Original Format: cassette
This mix was made to be listened to on your car stereo, and it still works fairly well for that purpose. I road-tested it on a recent trip to Wells, NV and definitely drove a little faster than I would have otherwise (though still close to the speed limit, which in Nevada is now 80, about as fast as I care to drive anyway). Under the title the tape cover says “Play Extremely Loud,” which is probably not a bad idea.
The Greater Cincinnati Area Various
Those of you over 50 with an astute ear will recognize this as the beginning of the title sequence for WKRP in Cincinnati. For you younger folks, that was a TV show about a radio station, and, well… never mind.
Born to Be Wild Steve Martin
If you look this up on the web you will see the lyrics rendered as “Get your motor runnin’/Head out on the highway” etc. Uh, no. That would be…
Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf
The writer of this song, one Mars Bonfire, was actually a Canadian named Dennis Eugene McCrohan. He initially changed his name to Dennis Edmonton, perhaps wishing to avoid being accused of secret Canadianness, before adopting his nom du rock. Wikipedia says that “Born to Be Wild” was initially written as a ballad, which is a little hard to believe, but when Bonfire recorded his own version for his 1969 solo album Faster than the Speed of Life, it sounded like this:
Kundalini Express Love and Rockets
If you haven’t turned it up to 11 by now, it’s about time.
What’s Our Vector, Victor? Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul Jabbar & Frank Ashmore
We all know Kareem, and Peter Graves (R.I.P.) was a legend. The wildcard here is Frank Ashmore, who played Airplane’s navigator, Victor Basta. Let’s learn some more about him. Hmm, he also appeared in Airplane II, but was demoted to the role of “Controller #3.” His career goes back to 1965 and includes lots of TV: “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Happy Days,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Trapper John M.D.,” “T.J. Hooker,” and on and on and on… a working actor. He seems to still be around; he was in a few episodes of season 5 of “Arrested Development,” and in 2019 appeared in a movie called Heavenly Deposit, which sounds pornish but appears to be some kind of Christian thing.
Back in the U.S.S.R. The Beatles
Hmm, what to say about this song that hasn’t already been said? Well, I do remember listening to it one time when my friend Willis came to pick me up in his green Nissan for a drive to the airport. We were eating bagels with guava jelly. That’s all I got right now.
Maximum Acceleration Ultravox
I always thought the drum-and-bass backbone of this song would make a great loop for a hip-hop track. Any aspiring rappers out there?
Eye of Fatima Pts. 1 & 2 Camper Van Beethoven
“Shortly after this Anthony’s girlfriend ran off with Pete to Wyoming. It was never exactly clear if they were romantically involved but they definitely went on a huge drug and psychedelics binge. When I saw her sometime later she mentioned tripping her ass off on LSD with a bunch of cowboys in some tiny town in Wyoming. And she said verbatim to me: ‘Man watching cowboys on acid was crazy. They looked like some kind of Egyptian hieroglyphics to me. Animated like cartoons.’” —David Lowery
Hit It The Blues Brothers
On that recent trip, where I almost got Munsoned out there in Nevada, I heard Mel McDaniel’s “You Can’t Play the Blues (In an Air-Conditioned Room)” on the radio. I mention this because a) the Blues Brothers Band later covered that song, and B) I feel like it.
I’m a Steady Rollin’ Man Robert Johnson
During this period I wanted to put Robert Johnson on everything. In this case, though, it actually works.
Detonation Boulevard The Sisters of Mercy
I remember Andrew Eldritch once saying that you could tell how seriously to take one of his songs by how much electric guitar he put on it. (More guitar = less serious.) By that measure this one is very silly; also quite glorious, with a big, whomping, jeep-rattling beat.
Sex on Wheelz My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult
Speaking of silly… this one is pretty over-the-top, also probably too long. But turn it way up and whack your head against the windshield a few times; you’ll never notice a thing.
Voodoo Chile/I’m Making Time The Jimi Hendrix Experience/Richard E. Grant & Paul McGann
Back in the glory days of the 80s, when I was still very anti-classic rock, it was Withnail and I that began the process of changing my mind about Jimi Hendrix. My sincerest thanks to Richard E. and Paul, and of course to writer/director Bruce Robinson, and also to George Harrison, who paid for everything (including, I assume, some very pricy music clearances).
White Knuckle Ride Danielle Dax
“Crazy little Charlie” is, of course, Manson, who can be heard at the end snarling “You ain’t seen the bloody trail yet.” Let’s see, what’s new in Manson news… well, the old LaBianca place in Los Feliz is back on the market, for $2.2 million. Sadly, “Healter Skelter” [sic] is no longer written in blood on the fridge; the price would probably be a lot higher if it was.
Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) John Williams
It occurred to me recently that the main reason neither the prequel trilogy nor the final trilogy were particularly successful was that they didn’t have Darth Vader in them (save for a cameo in Episode III). Without a compelling villain, who cares?
Growlers The Batfish Boys
“The first Batfish Boys album, I can’t even remember making it. I wrote it and recorded it in a week and then the, um, stimulants ran out and we spent two days mic-ing up a snare drum in a toilet going DOOSH DOOSH! ‘What do you think?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Is there any more…’ ‘No.’ DOOSH DOOSH! And now I listen back and I think: ‘This is fucking brilliant. If I was going to make an album, it’d be just like this. Oh, hang on – I did.’” —Simon Denbigh
Nobody with a Good Car Needs to Be Justified Brad Dourif
The recent re-viewing of the Wise Blood movie reminded me of the irony of this line, which is that Hazel Motes’ car is such a piece of shit that when he gets pulled over, the trooper carries out a mercy killing on the spot.
Theme from the New Church G.F. Handel/The Lords of the New Church
This was the theme music for my radio show at KZSC in Santa Cruz, and to this day it still gets my adrenalin pumping.
Wave of Mutilation Pixies
My buddy Tom used to say that when he opened a cafe he was going to serve an egg dish called “Huevos Mutilation.” We’re still waiting, Tom.
The Strange Music Hunter S. Thompson
Last night I watched a documentary about Hunter’s 1970 run for sheriff of Aspen called Freak Power. Lots of groovy (mostly B&W) footage from back in the day, including the only moving pictures I have ever seen of Oscar Zeta Acosta. I recommend it: