As the story goes, Rick Rubin walked into the building where the band had their rehearsal space, he heard music coming for one of the rooms, and he was hoping it was the Chili Peppers room...and he was right. Most of the time he would know straightaway if it was his band, but this music sounded a bit different to him...and he apparently said to John that he found it "light and jazzy"...the song was 'Hey'...
The music may be light and jazzy...the lyrics are quite sad.
It seems to - unusually straightforward - talk about relationships....and the commotion in communication..the squabble and struggle, the altercation that derails it all...
The 'who do you need me to be for this to work'....the bending your back until your head hits the ground.
That trying to keep the inevitable at bay, for the memories are sweet and the promises were real.
Where most love-songs are about the sweet beginnings 'Hey' is a love song about the ending of it all....
Knowing you are going to háve to let go (...ohw even thinking about that makes me recall that emotional state...can you feel it too?)
To me this song is about the moment júst before that realization, just before it sinks your heart to the bottom of your stomach....when there is still softness, and your still try so hard to listen, and all you hear is shrill silence.
Its like the ball of wet sand that dries up in your hands...that softly crumbles apart...
"I don't wanna have to, but I will
If that's what I'm supposed to do
We don't wanna set up for the kill
But that's what I'm about to do"
- 'Hey', Red Hot Chili Peppers