Color Commentary on the Playlist

Following are some thoughts on a few of my choices.  Please post any reactions of your own in the comments section regarding any of the 100 songs on the list.

Steppenwolf “Born to be Wild”: The most obvious motorcycle riding song in history, so it had to go first.

ZZ Top “LA Grange”: In 2019 the documentary film “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” came out. It told the story and debunked the many myths surrounding this band. It also explains “LaGrange.”

Rolling Stones “Route 66” (Album: England’s Newest Hitmakers): Route 66 had to be on the list, the only question being, “who’s version?” I was thrilled to find this version by a young Mick Jagger and the Stones.

John Denver “Take Me Home, Country Roads”: So, this song ushers in some softer cuts, still all MC relevant, but it’s designed to change the tempo. Denver may no longer be in favor, but this song speaks to a key aspect of riding motorcycles.

Austin Lounge Lizards “Hey Little Minivan”: Most will be unfamiliar with this group formed in 1980. I love their songwriting about ordinary life filled with clever double entendres.

Talking Heads “Road to Nowhere”: This was another group that has to be on the list, but what song? While “Road to Nowhere” starts slowly, it eventually gets there and thematically, it works.

The Iguanas “This Night of Sin”: This garage rock band out of Ann Arbor, MI goes back to my high school days. Most don’t know it, but it launched the career of Iggy Pop.

Prefab Sprout “Faron Young”: This English pop band was formed in the late 70’s and got famous in the early to mid-1980’s. Songwriter and frontman Paddy McAloon is one of the greatest songwriters ever, and particularly effective when turning his pen to cars, girls and the USA.

Neil Young “Southern Man” and Lynyrd Skynyrd “Sweet Home Alabama”: I love playing these two back to back.

Rush “Red Barchetta”: This was more difficult that you might think. See, Neil Peart, the drummer, was an avid motorcyclist, choosing to ride his motorcycle from venue to venue when on tour vs. traveling in a luxury bus. His writings on music and riding are eloquent and he passed away at a young 67 years old this year. But I’m not a Rush fan – I just can’t get past the lead singer’s voice, which one either loves or finds annoying. So, Rush is represented on this list twice.  This song (vs. the original Rush tune I had in this slot) was due to a suggestion from my good friend and riding buddy Jeremy Lindsay in the UK. He’s a former musician, knows his bikes and music.

Christopher Cross “Ride like the Wind”: Not a fan of his, but must admit, few songs capture this specific feeling as well as this one does.

Richard Thompson “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”: Knowing my British Bike friends would crucify me if I left this one off, I struggled to find where it best fit, thematically and rhythmically. I’m open to suggestions on moving this one, if you have a better idea.

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