The Gospel of Rock and Roll would tell you that Randy Bachman’s “Takin’ Care of Business” is about a tenacious recording technician who helped out with Guess Who recordings. It’s not. It’s about… well, masturbation. Can I prove this? I’ve only BEEN proving it my entire fucking life!!!
The beginning of the song sets the scene with a typical early-morning commute to work. This guy’s life sure is mundane! He’s getting on some sort of public transportation, taking special notice of all the PRETTY GIRLS. Here’s the first instance of suspicious lyrics. This song is about working your ass off so that you can enjoy the finer things in life, right? WRONG! It’s about torquing the turkey, pulling rank, twistin’ off, yanking and spanking. That’s what this is all about!
The only struggle being defined here is the task of trying to find someone to lay down with you. Finding someone who is willing to actually sleep with you is hard! It’s freakin’ difficult! Even for attractive people! But wait a minute…
And if your train’s on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
Wait… what? What was that Randy Bachman? Y-you’re… You’re SELF-EMPLOYED?!??!? JESUS CHRIST! Working at NOTHING all day! Slaving at your job to get your pay = trying to find a partner who will lay! But does Randy have to do that? NO! He’s “self-employed.” He’s laying down with himself while you’re working at it trying to score. All Randy Bachman needs is his hand!
And not only is he “takin’ care of business” everyday, but in every way as well. Be thankful those sordid details were omitted from the song! Let’s move on to the next section of lyric.
Get a second-hand guitar
Chances are you’ll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of fellows
People see you having fun
Just a-lying in the sun
Tell them that you like it this way
Seems innocent enough… until you remember what kind of motion guitar players make with their hands up and down the neck of the instrument. Is that what Randy Bachman is insinuating to the “working man” here? Absolutely! Undeniably! And what if we get in with the right bunch of fellows? They’ll join us too? This was BTO hinting at the concept of a circle-jerk! It’s all here, right under our noses in the lyrics to one of the greatest boogie-woogie rock tunes of all time! People will see you having fun, just a-lying in the sun. Just tell them that you like it this way! We all remember how that idea worked out for Pee-Wee Herman. People saw him having fun, he informed them that he liked it that way, and maybe even that he was just attempting to take care of business, and disaster ensued.
In the end, the struggle is real. One of the most real, untouched-upon subjects in rock and roll music. What happens when you just can’t find someone who wants to help you take care of business? Well, you take matters into your own hands… literally. How accurate is this assessment of such a rock classic? I’d say about 100%. Listen to the song again. Think about what I’m trying to say here. It’ll all start to make sense. And don’t forget:
It’s the work that we avoid
And we’re all self-employed
Connor Strader – March 26th, 2015