Shut Up Shuttin’ Up

In the Bugs Bunny cartoon, “shut up shuttin’ up” is what you say when someone keeps talking after you’ve asked them to be quiet. In this comic piece, Alex’s wife and her friend are gossiping about him, and about men in general, while he plays the guitar. He soon reaches the point where he can’t take it any more and repeatedly tells them to shut up. Is life imitating art, or is art imitating life? The piece even channels the fun Warner Bros. style of music, with an almost bouncy rhythm and little background noises poking through, but it does so with a slightly rough, gravelly edge in the guitar.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

“I got my wife, Charlene, and her best friend, Esther, who’s a real character, in to do this little bit of nagging about the funny little habits that some of us have, and the silly little things that we argue about that end up becoming big things in the overall picture. We had [Charlene and esther] in there for about seven hours going through so many different things, and they were well lubricated with a couple of bottles of wine. By the end of it, of course, we couldn’t get them to shut up.”—Alex on Rockline, reproduced in Merely Players, Robert Telleria.

“‘Shut Up Shuttin’ Up’—a title almost certainly lifted from one of Yosemite Sam’s many orders to Bugs Bunny—is practically a novelty song: two women carry on a man-bashing conversation before instructing Lifeson to “shut up and play the guitar,” which he does, before interjecting his own yells. Due to its complex music and lyrics, Rush is often incorrectly viewed as being comprised of humorless members, but diehard fans know that Lifeson is the joker in the trio and this song proves it.”—Bret Adams on All Music

“‘Shut Up Shuttin’ Up’ is an instrumental piece, save for the conversation between two women. The conversation of these two women (Alex Lifeson’s wife and her best friend) is inane and disheartening as the main theme of the song, which is ‘Shut up and play that guitar.’ Lifeson comes in at the end and repeatedly yells ‘Shut up.’ A bit of an odd track if you ask me.”—Cygnus X-2 on Prog Archives

“Ouch! I don’t like this one at all. Two women complaining about their boyfriend guitar players grows old really fast, like during the first time I heard it. Not funny at all. The guitar is really good, though.”—Mellotron Storm on Prog Archives

Lyrics

I don’t ask for much, I really don’t. I just want him to put the seat down.

What are you talking about “You don’t ask for much?” You ask for everything!

Well, I just want him to put the seat down when he goes to the bathroom at night. 
I go in there and I sit down and it’s cold and wet and there’s more hair on his feet than on his head!

No, I like the hairs on the floor!

What are they doing?

Oh, there’s a shag carpet every day and this above the toilet. What, are they so tall that they have to lean over? Is it that heavy?

It’s so heavy.

Oh my god, they’re only good for one thing and we know what that is . . .

What is that?

Don’t tell me.

I keep forgetting.

Just play the guitar.

He’s still talking to me about that vacation we took. He still wants the details.

Come on!

Like, I can’t take it anymore. What am I suppose to do?

Did you throw away the pictures?

Oh, those pictures! If he saw those pictures, he’d have a heart attack!

Those guys were gorgeous

Oh were they ever, but he wants to know, “Where did you go? Did you go to a bar? Did you dance close?

Did you dance far?”

I know, “What were you wearing?”

Oh, my god, “Were they looking at you? Who danced with you? Did they come home with you? Who drove you home? Were they younger then me, older then me, did they treat you better then me?”

But, you know what? Oh, god, it was awful!

I always tell him, “Honey, just shut up and play the guitar!”

Has he asked you to play a hooker?

Ah . . . I can’t believe you’re saying that. He does that to me all the time! All the time.

They’re all the same. It’s sickening! Hookers, lipstick, big hair, makeup, the slutty outfits, mascara, false eye-lashes. The thing with the false eye-lashes! Does he want you to shave?”

The whole thing. Everything. Dye things . . .

Oh my, they’re all the same. I’m so sick of it. We’re different. Women are so different. The only thing is, we wouldn’t get paid for it.

Oh, god. Well, they pay for it, okay . . .

In the long run?

Oh, in the short run, because they just have to play the guitar!

Do you find that he always wants attention? It’s (constantly) always him, him, him, him, him?

Constant attention.

I can’t take it. He comes home, and he wants me to caress him and tell him how great he is and this and this.

Shut up!

I love you, I love you, you’re the best, there is no one else . . .

Like, really, how many times am I supposed to tell him that? All I want to do is relax, have a nice little drink.

Shut up!

Give him a little hug, but it always leads to something else.

Yeah, you can’t just hug. You have to go on and on, and then the [thing] comes out.

It always turns sexual.

Just shut up!

Unbelievable. It just goes on and on and on.

Just shut up shuttin’ up!

They’re only good for one thing. Just play the guitar!

Shut up! Ah, just shut up, man! Shut up shuttin’ up! Shut up, shut, shut, shut it, shut it all up. Shut up . . . shuttin’ up!

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~ by rvkeeper on March 23, 2011.

 
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