Meaning of 18 and Life by Skid Row & The Story Behind

American rock band Skid Row achieved the greatest success in the charts in their history with the ballad 18 and Life. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this song, dedicated to the dramatic life of a hard working guy from the city’s outskirts, has become the calling card of famous glam rockers.

The Story Behind and Meaning of 18 and Life by Skid Row

Over the years, there has been a consensus among Skid Row fans about the meaning of the song. It was said that the band’s guitarist Dave “Snake” Szabo composed it after reading a newspaper article about an eighteen-year-old boy who accidentally shot a friend. He did not check if the revolver was loaded, and the retribution for negligence was a life sentence.

However, in November 2014, Sebastian Bach was interviewed by Fox 2 News Detroit Sebastian, in which he expressed a different version of the interpretation of the main idea of ​​the track. He explained what the song 18 and Life is about.

According to him, the composition is about:

… what it’s like to be in the army as a young guy.

Allegedly, Szabo dedicated it to his brother, who was taken to Vietnam.

Which of the options corresponds to the truth (or at least close to it), decide for yourself. On the one hand, closer to old age, musicians often become more sincere. On the other hand, there are cases when the former idols of millions, yearning for their former popularity, try to attract the attention of the public with all sorts of revelations and loud statements.

Release and achievements

The song was released as the second single (Youth Gone Wild was the first) from Skid Row’s debut album, released on the Atlantic label in 1989. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number twelve on the UK Singles Chart. Three months after the release, the record was awarded the “gold” status.

The song was later included on the compilation 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row. A live version of the track was included on Sebastian Bach’s solo album Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!.

Channel VH1 included it in the list of the greatest hard rock songs of all time.

Video of 18 and Life by Skid Row

Next, I propose to watch the online music video for the song 18 and Life

Interesting Facts

  • In 1989, 18 and Life became the most played song on MTV.

18 and Life Lyrics by Skid Row

Ricky was a young boy, he had a heart of stone
Lived 9 to 5 and he worked his fingers to the bone
Just barely get out of school, came from the edge of town
Fought like a switchblade so no one could take him down, oh no

He had no money, no, no good at home
He walked the streets as a soldier and he fought the world alone

And now it’s 18 and life, you got it,
18 and life, you know
Your crime is time
And it’s 18 and life to go
18 and life, you got it,
18 and life, you know
Your crime is time
And it’s 18 and life to go

Tequila in his heartbeat, his veins burned gasoline
He kept his motor running, but it never kept him clean
They say he loved adventure, “Ricky’s the wild one”
He married trouble and had a courtship with a gun

Bang bang shoot ’em up, the party never ends
You can’t think of dying when the bottle’s your best friend

“Accidents will happen”, they all heard Ricky say
He fired his six-shot to the wind, that child blew a child away

Lyrics of 18 and Life by Skid Row Alternate

Ricky was a young guy, he had a “heart of stone”
He pulled the strap from 9 to 5 and worked, washing his hands in the blood
Barely graduated from school, lived on the outskirts of the city,
Was in a fight as dangerous as a knife and no one could lay him down, oh no

He had no money, no, and nothing good awaited him at home
He roamed the streets like a soldier and was alone against the whole world

And now eighteen and life – it’s yours,
Eighteen and life – you know yourself
Your villainy is time
And you’re eighteen and life ahead
Eighteen and life is yours
Eighteen and life – you know yourself
Your villainy is time
And you’re eighteen and life ahead

Tequila in his heartbeat, gasoline burning in his veins
He ran his motor, but he was never clean
They said he was adventurous, “Ricky is a rebel”
Trouble was his wife and he had an affair with guns

Bang bang, shoot ’em, the fun won’t end
You don’t think about death when the bottle is your best friend

Heard him say: “Catastrophe is inevitable”
He randomly unloaded the revolver, the child laid the child

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