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What do Prince and They Might Be Giants have in common?



With thousands of songs in their arsenal, how do the two Johns of They Might Be Giants get ideas for their songs? Sometimes it's just as simple as word association like today's pick of Purple Toupee.

They Might Be Giants are no stranger to the SIT80's blog and podcast being guests on Podcast #117, but their debut on Lost and Found begins today with Purple Toupee. So what inspired John Linnell (the lanky accordion player) to think of the title Purple Toupee?  Like a lot of people in the late '80s he was listening to some Prince and thought - Purple Rain ... Raspberry Beret ... mishmash them up and its sounds like Purple Toupee.  Granted the lyrics of Purple Toupee, released in 1988 off the Lincoln album, have nothing to do with Prince, but in continuing our '60s theme this week, the oddball lyrics do reference '60's events like Selma and the JFK assassination, although in a sly manner.

The video for Purple Toupee is the typical silliness you get out of a TMBG video with the two Johns intertwine performance with a visit to Astroworld at Coney Island - the same place that was featured in the movie, The Warriors.

TMBG are relentless in their release of albums alternating between "normal" music and kids music. Their latest album Why? was released just last Thanksgiving and it something that parents can enjoy just as much as the kiddos with quirky and always imaginative songs (I highly recommend the song Thinking Machine). 

[Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2016 4:05pm]


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