The Freelance Mentalists.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
  Gone With The Vroom

Gone With The Vroom: A Personal NASCAR Mixtape
by Don Allred
Dear Scarlett, this is Charlotte. Hello, Darlin'. You know you can't win. We
shall have the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, and Atlanta will, well, not burn again. How I do recall the Charlotte Pop
Festival of '74, at yon Speedway, and once again, I am moved to consider what Mr.
Chuck Berry means by "motorvation." (Join with me, girl, and soothe, nay, lose!
your sore loser wounds in the sheer adrenaline of musical celebration.)
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Call Me The Breeze." Once again, the immortal DUKES OF
HAZARD movie soundtrack brings the true tale of young boys sailing through Eden,
long before pesky "environmental" rules grew the Snake!
2. Montgomery Gentry: "Gone." How their draw-wuh-uhl doth weave, even while
landing on the one! Like the "Devil's Third," or "Fifth", or whutever: banned
in the Middle Ages, for being flat and yet not. And they keep going, in
call-and-response, like a good work or gospel song should "Gaw-un, (Gaw-un), Gaww-un?
(Gaw-un)," until the straightaway: she's truly " Gaw-un lak a '59 Cadillac,"
which leads us to
3. Dwight Yoakam: "Long White Cadillac." Dwight sounds so shallow and
desolate, you know he really is that doomed 'billy star, hunkered down under his long
white hat, in the bottomless upholstery back there. In the Blasters'original,
Phil Alvin sounds a mite too soulful and healthy, compared to the glammed-out hokum of
Yoakam, keening and careening by.
4. Bruce Springsteen: "Cadillac Ranch." Isn't this like the Elephants'
Graveyard? But "even Burt Reynolds in that black Trans-Am" is coming back now, as
Boss Hog in The Dukes Of Hazzard, so Eternity
can't be too long. It might be a little short.
5. ZZ Top: "Sharp Dressed Man." Sure, there are a number of Top car songs.
This isn't specifically a car song, lyrics-wise. But what SOUNDS the coolest,
what will not be denied? You know what.
6. Brooks & Dunn: "Red Dirt Road." One of their best. No bells and whistles,
no self-congratulation. No turning back, either. "That summer I turned a
corner in my soul," and the dust hasn't settled yet.
7. Chuck Berry/Duane Allman: "No Money Down." Just in case B& D's guy starts
sounding TOO humble, here we have a fearless believer in gasoline-related
lifeforms, who refuses to unpatriotically lower his expectations. You want to
trade him a Cadillac for his Ford, you say? He'll see and raise you: "And I want
a full Murphy bed/In my back seat/I want short-wave radio/I want TV and a
phone/You know I gotta talk to my Baby/When I'm ridin' alone." Have you ever
heard of such a thing? And even in early-Sixties dollars, "A ten-dollar
deductible/Twenty-dollar notes/Thirty thousand liability" really is "all she wrote." The
song is so cranked up, as written, that Duane Allman, who never added a solo
to his version, didn't even need to. (It's on THE DUANE ALLMAN ANTHOLOGY,
8.. Johnny Cash: "The General Lee"/Doug Kershaw And The Hazzard County Boys:
"Ballad of General Lee". If I knew how, I'd take these two tracks from the
re-issued soundtrack of the original DUKES series, and re-mix a "mash-up" (in
the musical, not automotive sense). Johnny moos contendedly in his trailer,
attached in more ways than one to the famous Cadillac-with-its-own name. Doug
Kershaw's Cajun fiddle is a scruffy, gleaming cowbird, forever landing/taking
off. (Oops, you missed the difference; watch it now!)
9. Cowboy Troy: "I Play Chicken With The Train": Kids, don't try this at
home. But using your imagination can be great. He thinks he's a rapper, and so, on
this track, "Big and black, clicketty clack," he chat-chat-chatters away. He
gets to be the chicken AND the train. What a lucky clucker! end#

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