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Psycho Joe
Lyrics: John Popper
Music: Bobby Sheehan

He took a rifle
And killed a disciple
So that those nagging thoughts would leave him in peace
He'd drown a puppy
Or shive-shank a yuppie
Just to make the voices cease
Goes on a bender
Then he surrenders
Taken into custody
So satisfying I would be lying
If I didn't want to hear the plea

And so we gather round Psycho Joe
The quiet loners always blow
Strap him in the chair
And killing bad guys is such fun
Too bad we only captured one
Are there any more out there
Are there any more out there
And in the weirdest way it sets him free
He's finally rid of you and me
Joe and his electric chair

He worshiped Satan
And liked Iron Maiden
And now he's in the cold cold ground
For more exciting
Staging and lighting
We waited till the sun went down
Killed someone's daughter
With the chain that they bought her
What's a daddy gonna do
But the most annoyed
Were the talk show tabloids
Because they couldn't get an interview

And so we gather round Psycho Joe
The quiet loners always blow
Strap him in the chair
And killing bad guys is such fun
Too bad we only captured one
Are there any more out there
Are there any more out there
Any more out there?

You've got your heroes
Caesars and Neros
Men of infamy and fame
Now we've got Jo Jo
Have we sunk so low
Guess I've got myself to blame
An eye for an eye
Won't get you by
Good book says that it's a sin
But the ratings war
Says that if we kill more
Psychopaths then we will win

And so we gather round Psycho Joe
The quiet loners always blow
Strap him in the chair
And killing bad guys is such fun
Too bad we only captured one
Are there any more out there
Are there any more out there
And in the weirdest way it sets him free
He's finally rid of you and me
Joe and his electric, Joe and his electric
Joe and his electrical chair

1997 Blues Traveler Publishing Corporation

First release: Straight On Till Morning
Released: 07/01/1997
Earliest time played: 11/06/1996
Last time played: 10/31/2008
Playing frequency:
  72 plays (see all shows)
  3.88% of shows in the database
  6.25% of shows since debut
  Detailed statistics
Song information:
  John: "Psycho Joe is a fictional character. It's just sort of my indictment of the tabloid media. It's a kind of heady subject matter. It's about our fascination with wackos, and how we like to decide that this person's a wacko and that person isn't."
  John continued: "Obviously if a guy kills his daughter with a chain that he bought her, as the lyric goes, that's definitely a severe wacko. But I think deep down there's a little bit of a homicidal maniac in all of us."
  In the demo version, there are a cappella singers in the background and a "Psycho"-esque stabbing noise in the middle of John's solo. An electrical buzzing can be heard at the end, over Chan's last note, like someone being electrocuted.

Other recordings of "Psycho Joe":
  Carolina Blues, 1997
  Straight On Till Morning studio cuts, 1997


shive-shank
Most likely a misspelling and combination of "shiv" and "shank", two common weapons most frequently seen in a prison context. Both are slang terms for a knife of low quality, often an improvised one. In other words, the yuppie has been stabbed.
Iron Maiden
A British heavy metal band started in the 70's and still playing today. They were accused early on in their careers of being Devil worshipers (their third album was titled "Number of the Beast"). This reference plays on that conception, probably still held by some today.
Caesars and Neros
A reference to the reign of the Julio-Claudian emperors over the Roman empire, beginning with Julius Caesar in 49 BC. Julius Caesar ruled until he was murdered on the ides of March (see Regarding Steven), 44 BC. After his death, Octavian and Anthony struggled for power until 31 BC, when Octavian emerged victorious; he would later become Augustus Caesar in 27 BC and preside over the Pax Romana, or the golden age of the Roman Empire. Upon his death in 14 AD, he was succeeded by Caligula, Claudius, and finally Nero Caesar, the last in the line and often regarded as the worst of the Roman emperors. He is famous for supposedly playing his lyre while Rome burned to the ground. So technically, "Caesars and Neros" is redundant, since Nero was part of the Julio-Claudian line.
an eye for an eye
Though this phrase does appear in the "good book" (i.e. the Bible), Matthew, chapter 5, verse 38; "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth"), this reference actually originates much earlier than this, in the code of Hammurabi, the king of Babylon in the 18th century BC. The Bible does not go so far as to say that this is a sin, so much as it advocates tolerance: "whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."