"Rock N' Roll Lifestyle" as written by and John Mccrea....
Well your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.
And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t shirt
That proves you were there

That you heard of them first?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?

Ah, tell me.
How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,

One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?

As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,

But rock on completely with some brand new components.
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?

Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.

They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.
Yeah, excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.

Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking,
You're drinking,
You're drinking what they're selling.


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle" as written by John Mccrea

Lyrics © Cake - Stamen Music

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Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIt is about people who don't have a clue on how to enjoy music responsibly. He is obviously criticizing the people who change their entire lifestyle in order to conform to the image of a "true fan." Yet the musicians themselves could care less about how much these people think they like a band more than everyone else. The apparent ideal image to achieve is independance ("Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?") yet if you try too hard to acheive an image, you yourself are not an independant, rather you are being controlled by the false idol you now worship. ("You're drinking what they're selling")
    blasto724on March 27, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's about america, and how capitalist society allows for wasting things that are wasteful to begin with.
    riverscuomorockson March 04, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWe can all agree that, at least on the most superficial level, this song is a a criticism of 'posers' living a particularly wasteful rock'n'roll lifestyle. But, I think it is a double entendre with some comment on how the American capitalistic society at large tends to be wasteful and living in excess. Don't get so defensive Billvmc -- they're just saying what they think it's about, not that they're communists.

    Also, "Rock on completely with some brand new components" is truly a genius line. I think he's talking about the new accesssories that are earned by a lifetime of hard living -- liver problems, medical bills, faded tatoos, etc.
    pikabooon June 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really don't see how you can take this song to be anything but a critique of capitalism. It's all about how 'rock n roll' went from being anti-authoritarian and dangerous to becoming just another fashion for people to buy into and for the big corporations to make money off of. The idea is that people believe the propaganda and think that they're 'rebelling against society being outlaws' when in actuality they are just shelling out cash to the same thugs who own Disney, time-warner etc. Killing yourself with drugs is what they want, because it kills you and makes them money. (if you don't think that this song is about true rebellion then who is the 'they' in 'you're drinking what they're selling'?)

    As for the Pepsi can theory I think that the "as long as there soda cans are red white and blue ones" refers to the workers stupidly continuing to manufacture guitars brainwashed into subservience by nationalism.

    And the Einstein who thinks that computers are a purely capitalist invention might wonder how the USSR launched sputnik, MIRR etc. into space without computers.
    music1994on February 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about posers... people who are trying to pay to be what they're not
    semicharmedgirlon April 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBlasto is right. I'm just gonna go into it a little more.

    the guy (the singer) is confronting this kid ("you or your parents...") who is wearing a bands t-shirt but doesn't know anything about them.
    code6productionson July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment“Excess ain’t rebellion…” starts probably the best verse I have ever heard in a song. People often get confused when they walk down the street in a Marlin Manson t-shirt w/ blue hare. They think because people turn there heads and give them snotty looks that they are different from those people, and in a very superficial meaningless way they are. For some reason they do not realize that black sheep are still sheep. The problem with rebelling from the other sheep is that they are not the ones who shape the herd, that is the work of the shepherd and his dogs. In our society the shepherd is commercialism, desire for acquisition, and the American Dream. Big business are the dogs.
    So “Excess ain’t rebellion” is basically saying that you are not getting away from the herd by following the shepherd. “You’re drinking what there selling ” is reemphasizing the fact that you are doing what they want you to do. You are still just another good consumer to them.
    ieatcottenon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agreee with i eat cotten but waht does he mean by "As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue". What is he getting at?
    Johnde08on February 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
    As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
    --This means that they'll keep getting things as long as they have their sponsors (Pepsi--red, white, and blue soda cans).
    repeteon March 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue

    =

    america.
    riverscuomorocks was right. that line is about american wastefulness
    theantisuckon April 06, 2005   Link

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