Rhythm Section Want Ad

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Rhythm Section Want Ad
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years, Podcast 52
year 1986
first played March 1, 1985 (89 known performances)
run time 2:22
sung by John Linnell; John Flansburgh provides the "No! No! No! No!"'s


  • In 2021, Flansburgh confirmed that the line "You guys must be into the Eurythmics" was inspired by "a real conversation, had in the dressing room of the Pyramid Club...[with] a very short lived manager who probably meant well, but the remark was as confounding as it sounds."[1]
  • John Linnell also mentioned the line's basis in a 1988 interview with RAM magazine: "That specific remark came from a guy who was interested in managing us, but didn't really know precisely what to make of us. We were still handling it all ourselves at that time."
  • The little melody Linnell plays on the accordion after the first "here's the reason why" is borrowed from Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse", although he once admitted having misremembered it. When asked if he would ever record a full cover of "Powerhouse," John Flansburgh declined, saying "it’s a super tricky song—we didn’t even get that little part right!"[2] The melody is best remembered as the "assembly line" motif often used in Carl Stalling's musical scores for Warner Brothers cartoons.
  • According to John Andrews, John started spontaneously singing this one day while they were working in a New York A/V house together shortly after the formation of TMBG.
  • MDC was a West Coast hardcore band who changed their name to match those initials every album. Menudo was a popular Latin American boy band.
  • The line "laugh hard, it's a long way to the bank", which is actually a play on the expression "laughing all the way to the bank", is sung several times in Modest Mouse's "Paper Thin Walls". Isaac Brock, lead singer and writer of Modest Mouse, vaguely acknowledges this in his band's guest commentary track for the Home Movies episode, "Camp" (which featured TMBG as guest stars).

Song Themes

Ads, Cartoons, Clothes, Drinks, Drums, Hair, Love, Music, No, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Oxymorons, Paradoxes, And Contradictory Statements, People (Imaginary), Poetry, Puns, Questions, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Rhymes, Self-Reference, Transportation


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Rhythm Section Want Ad is currently ranked #20 out of 1009. (264 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.21)