Gary Pig Gold’s ALL-TIME TOP TEN CAR TUNES

Once again, Summer’s Here and the Time is Right for Driving in the Streets, with…

  1. I GET AROUNDby THE BEACH BOYS (1964)

Instrumentally (the arrangement and production effectively trounced all comers that summer of ’64 …even you-know-who!), lyrically (though one can safely interpret “I’m gettin’ bugged drivin’ up and down the same old strip, I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip” as B. Wilson’s hint at the non-sun, then non-hit B.Boy phase to come), and atmospherically THE hands-down, Number One car tune Of All Time. And, backed as it was on its original seven inches with “Don’t Worry Baby,” just maybe the greatest single single of all time.

  1. CRUISIN’ MUSIC by (THE) RASPBERRIES (1974)

The not-lately great Eric Carmen’s definitive Brian Wilson tribute; the logical descendant of “I Get Around” (by way of “Do It Again”), and quite possibly the finest car/radio tune of its decade (ie: it always sounds best when your top’s down). Should’ve been revived by M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel on the Rocketman soundtrack.

  1. I WANT TO BE YOUR DRIVER by CHUCK BERRY (1965)

The Late, Very Great Chuck could arguably be said to have invented not only the duck-walk and the ding-a-ling (not to mention certain stomach-curdling after-show water-sports), but the Car Tune too (eg: “Maybellene,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” et all!)  Yet this little-heard wonder was cruelly denied hit status… even after Lennon & McCartney gamely re-wrote it as “Drive My Car.”

  1. CYCLE ANNIEby THE BEACHNUTS (1965)

Another rockin’ lil’ undiscovered gem that deserves to grab the checkered flag even more now than it did five decades ago. Odd to ponder the author of this masterpiece, against which all other sickle-songs pale greatly, later went on to foist such wheel-less wonders as “Heroin,” “I Wanna Be Black” and “My Red Joy Stick” onto the airwaves.

  1. SCHLOCK ROD, Parts One and Twoby JAN & DEAN (1963)

The last – and funniest – word in 1960’s hot rod songs:  As always, give the self-styled “Laurel and Hardy of the surf crowd” a fad and they’ll wickedly yet oh-so-skillfully deflate it quicker than you can say Beavis & Garfunkel.

  1. DODGE VEG-O-MATIC by JONATHAN RICHMAN (1977)

“Schlock Rod, Part Three.”

(Honorable Mention:  Jonathan’s immor(t)al and much-covered “Roadrunner”)

  1. LAST KISS by J. FRANK WILSON & THE CAVALIERS (1964)

The automobile looms large in the annals of Death Rock (“Teen Angel,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Can You Please Crawl Out YOUR Window”…), but J. Frank’s morbidly moody number contains all the necessary ingredients (a railroad crossing, a stalled car, an on-coming train, and your fiancée) – and then some! (ie: cheesy “Runaway” organ-style heavenly backup vocals, sounding appropriately ominous herein). Sounds Good Even Through Earbuds, such is the magnitude of this timeless chrome tone poem.

  1. HITCHIN’ A RIDE by VANITY FARE (1969)

Lack of one’s own wheels as those 60’s turned 70’s did little to dissuade the restless masses from spending their summers alongside the nation’s thoroughfares, thumbs erect, trouble afoot. As a result, a spate of hitch-hikin’ ditties suddenly materialized, of which this remains this Pig’s personal fave. Sure fit perfectly amongst “Yellow River,” “Going Up The Country” and, yes, “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” back in Grade Ten, I’ll tell ya fer shure.

  1. HIGHWAY STAR by DEEP PURPLE (1972)

I know, I know… it’s hard to believe these machine heads made a decent record after they last raided the Neil Diamond songbook… But this here “molten slab of heavy-duty RAWK,” as terrestrial DJ’s still refer to it, picks up nicely where “Born To Be Wild” left off, helping motorvate Car Tunes confidently into the dreaded Seventies.

  1. THERE’S NO ROOM TO RHUMBA IN A SPORTS CAR by ELVIS PRESLEY (1963)

As always, the last word on the subject goes to The King.

=GPG=

Gary appears here whenever he wants

DBAWIS_ButtonGary Pig Gold may have grown up in Port Credit, run away to Hamilton to join his first rock ‘n’ roll group, hung out with Joe Strummer on his first-ever night in the UK, returned to T.O. to publish Canada’s first-ever rock ‘n’ roll (fan)zine, run away again gary pig gpld facong leftto Surf City to (almost) tour Australia with Jan & Dean, come home again to tour O Canada with that country’s first-ever (authorized!) Beach Boys tribute band …but STILL, he had to travel all the way back to the USSR to secure his first-ever recording contract www.GaryPigGold.com

2 Responses to “Gary Pig Gold’s ALL-TIME TOP TEN CAR TUNES”

  1. Jim Geiger Says:

    Your #1 is a runaway, but the B-side is also a “Car” song. “I guess I should have kept my mouth shut, when I started to brag about my Car. But, I can’t back down now, because I pushed the other guys too far. She makes me come alive…and makes me want to drive, when she says……

  2. Brian Pratt Says:

    Opus 1, “Back Seat ’38 Dodge”.

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