"Squeeze Box" is a song by The Who. It peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and number 16 in the USBillboard Hot 100. The song was also a number 1 hit in Australia and Canada and reached number 2 on the Irish charts. "Squeezebox" is a slang term for accordions and related instruments. The song's lyrics consist mostly of sexual innuendo ("She goes in and out and in and out", as an example). Written by Pete Townshend, the song was originally intended for a Who television special planned in 1974.
Pete Townshend did not think highly of the song, and was astonished at its chart success. "Intended as a poorly aimed dirty joke. I had bought myself an accordion and learned to play it one afternoon. The polka-esque rhythm I managed to produce from it brought forth this song. Amazingly recorded by The Who to my disbelief. Further incredulity was caused when it became a hit for us in the USA." Townshend once said.
The song was first performed live at the New Bingley Hall in Stafford on 3 October 1975, and remained in the set for the rest of the 1975–1976 tour, until drummer Keith Moon's final North American concert at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on 21 October 1976. The band later played it again in the last leg of the 1982 Tour. Townshend himself played the banjo on the track, as well as the accordion. The song was performed live again in 2014 during the The Who Hits 50! tour.
...Actually, that was Rikki’s idea. When we came into rehearsals...to break the ice for the new record...before we started fightin’ and arguin’ about songs, we went through a list of covers and remakes. ...It was the song that stuck and I think it fits perfectly for our band. It has a great melody and a great vocal, but it's also kinda sparse and undefined...it was kinda like an open palette for us.
An episode of Two and a Half Men which featured a spoof version of CSI, "Stiffs", used "Squeeze Box" as the theme song, parodying the practice of the CSI franchise of using songs by the Who as theme songs.