Loud Music Saves Lives(?)
There seems to be this ongoing debate about loud pipes. Some among the biker nation are in the PC camp of treading lightly and going softly down the road, in the hopes that courtesy will endear them to cage-dwellers and society in general.
Others take the Attila the Hun approach of installing the loudest pipes money can buy in the hope that this will awaken Susie Cheesecake from her cell-phone-induced coma while she’s piloting her Escalade and applying makeup.
And then there are those who favor a Sturm und Drang approach. This requires cranking up the volume of your motorcycle’s sound system to decibels that will shock motorists into attention as you pass. This usually elicits a quick “WTF” as said motorist thinks his car has simultaneously upchucked its timing belt and an F15A has mistaken this particular stretch of road for a runway. A lot depends on your choice of music. The Gipsy Kings may be OK to some, but others need something like Metallica to really shake things up. Then again, if one wants to impart a little culture, there’s always Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyrie,” which can be played at a volume a la the scene in Apocalypse Now. It’s guaranteed to get one noticed on the highway. The debate rages on…
Double Dose: Ultimate Hits
Of all those high-flying, over-the-top ’80s metal bands, Poison has had the most to prove. To establish legitimacy, they first had to do what other bands did—move to LA. Consisting of Bret Michaels, Bobby Dall, and Rikki Rockett, the original trio next held auditions for a fourth member, which ended up being C.C. Deville (Guns N’ Roses’ band-mate Slash was one who didn’t get the job).
Despite being dismissed by many know-nothing music critics, the band caught fire during the latter half of the ’80s, propelled by constant touring and a run of great pop-metal singles. No doubt, “sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll” was one of the underlying themes to their success. The band would go on to have personnel changes and myriad other issues, but none worse than your usual famous hard-partying rock band.
Capitol has seen fit to promote the band’s 25th anniversary with this new two-CD set that should contain enough Poison to send even the most jaded fan into a fit of rock ’n’ roll delirium. Think of it as another one of those party-in-a-box projects. Add liberal doses of hits “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Fallen Angel,” “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” key crowd-pleasers like “Unskinny Bop,” “I Want Action,” “Look What the Cat Dragged In,” etc., and sprinkle with other interesting tidbits. Ah, if only music could make hair grow, then everyone would be wearing spandex again. Which we can’t endorse because watching a biker accidently set his pants on fire from a hot exhaust pipe is not a pretty thing. Digression aside, this collection makes for a darn fine ride down Memory Expressway.
Man in Motion
As the title indicates, this is an excellent album for tearing up the twisties or surfing along the interstate. And North Carolina–native Warren Haynes is a man who’s been in motion all of his life; just the one to provide the right sounds to perfect your riding skills, assuming of course you have a sense of rhythm. From stints in David Allen Coe to The Allman Brothers to Government Mule, Warren Haynes has been grinding his axe into a modern soul-rock musical sculpture that defies the usual categorizing. Sure, sounds familiar. But everything’s been whipped into Warren’s own unique concoction that goes down with just the right amount of sting.
It’s obvious the man grew up listening to all the soul greats from Motown to Stax. This album, recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studios in analog and with vintage tube microphones (ask your grandfather), Warren crafted a southern-fried one-hour-plus masterpiece. Backed with Ivan Neville on background vocals and organ, Ian McLagan on piano, Ruthie Foster on background vocals, George Porter Jr. on bass, and Ron Holloway on saxophone, Haynes reveals his own smooth-as-Jack-Daniels vocals, all the while playing up a storm. He easily navigates between soul, funk, gospel, and rock with a little boogie woogie thrown in for extra measure. The horn section is tight. The beer is cold. The pool table is open. All you need to do is turn up Man In Motion and shake yer booty.