Why Bother?

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"Why Bother?"
Why Bother? cover
Album track by Weezer
Album Pinkerton
Released September 24, 1996
Recorded August 27, 1995 at Electric Lady Studios (NYC), September 1995 at Fort Apache
Length 2:08
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 184
Producer Weezer
Status Released
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
(RC# 183)
"No Other One"
(RC# 184)
"I'm Lonely on a Saturday Night"
(RC# 185)
Pinkerton track listing
"No Other One"
"Why Bother?"
"Across the Sea"

"Why Bother?" is the fourth track on Pinkerton.


MP3 Previews

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"Why Bother?" is a song written about not having any desire to approach a girl because one knows that in the end they will be dumped and sad. In the song, Rivers says that he would "rather keep whacking" than approach a girl he only lusted after. In the second verse, however, Rivers sarcastically proclaims that they could get together so she can break his heart. In the final verse, Rivers begs to be hit on the head.

Brian Bell performed the guitar solo on the song, marking the first time that solo duties were not handled by Rivers - although Rivers does join in at the end of the solo, in harmony with Brian. Bell also performed the guitar solo in "El Scorcho".

The song may have been originally intended to be a single. Initial pressings of Pinkerton have a sticker on the shrink wrap listing its singles (as is the norm in the recording industry), and "Why Bother?" is included.

Live versions

A live version recorded during the Enlightenment Tour in 2002 was released as the lead track of a 2003 double seven-inch compilation with three other bands. The record set was released as a benefit to help cover medical bills for that dog.'s Petra Haden, a longtime friend of the band who had recently been in a serious car accident.

In 2005 and up until 2009, "Why Bother?" is typically performed with Bell singing lead vocals. A 2005 version is found as a part of the live material on the Japanese Red Album bonus DVD. The lyrics, "Not somethin' real so I'd rather keep wackin'," are sung by Bell as "...you better start packin'." Eventually, in 2009, Cuomo would again take lead vocals on the song, with the "packin'" line retained until later in the year when the original lyric was restored.

Another live version, recorded in Tribeca at the PC Richard and Son Theater, was released on the 2010 EP ...Happy Record Store Day!.

Black Hole connection

"Why Bother?" was written around the time that Songs from the Black Hole was being written. It was apparently intended for the album at some point, but Karl Koch notes that he is not sure where it would have fit. The song likely deals with Jonas' relationship problems with Maria and Laurel, as much of Songs From the Black Hole does.

"Why Bother?" was also a section of the "Longtime Sunshine" coda. In this version, "Why Bother?" was "recorded on top of it to create a cool overlapping medley, with the different songs vocal parts meshing together" (Karl). Karl said of it, "I think Rivers was trying to emulate a technique used in classical music, where all the major elements of a musical piece are briefly recalled at the end."




I know I should get next to you
You got a look that makes me think you're cool
But it's just sexual attraction
Not somethin' real so I'd rather keep wackin'

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore

I've known a lot of girls before
What's the harm in knowin' one more?
Maybe we could even get together
Maybe you could break my heart next summer

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore

It's a crying shame I'm all alone
Not with you, nor her, nor anyone
Won't you knock me on my head
Crack it open let me outta here.

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore

See also

External Links

Teenage Victory Songs entry for "Why Bother?"