Seasoned Rookie with Murph, The Seasoned Rookie.
I feel like jamming. Right now. Even as we speak (read?) your favorite Seasoned Rookie is surrounded by many watts of logical surrounding sound -- all created by such impressive and high-tech electronic doo-dads that I couldnt possibly start to understand how it works. How does it work, you may ask? Best I can tell, you put this little silver disk into the tray here, and then push the button with a triangle on it. This creates sound in the form of notes, which are then routed via fan (hence the whirring noise) out the sound hose attached to the back, which then goes to the note processor, through the volume valve, and through sound hoses to the many speakers scattered around the house.
Those of you who I've had the pleasure of meeting may already know that I love music -- and the more obscure, the better. Belle and Sebastian, Jack Johnson, The Trashmen, Django Reinheart, The Strokes... The list goes on and on.
Last month I asked you to write in with what you felt were your definitive trail tunes. After filtering through the hundreds (ok, dozens) of responses, various members of the IZook Staff got together at a Karaoke Bar near TD's place for an evening to find out exactly what it was about these songs that made them so popular. I brought my old mixing board and reel to reel deck and captured a near-perfect recording of the songs sung that night by us. So perfect, in fact, that at the end of the night we threw the reels of tape off a bridge.
We had hoped to burn these to CD's and sell them for a few bucks each at various trail runs. Even the cover art was, well, art. Visualize if you will the old Saturday Night Fever album cover... same poses, costumes, everything -- but substitute Larry, Bob, TD, and Zig for the Bee Gees and Terrina striking a John Travolta pose on the dance floor.
As you can probably guess from the context of the article, the album was a flop, seeing as the master tapes ceased to exist just minutes after leaving the bar. To salvage the article, I've invited some fellow seasoned rookies to tell us a bit about their favorite trail tunes and what makes it so:
Izook's own "Zig" kicks off the article by asking, "What is a definitive trail tune?" My "theme" song has been Itty Bitty by Alan Jackson. People get a 'Kick' out of seeing a Sidekick on 33's riding trails in Tellico following Jeeps and Cab trucks on 39" and larger tires with Itty Bitty cranked up on the stereo.
Sounds like you already have your answer there, Zig. By definitive trail tune I mean what is the one song that fits your truck's mood and personality and entertains the occupants for some reason as you crawl over rocks?
Jim Cambron, self-proclaimed A/V geek and driver of the infamous Suzuki SJ-710 Pinzgauer Edition has shared the trails with me on many occasions and was an inspiration behind this article after jamming through the night run to "Cleveland Rocks" from the Drew Carey show.
"As for my favorites, I have two... they would be a tie between:
Steppenwolfs Born to be Wild" (a combination of my radio days and a scene from the best of the Star Trek movies, "Contact") and Roy Roger's "Happy Trails" (Jim is now revealing his age, estimated by this reference to be about 800.)
Theme from the TV show "Firefly" (country)
Ride of the Valkyries (classical) Truly a classic -- many seem to know this from the classic "Flying Nazi Pinto" scene from the Blues Brothers.
(Note from The Seasoned Rookie: The Blues Brothers is on every Rookie's Required Summer Viewing List.)
"Radar Love" - The driving edge, the backbeat, the rhythm. You cannot help yourself from playing air guitar when this song is rockin'. Now, of course, the "hands on the wheel" part is important. Now when your hands aren't on the wheel.....
Kris Anderson says:
As for the "definitive trail tune" it's the sweet sound of nature with a backdrop of engines singing their selective tune and a few breaks of CB chatter.
When I go out on the trail I don't do it in order to have a more extreme version of my normal commute. No, I go to relax and have fun. Listening to how my SJ is reacting to the trail around is me all the music I need in order to enjoy my time off the beaten path. That may have something to do that with the 1.0L working away my vehicle doesn't put enough noise out to break the mood.
When you get out with the top off, windshield down and a nice breeze going by it rates up with one of the best feelings you can have in an automobile. Just thinking about cruising up, around, over and through various obstacles with nothing but nature and the vehicles working to get through it makes me want to get out and wheel that much more.
Pure Poetry, Kris. For a moment there I think all of our keyboards sprouted a turn signal stalk and we all felt around for a clutch pedal under our desks. Another shared viewpoint comes from Dennis Ferree.
For me there is only one trail tune, the sounds my rig is making as I go up the trail. Since I drive a mostly stock 87 Samurai soft top (Rocky Road front and rear bumpers are the only mod so far) I need to be aware of what my Sami is doing. I have a stereo now but will be swapping it out for a CB this winter.
Love the site. Thanks for keeping it going for us.
I'd have to agree with you, Dennis -- and I would have to agree with you there from the safety and courtesy standpoint. Even though I'm not promoting noise pollution, there is nothing more annoying then when you're trying to enjoy your own music, be it generated by the alternator or engine, and someone driving near you is blasting their big thumpa-motha-whatzit system. There's no need to have an amplifier with a setting of 11 in your trail rig. (Note from the rookie: The first reader to respond with the name of the movie I just referenced gets a free "Dinner Decal.")
As for us keeping the site going, Dennis - We'll keep doing it as long as loyal readers like yourself continue to appreciate our work. We all get paid a percentage of what you pay to log into the site, so as you can tell it is truly a labor of love.
The next few issues will most likely be centered around the upcoming Zooki-Melt, only three more issues until we take over The Badlands! Anything in particular you'd like to learn about? Things from years past that left a bad taste in your mouth? Drop me a line and I'll see what I can do for you.
Until next month. Life is Good. Murph The Seasoned Rookie