Drive, He Said

[Image: 'On The Fritz' Front Cover]



On a desert road that steamed the sky
With the windows up and the air on high

I was off the stage, I was on the mend
With a solo drive to a holiday weekend

My thirsty car came to a stop
At the Reptile Gardens Curio Shop
When a wind came hissing through the vents,
And I felt my sneakers growing tense

My forehead broke in a cold, cold sweat
In the rear view mirror was a silhouette
Then I heard the door locks take a dive
And a whisper screamed "Don't turn around, just drive"

Scratch! Dressed in red
Pointy tail and horn-rimmed head
And a widow's peak like Eddie Munster

I sat frozen in my seat
"We haven't had the chance to meet
Are you a singing telegram or something?"

He just flashed a hellish smile
"Let's go driving for a while"

He held something in his hand I'd never seen before
It was my Chevrolet's pink slip

Scratch! Evil eye
"Step on it, boy, if you want to stay alive" he said

"Don't look surprised, you know what I want
I've lived for years inside your trunk, so drive" he said

"Let's get talking business, son
You ain't fooling anyone
I know just what you want to be
Now it's time to work for me, so drive"

If this is a nasty dream
I'd prefer to wake up here
I believe the point is clear

Scratch! Out of my car!
He said "Ha! I've come too far
Besides, I kinda like the velour seat covers"

God, help me! What do I do?
"Shut up boy, it's too late for you, now drive!"

"All you phonies get it wrong
Double lives take half as long
Should have kept your windows clean
Now I'm part of this machine"

"You've got a good 80,000 miles left
Before the recall"

If this is a nasty dream
I believe the point's quite clear
I'd prefer to wake up here

I started humming Amazing Grace
He said "Come on, boy, give me a break"

So I hit the brakes with both my feet
And sent two horns through the bucket seat

Then the locks shot up as the grace came down
I said "Here's the keys, I'll be walking back to town"

Recorded Appearances

About The Song

From Clone Club News Flash Winter 1986, Winter 1986:

Since I've gotten more letters on "Drive, He Said" containing more questions and possible explanations than perhaps any other song I've written, I've chosen to take the coward's way out and leave all possible interpretations to the listener's imagination. But as a concession, particularly to those who wrote from overseas, I'm including a brief "glossary of terms" used in the song:

Reptile Gardens Curio Shop--a composite of the forty six different "gas-souvenirs-clean restrooms-live alligators" roadside pitstops where I've refuelled at one time or another in my travels through the American Southwest.

Scratch--The Devil

widow's peak--a V-shaped point of hair over the forehead.

Eddie Munster--son of Fred Munster. ("Munster" refers here to the surname of a goulish television sitcom family, and not the cheese of the same name.)

pink slip--title of ownership for automobile, preferably vintage Chevrolet.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

This "devil went down to Barstow" fable probably had its roots in my roots, which included numerous family vacations travelling through New Mexico and Arizona on Route 66. Yes, that is me whistling at the end of the song, and not a professional as you may have imagined.

From Steve Taylor Interview, Listen In, August 2005:

Well, there's the Faust story which keeps getting told again and again. You know, guy sells his soul to the devil and realizes it's not a very good bargain. So this was just another telling of the same story.