• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: OUTSIDER

Billy got married, 22 years old

Couldn’t bring home bread so now he’s out on the road

He’s the Outsider


Billy went crazy caught the rhythm’n’blues

Left his wife and his family to run after his muse

He’s the Outsider


Billy grew up on the fringes of school

Found out his own way what it means to be cool

He’s the Outsider


Socially speaking he was skewered and speared

By girls with snotty attitudes always saying You’re weeeird!

He’s the Outsider


The cowboy in Massachusetts plates

Like some Boss fan in from way out of state

He’s the Outsider


What’s he doing here in this hole in the ground

Wandering alone through all these dinky little towns

He’s the Outsider


What’s he writing songs about and taking pictures of

Alienating just about everyone he loves

He’s the Outsider


What’s he gonna do with this consuming obsession

He’s gonna turn it all into a big-time profession

He’s the Outsider


His wife couldn’t live his life

So she left and took their daughter

Now there’s nothing left for him to do

But to throw himself head first

Into the water

Head first in the ocean of making it all real

Immersed in the devotion my fate is finally sealed

Drive over the past crush it under my wheels

Dance all over my history I’m kicking up my heels

A power chord meshugena, a screaming banshee

A speedboat full throttle on the wide open sea

Unconfined by the limits I’m finally free

The electric eccentric, hey that’s me

I’m the Outsider

The drive-all-nighter

Well I’m the sky speeder

The Green Onions follow-me-leader

I’m the Outsider


The Guardian Angel of the Angel of Soul

She swore my good fortune ahead in rock’n’roll

She said, You ain’t from these parts but here you are now

You’re artistic, you like to travel, and that’ll all work for you somehow

You ain’t got no money and these times are a test

But I can see into the future and you’re up there with the best

It’s been a bit slow for you till now but I see success

So write your feelings down now, good luck and G-d bless

Well I’m the Outsider

The star cloud rider

I’m a believer

A super high freakquency receiver

I’m the Outsider


Well I’m the Outsider

Second generation survivor

A young punk upstart

But no stranger to these parts

I am the Outsider

Not a Billy or a Bobby

And definitely not a Benny

I am the Outsider.


I’m the Outsider

Making a living out of being myself

I’m the Outsider

Ain’t sellin’ myself out for no one else

I’m the Outsider

Just a raisin dryin’ out in the Shore summer sun

I’m the Outsider

Music madman and barfly beach bum

I’m the Outsider

Simple, sentimental, and sure to be a star

I’m the Outsider

Playing my emotional strings like some walking guitar


I’m the Outsider

I won’t believe what any damn fool will say

I fell for it once but no longer the sucker I’ll play

I’m the Outsider

I ain’t this way ‘cause I’m into this thing

I’m into this thing ‘cause I AM THIS WAY!

Hey hey hey hey!


© 2021 The Hesh Inc.

BGH graffiti rock
Original photo by Wasted_Time_R (talk) (Uploads) - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=108822448

I first became familiar with the term "BENNY," meaning someone who was not from the Jersey Shore hanging out at the Jersey Shore during the summer, when reading an article about the Shore's bar scene in the summer of 1983. I was not yet old enough to hang out at the bars but I was dying to become part of the local scene, preferably as a musician playing the clubs. That didn't happen for another ~8 years; in the interim. I had gone back to Israel and fantasized about the day when I would finish my army service, go back to the Shore, and begin playing music there.


Unfortunately I had a lot of ideas and expectations that did not jibe with the reality of the place. The 'old guard' of the Asbury Park rock scene, those who were part of the Springsteen/Southside generation and peer group, did not take too kindly to some kid coming in from the outside and trying to join their circle, and various members of this circle (who will go unnamed here) made this attitude known to me in all sorts of ways, spoken and unspoken. Here I had been reading about this whole scene, described in the liner notes to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' first album, and I was being rejected by it when I encountered it in person. It was a huge dose of disillusion. Fortunately, I had misunderstood the term "BENNY." I may have been an outsider to the old-school music scene, but I was not one of the obnoxious visitors from out of town who trashed the Shore while acting as if they owned it every summer. [Whew!] In fairly short order, I did establish myself in the local music scene, attending open mics and jams, forming bands, and hustling for gigs. But to the next generation, which by and large did not want to be associated with the old guard, I was still an outsider, because I did like the music associated with the old guard and I was not afraid to wear its influence on my sleeve. (Damned if you do ... )


Musically, the song, with its epic length, combines influences absorbed from neither the old guard nor the new scene. The first nine stanzas follow a reggae groove similar to Bob Marley's "Is This Love"; the 10th, 11th, and 12th shift into a more pummeling r&b/rock rhythm recalling Roy Buchanan's version of "Green Onions"; the last two go back to Marley again, ending with a Buchanan-esque fadeout. It was supposed to be part of a subsequent album that is part of my Soul In Exile opus, and may yet be, albeit in somewhat edited form.



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