The Door To Yesterday Volume 3, Number 8



White Line Fever


The long and winding road beckons not only in our imagination but also

 in the musical images which have been built up over countless years. 

To quote Jack Kerouac, ‘the road is life’ and songwriters have fashioned many observations of the driving experience. 

There were compositions celebrating the great highways led by Bobby Troup’s song GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66 

which the King Cole Trio ushered into the hit parade back in 1946 and twenty-three years later, the movie “Easy Rider” 

etched into our minds the image of two bikers setting off on a trip across this great country accompanied on the soundtrack by 

Steppenwolf performing Mars Bonfire’s ultimate call to arms

Get your motor runnin’/Head out on the highway’.      

Here is a random list of a few of the many vintage road-related songs along with some relevant lyric lines… 

AMERICA (Paul Simon) by Simon & Garfunkel

Pro: Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel & Roy Halee (Columbia: 1972)

We boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh’



Kraftwerk Autobahn

 AUTOBAHN (Ralf Huetter/Florian Schneider) by Kraftwerk/Pro: Ralf Huetter & Florian Schneider (Vertigo: 1974)

THE BALLAD OF THUNDER ROAD (Don Raye/Robert Mitchum) 

by Robert Mitchum/Orch cond: Jack Marshall

Pro: Lee Gillette (Capitol: 1958)

BEHIND THE WHEEL (Martin L. Gore) by Depeche Mode

Pro: Depeche Mode & David Bascombe (Sire: 1987)

BORN TO BE WILD (Mars Bonfire) by Steppenwolf

Pro: Gabriel Mekler (Dunhill/ABC: 1968)

BORN TO RUN (Bruce Springsteen) by Bruce Springsteen

Pro: Bruce Springsteen & Mike Appel (Columbia: 1975)

 ‘At night we ride’

CALLIN' BATON ROUGE (Dennis Linde) by New Grass Revival/Pro: Wendy Waldman (Capitol: 1989)

CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD (Lucinda Williams) by Lucinda Williams

Pro: Roy Bittan (Mercury: 1998)



James Taylor Country Road

 COUNTRY ROAD (James Taylor) by James Taylor

Pro: Peter Asher (Warner Bros: 1971)

CRUISIN' (William Robinson/Marvin Tarplin) by Smokey Robinson

Pro: Smokey Robinson (Tamla: 1979)

CRY ON THE SHOULDER OF THE ROAD (Matraca Berg/Tim Krekel) by Martina McBride

Pro: Martina McBride, Paul Worley & Ed Seay (RCA: 1996)

DANGER ZONE (Giorgio Moroder/Tom Whitlock) by Kenny Loggins

Pro: Giorgio Moroder (Columbia: 1986)

DRIVE (Ric Ocasek) by The Cars/Pro: Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange & The Cars (Elektra: 1984)

DRIVE (FOR DADDY GENE) (Alan Jackson) by Alan Jackson

Pro: Keith Stegall (Arista Nashville: 2002)

DRIVE SOUTH (John Hiatt) by Suzy Bogguss

Pro: Jimmy Bowen & Suzy Bogguss (Liberty: 1993) 

‘Gonna take our stand in this chevy van’

DRIVIN' MY LIFE AWAY (Eddie Rabbitt/Even Stevens/David Malloy) by Eddie Rabbitt

Pro: David Malloy (Elektra: 1980)

DRIVING IN MY CAR (Mike Barson) by Madness/A Clanger Winstanley Production (Geffen: 1982)

DRIVING WITH THE BRAKES ON (Justin Currie) by Del Amitri

Pro: Al Clay (A&M: 1995)

EASY DRIVER (David Plehn/Jerry Riopelle) by Kenny Loggins

Pro: Bob James (Columbia: 1978)

 ‘Roads getting wider



John Stewart "Fire In The Wind"

 18 WHEELS (John Stewart) by John Stewart

Pro: Mentor Williams & John Stewart (RSO: 1977)

EIGHTEEN WHEELS AND A DOZEN ROSES (Gene Nelson/Paul Nelson) by Kathy Mattea/Pro: Allen Reynolds (Mercury: 1988)

500 MILES AWAY FROM HOME (Bobby Bare/Charlie Williams) by Bobby Bare

Pro: Chet Atkins (RCA: 1963)

(GET YOUR KICKS ON) ROUTE 66 (Bobby Troup) by The King Cole Trio (Capitol: 1946)

Song revived by various artists including The Rolling Stones in ’64.  

HEADING OUT TO THE HIGHWAY (Glenn Tipton/Rob Halford/K.K. Downing) by Judas Priest/Tom Allom (Columbia: 1981)

HEADS CAROLINA, TAILS CALIFORNIA (Tim Nichols/Mark D. Sanders) by Jo Dee Messina

Pro: Byron Gallimore & Tim McGraw (Curb: 1995) 

We can load what we own in the back of a U-Haul van’

HIGHWAYMAN (Jimmy Webb) by The Highwaymen: 

Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash & Kris Kristofferson/Chips Moman (Columbia: 1985)

THE HIGHWAY PATROL (Red Simpson/Dennis Payne/Alan Rush) by Red Simpson

Pro: Ken Nelson (Capitol: 1966)

HIGHWAY 61 REVISTIED (Bob Dylan) by Bob Dylan

Pro: Bob Johnston (Columbia: 1965)

HIGHWAY STAR (Jon Lord/Ian Paice/Ian Gillan/Roger Glover/Ritchie Blackmore) by Deep Purple

Pro: Deep Purple (Warner Bros: 1972)

 ‘Nobody gonna take my car’

I CAN’T DRIVE 55 (Sammy Hagar) by Sammy Hagar

Pro: Ted Templeman (Geffen: 1984)

Cyndi Lauper I DroveAll Night

 I DROVE ALL NIGHT (Tom Kelly/Billy Steinberg) by Cyndi Lauper

Pro: Cyndi Lauper & Lennie Petze (Epic: 1987)

(I'M A) ROAD RUNNER (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland) by Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Pro: Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier (Soul: 1966)

I’VE BEEN EVERYWHERE (Geoff Mack) by Johnny Cash

Pro: Rick Rubin (American: 1996) Song famously a #1 Country hit by Hank Snow in ’62.

INTERSTATE LOVE SONG (Dean DeLeo/Robert DeLeo/Eric Kretz/Scott Weiland) by Stone Temple Pilots (Atlantic: 1994)

KEY TO THE HIGHWAY (Big Bill Broonzy/Charles Segar) by Little Walter & His Jukes (Checker: 1958

) When the moon peeks over the mountain’

KING OF THE ROAD (Roger Miller) by Roger Miller

Pro: Jerry Kennedy (Smash: 1965)

L.A. FREEWAY (Guy Clark) by Jerry Jeff Walker/A Free Flow Production (MCA: 1973) 

I’ll be down that road in a cloud of smoke’

LONG LONESOME HIGHWAY (James Hendricks) by Michael Parks

Pro: James Hendricks (MGM: 1970)

MAYBELLENE (Chuck Berry) by Chuck Berry & His Combo

Pro: Leonard Chess (Chess: 1955)

A Cadillac a-rollin’ on the open road’

ME AND BOBBY McGEE (Kris Kristofferson/Fred Foster) by Janis Joplin

Pro: Paul Rothchild (Columbia: 1970) 

Windshield wipers slappin’ time’

MOVIN’ ON (Merle Haggard) by Merle Haggard & The Strangers

Pro: Fuzzy Owens (Capitol: 1975) 

Big wheels rollin’’

NADA (Roger Clyne/P.H. Naffah/Buddy Edwards) by The Refreshments

Pro: Clif Norrell (Mercury: 1996)

 ‘Gasoline for another hundred miles’

OL' ’55 (Tom Waits) by Tom Waits

Pro: Jerry Yester (Asylum: 1973) 

Now the sun’s coming up/I’m riding with Lady Luck’

ON THE ROAD AGAIN (Al Wilson/Floyd Jones) by Canned Heat

Pro: Dallas Smith (Liberty: 1968)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN (Willie Nelson) by Willie Nelson

Pro: Willie Nelson (Columbia: 1980)

PROMISED LAND (Chuck Berry) by Chuck Berry/Pro: Leonard Chess (Chess: 1964)

Cut your engines and cool your wings’

RADAR LOVE (George Kooymans/Barry Hay) by Golden Earring

Pro: Golden Earring (Track/MCA: 1973) ‘I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel’’

The Allman Brothers Band gold

 RAMBLIN’ MAN (Richard Betts) by The Allman Brothers Band

Pro: Johnny Sandlin & The Allman Brothers Band (Capricorn: 1973) 

Rollin’ down highway forty-one

ROCKIN’ DOWN THE HIGHWAY (Tom Johnston) by The Doobie Brothers

Pro: Ted Templeman (Warner Bros: 1972) 

ROLL ON DOWN THE HIGHWAY (Robbie Bachman/C. Fred Turner) by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Pro: Randy Bachman (Mercury: 1975)


RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM (Jeff Lynne/Tom Petty/Mike Campbell) by Tom Petty

Pro: Jeff Lynne with T.P. & Mike Campbell (MCA: 1989


RUNNING ON EMPTY (Jackson Browne) by Jackson Browne

Pro: Jackson Browne (Asylum: 1978) 

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels’

SHAKY CITY (Peter Case/Eddie Munoz) by The Plimsouls

Pro: Jeff Eyrich (Geffen: 1983)

 ‘A line of cars that stretches back’

SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD (Carl Montgomery/Earl Green) by Dave Dudley (Golden Wing: 1963)

SWEET HITCH-HIKER (John C. Fogerty) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Arr & Pro: Creedence (Fantasy: 1971)

 ‘Ridin’ alongside the highway’



The Eagles "Take It Easy"

 TAKE IT EASY (Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey) by The Eagles

Pro: Glyn Johns (Asylum: 1972) 

I’m runnin’ down the road tryin’ to loosen my load’

TRANSFUSION (Jimmy Drake) by Nervous Norvous (Dot: 1956) 

Tooling down the highway doing seventy-nine’

UNDER MY WHEELS (Michael Bruce/Dennis Dunaway/Bob Ezrin) by Alice Cooper

Pro: Bob Ezrin (Warner Bros: 1971) 

I’m driving in my car now/Anticipating fun’

VENTURA HIGHWAY (Dewey Bunnell) by America

Pro: America (Warner Bros: 1972)

WHITE LINE FEVER (Merle Haggard) by The Flying Burrito Bros.

Pro: Jim Dickson & Rob Hughes (A&M: 1971)

Rock on.

Alan Warner

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