“It’s not about saying goodbye, it’s more about you don’t have to say goodbye. In other words whether you’ve lost somebody you love, physically or whether you just split up with them, or they’ve died or you’ve parted company with them in whatever way, they’re always there if you want them to be.”Joe Elliott (121)

Hello America

“We had never even been to America at that point. I was working in a factory with lots of nuts and bolts and no natural light. But there was a lot of downtime, and I would sit around writing stuff. With this one, I had seen a TV show the night before — Kojak or Starsky & Hutch, something where they show the tree-lined boulevards of L.A. You see all these palm trees and you go, “Wow, this is a lot sexier than Sheffield!” That’s where that lyric came from — “Well I’m takin’ me a trip/I’m going down to Californ-i-a.” It was, “Get me out of here!””Joe Elliott (1170)


“I used to live in a little basement apartment on the outskirts of London, toward Heathrow. It was a real dump — there was a hole in the wall with a poster covering it up, kind of like in The Shawshank Redemption. It wasn’t an escape hatch, but it looked like one! And the poster that was over this hole was Marilyn Monroe. So I said to Mutt, “Wouldn’t it be great to write a song about a woman who’s the ultimate woman, but also a woman you could never have?” He said, “What do you mean, never?” And I said, “Because she’s fucking dead!” For the video, we stuck with the Marilyn Monroe theme all the way through. But the fact is, the song wasn’t actually about her. It wasn’t a “Candle in the Wind” type of thing. It just happened to be her on the poster. It could have just as easily been Jayne Mansfield. It could have been any iconic, tragic female.”Joe Elliott (1170)


“When it came to the lyrics, we started singing “rocket” because it was a simplistic phrase that fit the sort of space-age sound that had developed over this African drum loop. But I felt like Bowie had done the space thing to death. So I remember thinking, “Why don’t we just use the rocket thing as a metaphor, and make the song a vehicle to talk about our childhoods?” Like, the Easybeats took the easy way out with “Friday on My Mind” — they turned it into a genius thing by just naming the days of the week. I said, “Why don’t we do a similar thing to that? Let’s just name-check as many artists that influenced us as we possibly can.” And obviously there’s artistic license with a few people who weren’t part of our musical DNA but are there for rhyming reasons, like Jet Black [drummer for the Stranglers – Ed] and whoever. But things like “Bennie and the Jets” and “Killer Queen,” all that kind of stuff, it just fit the whole vibe of what we were doing.”Joe Elliott (1170)

White Lightning

“It’s about Steve [Clark, who passed away in 1991 from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs – Ed], but not in the same as, say, “Hurricane” by Dylan, which literally walks you through a guy’s life. Ours is a lot more shadowy. We wanted it to be about Steve, but we also wanted anybody who was listening to it and had been in a similar situation to be able to relate to it. So we never mention him by name. But the situations he found himself in, and the situations he put us in, are all kind of referenced, without getting overly specific.”Joe Elliott (1170)