Thursday, July 26

RVs and REAL Rock And Roll - RVing Music

The full time RV life and classic rock just seem to go together somehow. Not that there is anything wrong with classical or jazz - I've been known to crank up the Vivaldi and Miles Davis on occasion myself. Naturally, there's the irresistible pile of puns that connect rockin' and rollin' in an RV with a certain lack of stability and leveling, not to mention all the shakin' goin' on out on the road and trying to sit still.

But it's the themes of rock that make it the kind of music that can supply a soundtrack for your RV life - freedom from constraints, the power of new experiences, the need for movement, and the effects on humans of life on the road. And speaking of on the road, country music has a natural place in this concept too, with all its trucker songs and wandering lovers, but there's nothing like the impact of rock and roll to make RVing a joy heading down that highway.  So pick one to make your theme song, and every time you pull out onto the road, put it on, turn it up, and celebrate. Here are some of the best possibilities.
One of the best RV rock anthems is a song by the Who on their classic album Who's Next - Going Mobile. It's actually one of the few songs about living in a motorhome, written with great humor and eye for details way back in 1971. The narrator talks about the freedom of movement, the conveniences, playing music, having tea and toast, and just being a good old hippie gypsy. Best of all, the mobile traveling life is seen as a way to outrun and outwit Authority and the Establishment, something most of us baby boomers dream of even as we license our vehicles, pay our taxes and become residents of far away states.
There are lots of songs about rambling people (mostly men), which used to be a euphemism for hobos and vagrants. One of the best was Ramblin' Man by the Allman Brothers. Based on a rollicking rhythm and done with a country-rock feel, it expressed a longing for hitting the road and moving on. Another quite different rambling song was Ramble On by Led Zeppelin, always guaranteed to get the blood flowing and the tires rolling.
Bruce Springsteen has written many songs about the road, but his 2 most famous are probably Born to Run, and Thunder Road, both songs that make you want to roll down the windows and let the wind take you away to the next town. If you grew up in the 70s you probably heard the Grateful Dead's signature song Truckin' telling about their travels and travails as they roamed the land on tour.
From the 80s comes a great road song by the Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere - probably a good song to use as a launching tune for a great adventure. If you like a little sweet sadness in your rock and roll, there's nothing quite like Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin, who died at 27 from a drug overdose. Just days before her death she finished recording her version of this Kris Kristofferson song about lovers on the road who are torn apart, but are finally free because they have nothing left to lose.
Bob Dylan knew something about that feeling of having no home and nothing to hide. His Like a Rolling Stone is not really about traveling, but its rousing choruses make you almost want to celebrate the simple life he is wishing on someone else. America by Simon and Garfunkel is a classic song about moving and looking for the heart of this place we call home as we traverse its highways.
And of course, if your tastes run back to the origins of rock in the 1950s, there is nothing else to compare to Jerry Lee Lewis' Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, which leads us back to where we started. I'm willing to bet that there are music loving RVers out there who have installed stereos in their rolling homes that rival home systems. And when they put on their favorites, no stabilizer in the world can keep the house from rockin' - so rock on!

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