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Lyriscope - Nickelback's 'Rockstar'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:43 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

A ChartBlog Lyriscope ReadingOh sure, you're all still singing along with Nickelback's triumphant sarcastic-but-not-really-sarcastic celebration of all things rock and star, but just how feasible is it that you could actually, y'know, BE a rock star? Leaving aside all issues of talent, sex appeal (it's a Nickelback song, after all), instrumental prowess, charisma (ditto), and the ability to pretend to sing into a camera without giggling, we need to find out if Nickelback's ideas of rock star life are actually physically achievable by humble Joes such as you and me, but not Nickelback themselves, as they are already most of the way there.

LyriscopeBut how can we measure such a thing? What could we use to test the difference between real life as portrayed by the lyrics to pop songs, and real life as lived by people? If only there was some sort of device which could reduce these differences down to simple figure, maybe even one with a decimal point in it for extra scientific verisimilitude (OMG srsly, look it up)...

I'm joking of course. Welcome to another Lyriscope Mission. Let's get to it!


Lyric: "I'm through with standin' in line, to clubs I'll never get in"

This seems like a relatively straightforward lyric to explore, and it's helpfully been put at the beginning of the song, as if to ease any prospective investigative reporters into their work. All it took to get started was a quick change into my best clothes, a vigorous splash of...well I thought it was aftershave, but it was actually mouthwash. It still stung like the devil.

Half an hour later, I was waiting in a line outside a club, feeling the full weight of Chad Kroeger's words. I tell you, I feel that guy's pain, man. Lord knows what it would be like if this club was actually open. Or if there were real people in this queue, and not a shop dummy I borrowed from Top Man. Or if this was a nightclub and not Club biscuit.

But that's nit-picking. Even though my reasons might not be the same as Nickelback's, I am also THROUGH with standing in this line. So there!

Lyriscope Reading: 4.1


Lyric: "This life hasn't turned out quite the way I want it to be"

Managed to lull myself into a very zen state by pondering the true meaning of this line. Taken on face value, it sort of falls into a black hole of crossed-tenses at the end. Does he mean "hasn't turned out quite the way I wanted it to" or "the way I want it to have done"? Or is he actually talking to a bee? It's hard to say. Which means this mission is once again getting off to bad start.

Or to put it into Kroegerspeak: This Lyriscope mission isn't turned out quite the way I will have want it to be are.

Lyriscope Reading: 0.01


Lyric: "A bathroom I can play baseball in"

This is easier than you'd think. But also a lot messier. Who knew a slide into third base could be made quicker using toothpaste as a lubricant...and a toilet brush as third base?

Lyriscope Reading: 4.2


Lyric: "And a king size tub big enough for ten plus me"

Big enough for eleven, then. They've got those at my local football club. I've tried one, but can't really see the appeal. It's not sexy AT. ALL.

Lyriscope Reading: 2.5


Lyric: "Gonna join the mile high club at thirty-seven thousand feet"

The maths involved in attempting to re-create this charming scenario have damn near broken my fragile brain. 37,000 feet is a distance of some 7.008 miles. Which means the mile-high club should really be called the seven-mile-high club. Either that or they have a special mile-high club for people who fly at 37,000 feet, to differentiate them from the mile-high club for people who fly at 32,000 feet (or 6 miles).

Either way, it's beyond my meagre resources to try and recreate this properly, so I've adapted the lyric, so it can apply to public transport. Instead of attempting to have sex on an aeroplane, I have been holding hands with random ladies while sitting on the top deck of a double-decker bus. I call this the mile-wide club, and apart from being abused mightily by the women in question when they find out what it is called, it's surprisingly good fun.

I bet they'd be happier to join if I was famous thoug...OMG! That's the WHOLE POINT!!!

Lyriscope Reading: 4.7


Lyric: "Live in hilltop houses, driving fifteen cars"

I'm no expert in road safety, but I would suggest that living in more than one house at a time, and driving in more that one car at a time, is just plain careless. Times that by a factor of fifteen and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.

I myself cannot manage to drive more than two cars at once, and that's only by shunting one along with the other. If I was towing another 13 cars behind me, things would definitely get broken.

Lyriscope Reading: 1.8


Lyric: "We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat"

I did think this would be an easy one, but it turns out that while it is theoretically possible to stay skinny if you just don't eat, there's a slight side-effect, in that you become bloody starving within four hours of your last meal. That Posh Spice, she must be RAVENOUS...

Lyriscope Reading: 1.2


Lyric: "I'm gonna dress my ass with the latest fashion"

I didn't even know donkeys could be considered stylish or otherwise. This must be why famous people are better than not-famous people. They've got standards.

Lyriscope Reading: 0.3


Lyric: "And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary of today's who's who"

Finding a private room was no problem, there's loads of public toilets around town. And the ones in the shopping centre have a disabled cubicle for that extra plush space (although you do have to be alert in case someone who is actually disabled comes along and wants a wee). The problem comes in finding ANY 'Dictionary Of Today's Who's Who'. I mean there's 'Who's Who', but there isn't really a dictionary of Who's Whos. And certainly not one which needs to be updated on a daily basis.

I took Heat magazine instead, but got into trouble when the lock on the door failed and they found me sitting on the loo with Heat open at the 'Stars And Their Wobbly Areas' picture special. Now I'm not allowed in the shopping centre again. Is this glamour? I think not.

Lyriscope Reading: 0.1


Lyric: "Get washed-up singers writing all my songs
Lip synch 'em every night so I don't get 'em wrong"

There's a lot of fun to be had doing karaoke. However, if you do karaoke in a crowded bar, and you only select songs which were written by Chico, Lisa Scott Lee, Dane Bowers and Antony Costa, and then mime the words instead of actually singing...well it can get ugly.

Anyone got any painkillers? My head is killing me...

Lyriscope Reading: 3.7


Pez dispenserLyric: "Gonna pop my pills from a Pez dispenser"

Oh that's better! This one was an easy win. A quick visit to the chemist and the sweetshop, and I now have a plastic Eeyore in my jacket, stuffed full of aspirin. This should help with the throbbing until the bandages come off.

Does anyone else see a resemblance between Eeyore and Chad Kroeger, or have I overdosed on glucose tablets (again)?

Lyriscope Reading: 4.2


Lyric: "I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even cut my hair and change my name"

OK, I'm back from the barbers. I've had a No.2 all over, my neck is itchy, my scalp is bright red because it's still nippy out, and I will only answer to the name Jacob Pokeybang. I have fulfilled my side of the bargain. BRING ON THE STARDOM!

Slightly Later:
Hmm.... I've just checked outside the front door. The paparazzi must be stuck in traffic.

Lyriscope Reading: 3.1



Conclusion: Hey, hey, I don't wanna be a rock star. It's too much like hard work, it contains maths, and can be actually hazardous to your health. You'd be better off working for the council.


Previous Lyriscope Readings

Justin Timberlake - 'Lovestoned'
Kate Nash - 'Foundations'
Fergie - 'Big Girls Don't Cry'

PS: Wanna hear Reggie Yates reading some of this out loud on Radio 1? I thought so!


  1. At 09:49 PM on 01 Mar 2008, Kerri wrote:

    My post didn't post grr, even though it said it did for a change! Lets try again..

    Woo I really missed this!
    Great read :D
    "Does anyone else see a resemblance between Eeyore and Chad Kroeger" :O Poor Eeyore :(

  2. At 10:06 PM on 02 Mar 2008, dapo wrote:

    this was NOT funny, expected better! :-(

    [Oh well. I expect we'll all cope. - Fraser]

  3. At 02:47 PM on 03 Mar 2008, steven wrote:

    I loooove this song and Nickelback rocks. Best rock band there is.

    Oh and i still want to be a Rockstar. You forgot the Playboy bunnies line.lol

    [The pet shop didn't have any. THWARTED! - Fraser]

  4. At 07:57 PM on 03 Mar 2008, Nicole wrote:

    I really like Nickelback, and I think it's an awesome song! :-D

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