Friday, September 2, 2011

Road trip tunes...

The seasoned road warrior in the US - and probably else where, too - knows that a successful and satisfying road trip REQUIRES only the best and most appropriate tunes.  Sure, there is always room for serendipity - and there is also music to be collected along the way - but without some a great mix, things can go south all to fast.

+ Back when the kids were small, heading out of town HAD to include "Start Me Up" by the Stones.  We played that so much that it is now in their DNA and used in their road trip tune mix. Indeed, the sins of the mothers and fathers are passed on unto the third and fourth generation, yes?

And we used to always need to hear "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites three or four times along with Paul Simon's "Graceland," too.

+ If the road trip is introspective, you want to include Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and songs that rip open your soul.  (I used to make these mixes for myself in anticipation of the tears they evoked, sick bastard that I am!) Let me tell you that there is nothing more soul cleansing than Judy Collins singing Cohen's, "Joan of Arc" over and over.  True, it will likely drive any one else in the vehicle insane or to the point of potential suicide, but for your typical American new age sensitive guy who needs help articulating his feelings... works like a charm.

+ And let's not forget the value of a road trip with an Easy Rider groove going on, ok? The pointless trek during a college vacation that is ALL about the experience with almost nothing about the destination.  In my day, that meant starting with a ton of Hendrick and Steppenwolf. I suspect it has moved on to include Nirvana, Red Hot Chile Peppers, REM, Madonna as well as Kayne West, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jay Z.

Sometimes you want Americana - sometimes Stax-Volt and Motown - early Stevie Wonder always works - as do early Stones and Beatles and anything from the British Invasion. (Wait, I qualify:  NOT the sappy shit like "Ferry Cross the Mersey" or the stupid stuff from Freddy and the Dreamers; I mean the Kinks and the Who.  And you can also jump a generation and add the Clash to the mix.)

So, imagine my delight this morning after packing and loading up the music box with tons of Miles Davis, Bill Evans and other assorted jazz giants to not only discover the "Women Who Rock" compilation with "When I Think About You I Touch Myself" on it (one of my all time favorites) but also the Frat Rock collection that includes "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" and "Liar, Liar." And then, just when I thought I was finished, the homage to the Stooges jumped into my hands and WHAT should kick it off but... the BEST beginning road trip tune ever:  "Surfer Bird" by the Trashmen.

Damn... I am a blessed guy - and this is going to be a gas!  Happy travelling.

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