Pop and rock trivia - an inevitable thread on any forum.

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Chris Martin
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Don't know why this age-old subject has not turned up here earlier but here goes.........

Dylan's from a Buick 8 is too obvious, and Bruce's car songs are too ambiguous, but there are many more.

Obscure rock references number one;

The Old '55 referred to in the eponymous Tom Waits song - maybe better known as an early hit for The Eagles - was not as some believe about a Chevy, but his old Buick that he was using in his younger days to date a girl in San Diego.

Chris M.

 

James Elliott
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Was thinking about this sort of thing on the way in today Chris.

The lyrics of Pablo Picasso by The Modern Lovers clearly state:

Well the girls would turn the colour
Of the avacado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado

I don't think he had an El Dorado and am not sure he even really drove despite famously owning a Gullwing.

Maybe someone can clarify. Would be interesting if he did rather than it just rhyming with avocado!

n/a
GBt
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Quote:
One bit at a time(and it didnt cost me a Dime), sang Johnny Cash,
about a Cadilac he rebuilt in a jolly ditty, (smuggling parts out of the Factory,in his humungous lunchbox) one bit at a time the regular courier used to say, I was just like the guy in that song, a bit of a time, ha ha,that when I was struggling through a lenthy unemployment scenario, at age 40 and trying to get the TBird that threw a rod fixed up, cheeky B****** mine cost me time and a little bit more than not a dime...and involved no such crime-good song though...

Valve Bounce
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Chris I'm just suprised you haven't managed to sneak an oblique car reference into any of those Coldplay hits. What's the matter?

Valve Bounce
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This is my favorite is about Tara Browne gaining imortality by being mentioned in The Beatles' "A Day In The
Life".  His father was a member of the House of Lords and his mother a
Guinness heiress. In London in the swinging sixties he was one of the
best connected socialites. But unfortunately in 1966 he met a grizzly
end at the wheel of his Lotus Elan when he lost control at over 100mph
whilst driving through South Kensington.

He blew his mind out in a car,
He didn't notice that the lights had changed,
A crowd of people stood and stared,
They'd seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

 

This Pathe news clip is fabulous. it shows Tara driving a Cobra 'pop art car' rather precariously out of an art gallery in Mayfair. I do keep expecting to see Austin Powers drive around the corner in his union jack painted E-Type.

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=2178

Has anyone seen anything about the Pop Art collective Binder, Edwards & Vaughan (BEV) and their cars? There's got to be an article in this..

Chris Martin
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James Elliott wrote:

Was thinking about this sort of thing on the way in today Chris.

The lyrics of Pablo Picasso by The Modern Lovers clearly state:

Well the girls would turn the colour
Of the avacado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado

I don't think he had an El Dorado and am not sure he even really drove despite famously owning a Gullwing.

Maybe someone can clarify. Would be interesting if he did rather than it just rhyming with avocado!

I have that track too, on a hits collection Buzz, Buzz, Buzz. Pablo Picasso also had a 1930 Hispano-Suiza with coachwork by Binder and he owned that one a long time, but all the photos I have seen seem to indicate he had someone else driving - in later years it was his son.

Still, I doubt Jonathan Richman would have worried one iota about historical accuracy in search of a rhyme.

Chris M.

 

 

Chris Martin
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Valve Bounce had the right idea with the Tara Brown/Lotus Elan reference from 'A Day In The Life', I was looking for the more obscure car references. Also I should correct my first post there as Bob Dylan wrote 'From A Buick 6' not 8 but what's a couple of cylinders to old Bob? The Eagles of course also referenced a 'girl my lord, in a flatbed Ford' in 'Taking It Easy', but it would have been nicer if it was a flathead Ford.

The early post-war 'Rocket 88' by Jackie Brenston, which was actually an Ike Turner production (he of Ike and Tina fame) is often credited as being the first proper Rock and Roll hit, which of course was followed by 'Brand New Cadillac' by Vince Taylor, 'Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache' by Warren Smith - both later covered by Brian Setzer, he of the former Stray Cats. but these are a bit more obvious. So is the surfing sixties trend for car songs; GTO by Rony and the Daytonas, Dead Man's Curve by Jan and Dean and any number of Beach Boys hits.

The lesser known American guitarist Arlen Roth recorded '56 Buick Roadmasters From Space' and Danny Gatton was fond of his 'Flaming Deuces' but the better known Jeff Beck (mentioned elsewhere on a previous post) recorded THX1138 which was the registration number on John Milner's p*ss yellow deuce coupe in American Graffiti a replica of which Jeff built for himself. An even more anorak fact is that THX1138 was the name of a film made by George Lucas prior to American Graffiti and the registration on the car was just his idea of a joke.

Chuck Berry of course had Maybelline, various references to Cadillacs, Coupe De Villes and others, but his 'No Money Down' is worth checking out for the urge to sign up for payments on your dream car. Don't forget 'Beep Beep, Litlle Nash Rambler' by the Playmates.

Joe Walsh, also of The Eagles, wrote about his Maserati doing 185 in 'Life's Been Good' and more obvious songs include Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin and Terraplane Blues by blues legend Robert Johnson but there must be more out there - where are the Humber Hawks, or DeSoto Firedomes? How come Bo Diddley never rhymed Armstrong Siddeley?

Get digging in your record collections!

Chris M.

 

GBt
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Well I guess a couple of cylinders did make quite a difference to then young "old Bob" you pop folk with the name dropping, he dropped his Triumph Bonneville in a big way back in 66, a vertical twin classic, and was in hospital for several months as a result. Not sure when he and the Band went electric, 

I also saw an interview before they played in Dallas and Robbie Robinson said if they could shoot a President(in a Lincoln)what are they gonna do to him. he survived to get booed singinging like a rolling stone,no direction home, and one heckler called out Judas, so Dillan just said in turn, I dont believe you ----------------------liar, * -It  turn up the volume,and that was in little ol England back in the day, Maan

All roads lead to BBC recorded album (double CD and DVD)does have a Princess Limo on the cover .

Prince, not Princess, another advocate of bikes, only without wishing to be a sizeist,  had a Honda Twin 250 Custom chopper,in his Purple Rain video, however he did sing about a little Red Corvette so he cant be all bad.

Chris Martin
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Also Ian Dury rhymed Hyena with Cortina, but can anyone remember there was a British remake of the 'Beep Beep Little Nash Rambler' song about a bubble car? Am I imagining it.or was that a regular play on Saturday mornings on the BBC children's wireless show in the early sixties?

Chris M.

 

Chris Martin
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Maybe it was 'Saturday Club' on the BBC Light programme hosted by Brian Matthews? Or was there another show aimed at kiddies on before it? Used to play 'Puff The Magic Dragon' and loads of Burl Ives songs, but seriously, is there anyone over fifty out there from the microcar club who can recall the 'BubbleCar' song? A UK remake of The Little Nash Rambler aka Beep Beep.

I suppose this is only relevant to over fifties, I will try to get back to more hip references later.

Chris M.

 

Chris Martin
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I got bored with waiting for those 'Microcar' people to sort out their own trivia, so I Googled it and found the UK version was recorded also by The Playmates, (who I had always assumed to be American) but with new words;

While riding in my limousine
What to my surprise
A little Bubble Car was following me
About one-third my size
The guy must have wanted to pass me out
As he kept on tooting his horn  (beep beep)
I'll show him that a limousine Is not a car to scorn

etc, etc

Anyway, I guess they are too busy trying to find odd size little tyres, mixing two-stroke oil, or even trying to find a way out of the car to be of any help on here. And anyway, why did I think the sort of folks who like those machines would even be online savvy?

(Just ribbing ya kids, this forum could certainly benefit from anyone who has the balls and the sense of humour to drive a Messerschmidt Tiger!)

So, to move on, any of our slightly younger forumers should remember '57 Chevrolet' by Billie Jo Spears, or 'Ullo John! Got A New Motor? by Alexie Sayle. Still mining the Tom Waits seam of automobilia references there was of course the 'Oldsmobile' mentioned in 'Heart Of Saturday Night' but better still his monologue 'The Pontiac' where an old man tells a young kid (grandson? nephew?) about all the old cars he had down the years. Worth checking out.

Finally for now, if I may get on two wheels for a minute, the highly recommended 'Vincent Black Lightning' by Richard Thompson.

All of the above should be available on itunes download if anyone wanted to put an ipod playlist together for cruisin' those special wheels.

Chris M.