they tell me
that she’s somethin’
I know it
I don’t have to show it
one time she let me
drive her red corvette
but she won’t let me do that
they hate it
when they see us
I’m sure that they
are gonna kill us
all her friends say
that I’m second best
but she doesn’t talk to them
“I wanna iguana” she said
“I wanna climb on ya” she said
the world tell us
that we’re nothin’
as she whispers
that she loves me
she says it’s ok
if she wants a iguanaLyrics by Paul Friemel
then I’ll get her an iguana
Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is (Album Version) –
First Place Hits (Redux) –
|Written by:||Paul Friemel|
|Lead Vocal:||Paul Friemel|
|Back-up Vocal:||Shane Sikkema|
|Recorded at:||Reel Trax Recording – 5/13 – 5/20/2002 (Album Version)|
|Appears on:||Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is (Album Version)|
First Place Hits (Redux)
– Iguana is one of 2nd Best’s most lovable silly songs is still mentioned often by fans when bringing up the band.
– This was Paul’s first song he ever wrote, well, at least with lyrics. Hot off the heels of Hope and the band’s sudden hard left away from alternative rock towards the pop-punk style, Paul decided the band needed more of those types of songs.
– Iguana should serve as a stern warning to any budding song-writer of the dangers of scratch vocals. The initial demo take Paul recorded of the structure of the song for the rest of the band simply repeated the phrase “I wanna Iguana” over and over throughout the whole song. This was “just to make a rhyme with multiple syllables,” he told them. Low and behold, Paul’s girlfriend at the time, Corvetta, was in fact looking to procure a lizard as a pet, however this ended up being a bearded dragon and not a full-fledged iguana. It’s hard to know for sure which came first, the need for a reptile, or the sill rhyme but it was serendipitous enough to flesh out the song and leave the rhyme for the main chorus and the rest, as they say, is history.
– The words of the song are decently autobiographical, although embellished a bit. She did have a corvette, she did let Paul drive it on occasion, but there was never any ‘close-call’ while driving the car recklessly, as the opening verse of the song insinuates. The pair would drive around the Quad Cities in the flashy car, particularly along 23rd Avenue in Moline. This strip was kind of a hang-out area for ‘youths’ and young adults, with lots of seedy characters looking to drag race or cat call due to the car. There was never any specific death threat toward them though. The line is more about the visible disdain or jealousy the pair often would be the target of due to the ‘heat’ such a vehicle tends to be a magnet for. Friends of Paul’s girlfriend generally enjoyed his company and the section of the song about friends not liking him was completely made up… as far as anyone knows, at least!
– The lyrics of the chorus saying ‘climb on ya’ was often misconstrued as a reference for a sexual act. That was not the intent, but over time it became apparent that some fans speculated that “Iguana” was being used as a verb! In this fantasy world, ‘to iguana’ would mean to engage in coitus. Sorry folks, but that wasn’t the case! Even though that wasn’t the intent, it didn’t stop certain individuals from making jokes about ‘wanting to iguana’ with someone special.
– Iguana features the first ever direct call out to the name of the band. The intent of adding the name in there was to reinforce the message of the band, in Paul’s mind. It did serve as a great moment in this song while playing live that lit up the crowd and fans of the band.
– The song is in a drop-D tuning which allows the guitar to hit the low D octave in the opening riff.
– Iguana (Redux) was made available on First Place Hits in 2020. Nothing new was added to the song, but some of the guitar overdubs Paul had Shane hastily play always felt too far back in the mix so in 2011 Jeffrey Loder helped tweak the original pro-tools files from Twofish. Also Hope was seamlessly re-connected to the end of Iguana. Both songs were recorded with the intent of a gapless bleed between the tracks. On the Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is discs, each song has a -2 seconds buff of silence on the front end which stopped Iguana and Hope from being glued together. This was rectified and the Redux version is the only version on streaming services. Two songs for the price of one! There was a gapless master, but unfortunately, back in those days it was hard to know for sure which CD-R had which version of the album on it. We blame the professionals at Twofish Studios for this, but they made it right by us and we used them after this incident. In fact, 2nd Best recorded there a few times afterward.
– One of the first live performances of the song was in front of an oversold crowd opening for Eve 6. The band had rehearsed the song sparingly, but the set was to be long and so the band threw everything but the kitchen sink at that show. The song didn’t really come to life until Brad left the band and it evolved a bit to fit the now three-piece dynamic.
– After an unfortunate split with the song’s muse, Paul started to change the song’s lyrics in some not so nice ways. Depending on the crowd dynamic and if fans of the band were present, he would modify some key phrases and change the tone of the song to more of a spiteful break-up song. This was supposed to be showmanship at its most questionable, but sometimes some pretty hurtful words would come out of nowhere. After any of these instances, Paul would dub the song “Dirty Iguana” because of the swearing and demeaning things that would come out of his mouth. It’s pretty cringey now, but at the time that’s what all the emo boys were doing.
– The song really embodies a side of the band that always appreciated fun and just having a good time. The meaning of the song is pretty casual, there were no underlying themes, and there is humor to it. Almost every show after Brad left the band featured this song and it was usually a solid crowd-pleaser. It evokes the innocence and heart of the band in a stark contrast to more serious flagship songs like 928.
– If you thought this song was fun to listen to, it was certainly thrice as fun to play.