Friday, December 07, 2007

Rippin' Off Roland: Songs That'll Keep Me in the Car

In his latest blog entry, Roland wrote, "I'll bet everyone has a song or two that keeps them from getting out of the car. If you can park it in the driveway, you wait it out, but if you know the people inside will wonder what you're waiting for, you might take on extra lap around the block."

It got me thinking about those songs that have really grabbed me. Yep, those songs that'll keep me in the car until I'm finished. (Dylan usually joins me in groovin' to the tune, but Rhonda will often roll her eyes and run into the house. Then Dylan yells, "TURN IT UP!")

Actually, if you ask me next week, half of this list might change. It isn't that my tastes change so much, it's just that what springs to mind will likely rotate around. One of the small perennial frustrations of my life is the tendency to hear some great song from the past on the radio, and think, "Oh yeah, I'm gonna download that or buy the CD." But, when I'm sitting in front of the computer, will I remember to order it from Amazon or the iTunes store? Naw. I could blame it on middle age, but the fact is that I've always been that way. That's one reason, for the last twenty years or so, that I've planned to always carry a notebook around with me. When a song or a thought comes to me, I could jot it down before it percolates away from my conscious memory. Thing is, I've bought lots of little notebooks for that purpose over the years. I always forget to carry them along. If I ever become a well-known author, maybe I can sell all of my blank little notebooks on Ebay.

Anyway, here's my first list of "Songs That'll Keep Me Sitting in the Car."

"Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young. Especially the live version from Rust Never Sleeps.
"Highland Wedding" by Steve Morse.
"Gulf Coast Highway" by Nanci Griffith.
"Willin'" by Little Feat. Especially the live version from Down Upon the Suwannee River.
Erotomania" by Dream Theater.
"Moonlight Mile" by the Rolling Stones. Video here is from a movie of the same name.
"One After 909" by the Beatles. Video here is from Let It Be, of course.
"UFO Tofu" by Bella Fleck and the Flecktones.
"You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC.
"Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle.
"Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image.
"Jamming" by Bob Marley.
"A Long December" by Counting Crows.
"Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp.
"The Road and the Sky" by Jackson Browne.
"Hank Senior Moment" by John Gorka.
"Black" by Pearl Jam.
"Hot Rod Lincoln" by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.
"Leprechaun Promenade" by the Dixie Dregs.
"Wasted Time" by the Eagles.
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" by Eric Clapton.
"Stay With Me" by Faces.
"If I Had a Boat" by Lyle Lovett.
"Past the Point of Rescue" by Hal Ketchum.
"I'll Stop Loving You" by Mike Reid.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now.


David said...

AHhhhh, the ever changing soundtrack! Ain't it grand.

Of course, now you've given me research to do! I'll get right on it.

Roland said...

I love the Counting Crows. Anna Begins keeps me in the car.

Redlefty said...

Pearl Jam's my favorite on the list. I'm surprised by how many of your songs I don't even recognize by name. Maybe when I go to the links they'll ring a bell.

Great list!

Bob Barbanes said...

Hal, sometimes I want to write about a particular song in my own blog because of the thinnest of vague relevance or some odd bit of trivia. Then I'll think to myself, "Dawg, nobody has ever even *heard* of that song!" (Sometimes I call myself "Dawg" even if nobody else will.)

And all this time, I thought nobody had ever even *heard* of "Past The Point Of Rescue." It's one of my "nirvana songs." No, not the group, but it's a song that always puts me in a special place when I hear it. Yes, it's on my iPod, one that made the transition over from a mix-tape from the Walkman days.

What a great song! Clever lyric, and what a bittersweet sentiment.

Never meant to push or shove you
Do you know how much I love you?
No you don't
But I do

Man, I love that! I love the sparkling, clear production. I love the interplay between the electric and acoustic guitars and the haunting steel guitar in the background. And dammit, why can't I sing like Hal (Ketchum)?

Great choices on your list. You, me and David must be on some weird shared musical wavelength. ...Or maybe we're just a bunch of old farts who come from the same "place."

Oh and - laugh out loud here - I've done that drive around the block until the song ends thing too. Only, it was the beginning of Dylan's seven-minute epic, "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts." It had me driving around the block so many times the cops started getting suspicious.

Hal Johnson said...

BobDawg: I think you, David, and I are old farts who come from the same place AND we're on some weird shared musical wavelength.

I've seen Hal Ketchum live twice, and that signature interplay between the acoustic and electric guitars seemed even more highlighted--Hal is one solid rhythm guitar player.

Those last two songs on my list, "Past the Point of Rescue" and "I'll Stop Loving You," could have been theme songs for my life during my twenties and much of my thirties. I guess I'm the kinda guy who can only give his heart away once.

Roland, Counting Crows is one of those groups I'll sometimes listen to when nothing else appeals to me.

Michael, I guess my taste in music runs from pedestrian to somewhat eclectic. It's not that I have a "sophisticated ear" so much--at my best I was a barely adequate rhythm guitarist--it's from knowing some accomplished musicians with broad musical tastes.

David, I hope you enjoyed the search.