Bruce Springsteen’s 13th DJ show on SiriusXM satellite radio featured songs having to do with cars and streets, ranging from Robert Mitchum’s “The Ballad of Thunder Road” (“yeah, that’s where I got the title,” said Springsteen, referring to Mitchum’s 1958 “Thunder Road movie”) to Nas’ recently released “Car #85,” Titled “My Kingdom for a Car,” it debuted Oct. 7 on the network’s E Street Radio channel and also featured songs by Depeche Mode, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Jo Dee Messina, Chuck Berry, The Clash, Bob Dylan and others.
Springsteen talked a little about most of the songs, and reminisced about his family getting a new car when he was young. He also read from Caren Krusinger’s poetry and Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road.”
You can read what Springsteen said here, and see videos for the songs that were played. In some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from than what is embedded in this post.
Intro music: “Theme From ‘Route 66,’ ” Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
“Hello, hello, fans, friends, car freaks, gearheads, fellow travelers and listeners from coast to coast and around the world. Welcome to Vol. 13 of ‘From My Home to Yours,’ titled ‘My Kingdom for a Car.’ This is our tribute to the automobile and the open road, and this is Jason & the Scorchers, from their album Thunder and Fire, with a Phil Ochs song, ‘My Kingdom for a Car.’ ”
“My Kingdom for a Car,” Jason & the Scorchers
“Route 66,” Depeche Mode
“That was Depeche Mode with their great version of ‘Route 66.’ Coming up, ‘Rocket 88,’ recorded in Memphis, Tenn., in March of 1951. The recording is credited to Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, who were actually Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm. This is considered by many to be the first rock ‘n’ roll record and, of course, its subject is the car. Brenston was Ike’s saxophonist and the lead vocalist on this recording, and was credited as its author, though Ike Turner actually penned the song.”
“Rocket 88,” Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
” ‘My Hooptie,’ by Sir Mix-a-Lot. A hooptie is any car that meets the following:
“a) driver must enter car through passenger side
“b) three different brand and size tires, three of them missing hubcaps
“c) exhaust pipe is held up by half a wire clothes hanger; the other half of said hanger replaces the antenna
“d) backfires every three blocks, loudest backfire being when car is turned off
“e) must open door at drive-thru window, as the windows do not roll down
“f) you only get one AM station and the 1970s tape deck eats all tapes inserted
“g) you must manually move the blinker lever up and down as it no longer blinks on its own
“h) has had the same temporary registration sticker in the window for past 18 months
“i) despite all the above, still has a $200 professional tint job.”
“My Hooptie,” Sir Mix-a-Lot
“That was Sir Mix-a-Lot, one of my favorite and funniest old school rappers, out of Seattle, Wash.”
“American Muscle,” 1 AMVRKA
“No Particular Place to Go,” Chuck Berry
” ‘She was getting out of a beautiful navy blue Cadillac with red seats.
“She was more exotic than the car; her date was a handsome creature too.
“With dark skin and dark eyes that danced. He was delighted with her.
“This was at least fifty years ago and I have never forgotten
“A glimpse of her beautiful leg as she exited this fantastic car.’
— Caren Krutsinger”
“Brand New Cadillac,” The Clash
“That was The Clash, with ‘Brand New Cadillac.’ Coming up, Tom Robinson Band. Tom Robinson Band were a British rock band established in 1976 by singer-songwriter and bassist Tom Robinson. ‘2-4-6-8 Motorway’ was a Top 5 hit in the U.K.”
“2-4-6-8 Motorway,” Tom Robinson Band
“The Screaming Blue Messiahs were formed as a power trio in 1983 in London by guitarist and singer Bill Carter, bassist Chris Thompson and drummer Kenny Harris. They released three terrific major label albums: Gun-Shy, Bikini Red and Totally Religious. They garnered wide critical acclaim and, unfortunately, limited commercial success, particularly here in America. They however, without a doubt, were one of the great bands of the ’80s.”
“Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge,” The Screaming Blue Messiahs
“Ride Your Pony,” The Fleshtones
“That was The Fleshtones, with their version of Lee Dorsey’s ‘Ride Your Pony.’ This is ‘Car #85’ by Nas from his new album, King’s Disease.”
“Car #85,” Nas featuring Charlie Wilson
“Coming up, Robert Mitchum and ‘The Ballad of Thunder Road.’ ‘Thunder Road’ was a black-and-white B picture from 1958 starring Robert Mitchum; James Mitchum, his son; and Keely Smith, who you may know as the fabulous singer in Louis Prima’s band. She is just as cool and laconic and strange on film. And yeah, folks, this is where I got the title.”
“The Ballad of Thunder Road,” Robert Mitchum
“Open All Night,” Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band
“That’s ‘Open All Night,’ by the Sessions Band in Dublin, featuring the Sessions Band horn section, Patti Scialfa & the Sessionettes, and Charlie Giordano, on that rockin’ piano.
” ‘the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.’
— Jack Kerouac.”
“From a Buick 6,” Bob Dylan
“That was Bob Dylan, ‘From a Buick 6,’ from the history-making Highway 61 Revisited album. I played that record till it fell to pieces on my little box stereo in my bedroom in Freehold, N.J. It remains a modern masterpiece.
” ‘because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again, we had longer ways to go, keep rolling under the stars, the road is life.’
— Jack Kerouac.”
“Running on Empty,” Jackson Browne
“Your dad and his car. Those were two things that could not be separated. All I remember was my old man coming home, bringing home a new used car. Park it out on the grass in the backyard. We’d all come hustling out of the house, stand around it. Couldn’t get in it yet. Not till he said it was all right. But we’d run our hands over the fins, all over the hood and finally pop would say, ‘All right, everybody in, and we’d hustle in that car. He’d start that thing up, slip it into gear, and pull us out on the main street. And we just went for a cruise. And for a short while, we felt like the Springsteen family are the kings of this highway (laughs). And yeah, it was just one of the deepest memories of my childhood.”
“Silver Thunderbird,” Jo Dee Messina
“Coming up, this is one of our great Texas singer-songwriters, Guy Clark, with ‘Out in the Parking Lot.’ ”
“Out in the Parking Lot,” Guy Clark
“Drive Somewhere,” The Vulgar Boatmen
“That was the fabulously unknown Vulgar Boatmen, with ‘Drive Somewhere.’ A real beauty. This next song is ‘Brothers Under the Bridges,’ 1983 — a very distinct version from the one I cut later, about these young street races out in the Midwest, building their cars in garages over the winter, bringing them out in the spring and running them down on the dried lake beds. So, let’s go, ‘Brothers Under the Bridges.’ ”
“Brothers Under the Bridges (’83),” Bruce Springsteen
” ‘I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.’
— Jack Kerouac.”
“Roadrunner,” The Modern Lovers
“That was Jonathan Richman, with the all-time classic ‘Roadrunner,’ and that, ladies and gentlemen, is our show for today. So stay safe, stay healthy and strong behind the wheel, keep your radio on and God bless you.”
“Drive All Night,” Bruce Springsteen
You can read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous 12 shows, and see YouTube videos of all the songs he has played, via these links:
APRIL 8 (a tribute to the late John Prine and more)
APRIL 24 (thoughts on life during pandemic, New York songs and more)
MAY 6 (when the pandemic is over, he promises, “50,000 people will once again scream their heads off somewhere in New Jersey”)
MAY 20 (a tribute to the late Little Richard and more)
JUNE 3 (protest songs and more)
JUNE 17 (a “rock ‘n’ roll requiem” for those who have died from coronavirus)
JULY 1 (discussion with and songs by Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt)
JULY 15 (summertime songs and memories)
JULY 29 (discussion with and songs by Patti Scialfa).
AUG. 14 (“In Dreams,” nocturnally themes songs and memories)
SEPT. 2 (Songs about work, in honor of Labor Day)
SEPT. 16 (End of summer)
Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.
Springsteen has been doing these shows regularly since April.
The shows have lasted between 70 minutes and two hours each, and are being broadcast on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio channel (channel 20), with repeats and on-demand availability following the initial broadcast. Repeats for Show No. 13 are scheduled for Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.; Oct. 8 at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Oct. 9 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; Oct. 10 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Oct. 12 at 7 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; and Oct. 13 at 8 a.m.
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.