(She Was A) Hotel Detective

From This Might Be A Wiki
Music video for “(She Was A) Hotel Detective”
Screenshot from the video (which features the single mix)
Another screenshot
Postcard advertising the song from the TMBG Info Club

song name (She Was A) Hotel Detective
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Dial-A-Song, They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years, Selections From Then, Giants Jubilee, Best Of The Early Years, The Music Of They Might Be Giants: 1986-2013
year 1986
first played September 13, 1985 (85 known performances)
run time 2:10
sung by John Flansburgh, Peter Pearmain Thomson backs


  • Vastly different from "She Was A Hotel Detective" (sans parentheses) and "(She Was A) Hotel Detective In The Future", the two "sequel" entries in the Hotel Detective Series.
  • Like "Don't Let's Start," the song's music video, directed by Adam Bernstein, uses the single mix of the song.
  • John Linnell: "The record company chipped in for John's hospital bills after he injured himself recording the guitar solo on our single 'Hotel Detective'. Now that we know his blood type, it makes performing the song a little easier." (Star Hits Magazine, 1987).
  • A hotel detective is a hired sleuth who monitors the security of a hotel and investigates various security or rule violations. In recent years, these tasks have been left for uniformed security staff employed by outside security agencies, but the occupation was romanticized by noir fiction authors like Raymond Chandler in the 1930s.
  • John Flansburgh on the guitar he plays in the video: "It was one of two custom builds made for Bo Diddley by a NY luthier right as he was coming back on the scene in the early 80s. It is NOT a copy but was not made by Bo himself (as were his 60s guitars) Pick-guard was unscrewed, flipped and taped on. It was borrowed through a collector for the shoot. Just had it for a day! What I do remember is that it was my first understanding that Gretsch guitars had been made in Brooklyn, and that the parts to the instrument were all salvaged 'new-old-stock' from that shuttered factory."[1]
  • This song was once played on Dial-A-Song in 1986, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Song Themes

Animals, Body Parts, Cartoons, Doors, Forgetting And Remembering, Gender Issues, Hotel Detective Series, Hotels, Intelligence, Espionage, Insects, Occupations, Questions, People (Imaginary), Recycled Material, Swing Feel, Telecommunication, Title Not In Lyrics, Trees And Other Plants


  • Watch it on Youtube.png
  • Watch it on Vimeo.png

Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

(She Was A) Hotel Detective is currently ranked #517 out of 1010. (172 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.23)