Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

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"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.jpg
Single by Primus
from the album Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Released 1991
Genre Funk metal, progressive rock, experimental rock
Length 3:11
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Claypool/LaLonde/Alexander
Producer(s) Primus
Primus singles chronology
"Mr. Knowitall"
"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"
"Tommy the Cat"
Music video
"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" on YouTube

"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" is the first single of Primus's 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese. The song tells the stories of two characters, Jerry, an ill-fated race car driver who collides with a telephone pole while driving intoxicated (hence the use of "was", in the title) and Captain Pierce, a retired fireman. The band created a music video for the track.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" – 3:11


"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" was the second Primus single, after "John the Fisherman" from 1990's indie release Frizzle Fry.

"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" received heavy airplay on rock radio, and peaked at number 23 on the Modern Rock Tracks in 1991. The song features a sample of Bill Moseley's character Chop Top from the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, chuckling to himself then remarking: "Dog will hunt!"

"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" appeared in the first Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game, as well as the first ATV Offroad Fury video game, and in The Bigs video game.[1] The song is included in Rock Band 3.

Music video[edit]

A music video was also created for the song. The video begins with Bob Cock getting an order of nachos at an arcade, only to drop them after a collision with Larry LaLonde on a skateboard once outside. The rest of the video cuts between scenes of the band playing an out-of-control gig in a small club (Phoenix Theater), shots of the nachos being zoomed into, and race car footage. Some of the early race car footage was filmed at the Petaluma Speedway, a few blocks away from the Phoenix Theater. At the end, the camera zooms in on the cheese, and there is a claymation segment which features many of the creatures on the cover of the Sailing the Seas of Cheese album, then zooms back out to the cheese, where a pit bull eats/sniffs it, closing the video. The band would return to claymation for the "Southbound Pachyderm" video years later.

In the video, Les Claypool's Rainbow Bass can be seen without its upper horn - this is because the bass was not balanced well, which caused Les to send it back to get its signature scroll horn attached. The video was created before the modification of the bass. The video became an MTV favorite at the time.


Chart (1991) Peak
US Billboard Alternative Songs 23


  1. ^ "THPS Soundtrack Info - Planet Tony Hawk". Retrieved 2013-03-09. 

External links[edit]