As I have said before, a lot of our music for “Handle With Care” was already written for other groups before we combined them into a single album. But a few of the tunes were written after I joined the band specifically for that recording session.
In other places on this site, I have mentioned “Angela” and “Any Words You Can Say” as songs that were original upon my arrival to Silver Laughter. “Look Again” was another as was “Working Man”.
Like Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” or Dire Straights’ “Money For Nothing”, our “Working Man” took a poke at the poor working guys who had to have day jobs while we took “the easy way out” by playing music. I came up with the bass riff to open the song. The idea for the title came to me after hearing Elton John’s “Rocket Man”. But instead of writing about a guy going into space, we thought singing about working guys was more appropriate… since we each used to be one of them! Ken did the lead vocal on this one.
I started my work experiences at 16 years old with a job at McDonald’s before they had indoor seating! I eventually got fired for not hustling enough. Looking at McDonald’s workers today, I see that hustling is no longer a requirement for this fast food restaurant!
As I have told you, later Jon, Ken and I all met when I worked as a janitor at the local department store, Peterson’s. And after Peterson’s manager, Mr. Webb, started hassling me about my long hair, I was lucky enough to land a job at the Post Office. All of this was before playing music made us any money. Yes, we were playing music evenings and weekends during those days… just not making any money at it. That wasn’t the goal. Getting girls was! But finally getting to spend time on the road and actually make money was very attractive to me when Silver Laughter called.
By the way, in 1976 when we wrote the line about “Working to pay off the national debt”, it was “only” about $654 billion (a billion is a thousand millions). Today that amount has ballooned to $16.5 trillion (a trillion is a million millions!). $17 trillion and counting in January 2014.