I’ve always loved that song, it has great lyrics…
Sanitation expert and a maintenance engineer
Garbage man, a janitor and you my dear
A real union flight attendant, my oh my
You ain’t nothing but a waitress in the sky
But as the blog post explains, Replacements leader Paul Westerberg wasn’t channeling his own inner rude passenger when he wrote it:
In Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys, he explains that the song was actually inspired by stories songwriter Paul Westerberg heard from his sister Julie, a flight attendant. “I was playing the character of the creep who demands to be treated like a king,” Westerberg told Mehr. “I’d heard all the stories from my sister about how [passengers] would yell at the flight attendants and then how they’d ‘accidentally’ spill something on them.”
Now Paul’s sister has retired after four decades of putting up with all manner of passenger problems. I’m sure the stories would be even worse if Paul wrote the song today.
Congrats Julie… and thanks for sharing your stories with Paul, so he could share them with us.