Tell you who you are if you nail me to my car
Q magazine have a regular feature HEAVY ROTATION : What's playing in the Q office this month.
The Feb 2000 issue selects Joe The Lion from Heroes. They describe it as "The one that goes "Nail me to my car", because its about Californian performance artist Chris Burden, who once nailed himself to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle."
Chris Burden gave an interview at the Royal Academy Of Fine Arts, Stockholm in Feb 1999. You can hear an audio clip of him talking about the 1974 performance which inspired this song. He was nailed to the roof of the car through the palms of his hands and rolled out for viewing for 15 or 20 seconds, a performance he describes as an apparition.
David talked about this innovative artist in an interview he gave in Sept 95."Chris Burden, he was an extraordinary guy. He was the subject of a song I wrote called "Joe the Lion" on Heroes. He's the guy - [singing] `Nail me to my car, tell you who you are.'". He also made a film where he had himself sewn into a mailbag and thrown in the middle of a highway, where he lay for 5 hours in heavy traffic and emerged unscathed. And he once had himself shot in the arm with a .22 onstage." more (thanks to 'Heroes')
For more about Chris Burden's work, some of which seemed to predict the general style of Damien Hirst and others, you can go here.