AKA Driver

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name AKA Driver
artist They Might Be Giants
releases John Henry, AKA Driver (Promo), John Henry + Factory Showroom
year 1994
first played September 14, 1993 (100 known performances)
run time 3:14
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell harmonizes during chorus


  • Originally titled "NyQuil Driver", but TMBG changed the title because NyQuil is a registered trademark name. For the same reason, the lyrics are not printed in the liner notes (though they were included in the 2013 LP issue). According to John Flansburgh in the tmbg.com archives:
It was an brief education for us in the difference between protected speech and trademark infringement. Although it was a possibility that we could have gotten away with it, or settled with the Nyquil manufacturers for a small amount of money, the path of least hassle was simply omitting the name from the package. According to our lawyer you can say pretty much anything in a song about a product, and that expression is a protected part of every American's freedom of speech. However when you title a song after a trademarked product and then start selling your recording (which is also a product) you run the risk of the trademark holder suing you for infringing on their trademark. To make matters tougher on ol' Nyquil Driver, trademark holders are compelled by the law to protect their trademark or they run the risk of their product name falling into the public domain.
  • This song was a collaboration between the Johns, Tony Maimone, and Brian Doherty. Doherty recalled that "it came about while on stage in St. Louis as Flans implored the audience to come to our gig the next night in Chicago as "just a [full] days drive away." Later we fleshed out the song in Brooklyn."[1] It seems most likely that this St. Louis show could be the one on September 11, 1993, with the next night's show being in Bonner Springs, Kansas (there were no known shows in Chicago through 1993 or early 1994).
  • A 1994 interview with John Linnell mentioned plans for this song to have a music video,[2] instead of the album's lead single Snail Shell. Ultimately, this never materialized, and the video was made for Snail Shell instead.

Song Themes

Animals, Criminal Activities, Drugs, Letters Of The Alphabet, Numbers, Problems with Liner Notes, Sleep, Title Not In Lyrics, Trade Names, Transportation


Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

AKA Driver is currently ranked #150 out of 1009. (159 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.85)