|Marc riding a tiger.|
As I start touring further down the driving playlist road, I have to encounter, and review some songs based on the Bo Diddley Beat. Something about this beat, as heard here, makes it so it can be molded to make just about any song sound intrinsically propulsive. Without a doubt one of its best sculptors was Marc Bolan from T-Rex. By the time he was finally able to afford an electric guitar, he too had succombed to the notion of using this rhythm as a launching point for his full on foot-stomping glory. To me, that beat mimics the sound a car’s wheels makes as it drives towards its destination. Is it any surprise that one of the best songs to play while driving practically was created because of Marc’s attempt to conflate human love with that of the love of one’s automobile? and one of its best rockin’ softies is his own attempt to compare the value of his love to exactly what type of automobile he wishes he could bestow on his most beloved? Marc, like some men, at times has his priorities all sorts out of order but don’t ya know because he loves driving his woman somewhere nice…
Anyway, “Jeepster” the hard track of the day off the highly unknown Electric Warrior album (tongue placed firmly in cheek) is a gushing, seductive groove of a song. Marc performs the bare minimum of chord progressions to intone in his best vibrato vocals how much a gearhead he is for that love the engine of his beloved provides. The true brilliance of the song comes from the rhythm section of Steve Currie (bass) and Bill Legend (drums) who act like a parking brake holding Marc in place as he throttles the song. I just think its the sweetest thing ever that he compares his gal to a Jaguar, the finest and most classy of all car brands, all the while aside he is holding back rockin’ the heck out this tune, in place. So, when he finally has the brake lifted with 40 seconds left in the song, he goes from 0-60 in no time.
Listen to Jeepster at Grooveshark.
Now, when is a rocking song not a hard song? When its “Cadillac” a bonus track from the Slider album. Imagine Big Star’s Thirteen played twice as fast, with three times the distortion, and about the same amount of teen angst and lyrics…then you have what Marc was trying to get to. I mean, by now we should know that one of his deepest loves is his love for automobiles, which is one of the reasons his death via car crash was supremely tragic. So, for him to forgo an automobile and to do so, so that he could walk someone he wishes would love him, home, its imagery latent with extreme pathos on his end.
Over a very somber Diddley beat, you can hear Marc barely revving his engine, trying desperately to hear the engine of his love…figure out its idling time. He wishes he could buy his love a Cadillac, some bit of aged wisdom she could treasure, so she can stay with him a bit more. However, as the song progresses he feels sad because she won’t accept it and he has to still face his own demons alone. As he intones how much he loves his baby, you can tell he hears that engine is dying on him and its time to ride it home before it finally gives out. Sometimes, I don’t know whether to rock with him, or console his spirit. I mean haven’t we all had to travel certain paths where we’re the only travelers on the road?Listen to Cadillac on Grooveshark.