Interpretations:Working Undercover For The Man

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He's playing in an edgy band. He's living the thrilling life of a rock star on the road. But in the end, like everyone else, he's still part of The Establishment. There is no revolution.

Hmmm. That's what I got out of it.

I think I recall hearing the suggestion (or maybe it was even a quote from one of the Johns) that the song was about an undercover narcotics officer pretending to be part of a rock band. (I guess it could be ANY kind of undercover agent, but a narc works particularly well because of the high drug use at many concerts.) -VoVat

I have always loved this song ever since I heard it on and I thought It was an extremely funny song. I think the song is not only refering to the musical revalution, but all things that areloved by the new generation and despised by the government. It is about a man who works for the man(the establishment, the machine,etc.) who is trying to catch all the young punks who enjoy this stuff as if it were outlawed. -drworm 818- aol IM/ visit me anytime, always good to meet another TMBG fan.

It's about a man who has been hired by "The Man" to infiltrate youth culture and spy on them. I don't think that there's more to the lyrics than is written, but that's not to say that there isn't a deeper meaning. It's a jab at the part of our generation that is so sure that "The Man" is trying to trick them and trap them at every turn. It's a fun song with a sarcastic message. -Davenport

At the 7-23-2005 Philly show, John F introduced this song as being about a band (or bands) that were covertly working with the FBI to track and spy on the band's fans. --Duke33 22:07, 23 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Yeah, I think there's no hidden meaning - it's just a fanciful, fictitious story about a government spy in a rock band. Reminds me a lot of Philip K Dick's later novels, especially Radio Free Albemuth.


I like this song because, at the 'working undercover for the man' part, it sounds like something big is going to happen, but nothing does.

To me, could be a satire on conspiracy theories, a spy-themed song in which the person is in espionage under a totally different identity, or a satire on the mass-produced (if you understand my implication here) pop music of today. 0dd1 05:10, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

To me, it just seems more like it's a guy in one of those hardcore anarchist bands, who, in the end, like everyone else, is part of the man and the machine and the establishment. I definitely agree with the first poster.