One point to note before reading this interview with British-born, Nashville-based songwriter i get it Cook: A "skinful" is a british term, essentially an interpretation "enough alcohol to get you drunk."

But as soon as it came to writing "Long Cool mrs in a black Dress" v Allan Clarke and also Roger Greenaway, cook was trying come tap right into American drinking culture — specifically, the barred era.

Clarke walk one step further when he take it it to his band, The Hollies, who cooked up a swamp rock record not unlike States-side rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival. 

Cook called the Story Behind the tune to Bart Herbison, executive director of Nashville Songwriters combination International.

Bart Herbison: "Saturday night i went downtown. Early on morning FBI."

Roger Cook: "Saturday night, i was downtown working for the FBI."

BH: "Working for the FBI!"

RC: That"s nearby enough. 

BH: We would spend much more ink 보다 The has on a Sunday edition naming your hits. However I"ve constantly wanted to talk to you around “Long Cool Woman.” was there ever a bigger struggle in background where people don"t understand the words? 

You are watching: Working for the fbi song

RC: That is wild, isn"t it? Allan loved all the slapback echo on his voice. 

BH: This is the Hollies. 

RC: Yeah. And that"s the reason you can hardly understand the words. And, the course, the words room a kind of a tiny English-y. We wrote it in England around the bootlegging work in the "30s in America. … We’d simply gone out and had a skinful ourselves, you know? us came back to the office and thought that was funny to write a song around — What did they contact it as soon as they banned drinking? 

BH: Prohibition. 

RC: Prohibition! So, we composed a song around Prohibition and all the negative people neighboring it. The FBI raiding and this (woman) to sing at the bar. (The narrator) doesn"t desire her to acquire in trouble. For this reason he type of saves her. 

BH: Did friend have any kind of idea that its global impact? Roger, the may acquire played more today than it did as soon as it to be a hit because that the Hollies. 

RC: ns swear it practically does. The is amazing. 

BH: Did friend have any kind of inkling? go you even think the band, even though that was part of it, would cut the song? 

RC: You never think you"re walking to create an elevator song. Yet now and also again friend do. It"s a combination. ... Yeah, it to be a an excellent song, however it to be a an excellent record. That made together a great record. 

BH: Let"s walk back much more to that day. So you walk back, you"re composing the song, did it occur quickly? 

RC: I go earlier to mine office. I get on the piano, and I begin messing around. And, the riff came …

BH: I never knew you wrote it top top the piano. I"m astonished! It"s almost unbelievable because it"s the pre-eminent, pop-guitar song. 

BH: Wow. Just how long till it was out? 

RC: It come out in ~ a really short time. About five to six weeks in those days. 

BH: yet even in those days, i get it — you"re tipping a pint and also you obtained "Long Cool woman in a black Dress."

RC: Yeah. 

BH: The song was pretty lot a global hit — eventually. 

RC: Yeah. It wasn"t as large a fight in England. The was unanticipated for the Hollies in England. They had (hits) with huge ballads and so on. And here comes Allan, and also he"s doing his version of ...

See more: You Have Elected The Way Of Pain !: Lotrmemes, You Have Elected For The Way Of Pain

What"s the name ... "Born on the Bayou."