"Fake Tales of San Francisco" as written by and Alex Turner....
Fake Tales of San Francisco
Echo through the room
More point to a wedding disco
Without a bride or groom
There's a super cool band yeah
With their trilbys and their glasses of white wine
And all the weekend rockstars are in the toilets
Practicing their lines

I don't want to hear you
(Kick me out, kick me out)
I don't want to hear, you know
(Kick me out, kick me out)
I don't want to hear you
(Kick me out, kick me out)
I don't want to hear you
I don't want to hear your

Fake Tales of San Francisco
Echo through the air
And there's a few bored faces at the back
All wishing they weren't there

And as the microphone squeaks
A young girl's telephone beeps
Yeah she's dashing for the exit
Oh she's running to the streets outside
"Oh you've saved me," she screams down the line
"The band were fucking wank
And I'm not having a nice time"

I don't want to hear you
(Kick me out, kick me out)
I don't want to hear, you know
(Kick me out, kick me out)

Yeah but his bird said it's amazing, though
So all that's left
Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf

He talks of San Francisco, he's from Hunter's Bar
I don't quite know the distance
But I'm sure that's far
Yeah I'm sure it's pretty far

And yeah, I'd love to tell you all my problem
You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham
So get off the bandwagon, and put down the handbook
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook
Get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook
Get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook
Get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook


Lyrics submitted by constant

"Fake Tales of San Francisco" as written by Alex Turner

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Fake Tales of San Francisco song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentOki doki lets try and work through some of ntw's arguments here.. and if im lucky i'll come out making some sense.

    1) The idea that all British rock is trying to be american. Right so lets look at it... yes i'll conceed rock has its very basic origins in black music culture from the states. But the way in which it is combined with other genres, and the progression that has been made means that it is now almost unrecognizable from its american roots. British rock may have taken roots, like all rock, in black music but the genre has moved on so much from there that it can no longer be said to be sounding american. In fact if we look at current american "rock" it is in a totally different style. The, historically speaking, have moved the genre forward so much that it cant be claimed they are trying to emulate anyone. The Beatles being but one example, the whole punk movement is a British Phenomenon, which only saw the light of day in the states as a watered down pop-punk like the early greenday and The Offspring. With the likes of Ska being based more upon Carribean influences than american. So really it is totally unfair and insulting to the hunderds of British people who have contributed so much to music to say that they are simply emulating existing american styles.

    2) The quality of the lyrics is actually very good... they are putting accross a message in an intelligent way, underlining the sub-culture that exists. You also have to realise they are writing lyrics are they say them, in the North "bird" is still used extensivly, just because political corectness has stopped people from conversing in certain areas it hasnt stopped the majority of the UK.

    3) This song is about a band trying to be somthing they are not, cool, and any good. The Monkeys on the other hand are very down to earth and self-critical in places (look at the start of the I Bet YOu Look good on the dancefoolr video) they object to the arrogence of certain people who feel they are the dogs bolux simply because they can play a guitar and sing a bit. So the song is not undermining itslef, it is opposed to somthing totally different to what the Arctic Monkeys are.

    4)"Art can be about possibilities beyond your own reality, which is why bands like the Arctic Monkeys slagging off people with ideas strikes me as so essentially regressive." Certainly it can be, but what art isnt is a bragging licence, thats what the song is talking about, its nothing to do with people having dreams and writing about them in songs its about a band going to a gig and acting like they are superior to everyone even though they are crap.

    Now im not opposed to artists building up mystique around themselves, the White Stripes have done a masterful job at this, what i think is crap, and it would seem the monkeys do too are the arrogent prats who often appear in bands and assume they must be great, i dont see how because i can play a guitar why i should be allowed to walk out and say erm well i have 7 houses and live in LA 6 months of the year beaccuse im a Rock Star....bolux really..... Just out of intrest ntw are you a fan of razorlight and they're delightful lead singer? :)
    sandimanon January 21, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWe all know how Northerners(Northern England) are.
    vulnaviaon January 15, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAnd I was stupid enough to think this site was to discuss song meanings - how stupid of me.... I thought it was bad enough when people post messages like "I just love this song... it's just the best!"... but this pretentious chat room wittering is ridiculous. Sort it out!
    sparkymarky71on February 03, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"and all the weekend rockstars in the toilets practicing their lines" HAHAHAHA, that is brilliant

    thanks EL BASTARDDO , you're the best
    fiiishon January 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI tried submitting these lyrics aswell!

    Er excuse me "ntwjones" but how are they trying to be American? Have you heard their accents? Have you listened to their lyrics or their music?

    You think a band is trying to be American? Try Son Of Dork.

    Oh and I agree with trumpettom, could there ever be an American Oasis?!?!

    Anyway, back to the lyrics. Basically the song is about a band who are up their arses and think they're amazing, but actually they're crap. Also, they're trying to be things they're not, i.e. cool.
    Miss_Miseryon January 20, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love the lyrics, they're very clever, especially:
    yeah, but his bird says it's amazing though
    so all that's left
    is the proof that loves not only blind but deaf
    &
    all the weekend rockstars in the toilets practising their lines
    arcticmimibeeon December 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfirstly ntwjones, british rock aint about trying to be american, its about tryin not to be american, we're sick of always being compared. Just because we speak the same language doesn't mean were share the ideals, ideals which are fundamental to the songs we write. Ok, so in production terms america is far ahead of britain but have you ever heard an american band sound anything like the Arctic's, Maximo Park or even have the attitude of the Stone Roses or Oasis? I think probably not.

    Peace out.
    trumpettomon January 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"grew out of an amalgam of the blues, gospel and r&b (the old sort) - essentially it found popularity when this essentially black music was repackaged for a mainstream white audience in 1950s "

    Just thought I'd throw this out there, Technically blacks weren't considered Americans by the American population at that time, separate but equal .. I think not. And depending on what musical theory class you’ve taken and who you are, Rock came from Swing and Jazz songs, which still was black music, but it’s not Soul .. Or R&B, blues maybe. When rock did get famous it wasn't really by them. It was by the people like Elvis, but anyways. Arctic Monkeys go by Rock/pop, not just rock. And one culture can’t completely claim a form of music, music in itself is not even for the person who wrote it, because everyone can get their own different meanings out of it. So it doesn't at all matter /where/ it came from. If you look at music from the UK compared to music from The States, the forms of "rock" sound completely different from each other. I mean, how could the UK have a fall out boy, and when would The States ever get something like The Futureheads, it's too different. There for not the same, at all. I mean, .. if you go by that, The Beatles want to copy Americans, even though they sound nothing like Elvis, you can’t even put some of this into a genre of music, because nothing will sound exactly how they’re suppose to.
    oMittenson February 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjust like to think aloud.
    and i've not read all the comments just the first and last page.
    but could this be about the monkeys themselves?
    i mean.

    " your not from new york city, your from Rotherham"

    they are big strokes fan. and you can see that with i bet you...dancefloor video almost being a carbon copy of last night by the strokes. maybe they're trying to get away from just being like the strokes, and they want to be something completely different.

    this is where alex thought they might end up? if they didn't pick their act up early.

    ingy92on January 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationGreat song, cheers Alex Turner.
    this is what I think, it is probably false.

    In the first verse,

    He is saying that there is a band singing about San Francisco. He uses the word "fake" because they probably have never been there (hence the third verse), so they don't know what they are talking about. He is saying they are singing at a fake wedding without a bride or groom, meaning that their gig is crap (because they couldn't get a better one).
    Then, he is using irony with the "super cool band", because they are obviously prestigious posers who have no idea what they are talking about. They think indeed, that they are a "super cool band", when in reality they suck. He uses more irony by saying "weekend rockstars", we all know that there is no such thing- you are either a rockstar or you are not. A weekend rockstar is just another term showing that the band he is describing thinks that they are the shit. He's basically calling them fake and posers. (making fun of them with the "white wine", they probably drink it to look classy)

    And then for the "I don't wanna hear you, kick me out, kick me out"
    No one wants to hear this shitty band, and they all want to leave the gig.

    3rd verse, they are tediously going on about San Francisco because they aren't original to come up with anything else to sing about, and people are starting to get bored and wanting to leave. "there are a few bored faces wishing they weren't there"

    4th verse, this band must not be used to using quality equipment, or must not be experienced at all, or it just gets awkwardly silent and the microphone starts to squeak because even it doesn't want to hear this shitty music anymore. A young girl [teenager probably, they are always on their phones] is looking for a way to get out of this gig, and her friends picking her up, she's happy to death that her friend saved her, and she calls the band [fucking wank], obviously saying she's had the shittiest time ever and they suck.

    5th verse, "his bird said its amazing, though so all thats left... but deaf"
    it seems to me as though the teenager's friend is replying to what she said in the previous verse, his bird being one of the bands lover's? And if so, everyone says "love is blind", and this proves that love is also deaf, because who could love anyone who participates in this shitty band?

    6th verse, "he talks of SF, he's from Hunter's Bar ... far"
    It is revealed this band talks/sings about San Francisco over and over again, and they've never even been there. This is probably showing us how bands these days, the poser ones, sing about all this stuff that hasn't even happened to them, or they sing about bull shit, are terrible live, and everyones looking for an escape to leave.

    7th verse, "And yeah, I'd love to tell you... Rotherham"
    Alex is basically saying shut the fuck up, stop singing about stuff you don't know about, if your sequel to San Francisco is New York City, you STILL don't know what you are talking about because you are from Rotherham, England. Stick to what you know.
    A bandwagon has two meanings, one being a stage or a movable platform, that bands go on for parades and such and a certain activity that has suddenly become popular, or mainstream. (this is what makes the wording in this line pure genius) Everything music wise, or even in general these days, that is mainstream or popular is really crap lyrics and everything wise. These shitty boy bands that sing about things that they don't know about at all, or these stupid popstars and people who think they are the shit are very popular right now.
    He's saying get off the platform and [just because you are singing mainstream shit, it doesn't make it good] put down the handbook (supposedly on how to be a successful band? how to be popular in this generation?)

    anyways, this song is pure genius, Alex is a boss in recognizing the complete bull shit mainstream music is today. Anyone, and i mean anyone could write the type of shit they put on the radio, quite depressing.
    This is my interpretation of the song, probably not correct.
    emilykrameon January 30, 2013   Link

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