Interpretations:Money For Dope

From This Might Be A Wiki

Rider List[edit]

I hope I'm not the only person who immediately leaped to the presumption that this is a mythical rider list. Mind you, I admit I could easily be biased by hearing John explain in some NPR interview why there are absurd things occasionally found in rider lists (EG: a goldfish bowl full of M&Ms, but no blue ones); it's so one can tell at a glance if they actually read through the entire list (if they screwed up the silly M&Ms thing, who knows what they did with the amps). YoungWilliam 05:50, 3 November 2011 (EDT)

I think "rider list" is a very witty interpretation. :) I myself was thinking about TMBG packing their tour suitcases. :) --Flute 06:00, November 3, 2011


I got this image of a hitman packing for his next job, checking things off the list as he goes, with each list being for a separate hit. I'm not sure if the money for dope is part of the list, or part of the payoff, however I did note that list gets more and more random and weird as the song progresses. Perhaps the money is being spent and the dope being smoked throughout.. --Chiasmus 09:17, 3 November 2012.


Whenever I hear this song, I see a couple dudes going through their house, picking up every bit of shit they can find, trying to trade it for some dope. Each of the items is their Money for Dope. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:47, November 5, 2011

Nonsense 60s Linnell mask[edit]

Linnell is probably at his most relaxed with songs as impenetrable as Money for Dope. With the Lennon reference from Gimme Some Truth, it intially appears to be a song inspired by the famous Beatle. That Linnell is a fan of Lennon, has long has been known, indeed on his solo album State Songs he devotes a song, Idaho, based on an old Lennon drug story. However, all of Lennon's supposed nonsence songs were full of personal meaning. Money for Dope is obscure like so many Linnell songs because he likes to keep his inner life private. With different lyrics it would have fitted with ease on a kids album (with perhaps a more clean production). The random list effect reminds me of a disordered All Together Now by the Beatles or Bike by Pink Floyd. From the Giants own canon its nearest relatives are Computer Assisted Design where Linnell gets Flans to recycle the AWWs and Thermostat. In overall feel it's very much a first album type track, and now we know what Flans meant when he said the new material was reminiscent of the fabled pink album. A number of tracks on This Album Raises... falls into this category. Like on the Else, too much of the good stuff was left on the cut offs album whilst clunkers got on the main release.

So why was this excellent song left off Join Us? It is (much) better than other limp Linnell offerings such as Let your hair hang down and When will you die and light years ahead of the terrible sub Mono Puff Flans mess that is Dog Walker, so why was it relagated to the odds and sods album? One suspects for production reasons. Since Flood, the albums (long tall weekend apart) have gone for a constant lush production, the fuzzy vocals and guitars don't fit the mood of the album. Likewise, Linnell appears to be enjoying himself and actually sounds relaxed, something he doesn't always achieve on Join Us. A top drawer Giants song. (Mr Tuck) 19:03, November 24, 2011

A Throwaway[edit]

Interesting how different people have different reactions. I like the hitman list and the rider interpretations. It's a fun song, but a harmless, toothless piece of fluff in my opinion, light years behind vastly superior songs that justifiably made it to the "real" album like When Will You Die. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:16, December 1, 2011

thinly veiled references to classic american literature[edit]

i'm sure this actually has nothing to do with the song (and it's barely an interpretation), but whenever i hear it i can't help but think of the scene toward the beginning of mark twain's the adventures of huckleberry finn where jim and huck are raiding the dead guy's house. huck basically lists all of the things they find, and while there is some connectivity there, at a glance it's a very mixed up list. one might also note that jim and huck play with the wooden leg they find. of course, the lyrical references to more current pop culture don't fit in with this idea at all. -Apollo (colloquia!) 17:04, 12 January 2012 (EST)

"I found it on eBay..."[edit]

I really like the "rider list" idea. But here is my own interp...

This is such a random list of things, where else could you find them all in one place but on eBay? It's like there's a guy who somehow has all these things to sell, makes plenty of money from a wide range of e-buyers, and then goes to buy drugs. I can't imagine how Linnell comes up with this just flipping through the dictionary to random nouns, or clicking "Random Page" on Wikipedia and writing down the intriguing ones. --MisterMe 16:52, 10 May 2012 (EDT)

Other bands rider lists[edit]

When I hear this song it reminds of Urban Waste, a mid 80s NYC Hardcore Punk band that frequented some of the same venues as TMBG during the time. I think that the song might be a throw back to the time. JL -- known for having a memory like a dying Venus Fly Trap (that is to say that he has a very loose grasp) and also allegedly not liking the lyric writing portion of his job -- was reciting a written list of items that he found strange that he has seen over the span of his career at different venues. --SnakeintheGround 21:43, May 22, 2012

Stuff Given to Homeless People[edit]

This just reminds me of random stuff given to a hobo. Especially the money for dope. - nascarbean_97

I think...[edit]

That it's an observation on that those who are heavily addicted will sell anything to get the next fix. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:36, November 29, 2012

this is also what i thought of --Ncrecc (talk) 22:26, 30 October 2022 (EDT)

Mostly stuff used to destroy large quantities of organic material.[edit]

Specifically what hit me was that things like the galvanized tub, lye etc. Is used to destroy organic matter, like a corpse of some kind. Wooden leg to stir it with, multiple opportunistic items to perform the kill with... But that seems really dark for a TMBG song so... -FatAaron

Scavenger list[edit]

Given the ridiculousness of the list, I tend to think it's a scavenger hunt list. Except it's a scavenger list which is a thinly veiled attempt by the distributor, to get people to give him money for dope. He thinks he's being clever by mixing it into a larger list, but his stoner mentality of the money for dope being so important leads to it keeping getting called out, thereby revealing the true intention, of an otherwise quite creative and interesting scavenger list.

Reference to Gigantic[edit]

Someone (I think one of the Dans) in Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns said that if someone ran out of something while on tour, Flans would stop the bus & run to WalMart, then said something along the lines of "He was really just going to buy dope." I think this song may be a reference to that, Flans leaves the bus to buy things that other band members might need, and brings along "Money for Dope"