I’ve always liked to mess with my own mind. When I was a kid, I expanded on “the alphabet game” on long car rides to try and memorize license plates by pattern. “ABC123” would have me singing the Jackson Five hit. “31415” was either a Florida zip code (Florida plates) or Pi without a decimal point (an MIT license plate frame) and so on.
When I was about fourteen, the Kraftwerk song “Autobahn” came out. For those of you not familiar with the album, one whole side (yes, I date myself) was an electronic recreation of driving down the highway in Germany (the Autobahn) all done on synthesizers. When I got old enough for my own car, I put the cassette in (yes, still dating myself) and turned the dashboard radio on to hear it. It occurred to me then that, I was driving down the highway, listening to a song about driving down the highway. About halfway through the song, the singer comes in and says, in German, (which I was taking in High School at the time) “I turn on the radio and I hear, “Wir fahren, fahren, fahren auf der Autobahn”, which translates to … “We’re driving, driving, driving, on the highway”. So, in 1977 or so, I could drive down the highway, turn on my radio and be listening to a song about driving down the highway, which has in the middle of it, “I turn on the radio and I hear, “We’re driving on the highway”. Triple reality!
Today, as luck would have it, I was driving my daughters to their Spirit Girls meeting, and I set the GPS app on my phone for directions. Instead of turning on the radio for my daughter as I usually do, I decided I wanted to hear hard rock, so I put on AC/DC’s Back in Black. The little GPS voice interrupted and said, “take a right in 500 feet” and it went back to the music. My kids and I laughed at this when I realized I was glad the song wasn’t “Highway to Hell”. I began thinking about all the traveling songs I knew and how this might work…
Again, “I’m on the highway to hell”… take exit 38 off the Mass Pike.
An old chestnut: Eric Clapton via Robert Johnson: “I went down to the crossroads”… bear right on route 84… “begging the Lord for mercy, save me if you please”.
Bruce Springsteen: take exit 10 for… “10th avenue freezeout!”
Harry Chapin on a live version of “Dogtown”: take route 5 for … “Watertown, NY. I spent a week there one afternoon”…
Pete Seeger: As you approach the rotary… “To eveything, turn, turn, turn”…
The Blues Brothers via the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels: Take Rt 95 south… “Going back to Miami!”
The Beatles (this happened today): “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me”… take exit 52 toward Rt. 2…
John Denver: “I’m leaving on a jetplane”… take exit 40 off of Rt. 91 north…
Really old Dionne Warwick: “Do you know the way to San Jose?”… take Rt. 5 south
Crosby, Still, Nash and Young: “You, who are on the road, must have a code…” in 5 miles, take I-10 .
U2: “Where the streets have no name”… bear right for highway 53
George Thorogood: Take Lower Wacker Drive to “2120 South Michigan Avenue”…
Wanna really mess with your head? “Get your kicks on” … Brian Rd, West Hartford … “It goes to St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty, you’ll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico….”
Day trip in Central Park? proceed toward the entrance, then … “Go on take a walk on the wild side”
More Beatles: at the end of the ramp, take a right on Rt. 100, then a left on Hollywood Blvd … “Helter Skelter!”
Billy Joel: take a right onto Riverside Drive… : “I’ve seen the lights go down on Broadway!”
And the list goes on — this is just from my iPod/iPhone….
Anyway, just fun and goofiness to pass the time.