Right Place, Wrong Time (song)

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"Right Place, Wrong Time"
Right Place, Wrong Time - Dr. John.jpg
Single by Dr. John
from the album In the Right Place
B-side"I Been Hoodood"
ReleasedApril 1973
Songwriter(s)Mac Rebennack
Producer(s)Allen Toussaint
Dr. John singles chronology
"Iko Iko"
"Right Place, Wrong Time"
"Such a Night"

"Right Place, Wrong Time" is a song by American musician Dr. John. It was the first single from his sixth album, In the Right Place and became his biggest hit single.

During the summer of 1973, the song peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It is ranked as the 24th biggest hit of 1973. In Canada, the song reached number six.[1]

A verse lyric from the song ("Just need a little brain salad surgery/got to cure my insecurity") was the inspiration for the title of the album Brain Salad Surgery by the English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, replacing the working title of Whip Some Skull on Yer.[2] Both titles are slang expressions for fellatio.[3][4]


The Meters
Additional personnel

Chart history[edit]

Use in media[edit]

"Right Place, Wrong Time" was included in the soundtrack of the 2000 comedy film Lucky Numbers. The song was featured in an episode of American Horror Story: Coven, an episode of That 70’s Show and in the movies Dazed and Confused and Fun with Dick and Jane (2005). In 2008, the song was included in How I Met Your Mother's fourth season ending "Right place, right time". It also appeared over the opening credits in the film Sahara, as well as the trailer for the second season of Fargo. The song was included in the soundtrack to the 2010 video game Skate 3. Also included in Black Lightning (S3:E7). The songs intro was sampled by Dr. Dre and used in the intro to the movie Deep Cover

Cover versions[edit]

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion covered the song, releasing it on Acme Plus, the UK version of Xtra-Acme USA. This version appeared on the Scream 2 soundtrack, and the film's title, together with the names of stars Neve Campbell and Jada Pinkett, can be heard shouted several times during the song's intro.

The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies covered the song on their album Magnolia (Capricorn Records, 1996).

James Booker covered the song on his album Gonzo: Live 1976 as a medley with "Desitively Bannaroo".

Dave Matthews Band covered the song with special guests Preservation Hall Jazz Band as a tribute to Dr. John, following his death, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on July 5, 2019.

BB King and Bonnie Raitt covered the song for the soundtrack to the film Air America.


  1. ^ a b "Canada RPM Weekly, July 7, 1973". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  2. ^ Marchese, Joe (2014-07-31). "Razor and Tie Revisits Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" For 40th Anniversary". The Second Disc. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  3. ^ Emerson, Lake & Palmer (March 2, 1992). "Emerson, Lake & Palmer ROCKLINE Interview Part 1". Rockline (Interview). Interviewed by Bob Coburn. Rockline.
  4. ^ Emerson, Lake & Palmer (June 22, 1992). "Emerson Lake & Palmer In The Studio - Brain Salad Surgery". In the Studio with Redbeard (Interview). Interviewed by Redbeard. Dallas: In the Studio with Redbeard.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  7. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 7/07/73". Tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  8. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (February 8, 2017). "Image:RPM Weekly".
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 6 June 2019.

External links[edit]