Musicians Who Reference Musicians

The other day my mind got stuck on a jag of thinking about songs where one recording artist refers to another.  Why?  Ah… well… I’ll have to get back to you on that.  (And no, this is not some weird April Fools joke.)  Anyway, here are 20 good ones (alphabetical by artist) and a bonus:

“There’ll Be Some Changes Made” by Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler – “I’ll start wearing make-up like Jackson and Prince.” 

“Up On Cripple Creek” by The Band – “…we had Spike Jones on the box.”

“Brian Wilson” by Barenaked Ladies – “I’m lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did.”

“Chick Singers” by Dan Bern – “I thought of all this while hearing Bjork and Courtney Love and PJ Harvey in my car while drivin’ to the coast.”

“Listening to NRBQ” by Jim Boggia – “…and Big Al took a solo and it went it like this” … [insert Qish guitar solo]”

“Willie and Waylon and Me” by David Allen Coe – “Roger McGuinn had a 12-string guitar like nothing I ever heard.”

“Bo Diddley” by “Bo Diddley” –  Nuff said

“Danko/Manual” by Drive-By Truckers – “Richard Manual is dead.”

“New Frontier” by Donald Fagen – “I hear you’re mad about Brubeck; I like your eyes…I like him too.”

“Rockin’ the Suburbs” by Ben Folds – “I’m rockin’ the suburbs just like Jon Bon Jovi did, except that he was talented.”

“1937 Pre-War Campbell” by Nanci Griffith – “It’s a blessing it never met Jerry Lee’s feet.”

“Slow Turning” by John Hiatt – “…and I’m yelling at the kids in the back ‘cuz they’re banging like Charlie Watts.”

“Blame it on the Stones’ by Kris Kristofferson – “….Blame it on the Rolling Stones.”

“Elvis is Dead” by Living Color – “Tabloids scream ‘Elvis Seen’ at a shopping mall!”

“These Dreams of You” by Van Morrison – “And Ray Charles got shot down, but he got up to do his best.”

“My Life is Good” by Randy Newman – “A very good friend of ours happens to be staying there [The Bel Air Hotel]; and the name of this friend is Mr. Bruce Springsteen…..Yeah, that’s right!”

“Tennesse” by NRBQ – “But if all you folks will kindly remember, Mr. Carl Perkins came from Tennessee.”

“Shake Your Hips” by The Rolling Stones – “Whaddaya know?  There’s Slim Harpo.”

“Piano Playing” by Ben Sidran – “Bill Evans put the whammy on Miles. Yeah, he put it right on Miles.”

“$29.00” by Tom Waits – “You say your ex-old man was a sax player.  He’ll say, ‘Baby, I used to play bass for Sly.’”

“What I Do” by Donald Fagen – “If you can’t dance by now, The Raelettes will show you how.”

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld