Although modern technology has moved us beyond the realm of quarter phone booth calls, the punchline of this ‘90s country classic still hits where it hurts, making “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” a timeless Travis Tritt break-up ballad.
When asked about the song’s background in an interview with American Songwriter, Travis shared that the writing of the popular track took less than 15 minutes of pouring out his heart after receiving his copy of the divorce papers from his second wife, Jodi Barnett.
Possibly feeling nostalgic and regretful, Jodi called him that day to see if they should get back together, or if divorce truly was the answer.
And Tritt responded that too much water had gone under the bridge for resolution:
“You made the decision. You’ve taken it this far. You filed for divorce. You moved out. It’s done. There’s no turning back… lots of tears from both ends of the telephone.”
Instead of reconciling, Travis poured himself into a song that became “Here’s a Quarter,” which shares some of the same conclusions he reached with his then wife.
And the song itself is surprisingly comedic for a man who wrote it in the midst of a heartbreakingly tough situation, but he shared that it wasn’t all simple:
“The whole song took less than 15 minutes. When I got done, I just cracked up laughing. All, the venom, all the anger, had been translated into ‘Here’s a Quarter,’ and I felt better than I had in months.
The song was my personal talisman… I never intended to play it for anyone else. It took me years to be able to play that song in front of an audience.
But when he finally mustered the courage to release the song years later, many were empathetic to the break-up scenario, and it resonated with fans for its funny approach in tough times. The song was also pivotal to Travis Tritt’s success story, leading to a trend of fans throwing quarters on stage at his live performances—even injuring him a few times.
But even more humorous than the song’s lyrics or associated trends was the music video, which featured Tritt turning down his beautiful young ex and later selling all of her items (for rather cheap) in a yard sale.
And as the old men in the neighborhood rifle through the girl’s assorted personal belongings, you really get the ultimate point—no matter how hard the break up, better days and more laughs are coming.
So here’s the perfect Travis Tritt throwback to start your week off right.