Auto focus

Five songs in my iTunes library with car names in the title:

(Photo of each car is taken from the year the song was released.)

1. Guitars, Cadillacs” by Dwight Yoakam. Somebody‘s Wikipedia entry needs some objective editing: “Continues to have a lasting transformative impact on country music”? “One of the most mesmerizing and respected actors working today”? And here I was just thinking: “What ever happened to Dwight Yoakam, anyway?”

2. Mustang Sally” by The Commitments. Subsequent versions of the soundtrack album have switched this track’s vocalist credit to Andrew Strong, who played the lead singer in the movie. Did you know that Glen Hansard, star of “Once” and one-half of The Swell Season, was in that movie, too?

3. Meet Sue Be She” by Miss Kittin. Sure, it’s kind of cheating, but three carmakers are mentioned, albeit phonetically: Meet Sue Be She, Sue Zoo Key and Be Aime Double You. (I wonder if she’s referring to them as motorcycle manufacturers, not automakers. There are no car-specific references throughout.) I had forgotten all about the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser, which along with the Eclipse made up the production line of Diamond Star Motors. Here’s a nice reminder of how different concept cars look from the actual production models, like the 2004 convertible above and the concept coupe from the same year here.

4. Pontiac” by Lyle Lovett. Poor Pontiac, being phased out of production by 2010. I guess the Solstice was too little, too late; I think the last time anyone was excited about a Pontiac was probably the Firebird Trans-Am — and that was introduced in 1982. When I think of the narrator of this song — an old man sitting in his car, smoking, and staring at the lady across the street — I suspect he’s probably sitting in something more like an ’87 Bonneville, which in a reflection of the brand’s anemic recent history was a highlight in Car and Driver’s slideshow of “The Best of Pontiac.”

5. Rocket 88” by Ike Turner. Bill Haley made it famous, but Ike Turner made it first. Another blogger compiled a much longer list of songs — he included solely American cars, in honor of the ailing industry. Oldsmobile’s another brand that was phased out during GM woes, of course. It’s a shame, given its history for memorable vehicles like the 88, and the early-’70s Cutlass.

And two songs with car names in the title that are, surprisingly, missing from my iTunes library:

1. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince.

2. “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen (or Natalie Cole). For a while I thought Aretha Franklin, not Natalie Cole, was responsible for that remake — I could remember her in the pink car and everything! — but it turns out I was thinking of this song. (She does reference a pink Cadillac in the lyrics. …)

WHAT SAM WORE: 11-21-09
The shirt: Ribbed cotton sweater by Pure Stuff,
from Last Chance.
The pants: Fleece track pants by Puma, from Last Chance.
The shoes: Shox sneakers by Nike, from …
(where else?) Last Chance.
The scent: Cucumber Essence Oil by Kiehl’s and
Texas Cedarwood essential oil by Aura Cacia.

One response to “Auto focus

  1. I had high hopes this list would include “Chevy Van” by Sammy Johns, one of the great one-hit wonders from the ’70s! At the very least, you should have “Little Deuce Coupe” or “409” from the Beach Boys.

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