Gay Bar (song)

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"Gay Bar"
Single by Electric Six
from the album Fire
Released 2 June 2003
Format CD, DVD, 7"
Recorded 2001
Genre Glam rock, comedy rock, dance-punk, hard rock
Length 2:20
Label XL
Electric Six singles chronology
"Danger! High Voltage"
"Gay Bar"
"Dance Commander"

"Gay Bar" is a song performed by the Detroit-based rock band Electric Six, and written by their lead singer, Tyler Spencer (whose band pseudonym is Dick Valentine). It was the second single off their debut album, Fire released in 2003.

According to Spencer/Valentine, the idea for the song came up from incorrectly hearing the lyrics of DEVO's "Girl U Want" as "just a girl, just a girl at a gay bar" while the song was playing in a very loud nightclub. (The actual lyric is "She's just the girl, she's just the girl, the girl you want".)[citation needed]

While both the song and music video received significant airplay, various lyrics mentioning war were edited due to their possibly offensive nature since the song made its air debut at the start of the Iraq War.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire, was recorded in April 2003 at a movie studio in Toronto, Canada. The video depicts a series of Abraham Lincoln ('Gaybraham') look-alikes in the White House, portrayed primarily by the band's lead singer Dick Valentine, but stand-ins were used for some scenes.[1] Various Freudian phallic images appear throughout the video, such as a bell, a train entering a tunnel, a hamster running through a tube, and so on.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Gay Bar"
  2. "Don't Be Afraid of the Robot"
  3. "Take Off Your Clothes"


  1. "Gay Bar" video
  2. "Gay Bar (Peaches remix)"
  3. "Rock Show"


  1. "Gay Bar"
  2. "The Living End"


The song was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.[2]

Won Video of the Year award (2003) from both Kerrang and Q magazine.[1]


In the clean version of the song, the words "nuclear" and "war" (in the line "let's start a war, start a nuclear war") are cut out and a whip lash sound is used instead.

A Japanese radio version exists in which the same lyrics are replaced with "let's do an edit, do a radio edit".[3]


Canadian electronic musician Peaches covered the song as a bonus track for her album Fatherfucker.[4]

The Bosshoss played a cover of the song during their 2010 "Low Voltage" tour.[5] A studio version was released in their album Stallion Battalion.

Austrian band Harpia Deiis covered the song live as a recording in the studio in September 2012 and released it in December 2013.[6]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Parody video[edit]

The song was used in a parody video shortly after the beginning of the Iraq War. The video is a mash up of clips featuring George W. Bush and Tony Blair, edited to look like they are apparently singing the song to each other by cutting the clips at different points so their mouths match up. The original video was distributed on many forums and imageboards as a Flash file, and it had become a viral video long before the advent of YouTube, where it has been uploaded several times. The original uploads have been removed due to copyright claims from the band, with one remaining version having more than 785,000 hits.[8]


Chart (2003) Peak
UK Singles Chart[9] 5


  1. ^ a b "Electric Six". Archived from the original on 2006-10-27. 
  2. ^ "Kerrang! awards 2003: The nominations". BBC. 2003-08-06. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  3. ^ Video on YouTube Retrieved 2013-03-29.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Video on YouTube Retrieved 2013-01-19
  8. ^ Video on YouTube Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  9. ^ Retrieved 2010-05-11.

External links[edit]