RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#420: Walk With Meat
Everybody loves misheard lyrics! “’Scuse me while I kiss this guy.” There are entire books available with nothing but commonly misheard lyrics. My dad used to think Gene Simmons was singing “a beach creature in the Ladies Room” on that Kiss classic from Rock N’ Roll Over. Misheard lyrics can be embarrassing when caught singing along, but also fun.
Perhaps some lyrics are not misheard at all. Perhaps some are intentional?
My good friend Uncle Meat pointed out a good one on Queenryche’s 1986 track “Walk in the Shadows”. This opening song from the amazing Rage For Order album has remained a fan-favourite over the years. Its progressive-rock-meets-technology vibe was very new for the time, though it was skeptically met by fans of pure guitar rock. As much as Rage For Order broke new musical ground, it was also quite complex lyrically. I even studied some of the songs (“Neue Regel”, “Chemical Youth”, and “Surgical Strike”) for a highschool English project. But what was Geoff Tate saying in the lyrics?
What? You say you’re through with me,
I’m not through with you,
We’ve had what others might call love.
Only mildly disturbing. Sounds like a clingy ex-lover who can’t face that his relationship is over.
You say it’s over now,
What’s done, what’s through?
You can’t stay away, you need me,
I need you.
Again, still clingy and slightly desperate. Nothing of any depth or hidden meaning though. It’s all right there on the page. But wait….
Ow! You got to stay with me…(Walk with me)
Oooh! Walk in the shadows (Walk with MEAT),
Walk in the shadows (Walk with me),
Ahhh, yeah! Walk in the shadows, WOO! (Walk with MEAT),
Walk in the shadows (Walk with me),
Ah, ahh, ahhhhh! Walk in the shadows (Walk with MEAT),
Walk with me!
Listen to the end of the song. You can clearly hear the “t” in “Meat” on every other line in the outro. Clearly! And notice how Geoff puts his emphasis and screams and fill-ins on the MEAT lines. He even threw in a “woo” there. How often do you hear Geoff Tate throwing “woos” into his lines? So what was Geoff Tate really trying to tell us on “Walk in the Shadows”?*
Analyzing the lyrics of the song, and digging into the album itself for more clues, I think I have finally figured out the true, hidden story behind “Walk in the Shadows” by Queensryche. The technological theme takes us into the future. That much is obvious from the album’s lyrics and concepts. “I only dream infrared,” and all the high-tech artificial intelligence hints at a future that had not existed in 1986. We are getting closer, but thankfully the robots haven’t revolted yet. Tate is obviously foretelling the future rather than singing about current events in 1986.
Some time in late ’85, when Geoff Tate was knee-deep in a vat of red wine, a bottle fell off his top shelf, hit him on the head and knocked him out cold. He awoke in a future that is still far away, even for us in 2015. The year is unknown – Geoff was still too loaded on wine to pick up a newspaper and read the date. However one thing is known – the future will be dominated by Uncle Meat. Tate wandered this future landscape for some time, and witnessed things that no-one would believe. His only option was to hide these warnings in the lyrics of a concept album. That album was Rage For Order. “Walk in the Shadows” was the opening song. That’s how Geoff Tate plays his cards — right there on the table.
“Walk in the shadows, walk with MEAT.” Geoff had seen a glimpse of our planet’s glorious future. Walk with him and you will see – the future is walking with MEAT. You couldn’t get any clearer. Once you hear that not-so-subtle “T” in “Meat”, the rest slowly reveals itself, like a puzzle with the edges already finished.
I for one welcome our new Meat overlord!
* There is no evidence to suggest a connection to the Joey Tempest Conspiracy (TM).
*^ This footnote is in no way an attempt to keep reminding you of the Joey Tempest Conspiracy (TM), in an effort to foreshadow future posts.
*^^ It actually is.