Interpretations:Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2

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Alcatraz Philharmonic Orchestra[edit]

It's about someone who gets into the music scene through peer pressure and later finds it hard to get out even though they'd prefer a quiet life.

There are a lot of homophones and wordplays in this:

  • "Doing time" refers a period of imprisonment but also to "Keeping Time" or keeping a beat going.
  • "Just one call allowed" refers to the fiction trope of getting a single phone call after being arrested, but can also be heard as "Just one call aloud" as in a cry for help.
  • The mention a riot and a cloud could refer to simultaneous excitement and depression/exhaustion but also to an actual prison riot with tear gas deployed.
  • "Let's form a band/Let's take a stand" could be read plainly as demanding to be heard or could also be a play on the word "Bandstand"

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotel Detective (talk) 06:24 February 7, 2015 (EDT)

Nice! More word fun is probably intended with "life's a riot, no one's quiet" - referring to Quiet Riot, who had some cheesy metal hits in the 80's. --Nehushtan (talk) 08:56, 19 April 2021 (EDT)

A Song Of Regret[edit]

The Singer once lived in a loud, chaotic community, where everyone played their music too high, 24/7, and wrote new music as they saw fit. No one rhymed. Melodies rambled on. Crooners hit bad notes. Music was anarchy, and the Singer worried that time spent here would eventually drive him mad.

He began running toward Music Jail, located just outside of town. People on the sidewalk kept asking him where he was going. He paused long enough to ask them to join his quest to put limits on music. But no one agreed; they rudely turned away from him; and so he had to go to Music Jail all by himself.

In search of peace and quiet, the Singer incarcerated himself.

Years later, the Singer expresses remorse for that decision. He wasn't prepared for how quiet and lonely it would be here in Music Jail. Now he humbly wants to escape, but he wasted his one phone call on a friend who wasn't home, and now there's no one to post bail or even know what became of him. The Singer will never leave this prison he has spun for himself. And so he walks single-file along with the other inmates down Music Jail Hall, forever down this one passageway. He is a face among dozens of duplicate faces. Never alone but always so very lonely. He's lost hope.

[By Jeff F. Haines]

Music crowd[edit]

No one's quiet at all
In this music crowd

I think the meaning of this song is very simple really. It's about having a terrible time at a gig and not being able to leave.
-- Thread Bomb (talk) 03:56, 25 February 2020 (EST)

My Wicked Good Interpretation (Music Jail = Jungle)[edit]

I have a theory connecting this song and Welcome To The Jungle. Music jail is the jungle and vice versa. It's all a big symbol for getting in over your head with the music industry. In music jail pt 1, you're excited to start a band but in pt 2, you realized that you weren't prepared for how it would take over your life. What's more is, once you're too far in, people in your life get pushed away. "Where you going fella, buddy, darling," are all people the singer knows who don't want to be around him anymore cause he's wasting his life on music. So, we can see that getting into music unprepared can, in a way, be like going to jail or getting lost in a jungle. This seems to be a common theme in TMBG songs (Cyclops Rock, others).