You thought it would never happen, but guess what, people -- miracles do happen! Dreams do come true! It turns out that the highly annoying Cinderella Talking Princess Doll is right! Don't give up hope, people! Keep fighting! And I'll keep giving you completely ridiculous and utterly fake motivational pep talks! Yeah, whatever. Hey guys, I'm back. No more math homework for the week.
So you want to run some numbers on the music front, Maria?
We may as well, Dad! We may as well. . . .
Okay, so what should we offer the vast worldwide audience this evening?
Vast worldwide audience? My dad is such a modest person, right Gino, Night Writer and Picklesworth? After all, except for you guys, Brian and that Chuckwagon Boy dude, who's reading his nonsense anyway these days?
Well, it's a geographically diverse group. I have the entire West Coast covered!
But what about Delaware? Who's reading you in Puerto Rico? How about Austria? Or even Albuquerque? I think you took a wrong turn in Albuquerque, Dad!
Thanks for the perspective, Maria.
My pleasure. Now let's move on to Guilty Pleasures! Our theme this evening involves cars, and rides, and whatnot. Benster is working on his driving skills, so you may want to make sure to watch out for him when he comes down the street. Don't take those bifocals off, kids!
Kids? How old are you?
Well, younger than you, Dad! But I think you knew that. I hope you knew that. I'm just trying to make people laugh here without making Geritol jokes like the Benster. I'm a lot nicer than he is, for the most part.
Okay. Fair enough. We'll start at the very beginning of the rock and roll era, with what is arguably the first rock and roll song, from way back in 1951:
It's Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, singing "Rocket 88." One of those Delta Cats was Ike Turner, later known for his work with Tina (and for being a very bad dude).
I heard Ike was a mean guy, but let's stay focused on the song. This definitely sounds like old time rock and roll to me! But what are Delta Cats? Was Delta Airlines around then?
I think so, but I assume this had to do with the delta of the Mississippi River. Ike Turner was from St. Louis and some of the other guys in the band were from Memphis.
Neither of which are near the Delta, but I think I get the point. Anyway, really good song. I give it an A.
I think it's great -- a real find. I give it an A.
What's next, Papa?
We'll go with something tried and true:
Beep beep, beep beep, yeah! It's "Drive My Car," by the Beatles, of course.
Good song, good song! So what's up with John Lennon wearing the bucket on his head and the weird red and white striped bathing suits from the 1920s? Was all that on their bucket list, Dad?
Hard to say, Maria. Maybe it was like when you used to wear the Sweet Martha's cookie bucket on your head when you were two.
You have reached Fearless Maria. I'm not available right now, but please leave a detailed message at the tone and I'll get back to you. Thank you. BEEEEP!
I take it you didn't want me to bring up the Sweet Martha's incident, then?
It's cute, maybe not for the "vast worldwide audience." I have a reputation as a fashion leader to uphold, you know.
I think after a decade, the statute of limitations has run out on that one.
Okay, Dad. Whatever. I'll give the Beatles an A-, because they had to go all whacko for a little tiny bit there and someone around here has to maintain some standards.
I love "Drive My Car." It's probably on my top ten list of favorite Beatles songs, which means something considering how good the Beatles were. I give it an A.
Well, let's try something else, then:
It's "409" by the Beach Boys:
Well, I'll give you the 411 on "409," without pain, of course. I think it's pretty good -- another classic-y Beach Boys song with the great harmonies and some good guitar. And nothing to critique on the video because it's just a bunch of cars, but they're kinda cool old cars, I guess. I'm not a huge car person yet but maybe I'll change my ways when I'm old enough to drive. I would give this an A-.
Not my favorite Beach Boys song, but a good one. I give it a B+. Now if you want a car song from that era, consider this one from the duo that were the biggest rivals of the Beach Boys:
Won't go back to Dead Man's Curve!
You're right, Dad -- they sound a lot like the Beach Boys. I guess I'd rate it about the same -- A-. What I don't get is why it's a boy named Jan. I though Jan was a girl's name!
These days it's more likely to be a girl's name, but back then it was a boy's name. It's a cheeseball classic, so I give it an A.
And we know you like cheeseballs, Dad! When it comes to songs and videos and to those delicious Cheeto-like snacks you can occasionally find, you're almost as big a fan of cheese as Wallace and Gromit!
Almost. Let's consider another car song of that era. More Memphis based, though:
It's Wicked Wilson Pickett, with "Mustang Sally."
Man, look at those saxophones go! And Wilson Pickett looks like he's trying to discreetly pull his pants up the whole time! No wonder he's screaming so much! I do like the song and appreciate the actual instruments, rather than what pop stars these days do with that darned
I'll give it an A. Love Wicked Pickett. Anyway, let's try something totally different. We're up to to about 1971 at this point:
It's Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen with "Hot Rod Lincoln."
I sure feel bad for the people known as the "Lost Planet Airmen." Kinda makes them sound like a bunch of failures. Well, pretty cool song, especially the way they make the fiddle sound like a siren and some of the other sounds they get, too. The video is kinda random with all the diving and sliding off the car, but whatever. Just don't try it at home kids, especially when you don't have your bifocals on. I probably should stop making fun of you all with your bifocals because I'm already wearing glasses and by the time I get to be old like you I'll need bifocals, too. Wait, did I say you were old? Sorry, I meant "seasoned." Respect your elders -- I know, I know. I give this one a B.
Cool song, especially for me since I'm a Bob Wills fan and it has a little of that Western Swing thing going. But it's not the best song here, so I'll agree -- B.
Well, Dad -- I noticed something. Again, all these songs are really old. Can you find something that's actually been recorded in my lifetime?
Well, if you insist -- this is more recent. And it's about cars, sort of:
It's Sheryl Crow, singing about the guy who was in a lot of great chase scenes, "Steve McQueen." And I think she's got Dale Jr. in there, too.
So is that where the Pixar guys got the idea for Lightning McQueen?
Yes. Yes it was.
A ha! I'm on to you now, Pixar! Anyway I like the song, though I think her outfits are kinda so-so. Leather pants aren't really my thing, but if that's what floats your boat, or chases your car in this case, cool with me. I give it a B.
I like the recreating of the chase scenes from Bullitt and The Great Escape better than I like the song, but the song is cool. I give it a B as well.
Well, now it's time for you to vote, vast worldwide audience. Pick your favorite!
Thanks everyone! Haste makes waste! Get voting, people! See you soon.