linnell is mocking his own paranoia about fans? He recognises he has an illogical fear (a la what The Spine said), and writes the song from a sarcastic, self-depricating version of his point of view. Maybe. (Bazilisk)


The first time I heard this song was on my PDA/music playeringing device, while walking home from the store in heavy traffic, and I had just been thinking about my tendency to get a bit deer-in-the-headlights-ish/confused when strangers interact with me in public (I go for walks to get absorbed in my own thoughts, not to talk about the weather with random people). I had just made a fool of myself by failing to understand the words "Go ahead" as spoken by a guy holding a door open for me ("Go ahead." "Sorry, what?" "Go. Ahead" "Uh-ehck... oh yeah, right, sorry, thanks"), and not 10 seconds later, "Thunderbird" ended and this song came on (again, I had not heard it before, I had just bought the CD earlier that day and OGG-ripped it to listen to on my walk). When it hit the chorus, I froze in my steps and a half-incredulous, half-grinning look developed on my face. As the last verse was playing, I laughed my face off like a complete moron (which made some guy in a truck look at me funny). I love random coincidences like that. (Note: This is too an interpretation, just delivered in an odd package)-- Tgies


A very strange song. Could it possibly be the sequel to AKA Driver?

It's possible that the crazy bastard's "waving me over" means he is actually giving the paranoid narrator the right of way. Just a thought. (Anatole the Vampire)


--> I was thinking maybe a sequel to MISLIH? - Marcus


I always thought the term "bastard" was meant to be taken literally. As in, the person he's singing about is an illegitmate child. The singer is the child's father, and the two have never met. Thus, he doesn't know that guy. The son knows him simply because he knows that he's his father, and he's probably seen pictures of him or something. They're about to meet for the first time. His son is happy to see him and is waving him over to join him, but the father thinks that his son must want to hit him for how he just abandoned him and mom. He starts to wonder if he really has to face his son, if it's not too late to run back to his car and drive off. He has the opportunity to make everything right, but he doesn't want to.

-Mushroom Pie 'n stuff.


After watching the video, the "Crazy Bastard" in question is certainly both crazy and a bastard, but until Linnell starts running away from him for his car it's sort of debatable weather or not the bastard actualy wants to hit him. He seems to have mistaken him for sombody else and seems rather jovial, albiet bastardly crazy, untill Linnell runs off in fear.

Judging from the video, it is indeed questionable that the "Crazy Bastard" wanted to hit Linnell. It's likely that if he'd held his ground and either humored the person or tried to sort things out, things would've gone awkwardly but without incident. It was his paranoid reaction to the person that caused a problem. Given this evidence... I have to say that the song and video taken as a whole is mocking Linnell's own paranoia or just paranoid reactions in general, and saying that they can actually make situations worse. But combined interpretations such as this can be problematic, as they can produce drastically different readings from those that would be procured from the song alone. Although... just the song doesn't seem too far off from that reading. It's still reasonable to read a mocking tone towards paranoid reactions out of it... but one doesn't get the message of their actually causing the situation to escalate. That's all from the video.


I think that this is what a kid at school thinks of another kid, the "bastard". He tries to get on his bike (climb in),unchain it (turn the ignition), and ride home (pull onto the highway). Mabe the "bastard" is a bully and the kid is avoiding a beating.


Reminds me of the plot of the made-for-TV movie Duel. --Nehushtan 22:15, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)


I always thought it was about a guy trying to cross the street to get to the parking lot in which his car is parked, but he's scared of a guy who he thinks wants to hit him as he crosses. The video suggests that the crazy bastard gets mad that the narrator doesn't recognize him and keeps ingnoring him. Maybe it's really about something mysterious and dark... (Garnish)


What surprises me is that nobody seems to realise that the bastard shows him the scars (on his chest/stomach and back) almost as if to remind the narrarator of an event that might remind him of who he is. I agree that the bastard looked as if he did not really want to hit him at first, but after the narrarator ran away he cried. He then saw him trying to get away and put a bag over his head (a common metaphor for being ashamed). He then ran at him and hit him. I think that maybe a crazed fan who tried to get Linnell's attention got seriously hurt, and Linnell just gets paranoid around fans. Slipp


To me, in the video, it seems like the scar is what connects the two. The shape of the scar makes me think (yes, it's weird) that (at least in the crazy bastard's mind) the two were conjoined twins separated at birth. Crazy bastard has finally found his twin, but the narrator is too paranoid to give him a chance, which sets CB off.



Bastard gets kidney!! :)[edit | edit source]

This is my interpretation for the music video.

I'm pretty sure that the crazy bastard was someone who the guy donated a kidney to but the guy doesn't recognize him because he was anesthesia'd and gets scared. That's why the crazy bastard shows him his scar. All the crazy bastard wanted to do was catch up with the guy so he could thank him for saving his life but is insulted when the guy runs away and hits him.


Metallica's James Hetfield[edit | edit source]

This song is based on a true story. On one of the live concerts I have, as an intro to this song they say it is about James Hetfield. I believe TMBG and Metallica got into a tiff over which one got to cover a Queen song on the Elektra collection "Rubyiat", which led to the unpleasant event (which, if memory serves, led to Metallica getting the Queen song, leaving TMBG to cover Phil Ochs instead).