MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he knows a 1980s rock song he quoted in a speech about the state’s economy is about a pending nuclear holocaust.
“That’s why I didn’t quote the whole song,” Walker said, with a laugh, when asked why he made the reference when speaking to hundreds of business, education and government leaders at the Future Wisconsin Economic Summit.
Walker was so committed to quoting the 1986 Timbuk3 song, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,” that he broke out a pair of dark sunglasses at the beginning of his speech.
“Those of you who remember the ’80s, some of you may be young enough you don’t remember them, but I remember the ’80s,'” said the 49-year-old Walker, who graduated high school the year the song was released. “Remember that great song, ‘The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades’?”
With that he donned the sunglasses.
“So, I’m not going to wear them the whole time, but it reminded me when you think about the future of this state, it really is exciting,” he said. “Not just for where we’re at now, but where we’re headed.”
The band Timbuk3 was formed in Madison, Wisconsin, and its only top 20 hit was the song referenced by Walker. The governor has occasionally mentioned other bands from the era that he enjoys, including the BoDeans and Styx. He even sang a BoDeans song at his inauguration party in 2015.
Walker briefly intoned some of the lyrics of the Timbuk3 song when asked after his speech if he knew its meaning.
“I do. ‘As a student I got good grades studying nuclear,'” Walker said. The actual lyric is, “I study nuclear science, I love my classes.”
The song is one of many written in the mid-1980s that either directly or indirectly refers to nuclear war.
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