Posted by
Aug 092013

This afternoon, Mr. Royale and I are driving up to Mendocino to attend a friend’s wedding. Invariably, we have a discussion about what music we want to bring: for long drives, having just the right music ready for your Ever Changing Moods is, as you will invariably agree, very important. Can’t have too much jangle. And while Loud, Fast and Out of Control tunes can be helpful for long straightaways, it won’t work on twisty, turny Route 1. Don’t suggest that mp3 crap, or at least not yet. We haven’t found the perfect mp3 delivery system yet so we bring along good old-fashioned compact discs.

Our go-to album for a long drive is Tusk. I don’t know exactly how this came to be, but I know that we both always felt that this album was somewhat unfairly overlooked in favor of Rumours. I think it became our #1 Drive album by it’s mix of familiar radio hits, changes in tempo, Lindsey‘s string of thematically-related contributions, and the inclusion of African elements into that Laurel Canyon sound. The album’s iconic place in our driving set list was set during our honeymoon, when we were meandering all over California (and I was bugging Mr. Royale by asking him whether each particular town or hovel could be a place he would want to relocate).

This afternoon we might shake it up a bit and bring along Camper Van Beethoven‘s cover of the album. However, somewhere along the 5-hour ride, we’ll have answered the question of “What Makes You Think You’re The One?” and bring along that favorite driving album.

What are your go-to albums for a long drive?


  9 Responses to “Drive”

  1. Television’s Marquee Moon is a go-to middle-of-the-long-drive album. That and a can of Illy iced coffee.

  2. Driving in the country I like to bring along Steve Earle’s Guitar Town and Exit 0.

    If I’m on a more urban trip — like driving up to NYC — it’s usually a mix CD of stuff — but I also bring along The Who’s Kids Are Alright soundtrack — it was my first Who album and its their best compilation.

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    Today’s drive’s musical selections ended up being:
    They Might Be Giants – debut album (to get us through the 101 construction)
    Squeeze- East Side Story (wine country!)
    Emily Jane White- Victorian America (through the foggy redwoods)

  4. BigSteve

    Pretty much anything by Stereolab. I like to drift mentally when I’m on a long drive, not focus on songs. Other things that have worked well for me are mid 70s Miles Davis albums like Dark Magus and also Sonic Youth, especially the really noisy SYR series releases.

  5. 2000 Man

    I like Tusk, but I’ve never taken it for a trip in the car. I’d probably like it, I should probably record it and make it portable. These days I just let the mp3 player go unless I want an album, but then I just pick it. But when I had to choose, I used to always take The Yardbirds Volume 1: Smokestack Lightning and Volume 2: Blues, Backtracks and the Shapes of Things. When I’m in a car, I can listen to The Yardbirds for hours. I usually listen to Exile on Main St., too.

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    Interesting, interesting. So far I would travel best with Big Steve.

    Lots of movies were filmed here in Mendocino, often as a stand in for New England, the most heinous being “The Summer of 42.” I feel I should find some of the music from those movies, with the exception of the Theme from TSO42.

  7. Last summer when we were driving through Big Sur I specifically played the 6 Grateful Dead songs on my iPod. In unison, our boys, never having heard the band before, let out a tremendous WTF?!?!, in so many words.

  8. Don’t knock The Summer of ’42! That was an extremely meaningful movie to a number of young, teenage boys of my generation.

  9. “…a long drive”? What is that? The 35 minutes up to Sunset Beach or around to Pokai Bay?


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