Robyn Hitchcock Song Catalogue

(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs        Lyrics |  Tab |  Gigs |  New Search

Author: Robyn Hitchcock

Released on 6 records:

Olť! Tarantula, 2006  (CD)  Belmore Bel 016
Embryo Twirl (Olť! Tarantula bonus disc), 2006  (CD single)  Yep Roc Yep 2804
Olť! Tarantula, 2006  (CD)  Proper
Olť! Tarantula, 2006  (CD)  Oak Tree DDCJ5007
Olť! Tarantula, 2006  (CD)  Yep Roc YEP 2129
Obliteration Pie, 2005  (CD)  Oak Tree DDCJ5003

Robyn Hitchcock Says: CK: .. youíve been doing "Briggs" in concert for a number of
years now -

RH: Have I?

CK: - so how do you know when songs are ready to be on albums?

RH: Well, I did record it before, about three years ago on Peterís roof,
and it was Scott and Peter. It wasnít quite right - it went on a
Japanese album, which isnít out anywhere except Japan. And we had
another go at it this year, and it just felt like it was ready. "Briggs"
has rather a long introduction when we do it live, to set the scene, so
Iím reluctant to do it every time, because it involves explaining the
plot of "Magnum Force." Are you familiar with "Magnum Force"?

CK: Yes. How did you come to write a song about "Magnum Force"?

RH: Well, because it was saturation. Iíd never sought "Magnum Force" out
- it was just a movie that kept being on. In fact, I only saw it from
the beginning for the first time last year, I think. So many times
without planning to that I began to - what had been something I was
indifferent to became a sort of minor obsession. I would start seeking
it out. I remember watching it in German once. And I began to sort of
remember bits of it - obviously the catchphrase is, "a manís gotta know
his limitations" or "a good man always knows his limitations." I
actually misremembered it, because I thought at the very end Callahan
says, when Briggs explodes in his car at the end, Callahan says, "A
manís gotta know his limitations, Briggs." But actually he says, "A
manís gotta know his limitations" - thereís no "Briggs." But it canít be
helped. Have you seen "Capricorn One"?

CK: Not in a long time.

RH: I saw that the other night, and Hal Holbrook, who plays Briggs, is
also in that playing another duplicitous authority figure. Heís even
more creepy, in a way.

CK: And O.J. Simpson is an astronaut, as I recall.

RH: Oh, isnít he - O.J. certainly is an astronaut.

CK: A long career in the NFL gets you ready to be an astronaut.

RH: Ah - what in the NFL?

CK: Football.

RH: Oh, was he a footballer originally?

CK: Yeah, originally.

RH: And now heís not guilty.

CK: And now heís most definitely not guilty, except in some states. [laughs]

RH: Oh really?

CK: I donít know.

RH: Heís disappeared, hasnít he?

CK: Well, he they wanted him to pay X amount of money to people, and as
with most things when youíre asked to pay that kind of money, you
disappear for a while off the radar [laughs] - and hope that people forget.

RH: Yeah.. still, Nixon was rehabilitated.

CK: True. Well.. I was going to say that Nixon didnít kill anybody, but I
suppose thatís -

RH: He had other people to do it for him. [laughs]

CK: Itís a question of complicity, I suppose.

RH: So O.J. may have killed a couple of people with his own hands, and
that doesnít make him a good person, but itís pretty small-fry compared
to what Nixon did, or what Bush is doing or what Tony Blair is doing, or
what Saddam Hussein did - you know, all those people.

CK: Itís a question of scale.

RH: Itís a question of scale. One of the scales is that each one seems
to make the other ones seem more likable. Reagan made Nixon seem sort of
smart and compassionate, and Bush makes Reagan seem like .. oh, St.
Augustine or something. Or Descartes or something might be a better
analogy. You just shudder to think who theyíre going to come up with
next, who will debase the noble office of president. Not that theyíve
all been - have you seen that new film "Bobby"? [about the assassination
of Robert Kennedy]

CK: No, I donít think itís actually out here yet.

RH: Oh really?

CK: I donít think so.

RH: Iíve read about it.

CK: I think they were showing it at the Toronto Film Festival, and I
think itís coming out this fall sometime. That will be an interesting
movie to see.

RH: Iíd like to see that, yeah. Have you seen Jonathan Demmeís Neil
Young film?

CK: No, I havenít.

RH: I would like to. I know thereís a screening tomorrow, but I canít
get to it. That was done in Nashville. I know that Gillian and David
went along to that. I donít know - thereís always so much to see.

CK: And only so many hours in the day, I imagine.

RH: I need to get Expander Day with Infinite Hours - "Now your day can
be just as long, but contain twice as much with new Time Expander" -

CK: Wow!

RH: "Thatís right, pay nothing or money back if not fully guaranteed."

CK: Where do I get me one of those? Iíd like to fit more into my day.

RH: Probably eBay or Amazon, I suspect.

CK: [laughs] Like on TV: "Only $19.95."

RH: "Only $19.95."

CK: "But wait, thereís more!"

RH: "All you can eat - time!"

[September, 2006]

thanks to Chris Kocher, Gannett News Service for the interview excerpt


A man's gotta know his limitations, Briggs
Or he will just explode
You lived in your imagination, Briggs
You blew up in the road
And I'm talking to you
And to you over there
And to you over there

You were riding in your car in San Francisco
You were riding through the weather and the rain
You were riding in your car in San Francisco
But you're never gonna ride that way again

A girl's got to know her situation, Clint
Or she will just move on
(She will just move on)
So if you have some information
Squint through the keyhole
Or down the barrel of your gun
And I'm talking to you
and I'm listening too
so you've got no excuse

I was riding in your car in San Francisco
I was riding through the weather and the rain
I was riding in your car in San Francisco
But I'm never gonna ride with you again

A boy's gotta go just where you put him, Mel
Or he will turn to steel
And if he does you must forget him, Mel
Unless you want him crawling through your dream
And I'm talking to you
I can talk
I can hear
Well what more do you want?

We were riding in your car in San Francisco
We were riding through the weather and the rain
(Weather and the rain)
Riding in your car in San Francisco
But we're never gonna ride that way again

We've all got a Briggs in us
Somewhere down the road
(Somewhere down the road)
I don't know about you folks but
This Briggs will explode

A man's gotta know his limitations, Briggs

No guitar tab entered.

Known to have been played live at 32 gigs:

Robyn Hitchcock:
Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh, Scotland UK), 8/4/2001 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock, Mike Mills,: Dingwall's (London, England UK), 11/11/2001 Scott McCaughey, Ken Stringfellow, Kimberley Rew (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Smith's Olde Bar (Atlanta, Georgia US), 4/8/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Bottom Line (New York, New York US), 4/12/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Park West (Chicago, Illinois US), 4/16/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: KEXP (Seattle, Washington US), 4/18/2002 (Radio)
Robyn Hitchcock: Crocodile Cafť (Seattle, Washington US), 4/21/2002 Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch, Tad Hutchinson, more (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Great American Music Hall (San Francisco, California US), 4/23/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Largo (West Hollywood, California US), 4/27/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: The Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto, Canada), 7/24/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Assembly Rooms - The Supper Room (Edinburgh, Scotland UK), 8/13/2002 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Largo (West Hollywood, California US), 11/7/2002 with Jon Brion, Grant Lee Phillips (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England UK), 3/2/2003 Tim Keegan, Kimberley Rew, Deni Bonet, Peter Blegvad, more (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: KPSU (Portland, Oregon US), 11/12/2003 w/ Scott McCaughey (Radio)
Robyn Hitchcock: Aladdin Theatre (Portland, Oregon US), 11/12/2003 w/ Scott McCaughey (Concert) w/Scott McCaughey, Bison Flavor
Robyn Hitchcock: Easy Street (Seattle, Washington US), 11/14/2003 w/ Scott McCaughey (In-Store)
Robyn Hitchcock: Crocodile Cafť (Seattle, Washington US), 11/15/2003 w/ Minus 5 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Maxwell's (Hoboken, New Jersey US), 1/9/2004 Ira Kaplan (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Hattie's Hoot (Austin, Texas US), 3/20/2004 w/ Ken Stringfellow, John Wesley Harding "The Threepiece Sweet" (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle, Washington US), 9/4/2004 Sean Nelson, Scott McCaughey (Concert) w/ Sean Nelson, Scott McCaughey
Robyn Hitchcock: Southpaw (Brooklyn, New York US), 3/25/2005 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Schuba's (Chicago, Illinois US), 3/31/2005 (Concert) acoustic
Robyn Hitchcock: Crystal Ballroom (Portland, Oregon US), 9/8/2005 Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Bill Rieflin (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock & Minus 3: Rescue Rooms (Nottingham, England UK), 1/21/2006 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock & Minus 3: Scala (London, England UK), 1/25/2006 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock & Minus 3: Fleece and Firkin (Bristol, England UK), 1/26/2006 w/ Morris Windsor (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock & Minus 3: Phoenix (Exeter, England UK), 1/27/2006 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock with Minus 5: Coach House (San Juan Capistrano, California US), 2/24/2006 (Concert) w/ Minus 3
Robyn Hitchcock with Minus 5: Slim's (San Francisco, California US), 2/27/2006 (Concert) electric w/ Minus 3
Robyn Hitchcock with Minus 5: Crocodile Cafť (Seattle, Washington US), 3/4/2006 (Concert) w/ The Minus Five
Robyn Hitchcock & Venus 3: FAB (Tokyo, Japan), 10/7/2006 w/ The Minus 5 & Morgan Fisher (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock & Venus 3: The Gov (Adelaide, Australia), 10/14/2006 w/ The Minus 5 (Concert)

From now on, sort gigs by:  Date  Performer  Type of Appearance 

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