Johnny Rivers - Secret Agent Man

First performance: 04/05/2000


Coverinfo

Bruce used the song only once as a snippet

2000-05-04 - AIR CANADA CENTRE, TORONTO, ON

"Light of Day" includes "I've Been Everywhere", plus a snippet of "Secret Agent Man" in the introduction.
 
 

Songinfo

"Secret Agent Man" is a song written by P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri. The most famous recording of the song was made by Johnny Rivers for the opening titles of the American broadcast of the British spy series Danger Man, which aired in the U.S. as Secret Agent from 1964 to 1966. According to composer P.F. Sloan, the American television network that licensed Danger Man, CBS, solicited publishers to contribute a 15-second piece of music for the opening of the U.S. show to replace the British theme, an instrumental titled "High Wire". Sloan wrote the guitar lick and the first few lines of the song, with Barri (Sloan's songwriting partner) contributing to the chorus. This fragment was recorded as a demo by Sloan and Barri, submitted to CBS, and, to Sloan's surprise, picked as the show theme, which led to Sloan and Barri writing a full-length version of the song. The original demo of the song used the "Danger Man" title, as shown by the surviving demo of the song, which Sloan sang. When the show's title was changed, the lyrics were also changed. Ultimately, "High Wire" was also retained by CBS, as it played over the episode credits following the "Secret Agent" titles. Sloan and Barri's publisher/producer, Lou Adler, also produced and managed Johnny Rivers, so Rivers was chosen to add the vocals for the TV show. Rivers claimed he came up with the opening guitar riff that was inspired by the "James Bond Theme" (although that lick is clearly heard on Sloan's demo version. Rivers' original recording was merely the show theme, with one verse and one chorus. Later, after the song gained in popularity, Rivers recorded it live, with two more verses, and the chorus repeated twice more.

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Ah, be careful what you say
Or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Swingin' on the Riviera one day
And then layin' in the Bombay alley next day
Oh no, you let the wrong word slip
While kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man