Tuesday 20 February 2018
I'm over the water for a couple of days. I don't get to go to Belfast as often as I would like these days but I never relish the walk back to Car Park 1 at Glasgow Airport after the return flight as my bag is twice as heavy as it was when I went out as I have to bring back Club Rock Shandy and Tayto Smokey Bacon crisps for the boys whenever I go over.
Here is a song that I never go any more than a fortnight without playing. I used to think that Roadrunner (Twice) was the best version and for a while it was the 8 minute plus version (Thrice) that was the one for me but it always comes back to (Once), one of the definitive tracks of how it feels to be a teenager.
Not sure why I have an affinity with this song as I didn't have a car or had any inclination to drive one when I was a teenager but I did have the scooter which gave me the same sort of freedom that Richman sings about but without having the "radio on". In the mid 80s the technology did not exist to listen to the radio while riding along dodging the half bricks and the boy racers trying to run you off the road. A couple of the guys did fit speakers to the front of the glove box of their PXs' and have a tape player inside but it was about as much use when riding as an ashtray on the headset. But the lyrics of Roadrunner nailed that feeling of freedom when driving/riding about just because you could and you had nothing better to do. Plus it's the best Velvets song that the VU never did, although you just couldn't imagine Lou Reed singing about something as mundane as driving.
Laura Barton produced a programme years ago for Radio 4 where she went to Massachusettes and drove Route 128 which was one the best things that has ever been on Radio 4.
Anyway, here are Roadrunner (Once) and (Twice) and the Youtube of (Thrice) as when I dug out my copy to rip as it wasn't in iTunes, which was strange, until I put it on the turntable and found out my copy is scratched to fuck and sounds absolutely terrible.
Jonathan Richman - Roadrunner (Once)
The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner (Twice)