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Rate Betterman
5 Stars 78%  78%  [ 14 ]
4 Stars 17%  17%  [ 3 ]
3 Stars 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
2 Stars 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
1 Star 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 18
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 Post subject: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 5:00 pm 
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old thread archived here

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:09 am 
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This is a bit of a mess but you will get the jist.

Years ago I read the Five Against One book and though it is far from a comprehensive and balanced account, it has a few external viewpoints that may have some merit. I also recently played the Atlanta 94 show and the Eddie comment introducing Betterman got me thinking. "it's dedicated to the bastard that married my Momma." Well is it? Or was Eddie just playing up that disaffected youth angle that was so heavily prominent during that era of the band.

Now since Eddie brought it up I feel it's fair game to discuss. We know that his stepfather and him weren't tight, far from it. But what we do know is that he was an attorney, and with his wife had many children and fostered many more. We know nothing of whether he was the kind of guy who would be coming home at 4am.

The problem I have is waiting watching the clock 4 am lyric. There are many reasons (good and bad) for someone to be out of the house during the night. I work shift work and I'm often during either late shifts or overnight shifts and I feel for my wife who is alone those nights. But I'm out working not drinking/gambling/cheating.

Eddie was with Beth at the time of writing this (I believe) and he was also working shift work. It very well may be written from a guilty perspective of someone working overnight and having a partner voice that she wishes it wasn't the case. Throw in a storyteller/lyricist and you could easily have a lyric for Betterman.

Very loose interpretaion but hey, it just may not be about his stepfather and be a piece of Eddie himself. As Rimaud and later Dylan said, I is another/someone else. Well the some else can also be I.

From some blog:
Toward the end of his autobiography, Dylan recalls being very much impressed with the statement of a certain French Symbolist. Introduced by then-girlfriend "Suze" to Arthur Rimbaud's work, Dylan apparantly devoured it, as he consumed so many other influences in those early days (the list of books he gives may not be literal, but I do not doubt that they are representative). Dylan says that he "came across one of his letters called 'Je est un autre,' which translates into 'I is someone else.' When [Dylan] read those words, bells went off. It made perfect sense." (Chronicles 288).


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:42 am 
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The lyric just says it 4 o'clock, not 4am.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:49 am 
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for some weird reason, it never crossed my mind that it could not be 4pm.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:52 am 
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Why would she be sleeping at 4pm ??

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:54 am 
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Gin and Xanax.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:54 am 
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WtOB? wrote:
Why would she be sleeping at 4pm ??
Because she's a drunk.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 4:57 am 
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OMG! This was me and my gf's song when we dated!!!

This song has stayed interesting to me over the years due to the many cool tags...state college 03 remains the greatest Save It For Later of all time in my opinion. A cool buzzcocks tag at Alpine in 03 also comes to mind....


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 2:15 pm 
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I seem to remember reading somewhere that he wrote betterman when he was 17. Or is that porch? Or am I making this up?

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 2:34 pm 
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That version on TB2K is really great. The tag is fantastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 2:38 pm 
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state college 03 is a personal favorite

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 5:01 pm 
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theplatypus wrote:
That version on TB2K is really great. The tag is fantastic.



This is also a good one, the way the band is just chugging behind him at the end...


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Sun April 14, 2013 9:39 pm 
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stip wrote:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that he wrote betterman when he was 17. Or is that porch? Or am I making this up?


You're right, he was in his teens when he wrote Betterman...

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Mon April 15, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Rangi Guy wrote:
stip wrote:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that he wrote betterman when he was 17. Or is that porch? Or am I making this up?


You're right, he was in his teens when he wrote Betterman...

didnt bad radio play "betterman"? im pretty sure this is the song he wrote when he was 17. he talks about writing porch by himself while he was sleeping in the studio the first week the band was together.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Mon April 15, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Yeah Betterman was played with Bad Radio (Vedder active 88-90) when he was 23. Maybe he did write it when he was 17. Maybe not. The whole my daddy/my mummy crap just seems a little forced and he definitely could have manipulated events to support his stage persona. We have to remember that he was in his late twenties during the Ten/Vs/Vitalogy period.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Mon April 15, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Before they started their whole "How much of this will the audience take over if we let them?" approach to this song, I always thought that this was the megahit of theirs that they most consistently nailed live. For a long time I really had no issue with hearing this at pretty much every single show.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Mon April 15, 2013 8:35 pm 
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I love it at shows, hate it on the boots. The way it's played now its an in the moment type deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Wed August 28, 2013 11:00 pm 
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LetMeSleep wrote:
Yeah Betterman was played with Bad Radio (Vedder active 88-90) when he was 23. Maybe he did write it when he was 17. Maybe not. The whole my daddy/my mummy crap just seems a little forced and he definitely could have manipulated events to support his stage persona. We have to remember that he was in his late twenties during the Ten/Vs/Vitalogy period.


See, I just read this, and I still can't really get with the theory that Eddie played up his angst/life for a stage persona that much. The telling bullshit stories and playing drunk to fuck with people I can see, and even talking about it on stage to i dunno bond with/rile up the angry youth crowd or whatever. But every interview I've read gives me the impression that he's the kind of rambley oversharing person that would tell you this shit for no reason, plus while all that stuff comes off as melodramatic it doesn't contradict the other version of events other people in the book give. It gives quotes from interviews and says maybe he's just trying to invent a good story, but then gives an account of his childhood wherein it looks clear he didn't deal with things well. And that's not even his version of events. It even came up in interviews years after the whole spokesman for a generation grunge crap ended. It might be naive but I think it just took him ages to get over all that stuff, you mention he was in his late 20s then, I always forget cause he acted pretty young. Basically i find it easier to believe he was melodramatic and kind of egocentric in general than calculating about his image.

This has nothing to do with the song being about him rather than his parents though, it definitely could be, could be about both.

As an aside, does he still change the the 'mommy' and 'daddy' in jeremy and alive to 'mother' and 'father'? I always prefered the former, because the songs were from the perspective of a child.

This is a useless bullshit post, but i just read that book and wanted to talk about it. :oops:

Please take my (probably) favourite version of betterman as an apology:


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Thu August 29, 2013 2:36 am 
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This song is practically useless to me without the live tags. I need those extra ohs and improvised lyrics.

http://youtu.be/tcMwHYBNKA0?t=1m22s


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Betterman
PostPosted: Thu August 29, 2013 11:33 pm 
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stupidmop wrote:
LetMeSleep wrote:
Yeah Betterman was played with Bad Radio (Vedder active 88-90) when he was 23. Maybe he did write it when he was 17. Maybe not. The whole my daddy/my mummy crap just seems a little forced and he definitely could have manipulated events to support his stage persona. We have to remember that he was in his late twenties during the Ten/Vs/Vitalogy period.


See, I just read this, and I still can't really get with the theory that Eddie played up his angst/life for a stage persona that much. The telling bullshit stories and playing drunk to fuck with people I can see, and even talking about it on stage to i dunno bond with/rile up the angry youth crowd or whatever. But every interview I've read gives me the impression that he's the kind of rambley oversharing person that would tell you this shit for no reason, plus while all that stuff comes off as melodramatic it doesn't contradict the other version of events other people in the book give. It gives quotes from interviews and says maybe he's just trying to invent a good story, but then gives an account of his childhood wherein it looks clear he didn't deal with things well. And that's not even his version of events. It even came up in interviews years after the whole spokesman for a generation grunge crap ended. It might be naive but I think it just took him ages to get over all that stuff, you mention he was in his late 20s then, I always forget cause he acted pretty young. Basically i find it easier to believe he was melodramatic and kind of egocentric in general than calculating about his image.

From memory (and I haven't got my copy of 5AOne nearby), Ed was involved in High School plays and musicals so he was not just talented but was seeking the stage (and attention??). He certainly was aware of how he was being perceived and ramped it up throughout 92. He also suffered from self doubt (IMO) and felt he didn't earn the acclaim/stardom/record sales. He felt he didn't pay his dues. Thus the whole touring in a van when everyone else got a plane. That was just stupid behaviour from a petulant shit. That's disrespectful to everyone else who is in the business of touring as he risked all kinds of fates (sickness, burnout etc).

I just feel Ed was too self aware and was smart enough to play those particular angles through the press. And then he needed to escape it all.


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