B-52s: Love Shack Meaning
Song Released: 1989
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Love Shack Lyrics
15 miles to the... Love Shack! Love Shack yeah yeah
I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway, lookin' for the love getaway
Heading for the love getaway, love getaway,
I got me a car, it's...
anonymous Nov 16th, 2017 11:53am report
The following is a true story about the song Love Shack to answer all the rumors and speculation :
By holiday request across the cyber cranberry oceans, Thanksgiving trivia facts to settle all the popular myths once and for all. Late 80's I was working for the B-52's in Woodstock NY, specifically Kate Pierson, building some creative adirondack type stuff and renovating Kate's new 2nd home there, and she kindly invited me and my 3yr old son Justin to Thanksgiving with the band and friends at this same Log cabin she had recently bought, on the Lake you see in the 'Channel Z' video. The Thanksgiving holiday was during recording of 'Cosmic Thing' album at Bearsville/Dreamland Studios in the Woodstock area. Some folks featured in this video and others were there at the bountiful table too, RuPaul and some Talking Heads members I think. Just before dinner a really very heavy Thunderstorm began, just driving buckets in true "Woodstock / No More Rain" fashion. Literally during hallowed prayers a leak in the roof popped and began dripping- right into the mashed potatoes, then the stream swung over to the cranberries-then back to the potatoes-then back to the cranberries... All one eyes peeping up in disbelief following the sway back and forth, the timing, the seeming intelligent life in it, until spontaneous laughter overcame the native American type prayers. All eyes landed on me -Grounds and building was my department -Duty Calls !- telepathically got it and so immediately jumped up without words and like superman just landing I bravely marched out into the fierce downpour chin up, being sure to appear weather-indifferent and in brave posture as I walked past the windows like MacArthur, got instantly drenched, and set the ladder on the roof to inspect the matter looking up obliviously like it was a sunny day and there was something important in my focus. Just another clown routine opportunity to me, experienced, and was happy to discharge an impromptu comedic performance for such a swell bunch of known artists. I could hear the laughter about Freds- 'Hurry protect the Bird' crack from inside. Well a tarpaper roof had been laid over an old corrugated Tin Roof which had pitted and deteriorated over time, and the tarpaper had cracked open now too, creating this very entertaining leak. I bunched my shirt and stuck it in to dike the dam till later. I returned indoors shirtless and the roar continued as a puddle quickly formed around me -all like fearless -heroic-absurdly duty faced diligent soldier assho. Even my son was laughing. Thru all the chortling Kate said - "It stopped Jay! You found it ! What was it ?" ...Looking up in ridiculous dejected despair I said ...(wait for it)...
"TIIIIIN ROOF - RUSTED !".
as I dropped my chin defeated on "Rusted". Many Cackles were heard spouting, and Fred was seen scouting me up and down like a REAL Man see... inspecting the area that my shirt was previously covering with those funny eyes he makes, adding yet another crescendo.
An artist colony, everyone in Woodstock had a name for their house there on a sign -"Grandpa's dream" - "Happy meadow" - "Hippie Heaven" and I had suggested to Kate "Private Idaho" but "Love Shack" had already been nailed up at her place in Athens GA where 'Rock Lobster" was conceived, which also had a tin roof apparently. That one was NOT the origin of the quote in the song. The Woodstock cabin seemed to become Kates new Love shack 2 up north near Woodstock NY. They had written or were working on a song to match this name for the 'Cosmic Thing' album, and a few days later in the studio, they elected to do it now with a full stop in it and put Cindy doing the "TIIIIIN ROOF - Rusted" outtake injected in, with the Cackles following (and Fred's eyes in the video too). They suggested I come to Bearsville and hear it in pre-production because they are still all laughing about it, but I had other fish to fry (smaller). Thats the Facts about it, publicly they said it means nothing because it kind of does, the true story doesn't explain well, and showfolk know this hype all adds even more talk and mystique to a great #1 hit, cause everyone thinks it does mean something. It has come to mean many things to different listeners and is perhaps the song's most memorable line. It's all good to me, but root facts are these. It is now common slang esp. in the South now, to mean "Surprise Pregnancy". "Shawania got Tin Roof Rusted" or according to The Urban Dictionary ~ BOY-"You're WHAAAT?" GIRL - "TIIIIIN ROOF -RUSTED !". The true meaning is - It's Called an inside joke, the telling of which dissipates the much better unknown mystique to outsiders. It was from a Thanksgiving feast celebration in the Catskills. The true origin of "Tin Roof Rusted" is in Woodstock NY on Thanksgiving 1988, in a wild thunderstorm, in Kate's log cabin, to extend a Joke within an "unfolding organic moment", as Kate once called it to me herself. Thats it period, Final for all you meandering, speculating creative and unresolved bloggers and music trivia buffs. This is the final insight on it, the mystery is solved for you now. They sonically captured the bubbling bliss of the moment very well huh?- from my point of view at least.
I had a brief but good soul connection with Keith, who is a very decent sensitive really creative spiritual guy. Kate with her fondness for nature and Native American traditions became a friend beyond a client then and was always kindly to me.
Another tidbit, She told me when organizing the album, she put a list of potential producers before a highfalutin psychic in Texas. She said she had already decided to use ace top dog Don Was, but wanted to see if the psychic would have picked him out of a list to confirm the lucky stars in her decision. The psychic told her "If you use This one (Don Was) ANND This One - you will have a Hit album. The other was Nile Rogers. She said she was shocked, "We are Family- Le Freak- Good Times-Disco Nile? But we are New Wave !". "Use this man Nile too, and you will create a Hit Album". Why, she only put his name there as padding, a decoy with many other names she had no intention of ever really using as a producer, and now this. She decided to flow with the universe and take the cosmic advice for "Cosmic Thing" and it went multi-platinum. Both "Roam" and "(Shake Your) Cosmic Thing" went to #3 - "Love Shack" to #1. Love Shack was the band's biggest hit song and first million-copy seller. It was also the band's first song to reach the Billboard Top 40 charts, peaking at number three, also reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart, and was number one for eight weeks in Australia and also number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song received a number of accolades following its release. Named as one of the 365 Songs of the Century in 2001, the video for the song received an award from MTV as the Best Group Video, and was named the Best Single of 1989 by Rolling Stone. Additionally, it was ranked #243 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2006, it was also named as one of VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s, placing at #40. In February 1991 The B-52s were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for 'Roam' because they deserved it I think. Kate told me she had to view video archives for days to find the clips you see in the 'Roam' videos, but that she culled "The Right ones". Do any 2 female singers or duo today sound anything remotely as interesting as Kate and Cindy? Let us go back and hear this Love Shack song undressed, for Thankgivings of a pop mystery solved.
My own favorite personal Cosmic Thangs with it all were in pre-technology 1994 India, once when I heard it on an unlikely satellite radio and realized, it was Cosmic Thing -now coming in from spaace. The other was also in India when I befriended a sweet talented German boy who told me he had a rockin' band back home. "O yea- whats your bands name"- "Tin Roof Rusted" - "From the B-52's song?" -- "Hey Wow- you know it !". Yup. Full circle. (Ain't that right Shanthi Boy?)
So 'Love Shack' legitimately belongs evermore on the already awkward Thanksgiving day radio Playlist with 'Alice's Restaurant' from this final revelation day on the matter, Today, Thanksgiving 2012, when I will next post this in all the wrangling 'hidden meaning of Lyrics' sites and blogs to settle all the yammering once and for all about this Tin Roof that Rusted. This music trivia case is now closed. So now if your girlfriend tells you her "Tin Roof Rusted", there is still a slight chance she only means the roof is leaking. And may your Terkey holiday be so Blessed with thankfulness and blessed potatoes, esp. the biggest B-52 fans I ever knew, you Jax and Mags. Hi Kate. Hi Keith, how goes the sonic atmosphere? I've been roaming, ‘cause I wanted to.
Jay in Bombay India
anonymous Aug 26th, 2017 8:36am report
Totally about sex...group sex. The Chrysler seating about 20 is the amount of invites/participants. The Shack represents the "venue" for the orgy. The glitter represents the guys' load...excessive, so much it couldn't be contained spilling out on the "highway." Just like a Jackson Pollack painting. Tin roof rusted is the damage done to the roof from the ejaculate being so powerful that it hit the ceiling, continuing to go through causing holes in the roof. The roof being structurally weakend like rust on metal.
anonymous Jan 24th, 2017 1:02am report
Since "Rock Lobster" was recorded in the deep south area of the United States, (Athen's, Georgia) the phrase "Tin Roof, rusted" has become continuously progressive. The southern origin of this phrase insinuated that Redheaded Women are/were the lowest level of the white race. Then, it evolved into a more modern and trashy meaning of any (Unmarried) white slut who is pregnant with a bastard child.
Word per Fred
My personal group of friends and acquaintances say "Tin roof, rusted" when natural Redheads are having their monthly periods.
anonymous Oct 4th, 2016 10:44pm report
The memories of when we were young. The band reminds me of music when we had no responsibility and life was good. We thought we had it figured out until reality set in. People are the greatest asset and liability of this planet. Enjoy life as you only live once. If you have time, go to the Love Shack baby. Maybe you will hook up with someone.
anonymous Jun 22nd, 2011 6:36pm report
The song's inspiration was a cabin around Athens, Georgia, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived "Rock Lobster," a single from their first album. B-52's singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until 2004, when it burned down. "Tin roof...rusted," wailed by lead singer Cindy Wilson, was originally an outtake added to the track.
anonymous Jun 22nd, 2011 6:30pm report
This was written in celebration of a house that was owned by friends of the band. It wasn't really a 'love shack', but that and extra details were embellished in the song with artistic licence.
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