Southwestern Territory


Beat the Champ


April 7, 2015



Next Track

"The Legend of Chavo Guerrero"

Southwestern Territory is the first song on Beat the Champ. It also appears as the eighth song on the 2020 live album The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Small screen, July evening view
Up and down Grand Avenue
Where the legends get made
Out with the boys' brigade
Part of the motorcade
Flew home from Texas last night
Slept on the flight
Work like a dog all day
Born to chase cars away
Die on the road someday
I try to remember what life was like long ago
But it's gone, you know
Climb the turnbuckle high
Take two falls out of three
Blackout for local TV

Stand in that cold empty hall
Wait for your name to get called
Burn like hillsides on fire
In the squall of the ringside choir
High as a wire
Nearly drive Danny's nose back into his brain
All the cheap seats go insane
Keep my eyes open and try to think straight
No one drives on the 60 this late
Feel like the last person alive
Francisquito to Glenshaw Drive
I try to remember to write in the diary
That my son gave me
Climb the turnbuckle high
Take two falls out of three
Blackout for local TV

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[edit | edit source]

  • "This is a song about the days of the regional territories in professional wrestling, and I explain this for the people who didn't say 'yeah'. Wrestling became big business when the regional territories got consolidated. Before that, it was strictly a working-class sport. It was very cheap to go to the wrestling matches. You could take your whole family for a twenty-dollar bill. And, uh, there weren't, like, you know, you know these scripted promos with giant spotlights and stuff where people stand on a big stage and fireworks go off after they say their catch line and everything? There was none of that, right, it was like, dudes, nearly naked dudes, and then there was usually one women's match per evening, uh, The Fabulous Moolah was the king- queen of all wrestling women, but they were, um, you know, they would give these interviews with a microphone much like the one I'm speaking into, right, there'd be one guy standing and saying, you know, 'So what do you intend to do this week,' he'd say, 'I will murder anyone who stands in my way, Jeff, and I hope everybody comes down to the Cow Palace this weekend to see just what I will do to Greg Valentine.' There was no way, there was no way that you could miss that these were just working stiffs, right. They were just dudes -- I find a job washing dishes, they find a job throwing each other onto the mat, it's the same basic deal. Uh, it was incredibly compelling to me. This is called 'Southwestern Territory'." -- 2014-06-15 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA

Things Referenced in this Song[edit | edit source]

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[edit | edit source]

Videos of this Song[edit | edit source]

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