Today I was listening to Echo again. As the album ended I got to thinking about the order of the last two tracks.
“Rhino Skin” was a controversial song within The Heartbreakers. It’s not easy to sell a song that turns on the phrase “elephant balls,” but you can’t set up “One More Night, One More Day” without it. Tom must have known it, and he fought for it.
“If you listen long enough you can hear my skin grow tough.” Skin that takes a beating gets tough. You can’t play guitar or swing a hammer long without calluses. Hearts and feelings get beat up. Instinctively we harden. Close up. Show no weakness. Grow “Rhino Skin.”