Loudon Wainwright III, “Motel Blues”

"The idea that a guy would write a song about getting laid, and joke about it, was provocative in 1971."

Loudon Wainwright III is best known for his song “Dead Skunk,” which did well on the charts in 1972 and revealed him to be a writer of uncommon literacy and wit. Because of this song he gained a following that has been with him for nearly half a century now, but those who have stayed with him since those days haven’t been doing it via the radio, because the airwaves haven’t been kind to him. But he has still enjoyed a healthy career, recording some two dozen albums and placing his music (as well as his face) in numerous movies and television shows. One song that may have been considered a little racy decades ago, but has a loyal audience even today, is “Motel Blues” from Wainwright’s second album titled, appropriately, Album II. A song that practically any travelling musician who’s ever lived can identify with, “Motel Blues” is a song about a lonely picker in a strange town who is looking for a post-show date. The word “blues” never actually appears in any of the song’s three verses and there is no chorus, but none is really needed. Each verse almost tells a story by itself and can stand…

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started an American Songwriter membership! Click here to learn more.