Are you guys reissuing Hey Stoopid?

I'm not in control of what goes on at the record companies. I hear all the time that they're reissuing this and repackaging that. If I tried to keep up with that, I'd spend all my time worrying about that. I have people in my organization who work on that. I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me to tell me the song "Hey Stoopid" kept them from committing suicide. Then I just go "Wow!" You don't realize when you write a song how it's going to affect people, even though that song is an antisuicide song.

That was your goal with that song then?

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Well, there was a rash of teenage suicides. I kept going, "If your best friend said to you, 'I'm going to kill myself,' you'd go, 'Hey, stupid, what are you doing?' " You wouldn't say, "Hey, Janice, I don't think that's a good idea." I wanted to talk to the audience that way. I wanted to talk to teenagers: "Hey, stupid, what are you trying to do? If you do this, they win. Whomever was causing your problems wins." At the time, I thought maybe 10 percent of the audience got it. They liked it 'cause it was a good rock song, but apparently a lot of people listened to those lyrics. It was effective.

Is that the song that's gotten you the most feedback from your audience?

I think so. You hear people all the time say, "Boy, 'I'm Eighteen' came out when I was 18. I was confused, I was a mess, and this and that. And when you said, 'I'm 18, and I like it,' it was like saying, 'It's OK to be 18, and it's OK to be a mess, because when you're 18, you're allowed to be a mess. You're not alone. You're on the lunatic fringe, and it's OK to be on the lunatic fringe."

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