On their catchy 2007 single “Big Casino,” the Arizona-based band Jimmy Eat Worldtakes a look at a small-time guy with larger-than-life dreams:“I’m the one who gets away/I’m a New Jersey success story/And they’ll say ‘Lord, give me a chance to shake that hand,’ ” sings frontman Jim Adkins in the song’s chorus.
Adkins isn’t talking about Bruce Springsteen or Jack Nicholson. The hero of “Big Casino” is an over-the-hill musician, talking toa younger musician —and trying to put a positive spin on things — while takinga break from his job at an Atlantic City casino. That success story stuff is the dream he still clings to. He’s not ready to give up (“There’s still some living left when your prime comes and goes”) and heearnestly tells his friend, “Rock on, young savior, don’t give up your hopes.”
“It’s kind of a loser anthem,” Adkins told Billboard in 2007. “It’s about a guy with unearned confidence whose assumption of worth is a protective front for total failure.”
“Big Casino” was the lead single from Jimmy Eat World’s 2007 Top 10 album, Chase the Light.
New Jersey celebratedits 350th birthday lastyear. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are markingthe occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.