Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off Beat - Hot Rod Lincoln

In the early 1960s, I recall the older brother of a buddy of mine asking me if I'd ever heard the song "Hot Rod Lincoln". I hadn't, so he brought an LP over to my place and we gave it a spin. What a hoot. It must have been the version by Johnny Bond released in 1960. The original was written and recorded by Charlie Ryan in 1955 in response to a 1951 hit called "Hot Rod Race".

There's a great version of the song by Asleep At The Wheel, but the 1972 version by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen would seem to be the best known. It's from their first LP - Lost In The Ozone. Cody and his Airmen formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1967 before migrating to San Francisco and later Texas, where they disbanded in 1976. Cody went on to sustain a solo career. Hot Rod Lincoln remains his biggest hit.

My pappy said "Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin',

if you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln."

Have you heard the story of the hot rod race,
where the Fords 'n' Lincolns were settin' the pace?
That story is true, I'm here to say,
that I was drivin' that Model-A.

It's got a Lincoln motor and it's really souped up,
that Model-A body makes it look like a pup.
It's got eight cylinders and uses 'em all,
got overdrive that just won't stall.

With a four-barrel carb and a dual exhaust,
with 4-11 gears you can really get lost.
Got safety tubes but I ain't scared,
the brakes are good, tires fair.

Pulled outta San Pedro late one night,
the moon 'n' the stars was shinin' bright.
We was drivin' up Grapevine hill,
passin' cars like they was standin' still.

All of a sudden in the wink of an eye,
Cadillac sedan passed us by.
I said "Boys that's the mark for me,"
by then the tailight was all you could see.

Now the fellas ribbed me for bein' behind,
so I thought I'd make the Lincoln unwind.
Took my foot off the gas'n'man alive,
I shoved it on down into overdrive.

Wound it up to a hunderd an' ten,
my speedometer said that I hit top end.
My foot was glued like lead to the floor,
that's all there is an' there ain't no more.

Now the boys all thought I'd lost my sense,
them telephone poles looked like a picket fence.
They said "slow down, I see spots,"
the lines on the road just looked like dots.

Took a corner'n'side-swiped a truck,
crossed my fingers just for luck.
My fenders was clickin' the guardrail posts,
the guy beside me was white as a ghost.

Smoke was comin' from outta the back,
when started t' gain on that Cacillac.
Knew I could catch him, I thought I could pass,
don'tcha by then we'd be low on gas.

We had flames comin' from outta the side,
you could feel the tension, man whatta ride.
I said "look out boys, I got a license to fly,"
and that Caddy pulled over and let us by.

Now all of a sudden she started knockin'
down in the dip she started to rock.
And I looked in the mirror, a red light was blinkin',
the cops was after my hot rod Lincoln.

They arrested me 'n' they put me in jail,
'n they called my pappy to throw my bail,
'n he said "son you're gonna drive me ta drinkin'
if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln.

No comments:

Post a Comment