Category Archives: The Vapors

Radio 82, side B, track 10: “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors

The Vapors - Turning JapaneseOh, The Vapors, the only version I’d really ever heard of this one was on my Mini-Pops album.  I may have heard it other places over the years, but it wasn’t until I recorded it off of BOB that I really heard the real version.  And I just read the annotations to this one, and I think y’all are kind of full of it.  There’s a lot of denial from you saying that this isn’t a racist reference to masturbating.  Which might be true.  But when I read your explanation of what it’s actually supposed to be about, something about angst and how this could have just as well have been called “Turning Lebanese” and such, my B.S. meter sounded the alarm.  Because listening to this with fairly fresh ears, this song, to me, is about a guy in prison with one picture of his girl and he’s lonely and he does what lonely guys do in prison (I assume, I never did get around to watching “Oz”).  Nothing worse than a musician sounding like a politician.  Just own it, guys.

lyrics to “Turning Japanese”

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