E-Pro
By: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson, The Beastie Boys

Written by: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson, The Beastie Boys

Versions:
  1. E-Pro (3:22)
    Available on Guero and 8 other releases.
    Credits
    Recorded at: The Boat
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Guitar (Electric), Mix, Producer, Vocals
    The Dust Brothers: Beats, Mix, Producer
    Danny Kalb: Engineer
  2. Bad Cartridge (2:52)
    Available on Remix EP #1 and 3 other releases.
    Credits
    Paza: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  3. Ghost Range (4:24)
    Available on Guero and 3 other releases.
    Credits
    Anthony Burnside: Banjo, Guitar, Vocal Percussion
    Paddy Steer: Bass, Clavinet, Drums, Harmonica (Bass), Keyboard / Synthesizer (Macbeth M3X), Mix, Programming, Xylophone
    Semay Wu: Cello
    Homelife: Remix
    Justin Lingard: Viola
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  4. Venom Confection (3:09)
    a.k.a. E-Pro (Sam Music Remix)
    Available on E-Pro.
    Credits
    Green, Music & Gold: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  5. E-Pro (Leaked Version) (3:28)
    Available on Guero.
  6. E-Pro (Radio Edit) (3:15)
    Available on E-Pro.
  7. E-Pro (Surround Mix) (3:22)
    Available on Guero.
Unofficial Versions: [show/hide]
  1. Beautiful Long-Haired E-Pro Boy (4:33)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Devendra Banhart: Mashed
    John Lennon: Mashed
    Arty Fufkin: Remix (Mashup)
  2. Can I Have It Like An Epro
    Available on DJ Donkis: When Worlds Collide.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Pharrell Williams: Mashed
    DJ Donkis: Remix (Mashup)
  3. Doin' It In Tejas (4:12)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Butthole Surfers: Mashed
    The Beastie Boys: Mashed
    DJ Merritt: Remix (Mashup)
  4. E-Pro Disco (3:06)
    Available on Remixx Laws.
    Credits
    50 Cent: Mashed
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
  5. I'm Workin With What I Got (3:30)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Snoop Dogg: Mashed
    Marky Zero: Remix (Mashup)
  6. Screaming Pro in Hell (3:52)
    a.k.a. E-Pro Scream TNT
    Available on Remixx Laws.
    Credits
    Team 9: Remix (Mashup)
  7. So Whatcha E-Pro (2:32)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    The Beastie Boys: Mashed
    DJ Adequate: Remix (Mashup)
  8. Tribute To James (3:51)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Fatboy Slim: Mashed
    James Brown: Mashed
    Peter Gabriel: Mashed
    Red Hot Chili Peppers: Mashed
    DJ Moule: Remix (Mashup)
  9. Whatcha Want Beck? (3:41)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    The Beastie Boys: Mashed
    dj Erb: Remix (Mashup)
  10. WiiPro (flatluigi Mashup) (3:20)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed (E-Pro), Mashed (Bad Cartridge)
    The Monkees: Mashed
    Paza: Remix
    DJ flatluigi: Remix (Mashup)
 
 
Lyrics:
E-Pro [Version (a)]:

See me comin' to town with my soul
Straight down out of the world with my fingers
Holdin' on to the devil I know
All my troubles'll hang on your trigger
Take your eyes and your mind from the road
Shoot your mouth off, you know where you're aimin'
Don't forget to pick up what you sow
Talkin' trash to the garbage around you
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

See me kickin' the door with my boots
Broke down out in a ditch of old rubbish
Snakes and bones in the back of your room
Handing out a confection of venom
Heaven's drunk from the poison you use
Charm the wolves with the eyes of a gambler
Now I see it's a comfort to you
Hammer my bones on the anvil of daylight
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Bad Cartridge [Version (b)]:

See me comin' to town with my soul
Straight down out of the world with my fingers
Holdin' on to the devil I know
All my troubles'll hang on your trigger
Take your eyes and your mind from the road
Shoot your mouth off, you know where you're aimin'
Don't forget to pick up what you sow
Talkin' trash to the garbage around you

See me kickin' the door with my boots
Broke down out in a ditch of old rubbish
Snakes and bones in the back of your room
Handing out a confection of venom
Heaven's drunk from the poison you use
Charm the wolves with the eyes of a gambler
Now I see it's a comfort to you
Hammer my bones on the anvil of daylight

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
 
Ghost Range [Version (c)]:

See me comin' to town with my soul
Straight down out of the world with my fingers
Holdin' on to the devil I know
All my troubles'll hang on your trigger
Take your eyes and your mind from the road
Shoot your mouth off, you know where you're aimin'
Don't forget to pick up what you sow
Talkin' trash to the garbage around you

See me kickin' the door with my boots
Broke down out in a ditch of old rubbish
Snakes and bones in the back of your room
Handing out a confection of venom
Heaven's drunk from the poison you use
Charm the wolves with the eyes of a gambler
Now I see it's a comfort to you
Hammer my bones on the anvil of daylight

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Ah ooh
Ah ooh
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Venom Confection [Version (d)]:

See me comin' to town with my soul
Straight down out of the world with my fingers
Holdin' on to the devil I know
All my troubles'll hang on your trigger
Take your eyes and your mind from the road
Shoot your mouth off, you know where you're aimin'
Don't forget to pick up what you sow
Talkin' trash to the garbage around you
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

See me kickin' the door with my boots
Broke down out in a ditch of old rubbish
Snakes and bones in the back of your room
Handing out a confection of venom
Heaven's drunk from the poison you use
Charm the wolves with the eyes of a gambler
Now I see it's a comfort to you
Hammer my bones on the anvil of daylight
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

I won't give up that ghost
It's sick the way these tongues are twisted
The good in us, all we know
There's too much left to taste that's bitter

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na
 
 
The Song:

"E-Pro," as Beck described before Guero was released, is "like Nelly but with a garage band." That is pretty accurate. Beck raps over a raw and fairly punky guitar riff, and a powerful drum beat sampled from the Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want." It kicks off the album in the same way "Devils Haircut" did Odelay: rock and roll. Know what I'm sayin?

"E-Pro" was the first single off of Guero, and was one of Beck's most successful tracks.

Beck was asked in one interview what the title of the song means. His explanation, "Nothing. That's what it was titled when we were recording it. Like when you're recording a song, and the engineer will call it 'Dishrag' or 'Cottage Cheese.' They come up with these names that don't mean anything. We couldn't think of another title."

The music features an almost mechanical arrangement, as the song lasts 200 seconds, and can be broken easily into 10 20-second sections (verses, choruses, guitar riff, bridges). The song has some effects at the end, but is mainly consists of a simple line-up of bass, guitar and vocals (and the sampled drums). Beck is sort of a one-man band on this one!

The lyrics seem to be Beck venting some anger, perhaps at some miscommunication, gossip, or lies. Though the song is hardly overtly specific, a few lines stand out to me: "talking trash to the garbage around you" is pretty harsh; "it's sick the way these tongues are twisted" is fairly blunt. As Beck admitted on XFM, "It's kind of an angry song, it's just kind of an out-and-out venting song...kind of looking for the humanity in the situation too, but also not really holding back."

Beck was asked about this venting, and admitted that it wasn't empty. "It's kind of letting out an intense feeling, and it's looking for some kind of humanity, trying to find something above the anger," Beck explained. ("And it's about loud guitars," he added.) Interesting that he uses the "looking for humanity" comment verbatim in more than one interview. That does seem to be the conceit of the song--Beck avowing to not give up the ghost (die), to keep looking for that daylight.

On XFM, Beck seemed very hesitant in explaining the specifics, but did admit that they are there "in the lyrics in my own kind of obtuse way." The closest he got to explaining it is saying "E-Pro" is one of those songs about "human interactions gone awry." (Again, with the humanity.) Just how personal "E-Pro" is, I do not know, but the frustration is evident in the lyrics.

Me, I have a fairly up-and-down relationship with "E-Pro," sometimes really into its rawness, other times sick of how much it has been played.
 
Live:

Played live 285 times:
Earliest known live version: January 28, 2005
Latest known live version: December 11, 2016

"E-Pro" has been played at virtually every tour show on the Guero, Info and Modern Guilt tours (i.e., since it's been released).

2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2012

On stage, "E-Pro" is virtually identical to the album. Near the end, Beck freestyles off the riff a little bit during the penultimate section. And I've heard some versions which cut off the last 20 seconds. Other than that, nothing worth mentioning. Surely, you've heard it, and if not, you can imagine it pretty well. :)

Around August 2006, they started extending the song's ending, playing two more iterations of the 20-second riff pattern. Instead of ending as usual, the riff would just keep on going (usually with the audience Na Na Naing). This probably happened sporadically.

On the Modern Guilt tour, the version remained very similar, and the ending extension was much more regular. The song is pretty much always during the encore, though there were a few shows where they opened with it.

2014
Having been played quite regularly since its release, "E-Pro" really totally peaked during the Morning Phase tours of 2014. It was played every night (56 out of 57 shows), and once Jason Falkner joined the band, the song took a huge turn. The band did not really change the song any, but they were able to flesh it out and make it extremely dynamic. It was easily one of the highlights of the tour, the years of performing it having finally settled the song into a classic mainstay of any Beck show.
 
videos

the video!

 
Notes: