I was a late bloomer when it came to the late 60’s/early 70’s classic rock era. I knew a few of the most popular classics, but overall, my Woodstock band knowledge was pretty poor. Once I was truly introduced to the bands and given some direction, I was immediately hooked. A classic rock binge followed and now I’m not sure how I ever got along without it. Harckoning back to a different generation, these songs refer to their time, yet still have the ability to get me stoked to take off and hit the open road, to see what’s out there in the great unknown. A little motivation if you will.
America – Simon and Garfunkel
I first heard this song while watching Almost Famous and it’s become one of my all time favorites. William’s older sister leaves him a record and describes this song as the reason she’s leaving her restrictive home for America (actually just “to become a stewardess” but all the same). There’s so much world out there, so how can one just contently sit at home with no desire to go out and see if for themselves. What I really love about the song though, is how it touches on the simple moments that are often overlooked while traveling. The simple jokes that sometimes get forgotten after the moment passes.
Marrakesh Express – CSNY
In The Drifters, an amazing book I read early in my trip, a gang of young adults who’ve come together due to various circumstances, wander around Europe and Africa attempting to make some sense of the mess that is their lives and figuring out their next steps. They eventually find themselves in Marrakesh, a maddening traveler haven in Morocco. While I’ve never been and actually haven’t even see a picture, Michener’s description of the town is captivating because of the love-hate relationship the characters share with it. Hopefully, you read the book, but if not, CSNY gets you most of the way there. There really isn’t anything like a long train ride in a foreign land.
Ventura Highway – America
I absolutely love this song. It’s completely littered with references of wanderlust, changing times and moving on. “Cause a free wind is blowing through your hair” and “I’ve been hit by Purple Rain” to name a few. Look up purple rain if you’ve never heard it used. Next go outside and start thinking about the places you’ve never been and decide to go there.
Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival
The first line does it all for me. He “left a good job in the city” and then continues on about how he has no regrets. He doesn’t worry about money, but instead found “people who live.” I may not have been “working for the man” but I can relate to the grind. My decision to take off on an adventure was one of my best.
Free Bird – Lynard Skynard
Obviously an all time favorite, which everyone knows, but it still has one line that always gets me in a traveling mood. “I must be traveling on now, cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.” The more I talk with travelers, the more recommendations of future destinations I get. And when I start thinking about them and conjuring up images of being in all these places, my head gets dizzy. There are so many places to see. It would truly take a lifetime to see them all. I’m enjoying one at a time.
This is my list, but I’d love to hear some of your favorites. Any classic rock songs that make you want to head out the door to experience the world?