The Crux of the Biscuit


August 05
Crux of the Biscuit emerged fully formed on Jan 5 2009. The Crux primarily discusses music, makes fun of music, and celebrates music. The Crux also reserves the right to discuss movies, books, and other aspects of pop culture. And if you don't know what the crux of the biscuit is please, for the sake of humanity, educate yourself. Or look for the answer on my banner.


Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 24, 2010 9:01AM

Crimes Against Rock - Part 2

Rate: 33 Flag

The research staff at the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame has spent long and hazardous hours exposed to songs that are considered crimes committed against rock. This includes good bands gone band and bad bands that got...badder. 

To aid our prosecution we enlisted the help of our friend and fellow crime fighter, Ms. Beth Mann.

Check out Beth's page for Crimes Against Rock Part One!


Photo on 2010-01-18 at 15               DSCF0017

          MJ Listens to crimes against rock                          Beth contemplates Rock n roll justice


                              COURT IS NOW IN SESSION!!!


CRIME: Wanted - Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
VERDICT: Guilty!


MJ: Bon Jovi's crime? Out of control metaphor and indiscriminate face rocking. ("I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.") Here's the thing Jon, you're not a cowboy, dude. You're a rock star. From Jersey.

Beth: Dead, please.



CRIME: We Didn’t Start the Fire—Billy Joel
VERDICT: Guilty!

List blogs are good but list songs are always a bad idea. They’re lyrically lazy and absolutely no fun to sing. We Didn’t Start the Fire is the exemplar of bad list songs. And did Joel just have the audacity to rhyme homeless vets with Bernie Geotz? Yes. Yes, he did.

Beth: In full agreement. This song gives me a headache. We may have not started the fire, but that doesn't mean this song shouldn't die a slow, fiery death. I think Joel should also be held accountable for Uptown Girl. God, that song makes me want to impale myself.



Crime: Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen                                  Verdict: Hung Jury

MJ: I disagree with this one being on the list. It's a song about a veteran. As a vet myself, I cannot dis this song in good conscience. The biggest crime in regard to this song was Ronald Reagan mistakenly thinking the song was some sort of patriotic paean and using it for political purposes.

Beth: First off, this song has been played ad nauseum. If someone told me that Born in the USA would be eradicated, never to be heard again, I'd file my nails and ask "What's for dessert?" And secondly, while I'm a Jersey girl, this is Springsteen at his screechiest and most constipated-sounding. His vocal cords sound like their being drug over broken glass. And it's a little to "Ra Ra, Go America" for me as well. I feel like someone force-fed me the flag.

MJ: Actually Beth, the song isn’t “ra ra, go America” –it’s a song about the decaying of the American Dream, the chorus is meant to be ironic.

Beth: Yes, but its come to represent something that's ra ra, I think. No one listens to the lyrics. They just hear Born in the USA - the patriotic anthem. It almost has become like one of the awful country tunes, with that "I drive a truck and I'm an American, damnit" feel.


CRIME: I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meatloaf
VERDICT: Guilty!

MJ: I spent an inordinate amount of time deciphering this incomprehensible and overblown suck-o-rama. Doctors believe I have still not fully recovered.

Beth: Yes, this song is comically bad. I'd actually turn this one up and listen just to be happily tortured. I want to be on the train for this wreck. (And clearly it's about reverse-dildo sex.)


CRIME: Hollaback Girl—Gwen Stefani
VERDICT: Guilty!


MJ: I have no idea what a “hollaback girl” is, and I'm pretty sure this is a crime against rock, but Gwen Stefani is so dang adorable that I'm going to have to pass. I think I'm in love with her.

Beth: Gwen Stefani is a bit of a poseur. She's not a rocker, she's a wannabe. "I'm just a Girl" almost classifies as rock but that's because a rock band influenced her. Her work makes taffy seem complex.

MJ: Work? Who was talking about her "work"?

Beth: Making you about as complex as taffy. One of our only females on the list and you need to objectify her? Nice. Kudos for your evolution and stuff. Kegger in the future?

MJ: You're right. I should be more mature - like how your meditation on the sexiest men in rock explored the musical nuances of chord progression, polyrhythms, and the jazz time signatures contained in the intellectual musical stylings of Jared Leto. And what was that about beer?

****(Court takes a half hour recess for beer bongs)****


CRIME: Hot! Hot! Hot! - Buster Poindexter
VERDICT: Guilty!

MJ: In which David Johannson embraces the '80s. So, uh, anyway, the New York Dolls were awesome at least.

No, it's not, not, not. Dear God, what was that all about? Let's pretend this never happened. Shhh...keep walking, keep walking...



CRIME: You're the Inspiration - Chicago
VERDICT: Guilty!

Beth: Ugh. Another band that everyone thinks sucks because they don't know about early Chicago. Its like newer Chicago shat upon older Chicago.

MJ: Who was the genius who put Peter Cetara in charge?


CRIME: Love in an Elevator - Aerosmith
VERDICT: Guilty!


MJ: So, Aerosmith's life had become so empty and shallow that they found artistic inspiration in having random and meaningless sex in elevators. Way to keep it real Areosmith. Jeez, you guys should have just stayed on drugs.

Beth: It's no Janie's Got a Gun, for sure. (A good tune for chicks who are feeling a touch homicidal.) But yeah, Aerosmith - it's not quite rock and roll to me. Not at this point. Earlier Aerosmith, yes. (Though I confess, I kinda like Pink.)



Crime: Shiny Happy People--REM
Verdict: Guilty!


MJ: Is this a joke? Satire? Who are all these shiny happy people? This song was popular around the time the USSR fell, which begs the question: did Stipe really think folks would all suddenly get together to sing kumbiya? Or did he take too much acid at a Widespread Panic concert? This is a dumb and vapid anti-song. Please man, stop "throwing your love around..." It hurts. And it's embarrassing.

Beth: Wow, I forgot how much I dislike this song. It's almost as bad as Stand ("Stand in the place where you work, now face north! You know what - don't tell me which direction to face, REM. I'll face east just to spite your ass.)

Ultimately, Shiny, Happy People is the Barney of rock tunes.

Barney says "Thanks for stopping by you shiny happy people!"


Check out Beth's page for more headbangers (and not in that rock and roll sort of way.)


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'm so glad REM made the cut! Great job!
Gotta disagree with you on Chicago, and Shiny Happy People. Of all the concerts I've been to in my lifetime, Chicago (in the 80's) knocked 'em all out of the park, rocked the house. Shiny Happy People is meant to be heard more like the B-52's. It's like the Steve Blevins of rock. But aren't a lot of these you're listing more properly 'pop' music, anyway, and not really rock 'n' roll? Or have we blurred those lines too much over the last couple of decades?
Really interesting, I could watch some of Hot, Hot, Hot (I thought the intro was cute.) I could watch a few seconds of REM. But I couldn't hit play on Bon Jovi. I couldn't even check it out.
"Shiny Happy People is meant to be heard more like the B-52's"
Oh, that probably explains the super annoying factor then!

And yeah, the line is very blurred on what is considered "rock"--though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Yep. That would explain it. Be glad you didn't grow up in a time when The Archies were singing Sugar, Sugar.
Bon Jovi's crime? Being Bon Jovi.

I question the jurisdiction of the jury, though. Is this really rock at all? OK, I'll accept Bruce, Aerosmith and R.E.M., but Chicago? If we're going to include even fluffy poodles, why are The Eagles allowed to escape the long arm of the law? Their crimes are legion.
Billy Joel was all downhill after Travelin' Prayer.
Does anyone remember what Micheal McDonald did to the Doobie Brothers?!?

I just knew that was gonna be high on one of these two lists.

Alas.........I am wrong again.
Other than that previously mentioned oversight, great list. Trainwrecks, each and every one.
Love it guys. I'm with MJ on each one. I give "Born in the U.S.A." a pass as it's not Springsteen's fault Reagan misinterpreted and stole the song. But I'm with Beth that I wouldn't be sad to never hear it again. All the rest, I'm in total agreement with 100%! Especially the Billy Joel is an asshole (how's that for a rhyme Billy?) song.
Norwonk, Chicago was DEFINITELY a rock band. No doubt, no question, no debate. They've been distilled into something....else. But they are a perfect example for this list, I think. A good band gone bad.

Curious what Eagles tune you think is a train wreck.
VERY early Chicago footage:
REM can basically be divided down the middle, pre and post Document, everything before was classic, everything after was just ugh!
Placebostudman--yeah, I see what you're saying about REM, and you kind of have a point, but I really think Automatic for the People is a classic. Really well done album. One of the best of the 90s. But yeah, they've tended toward the corny more often than not for most of their career.
Ok, so I am going to admit liking Shiny Happy People, but only for the Kate Pierson factor. I love her.
But she's a whole other post...

I liked the tag-team posts with Beth--very nice!
I love you
You love me
Let's get a gun and kill Barney!
With a bang-bang shoot-em-up
Barney hits the floor
No more purple dinosaur!

Leaves humming.

(correctamundo about all except Bruce's song. Ironic and beautiful, it just got played to death)
Can't disagree with anything here. It's crap followed by more crap.

But, the two postings have given me some ideas for some more music posts of my own.
Chicago was definitely rock, a thinking musician's rock, natural outgrowth of big band/jazz. Those of us who were trying to do serious listening in the early 70's in admiration of the greats were listening to them alongside Bill Chase and Pat Williams. Personally, I don't know how we'd have survived Nixon without them.
great posts, mj (and beth), although i'm trying to not be bitter about the fact that many months ago you hired ME to work in the Crimes Against Rock office, then the office seemed to close up shop (i thought the work had been outsourced to bangalore), but--you're still doing god's work here...also, i agree with kathy that something *intended* to be fluffy disposible pop isn't really a crime against *rock*...apart from these quibbles ('Quibbles and Hits' will be the title of *my* music review column)--great pieces, both of you...
Oh Shiny Happy People makes me want to drive a rusty nail through my head. And I love REM. One of my favorite bands ever. WHY REM WHY?!!!

("Stand in the place where you work, now face north! You know what - don't tell me which direction to face, REM. I'll face east just to spite your ass.) Agreed.
Hmmm. Very interesting. I took shiny happy people as some mockery of artificial types so I never disliked it at all. I'm not at all musically sophisticated so I always thought I was bitterly alone in not liking anything by Bruce Springsteen(or joni mitchell, actually). Bruce is over gruff and sounds lousy to me and joni is all wispy and unenjoyable with her parking lot paradise song etc.

Bon Jovi? To my ears: The pits

I've always also thought Tom Sawyer(or anything really) by Rush was a major earsore but figured they were respected by their peers or whatever.

Very enjoyable feature! Thanks.
Oh, my gawd. You are both right about everything!

The Eagles, btw, are guilty not only of crimes against rock, but also against country, blues, and humanity.
The fact that Bruce was able to piss off the conservatives by bitch slapping Reagan has to be added as a bonus point for Born in the USA. Plus at a time of Culture Club and the whole "New Wave" movement Bruce brought back real Rock and Roll. So I will have to say that declaring this song as bad is a miss.
I assume that somewhere in the great cosmic list has to be Celine Dion's cover of "You Shook Me All Night Long."
Killer stuff and MJ is right about Stefani. Hot, hot, hot!
beth, i worked at record store for years my coworkers were very opinionated each held specific leanings i watched from sidelines listened learned more interested in discovering artists than dissing concerning crimes against rock i agree with kathy riordan's remark more properly 'pop' not really rock 'n' roll thank you for fun posting reminds me of record store snobbery and condescension chatter
intended to address comments to both mjwycha and beth uh duhh forgive me xox
OS, some good terms I gleaned from comments:

"record store snobbery and condescension chatter" - that's wonderful! - from michael rubenstein

"tag-team posts" - good term and technique we can use again, from spotted mind.

as for the pop/rock differentiation:

- Stefani claims to be a "rock star" - hey, look at the "cute" little tag hanging from her Gucci belt. Why it says it! In plain language. Her music MUST rock.

- Chicago WAS a rock band - there's no doubt there. You'd have to have a good argument for me to think otherwise. I liked Kathy's comments about what they signified at the time. They had a fucking horn section! How sweet was that.

- Billy Joel may be a tough call but he has a heavy pop sound and I think HE wouldn't classify his music in either direction. "Don't Ask me Why" or even "Big Shot" - is that pop? I don't think so.
Billy Joel was a lounge singer and morphed from there.
you two have a career here.
Oh THANK YOU. THANK YOU Beth Mann. I've been hating Born in the USA forever. But then, somehow, found myself in places, and with people, time after time, who just didn't get why. Now I know that I all I needed was one person from Jersey to hate it, and now I can rest this argument in peace.... The REM hate-on is just icing on the cake for me.

So, as a present, just in case you haven't seen it. Patti Smith, singing you light up my life.

Sadly, no one is innocent in rock.
Born in the USA is guilty simply because the drum beat doesn't vary during the song. Sounds like a computerized drum on a loop.

In case Norwonk doesn't respond -- essentially every damn thing the Eagles did is a crime. The band defines middle-of-the-road consumer product.
"Tag team posts". Let's go. I love this, although after 1975 I'm kind of lost...but that's ok beacuse all the GREAT music was done prior to that. I'm gonna go right now and find my "Filmore East" book and see if I can "remember" (it WAS the 60's) which of the greats I saw (or was at least present in the audinece for)!
Juliet, that Patty Smith video. WOW! That's surreal.

Fernsy, are right. Rush was forgotten and shouldn't have been. It was an oversight by MJ....ha...

Stim and Norwonk, I think we have a problem here. The Eagles don't suck and don't represent rock mediocrity - there are bands FAR more mediocre than The Eagles.

Their harmonies are always dead-on, they have a tight, well-worn band. So many good members. And good, well-crafted songs. They're too tight a band with too many solid musical skills to be called mediocre.

I can see how you might think they're a little soft or something, I suppose. They don't really rock out in the traditional sense. Hmm...but not mediocre.
Billy Joel fan here. He actually wrote some great pop stuff in his early days; Piano Man, The Stranger, 52nd Street. He went downhill with fame and fortune. And original Chicago was awesome, one of my favorite groups.
....and don't go away, because we'll be coming right back with Adam Rich and Count Chocula! Oh Patti, no!
No, Juliet...does she say that? I couldn't listen to all of it. My face started melting.
Funny comments all!

And Juliet--that Patti Smith vid hurt my head. Thanks, I think...

Fingerlakeswanderer you said: "I assume that somewhere in the great cosmic list has to be Celine Dion's cover of "You Shook Me All Night Long." --If that exists it will be my new favorite song!
No the host, who apparently went on the become an infomercial billionaire, says that. But the really weird thing about this is it's in 1979! Punk dying before most people even realize it's alive. Although it's nice to see how much she cares about the kids.
How about Bob Seger?

A small number of legitimately great songs (e.g., "Against the Wind", "Main Street", "Night Moves",) are the Washington Generals compared with the Shitty Harlem Globetrotters of "Katmandu", "Old Time Rock and Roll", "Shakedown", "Rock and Roll Never Forgets", and "Rock and Roll and Rock and Roll and Rock and Roll". (Okay, I made up that last one, but it wouldn't surprise if that's the name of his next song. Or AC/DC's, another group that probably should make this list in the same way as Seger--a few terrific songs and many shitty ones.)
Ranjit, it is so funny you mentioned AC/DC. Please check out the last few comments on my page.

Also, I think I found Cindy Ross's trainwreck tune...and its a killer:

And MJ, look at the hit we take from Ron67 at the end of my comments...and boy does he have some nerve considering what he has posted on his page

...oh dear, look at me - I'm gossiping on OS.
As I said over at Beth's, from a purely musical perspective, I pretty much agree on all counts . . . the problem is the nostalgia factor. I have a hard time distinguishing where the nostalgia factor could be clouding my judgement.
First off, how come Beth gets twice as many comments and ratings as you for the same post? Not trying to stir up any trouble among colleagues or anything...

Actually, I had to come back and defend Bon Jovi. It's been eating at me all day. He is the excepting to the sucking in later years rule.

Yes, Dead of Alive is silly crap but our little boy is all growed up now. He does the best, and I mean the very best, version of Hallelujah ever. Check it out. The dude can sing!

Thank you and good night.
Oh, and half your comments are from Beth. Whoa, you must be pissed, dude.

Just sayin'...
@Beth - I didn't say The Eagles were mediocre. I said they produced middle-of-the-road consumer product. Essentially a "what will sell units" band.
Cap'n is totally stirring trouble, MJ. What do you call it when you toss the captain from the ship? Mutiny! It's the plank for you, sir.

I will say this about Bon Jovi: the lead singer sure is purty. And he keeps getting purtier, that's what's weird.
Cap'n is totally stirring trouble, MJ. What do you call it when you toss the captain from the ship? Mutiny! It's the plank for you, sir.

I will say this about Bon Jovi: the lead singer sure is purty. And he keeps getting purtier, that's what's weird.
Oh, God, the videos. I just threw up a little in my mouth. Ugh.

"this is Springsteen at his screechiest and most constipated-sounding." YES, you have described the sound absolutely perfectly.

Great job, you guys. I am sure the beer is the only way you made it through!
My hatred for Chicago the band almost rivals my love for Chicago the city.
You've got my vote on all of these. They have their "guilty pleasure" moments, but as quality rock, they lose.

You hit one of my hot buttons with Chicago. Their work with Terry Kath was phenomenal and had so much originality. Post-Terry Kath, they became a pop joke. I liked Peter Cetera better as a condiment, not as the main dish. He was very effective in this, one of my Chicago favorites.

Sorry, but as much as I dislike Cetera's, Stefani's and Meatloaf's songs--all of those artists, plus Beth's choices, BAD are still more listenable to most contemporary music GOOD.

The worst thing that ever happened to radio was losing personality-driven radio programming. Payola aside (and what entertainment medium doesn't have its dark sides?), Top 40 radio was one of the greatest milestones of anyone's rites of passage while growing up. Dick Clark's AB was a Sat a.m. staple; I always watched it before going out that nite to remind myself of how to dance. Not that it really helped, but it was the ritual of youth that I still remember fondly of that time.

I cannot STAND to listen to most radio today. Given the resurgence of those old bands, I'm hardly alone. Just like I don't really watch a lot of TV b/c it's just too inane.

I truly feel sorry for young people today and the dearth of talent that passes for music these days.
bikepsychobabble, i found this version of Feeling Stronger Every Day as well:

In full agreement with Elsma.
I agree with everything elsma03 said. I haven't listened to current radio since the mid-90s; I have a huge music collection of mostly '70s since that was my teenage era, but also some from the '50s, '60s and '80s with just couple of of '90s/2000s songs sprinkled in there. I do feel sorry for the kids who grow up with what passes as music these days.

I think someone should come up w/a radio station, streamed via computer, w/programming we WOULD listen to.

I'm planning for retirement in the next few years, and that's 1 thing on my list (after I find another job to supplement the .50/mo allowance that retirement will provide me). One of the formats I'd like to see is classic big band/Latin jazz (again, something I remember from growing up: listening to that music while my parents went out for the nite). But classic R&R would work well nicely too.

I think something like that would really find its audience. There are too many of us out there who feel likewise. And who knows? Maybe contemporary musicians would learn at last to find some talent--and radio-listening youth might--MIGHT--learn to recognize talent from noise...
I wouldn't even have an idea of what Gwen Stefani sounds like and I am not going to go search it out.

Did you guys forget Kansas' mopey Dust in the Wind?
I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again - you're the freaking man when it comes to spot on music reviews. Seriously.

And thanks for rightly pointing out that "Born in the U.S.A." is anything but a cheerleading song. President Reagan tried to hijack it for that purpose but Bruce didn't let it happen.

Music should never be judged by how casual listeners (I should say cavalier listeners) think they hear it. It's a great tune that qualifies as a genuine anthem of truthiness.
Rated and appreciated.
Bloody fabulous job, you two. Makes me wanna apply to be a research assistant!
Re: Born in the USA

Lemme see if I can get this straight. You include a song because you don't understand what it's about. When it's pointed out that you don't get the song, you maintain your stance, saying, (in effect) "Well the fact that I and others aren't smart enough to understand it proves that I'm right in including it on this list."

Sheesh...what a maroon.
I have to thank the two of you for doing this nasty job so well (and hilariously). Seriously. You deserve combat pay.
I love the two of you doing this together. It reminds me of those fabulous robots on Comedy Central who commented mostly on 50s sci-fi movies -- the ones who paired with the human and whose reflection you could see up against the movie screen while they bantered. Wait, you nkow what I mean, right? I'm not going I?
I am crazy - I just wrote "nknow" instead of "know"

btw, my eight-year-old nephew adored Weird Al Yancovik's takeoff of Meatloaf's song, which he called "I Would Do Anything for Lunch"
Sundaymorning"liberal" and Dennis Knight:

One of my main issues (which I clearly mention in my review) with BORN IN THE USA (caps intended because that's what the song sounds like to me) is the grating vocals, not just meaning. It's bombastic and lacking in nuance.

Listen - don't lecture me on Bruce. I was BORN listening to the man. That song is not one of his better songs. Its like marching band music.

And frankly, just because its about a vet doesn't make me like a song...I mean, really, what kind of message is that? Does that mean every film about war is good just because?

It's that slippery slope I find very dangerous. I should like it simply because its political messaging resonates with you. I call bullshit to that.
Arizona Viking, you say you stopped listening to music, yet you claim that current music is worthless. That makes no sense. There's plenty of good current music today--you just lost interest. Stop looking to top 40 for what's really going on.

And elsma--same goes for you. Sure there's a lot of dreck that gets popular, but that's always been the case. It's important to separate and identify popularity from quality and influence when discussing music. And get yourself a satellite radio for goodness sake. You'll be happy you did.

Cap'n, dude. Way to stick up for me! Though, you might want to watch out--Beth is talking the plank for you.

stim--you're right about the Eagles. MOR crap. No wonder punk took off during their heyday. Just thinking of the Eagles makes me want to bump The Clash.

Nikki--Good observation. You're thinking of MST3K--Mystery Science Theater 3000. I'm a big fan. I got the idea to write about crappy music from that show.
Yikes! That Patti Smith video is weird. Shiny Happy Patti? Patti died for somebody's sins...Juliet's right, nobody's innocent in rock, but this really messes with my memory of 1979.

Really enjoyed the rest, though I mostly like REM (yes, Automatic for the People). I have a real loathing for Huey Lewis, so feel vindicated...rated.
As a tarnished and resigned person, I'll admit I have aspirations to shine and happiness. I just can't achieve it in StipeWorld.
And Meatloaf is a dish best served cold - someplace in Iceland.
Gwen Stefani is a xerox of a transfer of a copy of a Madonna video, handcolored with pencils by celebrity crack babies.
No one can Monsieur Chariot . We'd all have cavities and diabetes in Stipe's shiny happy world.
That's why I go to Phish concerts instead!
Meatloaf, Chicago, Poindexter, Stefani? Take em out and string em up. Their existances themselves are capital crimes. But you missed the greatest felons of all: the Beatles.
90% of what they played wasn't rock at all. It was London-Liverpool singy-songy sing along music for beer swilling pub goers. Ditties. It had no connection whatsoever with rock's origins in R&B. String them up with Meatloaf.
I liked quite a few of these songs. (hanging head in shame)
@Beth - no lecture intended dear lady. I love the song, I love the tune, I love the repetition, I love the vocals, and I love the message. When I mentioned "cavalier hearers" I was referring to Reaganites how tried to hijack the song without really listening to it simply because they thought the power cords were catchy.

I agree there is a big difference between a Chuck Norris Vietnam flick and "The Deer Hunter." For my money, "Born in the U.S.A." is "The Deer Hunter" rather than a Norris movie. But then that's what's cool about music. One person's grating vocals are another person's much loved anthem.
Shoulda read: "Reaganites WHO..." geez louise...
Great job, you two. This has been a lot of fun to read.

As much as I love Bruce Springsteen, I am with Beth on "Born in the USA." I chalk it up to his being married to the movie star at the time.

But holy earache, Juliet, with that Patti Smith clip. Her "Frederick" is a sappy little bit of happiness about how much she loves her husband, which is totally cool. But this? I fear I will be hearing it in my head all day long.
Um sorry. While this list is indeed filled with bands and songs of major suckitude (OT I just typed suckitude on my iPhone and there was no spelling error alternative! It's in the iPhone dictionary as is!!) these are mostly all pop. Did we forget the intense pain caused by actual 80s rock bands OKA hair bands!? That stuff caused brain damage and zombiefication (WTF! This in the dictionary too??!!) and is probably largely responsible for the two terms of saint Ronnie.
("I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.") Here's the thing Jon, you're not a cowboy, dude. You're a rock star. From Jersey.

This is quite a statement coming from a hillbilly hipster from the middle of nowhere!
Too bad the 3born in the USA version" from the "18 tracks" records was not issued first: no misunderstanding would have been possible. Not understanding fully the lyrics (not speaking good enough english and no internet at that time), I also thought it was patriotic, but it was also because of the US flag associated to the song. No that I know, I hear the song differently, and feel the vet spirit in the "18 tracks" release.
For Eagles, even I suffered from "Hotel California" in parties...