BarenakedLadies Wiki

"Teenage Wasteland" is a song written by Steven Page and Ed Robertson and performed by Barenaked Ladies. It was played at live shows between the releases of Gordon and Maybe You Should Drive but is not known to have been recorded in the studio.


The song's lyrics are a first-person account of a teenage boy's infatuation with a girl named Nellie in his high school art class. His pursuit of her is fruitless and is forced to end when she moves to Alberta.


For many years, most fans were only able to hear the song in a bootleg recording of a live session at WNWK-FM in New York on March 26, 1993. In 2012, a version recorded at Toronto's Massey Hall on April 3, 1993 was released on the rarities compilation Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before!.

Trivia & Notes[]

  • The character Nellie is said to have completed the video arcade game Dragon's Lair "on just one quarter"; the game was originally released by Cinematronics in 1983 and was notorious for its difficulty and its use of hand-drawn animation directed by Don Bluth, the mastermind behind films such as An American Tail, The Land Before Time and All Dogs Go To Heaven.
    • In fact, a single play of the game originally cost two quarters (50 cents).
  • The song's title is likely a reference the The Who's song "Baba O'Riley", which is often mistakenly referred to as "Teenage Wasteland".