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06/20/2005

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billy bonka

Where are these taken?

very metal

Not here, I can tell you that. Smart money would be on San Francisco.

billy bonka

Dear Very:

Please explain to me the meaning of the song "Mr. Roboto." I heard it yesterday for the first time all the way through and it confused me.

Sincerely,

B.Bonka

very metal

Here you go, Bonka -- lyrics and interpretation thereof, straight from the (unofficial) horses' mouth:

Mr. Roboto Written by Dennis DeYoung/ Lead Vocals by Dennis DeYoung

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

You're wondering who I am-machine or mannequin
With parts made in Japan, I am the modren man

I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain I.B.M.
So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
I'm just a man who needed someone, and somewhere to hide
To keep me alive-just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

I'm not a robot without emotions-I'm not what you see
I've come to help you with your problems, so we can be free
I'm not a hero, I'm not a saviour, forget what you know
I'm just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control
Beyond my control-we all need control
I need control-we all need control

I am the modren man, who hides behind a mask
So no one else can see my true identity

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For helping me escape just when I needed to
Thank you-thank you, thank you
I want to thank you, please, thank you

The problem's plain to see: too much technology
Machines to save our lives. Machines dehumanize.

The time has come at last
To throw away this mask
So everyone can see
My true identity...
I'm Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy!

Interpretation
[From the album liner notes:]

The Past
Dr. Everett Righteous, founder and leader of the MMM, (The Majority for Musical Morality) became influential in American politics through the use of his own cable T.V. network. He spoke about the evils of rock 'n' roll music, and how its permissive attitudes were responsible for the moral and economic decline of America. He was charismatic, entertaining, and above all, he understood the media. The MMM soon gained enough power to have rock 'n' roll banned.

Rober Orin Charles Kilroy was a world famous rock 'n' roll star. As this new law was passed, Kilroy and his band were finishing a national tour. Their last performance, at the Paradise Theatre, would serve as the test case. On the night of the concert, as Kilroy played to a packed house, the MMM marched in and stormed the stage. When it was over, a MMM protester was dead...Kilroy was convicted of murder and sent to a prison ship with other rock 'n' roll mistfits...

The Present
...is a future where Japanese manufactured robots, designed to work cheaply and endlessley, are the caretakers of society. "Mr. Robotos" are everywhere, serving as manual labor in jobs that were once held by humans.

Dr. Righteous enforces his own morality by holding nightly rallies where crowds hurl rock 'n' roll records and electric guitars into huge bonfires...Jonathan Chance, the rebel leader of an underground movement to bring back rock 'n' roll, has made Kilroy the symbol of his cause. Meanwhile, Kilroy has spent a number of years in prison. With no hope of release, he is subjected to the humiliation of mind control via the MMM cable network. In an attempt to contact Kilroy, Jonathan jams the airwaves of the MM network, replacing a mind control session with outlawed footage of a Kilroy concert. Inspired by Jonathan's message, Kilroy plots his escape. Late one night, he makes a daring attept to free himself by overpowering a Roboto guard. Disguised as a Roboto Kilroy moves freely throughout the city leaving graffiti coded messages for Jonathan. Jonathan discovers the "Rock Code" which leads him to the old Paradise Theatre, now the site of Dr. Righteous' Museum of Rock Pathology. There he sees the last Kilroy concert mechanically depicted by Kilroy look-alike robots as the violent end of rock 'n' roll...and there, he and Kilroy meet for the first time.

This song tells of Kilroy's escape from prison disguised as a Roboto. It exposes the thoughts in Kilroy's mind during his escape, as he reflects on the irony of his circumstances.

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