By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
Are you guys reissuing Hey Stoopid?
I'm not in control of what goes on at the record companies. I hear all the time that they're reissuing this and repackaging that. If I tried to keep up with that, I'd spend all my time worrying about that. I have people in my organization who work on that. I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me to tell me the song "Hey Stoopid" kept them from committing suicide. Then I just go, "Wow!" You don't realize when you write a song how it's going to affect people, even though that song is an anti-suicide song.
That was your goal with that song then?
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Well, there was a rash of teenage suicides. I kept going, "If your best friend said to you, 'I'm going to kill myself,' you'd go, 'Hey, stupid, what are you doing?' You wouldn't say, "Hey, Janice, I don't think that's a good idea." I wanted to talk to the audience that way. I wanted to talk to teenagers: "Hey, stupid, what are you trying to do? If you do this, they win. Whoever was causing your problems wins." At the time, I thought maybe 10 percent of the audience got it. They liked it 'cause it was a good rock song, but apparently a lot of people listened to those lyrics. It was effective.
Is that the song that's gotten you the most feedback from your audience?
I think so. You hear people all the time say, "Boy, 'I'm Eighteen' came out when I was 18. I was confused, I was a mess," and this and that. "And when you said, 'I'm 18, and I like it,' it was like saying, 'It's OK to be 18 and it's OK to be a mess, because when you're 18, you're allowed to be a mess.'" You're not alone. You're on the lunatic fringe, and it's OK to be on the lunatic fringe.
Taylor Swift has a song about being 23. I think that's another dumb age when you're young.
I mean, if you can't be stupid when you're 18, when can you be stupid?