Trainspotting with You Am I

Our love for Australian rock legends You Am I is well documented. CDs, cassettes, records, scarves, beer, chilli sauce, patient wives, you name it, we have it.

It is likely clear to anyone who has listened to a You Am I record or been to a live show that messrs Rogers, Kent, Hopkinson and Lane are true lovers and students of rock and roll. Their songs are littered with references to other bands.

So here you go, from 1991 to 1998. A musical education through You Am I. Let us know what we missed! We will be following this up with an ep/post about their later albums soon.


The album itself

  • Dedicated to Stephen 'Goose' Gray from Sydney band Box The Jesuit
  • Produced by Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth
  • Recorded in Pachyderm Studios where PJ Harvey and Nirvana (amongst many others) recorded at the time

The lyrical references:

  • And how long can we talk about Mick and Keith / "Bayou Country" or "Exile On Main Street"?
  • You turned my head from a rock into a burning bush / With a chord, call, or Leon tape you'd push.

The referenced:

  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
  • Bayou Country, Creedence Clearwater Revival's second studio record
  • Exile On Main Street, The Rolling Stones tenth studio record
  • American musician and songwriter, Leon Russell

The song title reference: the song title itself, Jammie's Got A Gal

The referenced: Aerosmith's 1989 single Janie's Got A Gun

The lyrical reference: Dresses like Lee Marvin / Dances like Dave Graney.

The referenced: Seminal Australian musician Dave Graney.

The Covers

  • The Who - I Can't Explain taken from the Berlin Chair single
  • Mighty Kong - All I Want To Do Is Rock taken from the Berlin Chair single
  • The Beatles - I'm So Tired taken from the Jaimme's Got A Gal single
  •  The Who - Young Man Blues, taken from the 2013 Superunreal Edition of Sound As Ever






The album itself

  • The cover art by Australian artist Simon Alderson is inspired by this promotional poster for the Beatles White Album
  • Recorded in New York shortly after finishing a US Tour with Soundgarden

The lyrical reference: Fell asleep to the line / Lyle sung "She's made up her mind"

The referenced: American country singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett and his 1992 track She's Already Made Up Her Mind.

The lyrical reference: Nineteen to twenty two / Just Nik, Jaimme, red wine and you / Into the Datsun and go / To another Massappeal show

The referenced: Australian hardcore punk band active between 1985 and 1994.

The song title reference: Cathy's Clown

The potential reference? The 1960 Everly Brothers song Cathy's Clown.

The guest appearance reference: Jon Auer from the Posies played Hammond Organ on the track

The Covers

  • Big Star - In The Street taken from the Cathy's Clown single
  • X - We're Desperate taken from the Purple Sneakers single
  • Chris Bell - You & Your Sister taken from the 2013 Superunreal Edition of Hi-Fi Way (previously on a RA records compilation)
  • The Beatles - Things We Said Today taken from the 2013 Superunreal edition of Hi-Fi Way
  • Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man taken from the 2013 Superunreal edition of Hi-Fi Way
  • BONUS! Live cover of the Vaselines Molly's Lips covered in 1994 according to
  • BONUS QUOTE! 'I think I busted a button on my trousers'. Reference to Mick Jagger from the 1970 Rolling Stones live record Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out from the 1995 You Am I Triple J Live At The Wireless performance


The album itself

  • Mixed by David Bianco who also did work for Scottish alternative rock band Teenage Fanclub whose track The Concept the band would later cover
  • Conceptual and musical nods and winks to the Pretty Things - SF Sorrow and the The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

The unintentional musical reference: The 1992 XTC tune Senses Working Overtime

The Covers

  • The Smoke - My Friend Jack from the Mr Milk single
  • The Easybeats - I'll Make You Happy from the Good Mornin' single
  • The Mummies - (You Must Fight To Live) On The Planet Of The Apes from the Good Mornin' single
  • The Who - Circles from the Tuesday single
  • Bob Dylan - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You from the Tuesday single 
  • The Move - I Can Hear The Grass Grow from the Trike EP
  • The New York Dolls - There's Gonna Be A Showdown from the Trike EP
  • The Easybeats - She's So Fine from the Hourly Daily bonus disc Beat Party
  • The Creation - Makin' Time from the Hourly Daily bonus disc Beat Party
  • Iggy & The Stooges - Search & Destroy from the Hourly Daily bonus disc Beat Party
  • The Beatles - You Can't Do that from the 2013 Superunreal Edition of Hourly Daily
  • The Clash - Janie Jones from the Recovery! Hits From the Back Door compilation
  • BONUS! Live covers around this time of the following tracks according to
    • The Rolling Stones - Last Time
    • Big Star - September Gurls
    • Little Richard - The Girl Can't Help It
    • The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Woman


The album itself

  • The album title is undoubtedly a reference to the first Big Star record #1 Record
  • Recorded during July 1997 at Hollywood's Sunset Studios in America where the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street was mixed
  • Produced by George Drakoulias who worked with the band previously on the Trike EP and had previously worked with Tom Petty, the Black Crowes and Primal Scream amongst others

The lyrical reference: A Bo Diddley walk a no more messing round the block / A seventeen watts is a all of what you got / So take me out and mess me 'round

The referenced: American blues and rock and roll legend Bo Diddley

The lyrical references

  • Static engine blow the scene a rumble in the old machine / R. A. D. I. O. / Ah hit me just like Lionel Rose
  • R. A. D. I. O. / A rumble in the old machine / Ronnie James D. I. O.
  • Fell down like Bocephus under all the noise and grease / Automatic mono-style rip me up, monkey style 

The Referenced

  • Lionel Rose the Australia boxer who had a brief singing career in the 1970s
  • Ronnie James Dio the famous Heavy Metal singer who performed with Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell and DIO
  • Bocephus - We really aren't sure on this one, but it may relate to Hank Williams Jr?

The lyrical reference: But its only a 2 AM tune / With a bridge lifted from "My Aim Is True"

The referenced: My Aim Is True is the debut album by English musician Elvis Costello

The guest appearance reference: Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers (Tommy Petty's not Johnny Thunder's) played a solo on Come Home With Me

The Covers

  • The Pretty Things - Midnight To Six Man from the Heavy Heart single
  • The Easybeats - She's So Fine from the Heavy Heart single
  • The Rolling Stones - Live With Me from the #4 Record Bonus disc Radio Settee
  • New York Dolls - Looking For A Kiss from the #4 Record Bonus disc Radio Settee
  • The Sweet - Fox On The Run from the #4 Record Bonus disc Radio Settee
  • Swinging Blue Jeans/The Beatles - Hippy Hippy Shake
  • Ramones/Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers - Chinese Rock