He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town

Well, he's got him a house on the hill
He plays country records till you've had your fill
He's a fireman's friend he's an all night DJ
But he sure does think different from the records he plays

He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town

Well, he don't like the young folks I know
He told me one night on his radio show
He's got him a medal he won in the War
It weighs five-hundred pounds and it sleeps on his floor

He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town

He's been like a father to me
He's the only DJ you can hear after three
I'm an all night musician in a rock and roll band
And why he don't like me I can't understand

He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town

He'll be lucky if he's not in town

This one's for you, Ralph



Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man Lyrics as written by Roger Mcguinn Gram Parsons

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    From rocksbackpages.com/features/0009_parsons_scoppa.html

    "Written while the Byrds were on tour following the release of Sweetheart of the Rodeo, this Parsons-McGuinn-penned caricature showed up on the Byrds’ subsequent LP, Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde, after Parsons had left. "Gram and I were in a hotel room in London reminiscing about our encounter with Nashville D.J. Ralph Emery," McGuinn recalls. "We'd taken our single, ‘You Ain't Goin' Nowhere,’ to him in hopes of getting it played on WSM, a powerful clear-channel radio station. Ralph previewed the demo disk and said, ‘I'm not going to play that on my show!’ We asked why not and he demanded, ‘What’s it about?' I told him that it was a Bob Dylan song and no one knew what they were about. Ralph didn't think that was funny. He said, ‘Bob Dylan! If he wore green socks, everybody would wear green socks.’ We left the station feeling discouraged. So now in London, I suggested to Gram that we write a song about that experience. We decided that because Ralph had advertised truck seats on his show, he reminded us of a drugstore cowboy, only in his case a ‘Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man.’ "

    heartbeats_xxxon March 11, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I read somewhere that the song is also about Ronald Reagan, who was governor in California at the time, and him being a rasist.

    puppyfaton June 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    A red-necked bigot ?

    chrisb1on August 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    About what puppyfat said...the idea that this song is about Ronald Reagan makes no sense. None of the language used even implies anything about him. Even if you think he was a racist, which he wasn't, it wouldn't make any sense for them to have not have written in one single reference to anything else about him. Using a DJ as a metaphor for a governor and talking about whether or not he likes your music doesn't exactly make sense.

    z4ckm0rrison February 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    As a prelude to the performance of "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, Jeffrey Shurtleff, accompanied by Joan Baez, spoke at length about the draft resistance movement(*see below) in the United States and dedicated the song to the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan (a stout supporter of the Vietnam War) referring to Mr. Reagan as "Ronald Ray-Gun ... Zap!” With his tongue-in-cheek dedication, Shurtleff set the stage for comparisons to follow. The character in the song "don't like resistance I know/And he said it last night on a big TV show./He's got him a medal that he won in the war/Weighs five hundred pounds and it sleeps by the door." Clearly, the conflict that existed was between the government and the people, between the draft resistance movement and the politicians, between the draft resister and Ronald Reagan. (home.comcast.net/~dongillette/contemp.html)

    "Hello to all friends of the draft resistance revolution in America. Good evening, I hope it stops raining. One thing about the draft resistance that's different from other movements and revolutions in this country is that we have enemies. It's one of the beautiful about it. To show that our hearts are in the right place, I'll sing a song for the Governor of California, Ronald Ray-Gun...Zap!"

    home.comcast.net/~dongillette/contemp.html

    Toadlyon September 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Thanks for the comment explaining the Ralph Emory incident. The line at the end of the song, "This one's for you, Ralph" made me wonder if they were talking about Ralph Emory. Very interesting.

    supercflon September 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The idea that it refers to Ronald Reagan comes, at least, from Joan Baez's version at Woodstock.

    And I think it is an entirely plausible interpretation.

    Especially after RR got his syndicated radio show.

    After all, songs mean what their singers or listeners think they mean.

    And I always think of Ronald Raygun when I hear this song.

    Durangoon May 11, 2009   Link

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